|Pagoda dogwood 'Golden Shadows', the other pictures can be seen by clicking on the "Read More"|
On Saturday, 240 new sets of eyes saw my garden, most for the very first time. This after Wednesday's Master Gardeners walk through of around 50 people. These (pictured) are the plants and things I was asked most about.
I talked about how I don't use lawn chemicals, and the Village Maintenance Person dumps wood chips for me and how they are incorporated into the shrub and alley border, how I compost in place, everything but quack grass, weeds with seed heads, and really big sticks. I talked about how when I dig a wider bed or a new area or remove sod I find the equivalent of beach sand, great drainage, but...
I talked about how I felt clean crisp bed lines is what draws a border into one cohesive "all." and yet how the early long border has a couple ton of rock dragged in from my father's local dairy farm and how dragging it back would be too onerous, but how do you deal with it?
And how last fall I had dug everything up in a 20 foot section at a time and threw it on two tarps and laid down the rock yet again and replanted the long border. And finally I had come across what I now think is "The Solution": a six inch deadzone between the rock and the lawn. Finally, a clean bedline!
I was asked if I fertilize? This year I did. The last two years, I did not. I did not fertilize my lawn. I mostly fertilized roses and clematis. I didn't fertilize my veggies. Some years I mulch with compost; some years with wood chips. The year I exclusively used wood chips I added chemical nitrogen. I used to fertilize with cow manure, until there seemed to be too much of a thistle problem at my dads.
My worst weed? Quack grass, clover, and turkey foot. I seldom see creeping Charlie-- when I do it is all hands on deck. I don't tolerate violets and I am still eradicating the last of the lady bells, code name "campanula horribilis".
Do I spray? No fungicides, I use 1:1 2 % milk to water and spray it every 3-5 days. Yes, fungal stuff has been terrible this year, but my ninebark had that fungal disease that tends to kill ninebarks here and it appears nearly clean of it at this point. Vigilance and good tool sanitation is key.
I explained the village's composting/chipping program, and the "too mulch of a good thing problem". I told how I trim my shrubs and throw the trimmings and raked pine needles under shrubs in the long border. I told how the duff under the iconic white pine is so fluffy, I can dig planting holes with my fingers because I never remove much there, just add mini pine bark nuggets each May.
And I talked about starting my own seedlings, cuttings and overwintering most of the annuals they see.
These were more the types of questions I had hoped to have.
I have been sweating the ornamentation aspects. I overheard several comments on how I nailed it with my signature green apple paint and ultra-modern "green" squiggle.
|Other than Stella, about the only daylilies on bloom anywhere on the tour.|
|Beautiful SIL hung my discretely hidden tags at near the top of the shrubs we were being asked most about what they were. This is a false Japanese cypress, 'Boulevard'.|
|Gooseneck loosestrife prompted a lot of discussion about marketing, invasive plants, getting perennials that will grow in our area, and how beautiful it was. It was just starting to bloom, it will be a runaway show stopper in just a week.|
|I grew the amaranth caudatus 'Green Love' and the nicotiana langdorphii from seed and had a lot of seedlings. They both were massed out, but they got a lot of attention paired in this pot with a burgundy coleus, and fuschia in my side seating area.|
|Even not in bloom, crabapple 'Red Jade' got a lot of attention.|
|The one area I actually dug out last fall and replanted got a lot of attention. I saw people step back and frame picture shots in this area more than once and comment to their friends, "Pretty as a picture."|
|The trumpet vine looked more like a tree than a vine trimmed and trained to grow along the top of my fence. For that reason, lots of people asked about it. Typically it is not in bloom for two weeks yet.|
|'Satisfaction' gave none. It was the one lilium, Dr. Appps and I both thought would be in bloom...|
|Nicotiana langsdorphii bedded out with daylilies (not blooming), silver sage, white begonia, ageratum, and unseen white alyssum.|
|Hydrangea Annabelle fronted by 'The Fairy' planted as a border.|
|Finally finished those cushion covers, a project put off for over two years.|
|Savoy cabbage, with Atomic Red carrot blooming and Asian onions which (surprisingly) formed bulbs.|
|I added a pretty pot filled with fuschias and coleus I wintered over between these chairs.|