David Baker is the President of the Montgomery County Master Gardener Organization. That is him pictured above showing us his 'sacrificial' dill plant. He sacrifices the dill for the swallowtails, but was surprised one of the visitors to his garden was in awe because it was doing so well. He calmly replied, "I don't do anything for it, it is sacrificial." Now isn't that like gardening? You work your heart out to grow something that suffers and does not do well, then the gardener down the street grows the very same thing as a sacrificial plant-and does it better than you! Urrrr! Anyhow, David's garden was one of the seven featured gardens on this year's garden tour. I had the privilege of visiting his garden on Saturday after the tour.
I got an extra bonus in that there were plants left over from the plant sale. David's specialty is Angel Trumpets, a favorite of mine too. I got a few starts real cheap and am very happy about them.
I asked David to write something up and to share something with the readers of this blog. He came through! Despite not having Internet at home OR at work, he made the effort by going to the library to do this work, and I appreciate it.
One of the most popular parts of David's garden was this 'Impatiens Tower' he designed and planted. David has been kind enough to type up his instructions for constructing it. I will be one of the viewers making one as it was a really cool way to grow impatiens that anyone can easily fit into the garden.
This is what Dave had to say of the tour:
I enjoyed talking with the many guests who toured my garden on June 21, 2008. There was a total of seven gardens on the tour. Many individuals shared that they had enjoyed the variety within the gardens.
My guests were very impressed by the show that my hydrangea provided. It is an old fashioned mophead hydrangea. I have taken cuttings each time we have moved. One popular question-How do you keep it's blooms blue in color? the answer is the application of aluminum sulfate. Since my wife likes a mixture of color, I apply the aluminum sulfate to three sides of the plant. This allows a few pink to lavender colored blooms on the front of the plant. The other question-What fertilizer do you use? The answer is that I don't. This plant has been happy in it's corner since 1989.
The endless summer hydrangea also offered numerous blue blooms. Although the oak leaf hydrangea had gone through it's peak season of white bloom, it still had numerous bloom heads that had faded to a pinkish color. Several people were quite interested in this plant. My oak leaf hydrangea is a standard one which I keep pruned. I shared that persons considering a foundation planting might consider a dwarf form of the plant to avoid pruning.
We had many conversations throughout the day about my impatiens tower located on the north side of our home. The mixed colors in the tower offered numerous blooms. I shared the material list and construction tips with many individuals. I have prepared a sheet that details the construction of this project. Many guests indicated that they intended to construct their own tower. You could use other plants in the tower in sunny locations. Petunias would be one such plant.
Another great plant that put on a good show was Monarda (Garden View Scarlet)-common name Bee Balm.
Several people purchased a brugmansia-common name of Angel Trumpet. Mine were not ready to bloom, but I am including a photo from September 2007. I provided the purchasers with a photo sheet with instructions on how to over winter the plant since it isn't winter hardy in our zone. I have four varieties of this plant-a pink, a yellow, a white, and a variegated. They always put on a good show each year.
I am not sure if I can upload a file on Blogger, therefore, readers interested in David's instructions for building the impatiens tower should email me for a copy. It is a pdf file. I will be one of the individuals making this outstanding tower and will most likely post on the process (giving David credit of course!).
David's datura picture did not come through, but for more information on them, click here. These are OUTSTANDING plants and very drought tolerant. Like I said before, I was delighted to get a few new starts for my garden. David's advice on winterizing them was helpful too.
This concludes my tours of the other gardens on the Montgomery County Garden tour for 2008. There is one other garden, but I failed (miserably) to get photographs of this garden. It was a truly beautiful, sunny, and colorful paradise though. Lots of whimsy, hardscaping, a koi pond, and neat containers. TONS of plants, including a special double oak leaf hydrangea. Maybe one day I will go visit it again and snap some pictures.
in the garden....