OVERWHELMED!

The garden is overwhelming!

                                                                                

Above, the rose New Dawn positively dripping…….

                                                                                   

 Below,Brother Stefan’s   Clematis‘PolishSpirit’                                                                            

Below,Clematis‘Madame  Julia Correvon’                                                                                   

Tomatoes, eggplants & pepper plants waiting to be planted…they are constantly fed Fish emulsion & kept watered..those are small pots &  growing roots take lots of moisture.

                                                                             

Seed for Zinnias and Foxgloves are sown ( late on the Zinnias) below

                                                                                        

Then there are the onions to harvest….

                                                                                 

So, on the way to do attend to all of the above, I pass …

Glorious Deutzia above, Clematis Ruutel and C. Piilu below

                                                                                   

Below, another pairing, Clematis ‘Carnaby’ and Clematis ‘Odoriba’

                                                                                

I really like the two different forms of Clematis mingling, as they climb through Smoke bush ‘Royal Velvet’…. Below, Clematis ‘Catherine Clanwilliam’.

                                                                                     

 All in all, its very pleasant “GETTING THERE’ I designed it that way.

THIS ‘N’ THAT…

This is the busiest season in and about the garden.

                                                                                      

Seedlings must be nurtured in the house,

                                                                          

 the semi-finished Bothy is being organised… with a nod to its previous tenants.

                                                                                 

Weeds are rampant  and everything needs attention at once!

                                                                                       

Still, the garden is beautiful and feeds my soul.

                                                                               

The potager,is putting forth such succulent delights as ‘Gourmet  Lettuce  Mix’ ,’ Italian Kale’ &  ‘Red Mesclun Mix’.

                                                                                          Finally the arbor has found its home. Poor thing , one has moved her about so often…

                                                                                     

I like the way it ties into the Bothy. Evergreens will be planted on both sides of the arbor, forming a hedge. This will serve as the entrance to the Potager and the end of the ‘Pleasure Garden” (so Edwardian don’t you think?)

© all photos 2011

GARDENING TRUMPS BLOG!

Goodness , I have no idea where the time goes. It is already Friday Saturday! This week there was so much to do in the garden. The pruning of ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas & Hydrangea paniculata, along with some Clematis… Still not done with all the ‘Annabelles.’ Every year I have the same lament. When I am pruning I have too many….when they bloom there are not enough!!

                                                                                           

Much weeding in the potager where I am growing salad ….delicious! A few stragglers from last years tulips popping up between the lettuce… and much weeding ….

                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                          

 Spring is going forward at breakneck speed, it seems. Viburnum burkwoodii in bloom. If I could share the fragrance, you would know why it is so cherished among gardeners.

                                                                                           

It does get  large, with a beautiful vase shape. There are several Clematis planted at its feet. Reminders of a lovely day, shared with dear friends, in a beautiful garden.

                                                                                          

The new kitty is at the vets with serious upper respiratory infection…….

© All photos 2011

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

THE SEED PROJECT

It’s that time of year again…

                                                                                     

 Last minute check of catalogues to make final decisions…. it’s the same routine every year…In January  the descriptions, read by the fire, seduce us with their prose. We lust after so many varieties and make endless lists, finally the seeds on hand are checked and then we decide what  will be ordered.

                                                                                           

Dahlia, gets into the act…

                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                 

My husband  trims the list to a “reasonable” size …….15  types of tomatoes, three of each. Those are the beefsteak type. Then there are the Plum tomatoes the best known is probably Roma. I like the ‘San Marzano’  and ‘Amish Paste’. We should have a dozen or so plants of these….

                                                                                      

 and probably way more …. I have to remind  him… we garden, not farm….

© All photos & text 2011

DRUNK with CAMELLIAS!!

Vita Sackville West wrote of her garden… “I am drunk with roses!”

I, am drunk with Camellias!

blooming on the right …

                                                                       

              Camellia japonica ‘Debutante’                                                       

The Camellia Walk snakes through the shade garden in the form of an inverted ‘S’

Below, it is the Camellia Walk which forms the background for the Mourning Bench.

                                                                    

                                                                   

In the Potager, below, a salad Garden, some collards & cabbages.

                                                                   

In the Cutting Garden, the seeds of the Lilies (Lilium formosanum)are ripe. Please e-mail me if you would like seeds. There were some request  after I posted the flowers, HERE.

                                                                 

AND… The Continuing Saga of yet another project….

                                                                    

An improvement since the last time I posted this spot.

I will be away from the computer for a week. Will fill you in when I return.

 © All photos & text 2010

OOPS!

I might have been too hasty in suggesting the introduction of the The Camellia Walk . It’s really not ready for its close-up! Quick peek down below.

                                                                     

 And there is only’ Hana Jima’ blooming there now.

                                                                   

 Sparkling Burgundy,  below, (there are 3 of them in the garden) is located in the circle of friends, and the other two are not part of the camellia walk at all.

                                                                   

My friend Marsha has Camellia japonica ‘Daikagura’ blooming now! (thanks for the photo Marsha.)

                                                                    I have been out gardening from dawn to dusk. Weather is perfect and much needs to be done as one season ends and another begins.

                                                                    

The cutting garden along with the potager  has been seriously neglected this season due to health issues. So now its  time to pay the piper . I do this with the ‘weed dragon’

                                                                                                                                  

and no matter how careful…there is always some collateral damage.

                                                                  

 Still, I use this tool. For large neglected  areas … perfect.

                                                                   

 Eggplant & basil still producing in the potager. But  salad greens must be sown now & cabbage, kale, onions & garlic. I hope I am not too late on the winter veg.

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!

GARDEN & HYDRANGEA UPDATE

It was my relationship with Penny McHenry* that instilled in me the love of hydrangeas.

I have to confess I always found the blue mopheads rather  flashy, I much prefered the delicate lacecaps. Working over a period of time with Penny on reinventing her garden, I had the opportunity to observe the plants closely in all their stages of growth. When they began to fade and look like this…

                                                                        

  and this …     

                                                                                                                                    

I was hooked!  Suddenly I appreciated the versatility of this shrub and how many months of beauty it contributes to the garden.

                                                                   

The paniculatas are late blooming, above & below, Pink Diamond (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pink Diamond’)

                                                                    

Right now this is a magnet for butterflies and several species of bees. When the sun shines here, the area is all a flutter.

AND THE REST…

                                                                   

The oak Leaf hydrangea turns amethyst, true to its name. (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Amethyst’)

                                                                    

Annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) is that lovely Chartreuse colour, blends beautifully with the hosta. Notice there is no foliage left on Annabelle. The deer love her. 

                                                                         Hydrangea ‘Snowflake’ is still flowering..

                                                                     but starting to show some browning.

                                                                   

The berries on the viburnums are ripening, these above  will be red…

                                                                  

and these are the yellow berries of Viburnum ‘Michael Dodge’ starting to colour up.

                                                                   

More delights, the seed heads of Clematis. Once described as curled up little terriers.

                                                                  

Figs are starting (above)… and below, ongoing blueberry harvest.

                                                                  

with more to come. The late blueberries are just starting. 

                                                                   

Ah, summertime!

* Penny McHenry dear friend and founder of the American Hydrangea Society.

© All photos & text 2010

THE POTAGER…PRODUCES!

I really don’t mean  to complain, but I cannot get out of the kitchen! Look what comes in from the potager…

                                                                             

everyday!

                                                                                 

    Heirloom tomatoes…  and blueberries too.                                                                          My husband is an organic gardener and his domain is the potager. There he grows heirloom vegetables.  The resulting harvest is extraordinary, some of the best tasting vegetables, are deposited on the kitchen counter daily                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the one caveat…I have to  DO something with all this bounty.

My clematis need weeding, but I will be cooking tomatoes … The viburnums need some pruning, but the blueberries need to be picked…It is time to topdress the hydrangeas… but look at all this squash… and so the summer unfolds… one delightful flavour after another.                                                                                 

Those fingerling potatoes need to be roasted with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper,  as the vegetables below.

                                                                                      

And for dessert…

                                                                          

Blueberry Clafoutis. I followed this recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini. Just used the fruit I had on hand. Clafoutis  embraces any fruit beautifully.

©All photos & text 2010