Monday, August 10, 2009

Our Little Acre Has Visitors!

We've whined and grumbled about the weather this summer, which we actually do most summers, but this year seems to have been especially strange and bothersome for those of us who garden. Not enough rain for the third summer in a row, and this year, no summer heat that most summer flowers require to...well...flower.

But on the day of the garden walk, don't you know, summer decided to arrive in earnest. Sunday's high was 91°, the dew point was 77°, humidity a balmy 98%, and we were actually thankful for the hot 25 mph winds. Without that 'breeze' we would have surely melted. No doubt it kept some people inside for the day, but many ventured out our way and visited Our Little Acre, as part of the Van Wert County Master Gardeners Garden Tour.

Believe it or not, I only took one picture the entire day. I think my brain was overheated, because that's just not my usual m.o. However, I did take several photos of the gardens on Saturday as they were groomed to look as good as they could for an August garden.

If you'd been able to visit here yesterday, this is some of what you would have seen:

The front porch invites you to relax in the shade in a chair, rocker, or the porch swing that Dad made us last year.

As you begin your tour on the north side of our house, you'll first see the Trellis Garden, where I first exercised my newly found gardening muscles back in 2005.

Directly adjacent to the Trellis Garden is our brick patio with a pergola overhead. A Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans 'Flava') has been providing shade over the patio and nectar for the hummingbirds since the pergola was built in 2001.

A flagstone path leads you through an arbor covered with Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora) into the pool area. Leading away from the pool is a deck walkway to an older octagonal deck around one of the very large and old oak trees on the property. A canvas chair swing hangs from the tree for relaxing.

There is another small flower bed about the same size as the Trellis Garden, bordering the pool area.

Large Arborvitaes were planted to provide a privacy screen for the pool when it was put in in 1988, but a few have died in the meantime. We created a small shade garden with a blue bottle tree (made from one of the dead Arborvitaes) where the shrubs once were.

On the east end of the pool, there is a pool house and a gazebo. Inside the gazebo are several hydrangeas and a large wind chime hangs there. The garden between the two structures is largely Japanese in nature, with a Japanese Maple tree (out of the picture, behind the gazebo) and a well-established 'Sahohime' Japanese tree peony, which had 39 blooms this spring.

On the north side of the pool house is a shade garden containing some native woodland wildflowers such as Hepatica, Solomon's Seal, Wood Violets, Tiarella, and Jacob's Ladder, as well as some hybrid shade plants, under cover of the Serviceberry (Amelanchier sp.) tree.

As you work your way back to Max's Garden at the back of the acre property, you will notice the grape arbor, new this year. There are Mars, Reliance, and Himrod grapevines growing there, with a few clusters of grapes starting to ripen. The vines themselves were planted last year, in the spring.

The entrance to Max's Garden transitions from the yard to the garden...

...and here are a couple other views from the outer edges of it.

Once you enter Max's Garden, you will see a willow chair by a small water feature. The plants in this pond are overwintered in a large plastic bucket in the basement.

As you follow the path through Max's Garden, it will bring you out the back side, where you see what we call the East Border.

Looking behind us at Max's Garden:

Here, you also get a view of the back side of the vegetable garden. There are herbs, melons, tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans, garlic, strawberries, blueberries and beets growing here. Earlier were spinach and peas.

Front view of the veggie garden:

On the north end of the vegetable garden is a directional, with mileage signs marking the distance to the homes of family members and a rustic bird house on top. This garden used to be mostly sun, but the trees are now making it more shady, which means from here on out I'll be growing different things than sun annuals as I have in the past. There is a small rock garden in this section as well.

Coming back towards the front of the property via the south side of the house, you'll see some new plantings as well as some that are original to the house, which was built in 1975. We moved here in 1977.

There is more to see and in greater detail, which I show all through the year as I write this blog. I would like to thank all of the people who took the time to drive out to see our gardens and we were so pleased that so many of you seemed to enjoy them as we do. Your kind comments were greatly appreciated!

A highlight of my day was when a visitor introduced herself to me as one of my regular readers and told me that she had driven 4½ hours (one way!) just to see my gardens. I was so taken aback and honored that someone would even think of doing that. We had a nice chat and she spent quite a bit of time walking through the gardens. I sure enjoyed meeting you, Suz, and hope you feel your trip was worth the extraordinary effort you made to get here. Hopefully, you made it home safe and sound.

As anyone who participates in a garden walk such as this knows, it never seems like it will be that much work when you say, "Yes," but as the time approaches and you try to look at your gardens through a visitor's eyes, you fuss and fret over the tiniest things. Most of those really don't matter in the end, but you still do it.

Romie and I want to thank my mom and dad for coming out a couple of days before the garden walk and helping with whatever we needed. Mom, in her cleaning mode, took care of washing windows and various other cleaning chores, while Dad fluffed up the mulch and cleaned the large fountain near the pool. Thanks so much to both of you.

Thanks also to our two wonderful daughters, who took turns greeting visitors and providing directions. It means a lot to us that you gave up your day to help us welcome others to our home and yours. Though you both are married and no longer live here, as it says on a wall hanging you both gave me a long time ago, home is where your mom is. (Dad, too.) We love you!

If anyone really wanted to come see the gardens and weren't able to, Romie and I invite you to come see them another time. Just let us know and if we're here, we'd love to show you around!


Meems said...

Everything looks so great. You have outdone yourself... no wonder you don't know where your energy is today. :-) Not a weed in the place... the mulch and edges are perfect. I still love that pergola over the brick patio... maybe because I've always wanted one... can I borrow Romie for a few weeks? Love you new grape arbor, too and the curby bed on the property line. Your veggie garden is looking great, too. Well, everything was ready for your guests and I'm sure they loved "your little acre". Wish I could have been there to take the tour.
hugs to you... hope you get caught up on your rest.
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel


bg_garden said...

YOUR GARDENS are amazing! I wish we could have made this tour.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Kylee, your garden was so lovely this spring when I got to tour it. I can imagine how lush and filled in it was this Sunday. Lucky people that got to tour. I am sure they went away with their mind full of ideas for their garden.

Anonymous said...

It's all so lovely, Kylee -- it makes me draw my breath in. All your beds are wonderful, and I *love* the stone borders you've laid around the perimeters of some of the beds. What a wonderful design element that is. No wonder you're tired! :-) But the work has certainly paid off handsomely.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Kylee, your garden looks WONDERFUL! Each pictures shows something interesting! I could get a lot of ideas for my own garden here. You did a great job! Pretty, pretty, pretty!

Nutty Gnome said...

Wow Kylee, you have a fabulous garden and I loved being taken round it through your blog post. Thank you so much for sharing it.

I can only begin to imagine the amount of hard work that went into getting it looking so wonderful for the Garden Walk - and into creating it all in the first place!

I feel quite inspired now that one day our acre might look equally stunning!

Kit Aerie-el said...

I really enjoyed the 'virtual garden tour'-- absolutely gorgeous! Even your vegetable garden is beautiful, and there are so many interesting plants throughout. It'd be a tough choice to decide where to sit for a spell, but I think I'd spend most of my spare time near the old oak tree, relaxing with a good book in the canvas swing.

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

Thanks for the grand tour, Kylee. I am very impressed with your lovely garden and of course I've got acreage envy :-)

Love your grape arbor but better be prepared with the bird netting so that you can harvest more than they do.

That shady arbor certainly looks like the best place to be these dog days of summer. Soon we'll be smelling the Sweet Autumn overhead.

Max's garden is so artfully arranged. You've certainly got an eye for design. Love the willow tree in the center.

Thanks for sharing your home and garden with us.

Victoria Williams said...

Thanks for the "walk" around your gardens. I can just imagine all the wonderful complements you received that day. You have a lovely, lovely, garden!

Pat said...

Being part of Master Gardeners Garden that's impressive !!
Love the willow chair and east border and sooo much more.
Everything is beautiful !

Kylee Baumle said...

Meems ~ Thank you so much. Weeds...I generally keep up on those each day, so that's not a big deal. Same with deadheading. The borders are another story - darn grass!! Tell you what...let us stay with you for a week, and you cook for us, and I'm sure Romie would be glad to help out! Oh wait, maybe I should ask him about that! LOL.
I wish you could have been here, too! Someday, because you know you're always welcome to come visit! *hugs back*

Bren ~ I wish you could have, too, but I understand about the fair thing. Congrats on your wins!! I'm not surprised in the least! You come down my way soon, okay?

Lisa ~ You always say the nicest things, Lisa!

Nancy ~ Thank you. Those borders were originally done in 2005, but the rocks had sunk down in the ground so much that I had to relift each stone this summer. Not really hard, just time consuming.

Tatyana ~ Thank you!

Nutty Gnome ~ Everything has just sort of evolved over time. Now you know why Romie rolls his eyes every time I say, "I have an idea..." LOL.

Aerie-el ~ Thank you! I HAVE done that very thing before. I never get through many pages before I'm asleep, most times. It's very relaxing there!

Carolyn Gail ~ Thank you! Well, YOU have certainly made the most of your space, so while you may have acreage envy, sometimes I wish I didn't have so much room. Sometimes we need someone or something to "cut us off." LOL.

I actually had that thought about the bird netting. I've got some and will be putting it up very soon. Not many grapes, but I want to at least try them this year!

Funny you say that about me and design. Remember my Garden Designer I Ain't post? I still contend that I don't excel in that area. I need a "recipe." :-)

Kim and Victoria ~ Thank you!

Patsi ~ Thanks! We were honored to be a part of the tour. :-)

Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Wow, amazing scale and variety. So many garden rooms, each offering so much.

I especially like the boardwalk leading to the "tree island," with bonus kitty! And the pool looks very inviting.

Kylee Baumle said...

Xris ~ Thank you! You can do a lot with an acre! :-) And look closer...TWO kitties!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Kylee, I think Max's Garden is my favorite but it's ALL beautiful! I'm so glad it went well.

Cathy S. said...

Wow Kylee you should win the garden of the year award! what a beautiful garden you have. If only I had the energy to do all that.


Kylee Baumle said...

Cindy ~ Thank you! :-)

Cathy ~ Oh, that's so kind of you to say that, but well, it's just what we enjoy doing. But getting ready for others to come see your garden takes a bit more effort. Energy? I used all mine up! LOL. I'm still trying to get caught up on sleep! But I have to work all five days this week (what was I thinking??) and we're doing a really hard study (I work at a dental research facility). Saturday will be spent doing NOTHING. :-)

CiNdEe said...

Wow absolutely beautiful! You have done so much in your gardens. It looks just awesome!

Kerri said...

When you caught the gardening bug you really caught it, didn't you? :) Your garden is just beautiful. It's easy to see how much hard work you put into it.
Max's garden is particularly lovely.
I know what you mean by having all that space. Sometimes we need to be saved from ourselves ;)
Thanks for this wonderful tour.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What a beautiful tour! I really enjoyed seeing more of your gardens. I remember the post with the grape arbor being built and it's neat to see it with the grapes growing on it.
I love your front porch and it helped to get me inspired to do more with ours.

Kylee Baumle said...

Kerri ~ Yes, I did! I'm like that with most things. I guess if you're going to do it, do it with passion, right? LOL! Thank you, Kerri.

Catherine ~ Thank you! My porch was inspired by one I'd seen on a garden tour a few years ago, so it's kind of paying it forward, isn't it? :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tour, I feel like I was there! And everything looked perfect for the tour too. I think I missed it somewhere in the past, who is Max and why is your garden named after him?

Gail said...

Kylee, Your garden is wonderful...and that isn't even the best word! There are so many elements of the spaces you've created that I would love to add...a bottle tree, the directional and a beautifully groomed vegetable garden...thank you for the tour! Now have a seat on the porch swing and did a beautifully! gail

Rose said...

Kylee, if I find myself driving anywhere near Ohio, I may just take you up on your offer:) I know that photos on a blog can't portray the whole essence of a garden, but what you have shown us on this tour is simply amazing and beautiful. I am so inspired, especially after finding out at Spring Fling that we started gardening in the same year. You have accomplished so, so much in this short time!

Kylee Baumle said...

Robin ~ Thanks, Robin! Max is our orange tabby cat and he can usually be found patrolling that part of the yard. It's 'his' turf and he defends it pretty well!

Gail ~ Thank you! I wish you could have been here! Maybe one day that will happen! ;-)

Rose ~ Thanks! I would love it if you would take me up on my offer! Just let me know so I can buy some coffee! :-)

Unknown said...

Oooh... I am SO taking you up on that offer! I'm still bummed that it didn't work out for me to come by this weekend. *sigh* Especially after seeing your lovely gardens. :)

(And where did you get those fabulous red tomato trellises? They look sturdy and FUN--I definitely need some of those, myself!)

Kylee Baumle said...

Kim ~ I was bummed, too! I kept thinking you were going to just show up. LOL. I understand though.

I worked every day this week, and it was a tough study we were doing, so I was exhausted every night when I got home and didn't make it out to do much of anything in the gardens. Romie has been watering, but they need to be deadheaded and weeded and pruned in the worst way. It's amazing how quickly things can get out of hand!

I really hope you can make it here one of these days! You asked about Lsbor Day weekend... I think it should work! :-)

The trellises were from Gardener's Supply, I think. I painted them red myself. Cheaper to do that! And yes, they are very sturdy! I tried staking them last year and that was a disaster. I much prefer these cages. They can handle the weight of the vines even with gigantic tomatoes on them!

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