Tuesday, September 16, 2008

garden web blogs

Does anyone know how to get new links onto gardenweb blogs? My blog is moving and I really want to link the new one into gardenweb. The link to add your blog, at the bottom of the bloglist comes back undeliverable, questions via the 'contact us' are ignored and the whole list is turning into a shambles with multiple blog listings. Can anyone help here?

First camellia

Oh my, the weather is ever so slightly cooler and the camellias are coming out! Camellias are one of the most delightful parts of cool weather in the south and make fall/winter something to look forward to. This guy, a Camellia Sasanqua, will not be in bloom fully for a few more weeks yet, and then he will be joined by the another pink one on the other side of the house.
In january, I have a Camellia Japonica, which blooms white.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Improving the Front Entrance

For months now, in fact since we moved here, the front entrance has bugged me. We have a colonial looking southern house, complete with columns. That begs a formal entrance. Alas we inherited a rather scruffy country garden style. Ajuga, creeping phox, loriope and other things jumbled together and jostled for space. A royal mess that finally got the better of me. Thats the entrance at the top, complete with great spider web. Alas the other half was not so sure. He likes things that are growing and green and really does not like ripping things out for the sparse, regal look. I went ahead anyway. It now looks a whole heap better and even himself agrees that things are neater and more appropriate. The new simpler front is the bottom image.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Name That Plant

One of the delights of working in a public garden is the variety of plants that you get to grow. Many of the bulbs I use are heirlooms from Old House Gardens and they are virtually unknown to many of our visitors at Barrington Hall.
One such plant that is causing alot of questions is the Abyssiniam gladiolus (see previous posts), but we also have lots of heirloom dahlias, roses and marigolds.
To help visitors identify the plants, and encourage them into the garden, we have a small display by the front door. Six little pots, each with a flower from the garden are labelled. The sheet gives the name, date and location in the garden of the specimens.
This group includes 4dahlias in 3 pots (Jersey Beauty, a White Aster dahlia, and Yellow gem, and Union Jack), plus aSunset Giant marigold, a Harlequin marigold and a Pink Noisette heirloom rose.

Monday, August 04, 2008

First Bugs of late summer

Although we are only at the start of August, the first 'fall' bugs have arrived. Bag worms have made themselves known on the pecan tree. I was going to trim the branch and flame them on Sunday, didn't get further than taking a picture! I am assuming that it is the humidity that has caused them to arrive earlier than last year, although the timing might well be my imagination. Just seeing all those little thingies sqirming around inside the web is creepie.

Cottage Gardens

This morning I will be giving a talk to a group of seniors. I am slated to do the Cottage Garden presentation. The last time I did this one, was about 3 yrs ago and it was in dire need of updating. Should have been a great job to do over the winter - right? Unfortunately that didn't happen.
Last week I looked for the disk and could not locate it. The old computer that it was created on, has died and would not release anything, so I was down to recreating from scratch.
It took longer than I thought. Inmages were from three different trips, the oldest being in 2002 when I was using the old Kodak software, which crashed the computer. Clearly the only way to read that disk was to download the Kodak program. Kodak never really talks nicely with other programs which was one reason to switch from them. Every image needed to go through photoshop and be resized. Now it is finally finished - the final 'slide' being made this morning. All the images are now saved on a disk as well, so I can add more when I get them.
The good news is that I really love talking about cottage gardens, so it should be a fun morning!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Problem with Tomatoes

I love growing tomatoes. Each spring I put in about 6 plants of different varities and add some peppers as well. This year I had Green Zebra, Cherokee Purple and some yellow ones, plus some volunteers from last year that joined them. I have some little hot peppers and some almost ready green peppers.
The problem is eating them all. My favorite way is to pick them straight from the vine, when and eat them in the garden, while they are still warm from the sun. Alas we have neighbors who grow tomatoes too, and as great neighbors they want to share them! With all these tomatoes from everyone, I am up to my ears in them which is challenging my creative culinary skills!
And more are on the vine getting ripe as well.' The whole area needs weeding now, and mowing around the outside, but that can be done tomorrow when it is cooler.

Senses in the Garden

My Guests: Deb (r) and Eve get Ready for the Radio Show.
The show, talked about yesterday in the blog, turned out great! Larry Caplan has a great article through Purdue University on plants that are good for the senses - The Gardening for the Senses which Deb brought along to help us.
So we started with sensual in the general way talking about plants that make us feel good and then we went through the different senses. We all had different ideas of what makes a good plant, and we decided that much of the sense of smell is personal opinion. Gardenias smell wonderful in small doses, lilac smells lovely, but cannot be grown here in the south. For touch we used herbs, of course, and other soft textured plants.
Overall though the show went well, and we had a great time talking about it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Sensual Plants

This title took me rather by surprise and it may get your attention too! Deb, my alternate host for the radio show is joining me for tomorrow's show and suggested Sensuous Plants as the topic. As the weather is steamy and hot, that seemed like a good topic. We could talk about rich luxurious leaves such as on Elephant Ears, seen in the picture above; we could do the romantic scents of roses and chocolate; and the rich tropical colors of cannas. There was lots to talk about.
I think she is more thinking about gardening for the senses, but I am sure we can have some fun all the same.
If you want to listen to this tantilising topic - head to http://www.radiosandyspring.com/ and listen in (saturday, 2nd August 10 a.m. eastern) or later by clicking on that date in the archives.

A Water Barrel

A few weeks ago I had a guest on the radio show (http://www.radiosandysprings.com ) and we were talking about water harvesting. After a full year of drought, I had to admit to not actually owning a water barrel, but it was on my to-do list.
Well last weekend I purchased one and got it set up. The whole thing only took about 2 hours and would have been less than that if:
1) I could get the ground under the paving slab to read 'level' abit sooner;
2) If I was more competant with a saw - Even with a line drawn across the drain pipe I still managed to get the cut slanting upwards. I do the same with bread, so it is a genetic flaw.
3) If the downspout had not been so bunged up with leaves and dirt that I had to spend time clearing it.
Finally though I did manhandle the bits onto the drainpipe, just in time for the first rain.
We had a grand total of 1/8" in the rain gauge but a good 6 or 8" in the barrel. After a couple more showers the barrel is now full. With August starting out hot and dry, my plants will need every drop I can give them.
I would like to find a hose attachment for it though.
To find out more about Rain Harvesting, and my guest for that show: http://atlantawaterharvest.com

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Old Fashioned Glads

I turned my back for a little while, and came to these beautiful gladiolus! They are the Absynnian gladiolus, from Old House Gardens, and real delight. The blossoms are slightly scented and come several to a stem, opening in random order. At Barrington Hall we planted them in groups of ten to fifteen and they are getting lots of questions from visitors. I think I will dig some bulbs in fall to make sure we have them again next year, but I hope to leave some to overwinter.