This garden is actually a melding of the old and new and in my mind is still two gardens. What we call Max's Garden is just a part of the whole and is the newer of the two parts. It got its start in October of 2005, when I decided to get really serious about gardening. I'd been bitten by the bug earlier that spring, after visiting Cleveland Botanical Gardens during the Cleveland Flower Show. Nothing like visiting an outstanding public garden to inspire you to create a bit of that beauty at your own place!
I've been asked to show more photos of the gardens as a whole here at Our Little Acre, so today I take you to the roof of the pool house (actually we call it the cat house, since the kitties sleep there at night). From here, you can get a better idea of the size and scope of Max's Garden.
We debated on how to get rid of the sod. Discussed it at length and with much disagreement, actually. I wanted to strip it out all at once, which was very labor intensive, but it would be done and over with and we could get on with the fun part. Romie wanted to spray it with Round-Up and then wait for it to die and till it under. We didn't have time to wait if we wanted to get it worked up and anything planted before winter. And I could see those tufts of grass that would resprout here and there and I didn't want those lumps in the soil anyway.
I didn't win, because it was too large of a project for me to do myself at that late point in the season, so Romie tilled the grass under, without using the Round-Up. We raked chunks of grass from there for three solid days. What a chore! But eventually we got it done and ready to go. The soil back there is fabulous, because our property used to be part of a small woods. Very rich and loose and you don't encounter our infamous clay until you dig down about 10-12 inches.
All that got planted that fall were a few shrubs that Mom had given us and I made a mental note of how I wanted paths to travel through the area. We had two weeping willow trees that had been planted a short time earlier and one of them would be in the middle of the garden. We were warned that that might not be a great idea, but in the three years since then, we've loved having that tree there. It hasn't been a problem at all.
Max's Garden is so named because the majority of the time, Max will emerge from the undersides of the garden to greet you as you enter. The other kitties are allowed to visit the garden but Max lets them know they are on his turf. Max is a very laid back cat, but we have seen him chase intruders out from time to time. This is the only time and place we've ever witnessed that behavior from him. It's as if he knows that we have designated this as his space.
From this aerial view, it's hard to judge the size of the garden. Max's part measures approximately 35 x 40 feet, not including those odd-shaped extensions you see in the foreground (new this year). The rest of the garden is similar in size, but a little more rectangular in shape, and this is where the vegetables grow, along with more flowers.
Now, to focus in on what is growing and blooming in Max's Garden at the moment, here are some images taken in the last couple of weeks:
Sea Holly (Eryngium 'Blue Hobbit')
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia 'Oranges and Lemons')
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus)
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Dianthus (Dianthus 'Bouquet Pink Magic')
Coneflower (Echinacea 'White Swan')
Delphinium (Delphinium elatum 'Magic Fountain')
Rose (Rosa 'Ebb Tide')
Sea Holly (Eryngium amethystinum 'Sapphire Blue')
Shirley Poppy (Papaver rhoes)
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Etched Eyes)
Rose (Rosa 'Pompeii')