Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Parents' Garden

I've always called it "my mom's garden." But that's not entirely true. Sure, Mom is the designer and takes care of the plants, but we all know that there's more to a garden than flowers and vegetables. There are paths and structures and artwork and borders and trellises and well, you know, all that other stuff that works together to make a garden beautiful.

It's doubtful that the gardens around my parents' home would exist as they are if it weren't for my mom. But it's also a sure thing that they wouldn't exist without my dad either. They are a team when it comes to most things. Dad would be just as happy with a few shrubs and trees, but he knows that my mom's passion is gardening and that she wouldn't be. So, they work together.

Here's some of what they've created:

Dad constructed the gazebo.

"Here we have posies that match ME!"

The White Garden

Echinacea 'Hot Papaya' was definitely the plant hit of the day!

Vertical gardening with Woolly Pockets and trellises

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ideas Galore From the Van Wert Master Gardeners' Garden Walk

As I said earlier, I love garden walks for the inspiration they provide. Each garden is as unique as their gardener and I never fail to find design ideas courtesy of others. Since I was helping Mom host her gardens the day of the Van Wert Master Gardeners' Garden Walk on Saturday, I got to go on the preview tour of the gardens the night before.

There were 11 gardens on the tour, and I didn't make it to all of them, but here are some highlights of the ones I did see:

  • Steve and Tomi Jaycox
We were greeted by street art in front of the Jaycox home. Fun!

No definitive ID on this Rudbeckia, but I believe it might be 'Cherry Brandy'.

Boo was unfazed by all the strange people milling about his garden.

Don't you love the painted Allium seed heads?

  • Steve & Diana Pollock

I love the simplicity of the black-eyed Susans against the white picket fence.

The originality and creativity of this outside room was a big hit.

I saw chickens on the back side of the pond and just had to go see them.
The Pollocks have a couple of fainting goats, too!

  • Mauvette & Ralph Collins
The giant variegated Ficus tree against the wall was the healthiest I've ever
seen. They take it in during the winter each year.

Mauvette has quite a variety of Clematis and all of them were blooming

On and around the deck, it was like we were in the middle of a Proven Winners
advertisement. I wonder if Mauvette is their secret container designer??

More Clematis and the lilies were just beginning to bloom.

  • Jay & Tonia Gamble
Jay has a drip system to keep his porch baskets watered and fertilized.

The Gambles use the square foot gardening method for their vegetables and
have an irrigation system to supply water and fertilizer needs to the beds.

Another garden cat!. This stray beauty doesn't yet have a name, but I told
Tonia she has obviously adopted them, so they'd better name her. A trip to
 the vet is probably in order as well, unless they want more just like her!

  • Sue & Robert Young

Sue enjoys creating miniature gardens and there were many to see in her
back yard.

This fairy garden, in a wheelbarrow, is Sue's favorite.

Sue also had a beautiful square foot garden at the back of their property.

Just look at these beautiful veggies!

  • Aaron Baker, caretaker of the gardens of Dr. and Mrs. John Perchalski

I've been by this house countless times (it's on the way to my mom and dad's), and never had any idea that such beautiful gardens lay hidden behind it.

I'll do a separate post on my mom and dad's gardens next.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Van Wert Master Gardeners Garden Walk - July 16, 2011

I love garden walks. I get to see how others partake in one of the activities that I enjoy so  much. It's pretty amazing how creative people can be and for someone that was only blessed with a shot glass of creativity, I never fail to be inspired by others' gardens.

Smiley Park Children's Garden

This Saturday, the Van Wert Master Gardeners are hosting their annual Garden Walk from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For ten dollars, you'll be able to see 11 gardens in and around Van Wert (OH). In addition to the gardens, there will be a "Shop the Fruits of Our Labors" market where several items will be for sale, a Tussy Mussy demonstration, an irrigation demo, and diagnostics service. (Items for identification need to be brought in a plastic bag.)

Tickets for the event will be available for purchase at each of the stops, which will be identified by sunflower signs in the front yard:

  • Sue & Robert Young
    935 Elm St.
    Van Wert, OH
  • Steve and Tomi Jaycox
    702 Congress St.
    Van Wert, OH
  • Mauvette & Ralph Collins
    16524 Middle Point Rd.
    Van Wert, OH
  • Aaron Baker, caretaker of the gardens of Dr. and Mrs. John Perchalski
    1001 S. Walnut St.
    Van Wert, OH
  • Fred & Louise Hartwig
    1186 S. Walnut St.
    Van Wert, OH
  • Steve & Diana Pollock
    8012 Slane Road
    Van Wert, OH
  • Jay & Tonia Gamble
    12479 Cooper Road
    Van Wert, OH
  • St. Mary's Parish Rosary Garden
    601 Jennings Road
    Van Wert, OH
  • Garden of the Senses
    100 Block of East Main Street
    Van Wert, OH
  • Smiley Park Children's Garden
    1400 Leeson Avenue
    Van Wert, OH
  • Historical Society Museum Herb Garden
    602 N. Washington St.
    Van Wert, OH

Proceeds from the garden walk will benefit the Master Gardeners in their care and maintenance of the Garden of the Senses and Smiley Park Children's Garden, as well as future educational projects.

Since my mother's garden is on the garden walk, I'll be helping her host that day. It sounds like the weather will be perfect, so come on out and enjoy the gardens with us!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lily For a Day

"Your garden is pretty."

"Oh, you should have seen it last week, when the [insert plant name here] was blooming."

How many times have we made a subtle excuse for our gardens in this way? Someone compliments us - they like our garden just as they see it - but we are remembering the roses that were in full bloom and are now taking a breather. We wish they'd been able to see the Asiatic lilies when they stood tall and proud and bright,  that now look a little bedraggled.

But that's how the garden is, isn't it? Every flower has its day and thank goodness they don't all have it all at once. We start with those little darlings in the spring, the crocuses, which give way to tulips and daffodils and then comes the parade of perennials all summer long, each taking their turn in the spotlight.

This week, the daylilies have taken center stage. They'll perform well for the next few weeks and provide the bulk of color throughout Max's Garden.

'Siloam Show Girl'

'Leprechaun Eyes'


'Big Smile'

'Black-Eyed Stella'

'Strawberry Candy'

'Pardon Me', a miniature

'First Knight'

'Czar's Treasure'

'Selma Longlegs'

'Butterscotch Ruffles', a miniature


'Sunday Gloves'

'South Seas'

'Siloam Double Classic', which doesn't always exhibit double form.

'Ruffles and Lace'

'Red Volunteer'

'Razzmatazz', a miniature, showing a polytepal bloom (has four petals and
four sepals instead of the usual 3/3)

'Prairie Champ '

I call this one 'Lovely Lana'. It's an unnamed hybrid by Lana Wolff.

'Etched Eyes'

'Cherry Chapeau'

'Prairie Blossoms', a miniature

'Alabama Jubilee'

Unnamed hybrid

Unknown red daylilies

Daylilies have got to be just about the easiest plant to grow that there is. Just dig a hole, plop it in, snug the soil up around it, and water. They aren't fussy about rich or poor soil, acidic or alkaline, sun or shade (although they tend to bloom better with at least some sun), and they're drought tolerant. They come in an amazing array of colors and forms and if you want to do some hybridizing of your own, the daylily is the one for you.

While it's true that most blooms only last a day, by the time the plants are just a few years old, they've got enough blooms to last for several weeks. I have several blooming now that will continue to put out blooms until well into September. 

Not all of mine are in bloom yet. I'm still waiting for 'When I Dream', 'El Desperado', 'Frans Hals', 'Sarah Christine' and 'Hush Little Baby'.

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