Posts tagged kitchen garden

A Birds Eye View 2013

Lucky you, it is that time of year again, where I brave life and limbs, standing on the roof to take photos of my garden. Don’t hold back your screams of delight, I can tell how excited you are.

So this is where it stands this spring, our 7th,

Front Garden

Last spring I planted Acer campestre ‘Carnival’ here, and you can just see it against the cedar hedge. What you can’t see is a purple smoke bush, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ just to the side and behind it. I think it will be a lovely contrast between the Acer and the Cornus alternofolia ‘Golden Shadows’.

 

You can just see the Fritillaria meleagris (at least the white ones) in the grass.

Lime Walk

Note to self, finish extending the muscari the length of the walk!!!!!

Nothing to report on the Lime Walk, although my friend David Leeman had been here the week before,

 and had tamed the shaggy monsters the box balls had become.

Now I just have to keep them in line.

The Serviceberry Allee

The Allee just keeps ticking long, although I do have to get in, divide the Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’ and space them through the length of the allee. These were forced pots from work, and I just threw them in the ground when I started the very first bed.

The Flora Glade and The Kitchen Garden

Here you can see the Flora Glade and Kitchen Garden.

Ooops, still have not got my path finished, the one that I was working on last spring, lol. That has to go on the list for the fall, it would be really, really embarrassing to show you the Flora Glade next spring, with the path not done.  Added a couple of shrubs here this spring, hopefully I remembered to take some photos of them before I left and I can update you.

And just for your viewing pleasure, a bit of a further away shot, called not using the zoom on the camera.

You can probably see what looks like a tall post to the left of the garage. This was a diseased red maple that we had cut down in the fall. I have the bright idea of growing a clematis up it, just another thing to add to the list.

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The Walled Kitchen Garden at Spindletree Gardens

Some of you may know that I already have a Kitchen Garden. It was the very first garden that we built at Kilbourne Grove.

It looked quite lonely in its sea of lawn. But it is the best thing I have ever did (gardening wise of course). Any time I get a plant I do not know what to do with, in it goes. Want to bulk up a perennial, in it goes. Cuttings?, in they go. Oh yeah, and I had herbs, and vegetables in it as well. (Notice the word had.)

I searched through all the photos I took this spring, this is the only one I can find of the Kitchen Garden, tell you anything?

But it is small, and certainly not as sunny as it used to be. Funny how trees keep growing, and as they do, more and more sun gets blocked out.  Right now, it is not to much of a problem, but once we are living at Kilbourne Grove full time, it will be. I want to grow a lot of fruit, veg and herbs, oh, and a few flowers for cutting as well. And it will not be big enough, or certainly sunny enough.

There are only three sunny areas in the whole garden. One is right behind the house. The last summer we were there I had my tomato towers set up, best tomatoes ever.

The second is the drive, can’t do much about that.

And the third, is what we call the Croquet Lawn.

This is the spot that I had earmarked in my mind for a pool. Sunny, flat, it would be perfect. Except, now we are talking about a sailboat, and perhaps a cottage. Not as much need for a pool if you have those.  So what else could I put in here?  What about a Kitchen Garden.

And this time, it would be done right, right from the start. No building boxes on the grass, and then trying to get rid of it. Strip the grass off right at the start, nice paths and raised beds.

So when I was at Spindletree Gardens in the spring, I took lots of photos of their lovely space.  It is beautiful, and surrounded by brick walls. 

 I certainly can’t afford that, but I could use,

box to edge the beds,

love how this looks,

pea gravel and brick for paths,

and obelisks for height.

How about a lovely decorative tool shed,

this one is built right into the fence, I am sure Ian could do that.

An arbour for growing cucumbers, beans, anything your heart desires.

No brick wall to espalier fruit tress, but what about step overs, or some kind of free standing espalier, I could do that.

But, I couldn’t duplicate this lovely walled view, but perhaps I could grow a hedge and cut a window into it.

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A Birds Eye View 2012

Are you all addicted to seeing me in high places? Do you like the idea of me on my roof, bracing myself against the wind? Come on, want the truth here.

The third most popular post ever, (about my garden) is this one. My first is this, makes sense, people want to get ideas for Christmas, who better to come to then a florist. This one, I was a bit surprised about, I think it is just starting to get popular, however I have had mine for a couple of years, and just love it. But number three, lucky number three. This is the one where I climb up on the roof, and risk life and limb to show you (and me) a bird’s eye view of the garden. Of course, the best time to do so is in early spring. I have a lot of big, old trees around the house and garden, when the leaves are out they really screen it. But now, you can see every detail.  For me, it is a great way to plan out my garden, does something look wrong or out-of-place or scale from the roof. I am always surprised how small the garden areas look from the roof, when I am in them they seem enormous. Take the Kitchen garden for example. Looks tiny doesn’t it. The space actually measures 20 feet x 20 feet, that is actually larger than our whole backyard when we lived in our first house.

I had really hoped by now, (this is the 6th spring for us in Kilbourne Grove), there would be more accomplished.  I guess it is not too bad, after all we have never lived in the house full-time, only weekends for the first 4 years and then the last two, in Barbados. How much can you really accomplish, not actually living there, all the weeding and lawn cutting to take care of, never mind life and relaxation, (after all it is the weekend). My father kept cautioning me, (every spring), don’t make so many gardens that you can’t maintain them all, and I had no intention of listening to him, lol. However, a job transfer accomplished what parental advise never could. There has been no time to design anything new, although certainly in my mind’s eye I have.

So this is where it stands this spring, our 6th,

Front Garden

Not many changes in the front garden, although I did add a Cornus ‘Golden Shadows’ to the top right hand corner. This Cornus becomes a tiered beauty of chartreuse and green variegated leaves, and should add a lovely light look against the dark green of the cedar hedge. You can hardly see the Daybreak and Magic Fire here, they will have to get a lot larger to be seen from the roof at this time of year.

Front Garden

Can you see the dark dirt spot, just under the maple leaves, that is where Golden Shadows is planted? I can’t see it either, the darn program cut off the end of my photo and I can’t figure out how to change it, trust me, it is there!

Lime Walk

Lime Walk April 2010

Lime Walk

Lime Walk 2012

The muscari in the Lime Walk  are even thicker this year, although they are just about finished, what a difference an early spring makes. . On the right, the path will lead into the Yew Garden, on the left, I still need to move the plants to create a path to the croquet Lawn. I love seeing these two photos together, just when I feel like my hedges are not growing, here is some hard evidence that they are.

The Serviceberry Allee

The Serviceberry Allee 2010

The Serviceberry Allee

This is the hardest one to see, hidden at the back of the garden, and a huge maple branch in the way.

The Serviceberry Allee at the top of the photo, leads into the Kitchen Garden.  I finally added the last two serviceberry to the Allee, for a total of 11.  Now, it is finished, except for the growing part, tee hee.

The Flora Glade and The Kitchen Garden

Here you can see the Flora Glade and Kitchen Garden.

Flora Glade 2010

Flora Glade 2011

Flora Glade 2012

Except for the plants (hopefully) getting larger nothing was changed here. Although I am in the process of moving the path, filled it in on the left hand side, and slowly changing it on the right. Moved the perennials last fall, and in the process of moving the bulbs after they flower. Hopefully I will be able to finish it in the fall. The stone paths and the pedestals certainly make a difference in the way it looks just 2 years ago. If you want to read about me (Ian) building the pedestals, you can here.

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Two Steps Forward…

One step back.

Ian got annoyed with me again.

So totally my fault. I love symmetry in my garden, and do not always think about how I am going to get it when designing a new space. Actually the problem arises when I add a new garden beside an established one.

The first arose when I decided the vista from the Flora Glade through the Lime Walk into the Croquet Lawn had to be in the middle of the Yew Garden, not at the bottom where it currently was. This would divide the Yew Garden in half, and when I am ready to design and plant it (one day), it is a pleasing (to my mind) shape. This was fairly easy as it was only a couple of years after planting, so move a few things and done.

You can see that it is not quite finished yet. Every spring I say I have to move those hydrangeas, and then get busy with other things, 2012 it is going to happen! I did get the cedars behind them moved this September, yay.

But of course, I had to turn my attention to the path leading from the Flora Glade to the Allee. When I designed the Allee, I hadn’t originally planned on extending it all the way to the Kitchen Garden, I had thoughts of another garden in between, but decided bigger was better. I extended it so it ran all the way to the Kitchen Garden with just a five foot wide strip allowing you to walk to either the north or south. If you walk to the south, you can walk up some stone steps Ian built, and through the hedge on top of the berm, but if you walked to the north, you just hit the cedar hedge enclosing the Flora Glade.

 The entrance to it through the hedge was 10 feet to the east.

Looking south to the Allee.

Well that was not going to be allowed, and I had better take care of it before Ian arrived from Barbados, I did not want to listen to ‘what are you doing nows’.

So I moved the cedars, filled in the old path from the huge pile of top soil that had been sitting on our drive from last fall, (I am sure the neighbours were happy to see the blue tarped pile go), and of course had to purchase a couple of new shrubs to go into that spot. I mean, it was the fall, sales were on all over, I did have to help the nurseries stay in business.

Of course, dummy that I am, I forgot to take a photo of the new entrance. In the spring, after the bulbs are moved, I’ll update you.

Just need to fix the curve in the path, ran out of soil. You can see the new opening in the cedars, just behind the red Japanese Maple.

Now, in the spring, after moving any bulbs that are lurking where the new path is to be, I can finish it, or leave it half done like the other one…

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Stony Ground

Yes, we finally did it. Last autumn we raked up all the mulch from the paths in the Flora Glade. I have long wanted to have pea gravel paths, but as we had a ton of wood chips, curtesy of a tree that blew down in a storm, decided to start with that, after all, they were free. So a couple of years ago, we took up all the grass, and put down the bark.

Then last year, it came up, and a base of limestone screening was put down. What a difference, firm underfoot, dry, I loved it.

 The only thing I did not love was the colour, waaay to white.  But Mother Nature took care of that quickly (with a bit of help from some worms), and the colour dulled down.This spring, (during the short time we were back in Canada), we had some pea gravel delivered.  And working as the fabulous team that we are, Ian and I started to spread it. 

We had pea gravel paths when we lived in Kingston (and they were a very handy warning system when a burglar was trying to break in, but that is another story), but we had laid the gravel to thick.

It was very hard to walk on, so we learned our lesson this time. We only put down one or two inches on top of the limestone. And it worked beautifully, instantly firm and lovely to walk on. And it really finished off the Flora Glade,and made it look much more polished.

Now, I am debating what to do about the Kitchen Garden. A couple of years ago, we took up the grass paths and laid the rest of our bark mulch.

 

I would like to change that was well, but would it be too  much to continue the pea gravel from the Flora Glade? Should there not be a different medium underfoot? What do you think?

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A Birds Eye View 2011

This has to be one of my most popular posts. I am not sure why, did everyone like the idea of me risking life and limb,to climb up on my roof? I know why I like it, I get such a great view of my garden, and I am hoping, in a few years, when the hedges start to thicken,you will not be able to see from one room into the other (except in strategic places). This will be the only way to see the whole garden at one time.  It is nice to be able to look back over the years and (hopefully) see lots of changes. Last year, I took the photos in early April, so not a lot was in flower at that point. This year I had to wait until early May, I don’t think Ian would be happy about me climbing on the roof without him there to supervise. So you can see the garden is much further along.

In the front, the ‘Magic Fire’ witch hazel is placed against the cedar backdrop.  The scilla at the bottom of the photo surround the ‘Daybreak’ magnolia.

The muscari in the Lime Walk  are thickening up. On the right, the path will lead into the Yew Garden, on the left, I need to move the plants to create a path to the croquet Lawn.

The Serviceberry Allee at the top of the photo, leads into the Kitchen Garden.

Here you can see the Flora Glade and Kitchen Garden in closer detail.

Maybe one day I will learn how to post photos side by side, so you (and I)can see the difference from one year to the other.

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Up, Up In the Air

To all those lovely people who wanted to see more pictures from my roof, here you go! I am remembering who you are, yes, you Rebecca, all of you who wanted me to take my life in my hands again, (ok, it is a flat roof, so not that dangerous, but it sounds good) just to satisfy your curiosity!

It looks quite different from early April. Then the grass was quite brown, now it has greened up quite nicely.

The Croquet Lawn

My Daybreak had another bloom, yay!!! Can you see it?

Look how tiny she is, poor girl.

You can actually see the linden trees in the Lime Walk. You can also see an old wild apple growing back from its stump. This was cut down before we bought the property. I haven’t worked up the nerve to tell Ian that he has to dig it up, yet.

The Lime Walk

Notice how nice it looks with the Deliverance house gone, still have heard nothing.

The Yew Garden

Still have not decided what to do here yet, now it is an outdoor dining room.

The Serviceberry Allee

This is one of the hardest spaces to see with the trees out in leaf. You can see the foxglove are just starting to flower.

The Kitchen Garden and The Flora Glade

The Kitchen Garden is the garden furthest from the house, so very hard to see.

A closeup of the Flora Glade. This is the most flowery of the gardens. That is not a black smoke, just the red maple.

 

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