THE CUTTING GARDEN

 

                                                                                        

The cutting garden is located adjacent to the potager. It was in fact where my husband attempted to grow melons for several seasons. I usurped the space when  the ‘bones’ of the shade garden (Circle of Friends, Camellia Walk ) and the Viburnum Court, were planted. 

                                                                                          

 A  cutting garden devoted to supplying flowers for the house was one of my  prerequisites  dreams, when we were looking for a house with acreage. This space was in full sun, already cleared, tilled, in a word…perfect.

Divided into three distinct areas, the first, primarily for daffodils (Narcissus).

                                                                                         

 It is here I indulge myself in all the named varieties that ‘do’ in the south…even a few that don’t but are guaranteed to bloom the first year.

                                                                                                        

 Here also, are a few daffodils I have rescued from old abandoned homesteads, whose origins remain unknown.

                                                                                    

I never cut flowers from The Meadow. It is planted exclusively with heirloom bulbs I have rescued & divided over the last 13 years. (More on why in another post.) Meanwhile, enjoy the early show in the cutting garden.

                                                                                         

                                                                                             

It is so rewarding to share this abundance, I have taken to sending bunches home with friends who visit. Daffodils spread joy & the promise of spring.

© All photos & Text 2011

A HOST OF GOLDEN DAFFODILS

“…A host, of golden daffodils…”                                                                        

“…beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”

                                                                                                                                                                               

“They stretched in never-ending line………..”

                                                                                                                                                                            

“And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.”

                                                                        

My meadow… a landscape inspired by a poem.

To hear Jeremy Irons recite Wordsworth’s poem…  http://www.facebook.com/#!/BluestoneGarden

© All photos 2011

SIGNS OF SPRING

Last day in January and there are signs of spring everywhere.

                                                                               

The  daffodils  (Narcissus) are coming up in the meadow…

                                                                                       

and the Prunus mume  (Japanese Apricot ) is blooming!

                                                                                                 

                                                                                            

I didn’t have my glasses, but you get the idea. Too bad one  can’t photograph the fragrance.

I know there will be more ‘cold snaps’ before winter releases us from her grip… but these signs that she is waning, gladden the gardener’s heart.

 © All photos & text 2011

THE MEADOW

The Meadow is located where the walk from the Circle of  Friends terminates on the south side. When I first saw this area I knew this would be where I could try “The English Thing’ with naturalized bulbs.

                                                                   

Since the foliage of the bulbs must be allowed to mature and the wildflowers must be allowed to ripen their seed, no mowing is allowed. Voila… a MEADOW! 

                                                                      

Totally delightful, easily sustainable, pollinator friendly …. a gift for living away from the city. I wish you could smell it after it gets it annual haircut.

Daffodils (Narcissus) in early spring followed by Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata) and Trilliums (Trillium cuneatum), and NOW  Spider lilies (lycoris radiata)!! 

                                                                        

© All photos & text 2010

THE CONTINUING SAGA OF…

Here is what I have learned about Lilium formosanum, The Formosa Lily.

                                                                      

It DOES have a fragrance… at night, not as sweet or strong as ‘Casablanca’ lilies, but potent none the less. They last perfectly for exactly three days  in the vase before starting to decline. With judicious grooming the bouquet can last 4-5 days. I had to remove it from the house as both my husband and I experienced symptoms of allergy. Still we endured another 24 hours  before relegating it to the veranda.

                                                                     

In the garden they are still going strong. 

                                                                     

 In the cutting garden their tall and lanky habit is exposed. BUT in my mind’s eye I have combined them with the Hydrangea  paniculata blooming at the same time.

                                                                     

I think that would be a lovely plant marriage. The H. paniculata will provide the camouflage the gawky lily stems require, and the white flowers, one lacy…

                                                                     

 the other bold …

                                                                       

will be a fabulous combination. (as is the one above) See this post on combining plants.

All in all the adventures with lilies comes to a close…for now, the seed heads are very interesting and I expect PLENTY of seed to share.

I wonder if the clematis buried in all that foliage could be persuaded to climb the lily stem…???

© All photos & text 2010

LILIES

  I cannot describe my elation when I came in with this bouquet gathered this morning.

                                                                                    

Lilium formosanum. Stunning, but no fragrance.  Okay, I’ll forgive that, very easy to grow, comes readily from seed & blooms the first year.  In fact most all of these seeded themselves.

                                                                                

Late blooming with fabulous seed capsules that are choice if one does dry flowers for the winter BUT… knowing I would  post about them today, I looked them up in Armitage*.

“Unfortunately bulbs are susceptible to virus diseases, particularly lily mosaic. The virus causes rapid decline of the bulb and increases the potential of infection to other bulb species in the garden. To avoid infection, it is not advisable to plant Formosa lilies among other lilies.”

Deflated!!  Well I’ll think about that tomorrow, right now I am going to enjoy my Beverly Nichols* moment!

* Allan Armitage  is THE acknowledged expert in herbaceous perennials & is professor in the department of Horticulture, University of Georgia. Author of Herbaceous Perennial Plants. A Treatise on their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes. (a must for every garden library)

*Beverly Nichols (1898-1983) writer, best remembered for his gardening trilogy Merry Hall, Laughter on the stairs & Sunlight on the Lawn. He loved lilies and grew masses of them in his garden. More on Beverly Nichols here. (Another must for a garden library.)

© All photos & text 2010