Friday, July 31, 2015

The Vegetable Garden Update July 2015

Good morning! This summer has been awesome for the garden. The rains have been adequate and the sunshine also perfect. The humidity we could all do without. And my brand new vegetable garden has exceeded my expectations thus far.
The only real disappointment has been the tomato plants. They simply have not done well. Though there are a few tomatoes on the plants, the greenery is lacking. I am not sure why because last year when I planted a few tomato plants they went gangbusters all summer long. It might be a soil issue because all of this soil had been backfilled from the house build. I'll have to do a soil test soon.
The corn has done well. The corn in the rear that has brown tassels is the early corn and it is already for picking. You can tell when an ear of corn is ready when the tassels turn black and the pointed end of the ear is rounded. Picking fresh corn is a very nice thing.
The tiered strawberry bed has really filled in. My only issue with it is that I have to keep the strawberry plants within bounds by either chopping them off from the gravel or placing them up in their bed. Strawberry plants are beasts as far as spreading and aggressiveness.
The little raised herb garden has filled out nicely. Thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, parsley, and zinnias grow nicely here. I do believe the rosemary will stand a good chance of wintering over.
The cantaloupes are finally growing.
The watermelons appeared overnight. Either that or I just have been negligent in looking for the fruits. We have three watermelons that are just about ready to pick.
The cucumbers are growing like gangbusters. I had to start them all from seeds because the store bought transplants all died. Cucumbers are so good when fresh picked. My only complaint is that it is very hard to find the fruit in all the greenery. Sometimes the cucumbers grow so large they are inedible by the time I do find them.
Here is one that is fairly easy to find.
The central path down the beds is a perfect width of 24". I've found this to be just the right amount for a path without taking up too much room and without crowding from the plants or beds. As a bonus, my wheelbarrow fits through the paths fairly easily.
Squash vine borers got the zucchini and summer squash. I did manage to get a good crop before the vines succumbed.
The carrots were slow to get started but wow! They look pretty good now. I am picking baby carrots regularly.
One last shot of the center and heart of the vegetable garden. The crush and run gravel paths have worked out really well for me. I hope your vegetable garden is bringing you as much pleasure as mine is....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Franklin Conservatory Part III

One of my favorite parts of the park was the Daylily Garden. This was not just any old daylily garden though. This garden was laid out in beds and the daylilies were planted in those beds by the date the daylilies were introduced. Mr. Fix-it and I explored the beds and daylilies all the way from the 1800s to the present. It was pretty neat seeing just how daylilies have changed over the years. I kept thinking how perhaps one hundred years ago most daylilies were diploid whereas in the past hundred years or so hybridizers have developed daylilies that have triple and even quadruple the amount of chromosomes a normal daylily would have. This increase in chromosomes has enabled all sorts of enhancements to change the face of the daylily. Things like sparkles, frills, multiple colors and other facets have really made the daylily a favorite perennial of all.
I took several pictures of daylilies that caught my eye. It was great all of the daylilies were named and I also took pictures of the tags. Amid all of the daylilies I only recognized one without looking at the tag and that one was 'Primal Scream'; which I also grow in my garden. Coincidentally 'Primal Scream' was the recipient of the highest award a daylily can be given and that award is the Stout Silver Medal Award. If you want a good daylily, picking one that has won an award from the American Hemerocallis Society is a safe bet that you will get a good daylily. I recognized many of the names of the award list as daylilies that are still in vogue today and I even grow several of them in my daylily garden. The daylily above is called 'Bob Faulkner' and while it has not won the Stout Siver Medal, it is the recipient of a couple of awards as noted on the label.

How about this flashy daylily? 'Works For Me' had some nice edging matching the eye of the daylily. Gosh, I could go on all day with the daylilies but I think I'll keep the other pictures for myself. I did take snapshots of several cultivars I'd like to add to my growing collection at some point. When I select daylilies I first and foremost look for bud count. I want a long blooming perennial in my gardens and one that looks nice most of the season. Not all daylilies are created equal so be selective and look not just at colors and patterns, but also at bud count and growth pattern as well as bloom types. Daylilies can open early in the morning and throughout the day (diurnal), or late in the afternoon and stay open all night (nocturnal), or they can bloom for sixteen hours or more (extended). Both diurnal and nocturnal daylilies can be extended. It is important to know which one you have because daylily blooms last just a day-normally twelve hours or so if you are lucky. That is why they are called day-lilies.
It was really tough to leave the daylily gardens but on our way out there were many more gardens to see and enjoy. The park had some elevation changes so to take advantage of that change there were some terraces built into the landscape. Where there is a terrace there is an opportunity to make a garden. Here is a wonderful one I enjoyed.
The walls were beautiful as were the groupings of perennials.
Like all good gardens there was a lot of texture in these gardens and a good combination of evergreens and deciduous plants. In fact, there actually was a conifer collection near the daylily bed. It was pretty neat! Visiting gardens and parks like The Franklin Conservatory can really help a gardener to gain a better perspective on gardening and to increase her knowledge and I can honestly say I learned a lot at The Franklin Conservatory.
This big, fat, squirrel says hello and thanks for visiting....

in the garden...
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Franklin Conservatory Part II

As promised in Monday's post we shall now look at some of the formal gardens located on The Franklin Park Conservatory grounds. All gardens attract pollinators and this bumble bee was enjoying some coneflowers; which were in full bloom during our visit.
Most of the garden was partitioned off reminiscent of the style of  Versailles Gardens. The Franklin Park Conservatory was more colorful and not quite so grand and formal in my opinion. Because the grounds of this conservatory are so large I think large partitioned gardens are exactly the right way to make an impact upon visitors. Inside of the formal boxwood hedges perennials were planted to perfection.
At the heart of the park and within view of the conservatory was this massive sculpture. It was displayed to nicely in the center of a large paved area; which was then surrounded by gardens.
Looking back to the conservatory we can really see the massive scale of this building.
Traveling on a bit we came upon a nice pond where residents can fish and relax. The Canada geese were also enjoying the park....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Franklin Park Conservatory Part I

On a recent visit to Columbus Ohio, Mr. Fix-it and I ventured out to a local attraction called The Franklin Park Conservatory. I took a lot of pictures even though this mecca was not really a botanical garden, it did have a lot to offer to the gardener in me. Therefore we shall have three posts on this park. 

We start with the conservatory itself. Upon entering the building is quite massive with a good amount of neat sculptures. One included a two story spider web complete with a spider made from resin. Another was a twenty foot tall orchid that looked so real Mr. Fix-it had to go check it out for me. But what really caught my eye was the Chihuly sculptures. Upon wandering around we discovered an entire Chihuly room. The room included sculptures and nice displays demonstrating and explaining about all the different types of glass Chihuly makes. It was pretty neat. The sculptures above were massive and so beautiful I took several shots of them.
Once we each purchased our entrance tickets (with a $2 military discount-YEAH for businesses that show their appreciation for the military!) we entered into a sort of cave grotto area that had windows and skylights filled with Chihuly. How about this display to really wow you? I have seen Chihuly glass in Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville but never have I seen it displayed so beautifully and colorfully as here.
And here. It was pretty amazing!
Upon leaving the grotto we then entered into the conservatory. While I think conservatories are nice enough, the moisture from the controlled atmosphere usually damages my phone and camera. We did not linger in the conservatories needless to say. This area was kind of neat though. It had a working train in and amongst the vegetation.
After exiting the conservatory we ventured into the park. I initially thought this was a botanical garden but no, it really is a park for residents and there is no charge for walking among the gardens and pastoral landscape to enjoy a day off. There were many folks doing just that on the day we visited.
The conservatory is quite large and in fact has two separate glass houses. We only visited one but did walk around the entire building to look at the gardens. This particular garden was called 'The Bride's Garden'. It was furnished in all white plants and had a lovely alter where I assume outdoor weddings are held periodically.
Upon leaving The Bride's Garden we found a nice stand of bottlebrush buckeye in full bloom. Heck, it wouldn't be Ohio without buckeye since Ohio is known as the Buckeye State. If you ever wondered why Ohio is known as the Buckeye State do check out the link. It is interesting information if you are into trivia. I really had no idea why Ohio was called the Buckeye State but now I know.
After venturing out away from the conservatory we came upon several formal gardens. We'll take a look at them on Wednesday and Friday....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden