Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Landscape Design and Coach In the Garden

From In the Garden

Can you guess what I have been busy doing? I have finally ventured into the realm of landscape design. Yes, I've been designing landscapes a very long time but I've never really put the designs down on paper. This school term sees me in a landscape design course at Nashville State. Our instructor is very knowledgeable and is sharing a great deal of tips with us all, too bad the above pictured design had to be completed for a client prior to my third class. I find that kind of funny-and difficult.

Fortunately I have some really good landscape design books (Todd Bertauski is the author) that are fairly simple and self explanatory about the process of drawing landscape designs. Still, I find that I have to find my own style of putting my designs down on paper. Conveying the look of a landscape is not an easy thing to do. Not to mention measuring, erasing, drafting, erasing, labeling, erasing. Oh, did I say erasing again? Let me explain. Landscape designs are typically drawn on a high quality see through paper called vellum. When you make a mistake and have to erase-grrrrr-it is difficult to fix it completely. I am learning this the hard way. An alternative to drawing directly on the vellum is to put tracing paper over the vellum and draw your design on the tracing paper. Then you put that tracing paper under the vellum and draw the design again. That is an easy process-if you have a light table. I do not. Can you see where I am going? Landscape designs take a lot of time and attention to detail.

I have added landscape design to my business model. Many clients seem to desire landscape design more so than garden coaching, or if they need some coaching, they want design too. It only makes sense to add that element of the horticulture market niche to my business.

As we go along I may share some tips and methods of drawing landscape designs so you too can do your own landscape designs. It seems there are not a lot of sources of information for learning this skill-unless you wish to pay for it. Additionally, if you Google landscape design, guess what you come up with? Landscape designs with no input on how you get the actual thing on the paper-not an easy thing! So I'll try to help. It was always my intent to share what little knowledge I have about gardening with you readers when I started this blog. I have very little knowledge about drawing landscape designs but will doing quite a few in the next few months so we can learn together. If there is anything specifically related to the process you might like to see I'll try to fit it in here if you let me know, either by email or a comment.

Why I never thought of venturing into landscape design before is a question I am asking myself quite a bit lately....

in the garden....

My clients are quite delighted with their landscape design and are busy purchasing the plants and installing the design themselves-with a bit of guidance from me along the way. I am currently building my portfolio of landscape designs. Look for updates as I go along. This will be the first design I'll feature but there will be many more. I have before pictures and will take after pictures (required for certification though not required to practice landscape design in case you were wondering) once the landscape is complete. I can't wait! While these particular clients don't often check things on the computer they have given me permission to post their design and are most excited about it all. I'm excited because without the referral and the need the clients had to get a landscape design I might not have seriously considered designing landscapes so I am grateful to these folks.

P.S. The title block is cut out to protect the privacy of the clients but the direction North is straight up (that is part of the title block).

Do check out my new website located here for more info on landscape design.

Matron of Down on the Allotment is posted a dogblog post. Do check out all the dogs in the garden and send her a note letting her know about your the garden.

Update: The Blotanical Awards winners have been announced. Congratulations go out to all the winners. In the Garden did not win any awards but just being nominated was winning enough!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Potato Vine

By Skeeter
I have planted Potato Vine in this planter in my Georgia Garden for the past few years. I have never had much luck with them as the bugs destroy it each year. I have never had one to bloom for me. However, this year, is a different story. I paid close attention to the leaves and at the first sign of bugs, I sprayed it with Sevin. I refrain from using pesticides if possible but this year I was determined to have success with a potato vine.
And success I have! I have lots of blooms on the vine and am enjoying them very much. I did a quick search on Potato Vines only to find there are tons of different types out there. I just know this one to be a Potato Vine as that is all the tag told me.
A tiny Purple Queen (purple heart) Bloom accompanies a Potato Bloom!
Blue Salvia is also in this planter,
along with Red Salvia. I never have much luck with the Red Salvia but this bloom was standing out today!
A closer look into the center of the flower shows the vibrant purple color.
Some may consider the Potato Vine a pest as they can become invasive, but for now, I am enjoying this POTATO VINE, and its blooms In the Garden...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Coon Corn

Posted by Dawn

First, let me say right off....when my corn gets knee high to a 2 year old, I don't weed the rows. My feeling is that more damage comes from trying to turn your body, bend your body and walk your body between the rows than to let all the weeds grow. Having said that, I only wish some of the weeds would conceal this delicious veggie from all the hungry critters that roam the night.
I really had been expecting this because in all the years I've grown a garden we've had corn once. Once! The squirrels or skunks or raccoons would somehow know just when I plan on picking the corn and beat me to the buffet. I thought this year would be different though. I had taken time on animal proofing my garden and I have a fresh composter! Which to me would seem more tempting than having to really work for your dinner. No such luck. I'd studied everyday out the window, is it today they get my corn? Once, when I saw a bent stalk I ran out only to find a bent stalk. I thought free and clear.

Can you see the footprint in my onions? Yes, they even harassed my onions, onions!
Stalks as big as my thumb sawed off like a twig, every one of them and all but one ear of corn was eaten all the way around the cob!! Terrible way to walk to your garden and look up only after you've opened the gate. What the!?!
We read some solutions on the Internet to solving a raccoon problem. Things like human hair....I have plenty from my "Elvis" like son, soap-we have reviewed them all except one. A motion detector attached to a sprinkler. Well, just in case my coons believe they can have a shave and a bath while feasting we will be doing the radio thingy too!
And the corn stands alone, and the corn stands alone, hi, ho, the dairy oh. The corn stands alone. IN THE GARDEN

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Big Thank You!

From In the Garden

I wasn't sure if I'd write this post or not, but I think I'd be remiss if I did not personally thank every single person who voted for this blog and blogger in the Blotanical awards nominations! Plus the fact that most other nominated bloggers (not all mind you but just look at my blogroll) have already posted their posts about the nominations helped to make up my mind to go ahead and post. This is the only way I know how to thank you-THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! And to let all of the readers of this blog know about the awards who may not be members of Blotanical. Blotanical is a directory of garden blogs that this blog has been a part of for nearly two years. There are over 1500 garden blogs registered at the directory. We are ever so excited to be nominated in any award categories-let alone four categories! So to say this small team here-and especially me and our group of commenters is MOST excited would be an understatement. I am giddy with joy-again thanks!!

I really wish Blotanical and even blog awards in general could go national like the Emmys or something along those lines. Perhaps one day the blogging world will get that big, not sure. That way all could have access to the process, and even though all have access to this directory, unless you have a garden blog you usually don't visit Blotanical. My co-posters wouldn't have even known about the whole award thing if I hadn't told them and they have blogs-Skeeter-Dawn-Lola! They know now.

In the Garden Blog made the final five for the following categories:

Best Garden Art Blog
Best Educational Blog
Best Tennessee Blog

And a huge surprise-a Blogger Award Nomination:

Blotanist of the Year

How wonderful to even reach the finals and I want to tell everyone who voted for us-thanks! If you made the finals-good luck! If you did not make the finals-don't give up!

in the garden....with a couple of big argiopes (black and yellow orb weavers).

P.S. I am currently on the road returning from North Carolina and Mr. Fix-it's 20-Year Class Reunion. I'll check in when I can. Thanks in advance for visiting and good luck to all nominees-they are all such a great bunch and many of the nominees are blogging friends of this blogger and blog-so I really mean it when I say good luck!

Friday, September 25, 2009

'Texas Scarlet' Flowering Quince Bears Fruit and Plant Sale

Talk about pleasant and unexpected surprises-look at what I found in the garden! Can you recognize it? Surely it is easy right? Okay, maybe not so easy. The fruit pictured above is a 'Texas Scarlet' quince. I know it looks an awful lot like an apple but take my word for it, it is a quince.

I had no idea when I planted two quince (Chaenomeles speciosa 'Texas Scarlet' and Chaenomeles japonica 'Rubra') three years ago that they would actually bear fruit. Well, one of them did anyhow. The real shocker is this plant is only about two feet tall and grows in an out of the way spot that is somewhat shaded. I bet it does not receive more than two-three hours of direct sun so the fact it bore fruit is a real treat.

I liked these plants because they have such red flowers at a time in early spring when no other red blooming shrub is around. You simply cannot miss the red flowers. I never knew fruit would actually come from them-well duh me. Now I am wondering if all those huge specimens I see around town are loaded with fruit and I think I'll be checking this out soon.
I really was not sure if the fruit was ripe since I've never grown these and did not expect any fruit, but that fact did not stop me from picking the fruit and cutting it open and tasting it. I must say the fruit is very hard and a quite tart-extremely tart. I do think it would make a good jelly but quince are not good eating fruits in my opinion. I did find out later that ripe quince fruits are yellow-so I think I picked mine at the perfect time. It still amazes me I never saw it before.

I saved the seeds and may try to start some more 'Texas Scarlet' from the seeds. I hope next year my 'Rubra' will add to the mix by producing fruit too. Just this past year I added a white flowering quince to the garden as well. It is 'Jet Trail' and I believe it is a species type quince so I expect it will set fruit at some point in time as well-I hope so.

Any experiences with quince fruiting?

in the garden....

Public Service Announcement: Everyone in the local area please make time to visit the Montgomery County Master Gardeners Plant Sale tomorrow from 8 am-? at Veteran's Plaza on Madison Street. It is a sale you DO NOT want to miss-take it from me, a passionate plant collector this is a must see sale for some of the best plants for our area at low prices.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Death to this Caterpillar or what?

By Skeeter

I spotted this funny looking caterpillar in my Georgia Garden yesterday while picking tomatoes. For some strange reason, blogger decided to rotate all these pictures from their posted spots. Hum...
Sorry for the poor quality of the photos. It was almost dark outside and I was lucky to get any pictures. See how large this caterpillar is compared to my finger?
I have seen this strange occurrence before but not sure if I saw it on a blog or not. I have seen it in my Garden many times though. This Green crawly with white guests, was on the tomato plant. I wonder, are the white things eggs on the caterpillar that will eat it or is this a mother caterpillar carrying her own eggs?
Does anyone know what is happening in these pictures? Is this DEATH TO THIS CATERPILLAR OR WHAT, In the Garden...

Note: Several Commenter's were able to identify the caterpillar as a Hornworm which feeds on tomato, potato and eggplant among other garden plants and veggies. The hornworm will turn into the Moth we all know as the Hummingbird, Sphinx or Hawk Moth. I like these moths so I feel a bit of sadness for the caterpillars death.

The cocoon on the caterpillar is from the Braconid Wasp. Click on the names for more information that I found interesting.

Thanks to the Blogging World for giving me this knowledge today!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Encores Bloomed Afterall

From In the Garden

Remember my post 'Encore Azaleas Not so Encore'? It has been a fairly popular post when it comes to Google searches according to Sitemeter. It would seem there are many gardeners who have had issues with Encore azaleas not blooming. I've enjoyed all the comments I received on that post and especially love it when a non-blogger comes on there to share their experiences; which has happened on this post fairly frequently. Well, this follow-up to that post is to say the Encores are not all bad. Both of my 'Autumn Chiffon' Encore azaleas have fully recovered from the strains of winter and are even blooming and putting on good growth. It is heartening to see them grow as though nothing bad happened to them last winter. The real test will be how they fare this winter and how much damage they show come spring.

I also wanted to update you on another post. Remember the hydrangeas I dug up from a fellow gardener and moved to my garden? There were two huge mophead hydrangeas that I 'rescued' via Freecycle. Well, the news is not so good on that front. Only one of the hydrangeas survived the winter and move. That one hydrangea is doing great though it did not bloom this year. I still think it was worth it to spend the few hours digging and pulling and tugging at these two hydrangeas in order to have such a mature hydrangea growing in my garden but I wish they had both made it....

in the garden....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Georgia Botanical Gardens

By Skeeter

I snap way too many pictures. So many that they don't find their way into a blog when planned while snapping! The Saint took me to the Georgia Botanical Gardens in July 2008 and I am just now weeding through the pictures I snapped that day. I will start off with the fact that it was to be a cool day for July in Georgia so I was really excited for this adventure. The Botanical Gardens are located in Athens, GA which is home to the University of Georgia, hence the Bull Dawg in the first picture. These Dawgs are all over town and strangely painted. I assume by the Art Department of the school but who knows. I had better things to focus on that day then painted dogs...
Before I take you to the Gardens, let me tell you a few facts that we found interesting when we hid from the heat in an Air Conditioned spot. The Ware-Lyndon House is a 1850 house which has been restored and furnished with period pieces and museum items as well.
Look at this beautiful tree on the grounds of the house! I am so small standing beside it...
If you read this, you will learn that The Ladies Garden Club of Athens was the first such club in the nation! I had no idea did you?
We also learned that Moina Belle Michael is the Poppy Lady. Moina was a school teacher in Athens, GA which founded the Memorial Poppy Flower. We still see them today handed out in memory of fallen in time of war. Read about the interesting story by Clicking Here.
You Flower lovers and Book Readers may find this book a interesting read as well.
Now off to the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia we go. This 313 acre preserve was set aside by the University of Georgia in 1968. It has 5 miles of woodsy walking trails, Vegetable, Herb, Shade and Bog Areas as well as other gardens. The 10,000 sq ft Conservatory is filled with lush Tropicals. And the Air Conditioning felt wonderful as the weather man was incorrect and the humidity climbed that day. We did not see but about half of the Gardens and do plan to get back there again some time in the future.
I spotted this beautiful Flower which I had never before seen. This Angel Trumpet bloom was about the size of a dinner plate! I was in awe of its beauty. Since seeing this one, I have seen many in other Gardens while visiting other Garden Blogs in the past year. To include seeing Tina's in person while visiting at Tiger Gardens.
These pictures are not in any order as some are in the Conservatory while some were snapped outside. I have no idea what most of the plants are as I did not take notes.
So lets just stroll along and admire the beauty while trying to guess the names of the plants and blooms. Ah, the water feature was so soothing to the soul.
Salmon is a beautiful color in a flower.
Such a full spot of greenery in different shades.
Yes, I sat on that bench and soaked up the surrounding beauty!
Is this a toad lily?
I did not see the bumble bee until I loaded the pictures. What a bonus!
It was hot in the sun that day.
The Lower Herb Gardens.
Beautiful Orchid!
Orchid or Lily? I think an Orchid but they do look similar don't you think?
I really liked the Bleeding Hearts. They are so dainty looking.
Have you ever seen a larger Fern then this one? I was captivated by its size and stood there in amazement until the Saint dragged me away from it.
I find flowers which bloom from the top to bottom and bottom to top interesting. If not for the tiny flowers, I would think this to be wheat!
Hum, wonder if the birds like these?
Jack in the Pulpit.
Woodsy pathway with 5 miles attached. No, we did not walk much of it. Too hot that day but would be a great fall or springtime walk.
Some type of water plant as it was in the rain water run off ditch.
Red Beauty amongst the lush greenery.
I was shocked as to how these blooms stood tall with such a slender supporting stalks. What are they?
Are these poppy's or some type of Hibiscus?
My cats would love this inside jungle.
And last but not least, the Crepe Myrtles. I bet they were planted at the same time but look how different with their bloom times.

It was a beautiful sight in the GEORGIA BOTANICAL GARDENS, but a bit too hot for me that day. On a cooler day, I hope to get back In the Garden...