Well, I’m back in the garden and dancing as fast as I can . There is no end to the debris…..
Screaming to be pruned are the ‘ Annabelle’ and paniculata type hydrangeas*, roses, grapes… the list goes on… plus the hellebores need to be deadhead. (who am I kidding? the hellebores will not get done) This list is for the ornamental garden; right now the preparation of the beds for vegtables is proirity. This week end we turned the beds in the potager.
My friend Julieta of the incredible blog LINDARAXAS GARDEN is buildng a potager. She will be posting recipes created with the bounty of her garden; and I can’t wait! If you appreciate good food and have not yet discovered her blog, you are in for a treat.
So here is a brief outline on how to prepare your soil.
Idealy beds should be 4′ wide, so one can reach into them (from each side) without the need to step-in, as this compacts the soil. Paths between beds should be 18-24″; wide enough to accomadate a wheelbarrow.
Turning the soil is simply, a shovel inserted fully into the ground and the soil removed is flipped over. To this add a good thick (6″) layer of compost, manure & chopped/shredded leaves. (run over a pile of leaves with a lawn mower a few times.) and chop into this soil, or use a tiller to incorporate. Add another layer of compost etc. and again ‘turn’ this into the soil. This brings the amendments to where the plant roots will feed. Water well and let those soil enzymes go to work for a few weeks before planting. NOW is the time. (the above beds are not yet amended)
Lacking these amendments; I have had very good luck with NATURES HELPER and composted cow manure from DIY stores. The best brand is BLACK KOW,it comes in a yellow bag. Avoid the .99 cent variety as it is mostly pine bark and less than 1% manure. If you are fortunate to have a good nursery close by, they should stock soil amendments, buying in bulk is cheaper and it will be delivered.( the bags weigh 20 to 40 lbs.)
In Georgia, lettuce is a cool weather annual, so one grows it in the winter. This year they are maturing very quickly, due to the warm weather, Lots of salad on the menu!
**Hydrangeas DO NOT PRUNE THE BIG BLUE MOPHEADS!
Perhaps what I appreciate most about gardening in the south is the fact that it is year round.
While many of the deciduous hydrangeas are loosing their foliage, the Arum groundcover is coming into its own and will soon blanket the ground.
Then there are the shrubs that bloom a second time. Above, the Chinese Witchhazel (Lorapetalum chinensis) in its second flowering.
For the rest, far from looking bare the camellia sasanqua are putting on quite a show. From a distance they could be mistaken for cascading roses ….
Close up, just as enchanting with as much diversity in form.
The potager is done with the summer crop and we are now planting garlic (late), seeding lettuce and arugula, planting kale, cabbage and broccoli. Believe it or not the summer peppers are still going strong, I just harvested these….
When the summer wildflowers die down I can see the bee hives…. wish you could taste the honey….
No, we don’t do that, we have a beekeeper in fact the bees are his, we just supply the nectar and then share the honey, good deal!
The area of the garden I’m sharing now on this Fall Tour is little seen because it’s incomplete. Not that any garden is ever ‘done’ or completed, however this part
is has only ‘bones’ and is waiting for me to flesh out the details. Till now it did not seem too pressing because all the important plants were tiny (1 gal.) but over the years they have matured. So its time has come.
This green space above, divides the grapes and berries on the right from the vegetables on the left. (My husband’s Vegetable Garden is MY POTAGER)
This feature, four upright exclamation points, is one I repeat in different garden rooms (with different plants) throughout the garden. Here, Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) ‘Degroot’s Spire’ marks the intersection of several foot paths; to the right ( West) is the Rose Walk terminated by the Schiaparelli Bench….. (below)
to the left (east) lies the North Border which runs parallel to the Potager ….
and straight ahead, (south) the Viburnum / Clematis Court.
Looking back, (north) the uprights frame the putti that resides at the end of the Cutting garden…
Going forward (south) through the Viburnum Court, around the bend, Oakleaf Hydrangeas frame the path to the Main Walk and the back of the house. (note the Camellia sasanqua blooming on the right.)
This winter some garden construction is on the agenda.
Starring in the Cutting Garden now are lilies!!
I love them with hydrangeas.
a few feathery branches of Kerria japonica and we are done. (not done yet!)
Several years ago, on a first consultation, I watched my perspective client pull together an arrangement on a grand scale in no time at all while we talked about her needs in regard to her ‘outdoor space’. I always try to emulate her. The arrangement was loose, natural & ‘happy’, the antithesis of Beverly Nichols’ ‘Our Rose’, famous for torturing stems into fantastical & outlandish shapes. I recently visited with the gracious Ms C. I will post her garden in the next few days.
Meanwhile…..harvest from the Potager…..
How fortuitous to have a coordinating bowl for Delicata squash!
© all photos 2011