BROWN & CRUNCHY

Wish it were candy I was referring to, but it is not. Parts of my garden are brown & crunchy.

                                                                  

Variegated Weigelia (Weigelia florida ‘variegata’) in April…

Weigelia today.

Truth be told, I have neglected this part of the garden. There is just so much water one can pump out of a well during a period of drought. I do not remember the last time we had any rain, nor can I remember the last time the temps were lower than 90 F. Choices had to be made. 

This part of the garden has been in a bit of decline and it was never ‘designed’ to my satisfaction. Another winter project on the To Do list.

The native plants are so much more tolerant of drought. Below, a photo of both the Native Oakleaf  Hydrangea ( Hydrangea quercifolia) and the French mophead (Hydrangea macrophylla).

                                                                    

Both were watered last week. 

 I would like to introduce you to my new, constant companion! (below)

                                                                    

This is the best type of sprinkler for many parts of my garden, lots of water over a large area.

Moving on…

                                                                  

the basil is doing well

                                                                     and I am making Pesto, which will be frozen for the winter. I love to open a jar of sunshine in the middle of January and eat in front of the fireplace.

The recipe I follow (very loosely) is from Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cookbook .

2 cups basil leaves (no stems)

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Pine Nuts

5-6  Garlic cloves (or to taste)

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese grated

Combine in the Food Processor till creamy (the consistency of baby food)

Add salt  to taste and serve over pasta. (or freeze)

If it seems too thick, add a tablespoon or so of the water that the pasta boiled in to thin.

Should you want to be really authentic you can combine all the ingredients with a mortar and pestle. Hence the name Pesto

Enjoy!

THE COUNTESS & THE CLEMATIS

                                                                     

If you have been following this blog you already know I have a passion for Clematis .

                                                                    

( if you missed them see under categories) they are planted  at the base of almost all the  viburnums  in the garden. So, no surprise today when I came across new growth on Clematis Catherine Clanwilliam ( photographed above in May)  and saw…

                                                                   

FLOWER BUDS!!..

I am so looking forward to this re bloom.  Which brings me to my post today.

Several weeks ago I received an e-mail through the ‘contact me’ page on this blog. Cheryl Purdin  requested  seeds of  Clematis Catherine Clanwilliam. Her plan was to have the gardener start the seeds so her employer, who just celebrated her 87th birthday, could see the plant bloom again. It was to be a surprise. Her employer is Her Ladyship Catherine, Countess of Clanwilliam for whom  Barry Fretwell named said plant.

                                                                  

 The Countess seen above in a photo from 2008, “is a very keen gardener who has made interesting and delightful gardens both in Northern Ireland and in the county of Wiltshire in South Western England.” -Attributed to Barry Fretwell.

Since it would take several years for the plant to bloom if started from seed; my friend Graham, in the UK, helped me locate a mail order nursery in Germany & year old plants were ordered.

 So the countess & the clematis named for her were reunited once more.

 

Don’t you just love a story with a happy ending?

The Countess’ photo appears with the permission of her 6 daughters.

HYDRANGEAS & GARDEN UPDATE

Hydrangea paniculata looking particularly lovely…

 taking on its autumn hue

                                                                   

  So is Hydrangea macrophylla below.

                                                                 

AND I am loosing the groundcover war @ the Mourning Bench.                                                                     

Some critter is digging up all my transplants and I have to fix them every morning. I have resorted to laying chicken wire over the lot & hope it deters whatever. My guess is a racoon digging for the worms in the compost I spread.

                                                                  

 Perennials need so much maintenance.I think I remember why I thought the vinca could take over!! I cannot spend every day replanting & trying to save what has been dug up with so many other tasks to attend to. AND, I am directed to economise and unfortunately gardening help is very low on the list of priorities. Good thing is, I am getting into shape.

Moving on…

The Perilla I allowed to stay…

                                                                 

 MUST be out of here before it sets seed. So far I have loaded the ‘dump truck’ and I am not done yet.

                                                                       

It served its purpose ; which was to shade to roots of the clematis planted around the perimeter of this garden room.; and, with no effort from me , will return again next year so will the cleome. My garden philosophy is to let the self seeders do their thing.  I can look after the shrubs & clematis. When this part of the garden, The Viburnum Court, is between bloom & berries, the clematis, perilla & cleome really liven it up; then the perilla & cleome take over & keep it ‘furnished’ till the berries show.

                                                                   

What I did Labour Day Weekend… below

                                                                    

  I really like it , It just recedes into the background without calling any attention to itself.

 The To Do list gets another check mark.

And finally… more plants I will be rushing to banish before they set their seed. But oh, the butterflies & Hummingbirds.

                                                                    

not to mention I love the colours!!

© All photos & text 2010

IT’S THE BERRIES!

A sure sign that summer is drawing to a close…

                                                                        

  above, Viburnum dilatatum ‘Erie’.  Below, V. ‘Michael Dodge’                                                                  

 Today I caught the scent of the Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans.) Amazing how a fragrance can stir a memory. More amazing, the HUGE fragrance from such a tiny flower.

                                                                     

Last week at the Atlanta Botanical garden…

                                                                  

A cornucopia covered with dried flowers…

                                                                  

and a lecture by Fergus Garrett; head gardener at Great Dixter. UK

                                                                  

                                                                   

                                                                

Exciting lecture, GREAT GLASSES!

© All photos & text 2010

DESIGN SOLUTIONS

 Pointing to the car port at our first meeting, Ms. H. said…                                                        

“We will get rid of that eyesore.”  (below)

                                                                     

 After surveying the property, I saw that this side door (very close to the kitchen) was the only access to the garden. There was no back door.

“Wait” I said “I think we can use this”

                                                                     So I designed an outdoor space for dining, with privacy from the street and  access to the garden.

                                                                                                                                       

 A brick semi circular patio completes the space.

Even Mr. H loved it.

© All photos & text 2010

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

                                                                               

                                           Rosemary supervises the Blog

© All photos & text 2010