Foxglove, Hosta, and Clematis are the stars of my garden in May!
- Clematis (asurreygarden.wordpress.com)
Foxglove, Hosta, and Clematis are the stars of my garden in May!
My back garden is, well, it’s very steep. I twist my ankle every time I take a stroll in it. I call it Mt. Everest.
I have some nice David Austin rose bushes planted in the border, but this year my gardening goal is to make a beautiful Gertrude Jekyll-style border for my bees who live at the bottom.
So far I’ve planted lots of lavender and some lambs’ ears. Today I’m planting nepeta and lilies. I’m thinking about buying golf shoes to garden in.
To keep myself motivated, I’ll post the progress of my border throughout the rest of the season. Wish me luck!!
Flowers are opening slowly and shyly. I can’t wait for May!
They’re Only Cute When It’s Not Your Garden!
It’s that time of year again! Time to brew up a batch of my never-fail deer repellent. Actually, I have several recipes.
Here they are:
3 raw eggs
3 tbls. of red hot sauce
3 tbls. of garlic juice or minced
Add enough water to a blender to process and mix well. Add this to a gallon of water and spray on plants. You can make the spray last longer by adding Wilt Proof to it.
FROM: A Minnesota Master Gardener at http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/AAMG/wildlife
Blend 2 eggs and a cup or two or cold water at high speed. Add this mixture to a gallon of water and let it stand for 24 hours. After 24 hours, spray on foliage. The egg mixture does not wash off easily, but re-application 2-3 times a season may be needed. For a larger quantity, blend a dozen eggs into 5 gallons of water. This mix is also said to repel rabbits.
FROM: http://www.Rutherford County.org
4 hot peppers or enough to make it very hot
6-12 gloves of garlic, enough to make it stink
5 cups of warm water.
Put it all in a blender and liquify it. Put it in an old milk jug. Set it out for a couple of days in the sun to let it cook and get really stinky and hot. Strain it good if you want to use it in a sprayer. You can also pour it on and/or around the plants directly from the jug.
FROM: Backyard Magazine
1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon of cooking oil
1 Tablespoon of dish soap
Add 1 gallon of water and shake well. Spray or sprinkle on plants every two weeks or after heavy rain.
FROM: Kreftmeyer Fine Gardens/Missouri Botanical Gardens
1 cup skim milk
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons liquid dish detergent
Put all in blender and spray.
I personally use a combination of all of the above ingredients. I don’t want to take any chances.
These really work, and I end up spraying all of my neighbors’ yards too. The only downside is that with all that hot sauce, our yards smell like Buffalo Wings for a day or so.
The heart of every organic English Cottage Garden is compost, and lots of it! You are looking at three cubic yards of specially blended compost which is equal to 45 bags. It isn’t going to be enough.
I add at least 4 inches of compost to my beds every year. My gardens would do better if I added twice that much. Southern Ohio soil is mostly clay, and it needs a lot of work by earthworms and microorganisms to make it friable. The only way to achieve that is to add organic material.
I make my own compost, but it’s not nearly enough to cover my beds. This year I was lucky to find a supplier who will blend compost to my specifications and deliver it for a reasonable fee. I’m using 1/3 aged manure, 1/3 leaf mold and 1/3 mushroom compost.
I’m also lucky to have the assistance of Loyal Yard Dude Alex Lang. For a reasonable fee, he will shovel compost for hours and doesn’t complain except when it comes to composting the border running down my back yard aka Mount Everest. He also doesn’t mind the bees, which is very important!
I help too, and am writing this post during our lunch break. Time to go shovel some more poop!
One of the best things you can plant for bees and other pollinators is wisteria. It doesn’t hurt that it is incredibly beautiful either.
The beehives on the roof of Fortnum & Mason in London may be the most beautiful in the world. I took the picture above when I visited them in London last year.
Whether you prefer formal or rustic, there are endless possibilities for beautiful beekeeping!
There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight.
Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) was an influential British horticulturist, garden designer, artist and writer. Her brilliant designs continue to inspire gardeners everywhere.
Gertrude was born into a prosperous family and was educated in the arts from an early age. Jekyll’s brother, Walter, was a friend of the author, Robert Louis Stevenson, who borrowed the Jekyll family name for the title of his psychological thriller, Dr. Jekyll and.
When she was 18, Jekyll was admitted to the South Kensington School of Art, where she studied painting, as well as botany, optics and the science of color. She would have had a career as a painter had not her sight begun to fail.
As her eyesight dimmed, Jekyll conceived the idea of creating art works from flowers and shrubs, and turning the design of gardens into an art form. She started to design simple cottage gardens and, as her career advanced, produced grand designs for country houses.
Jekyll was greatly influenced by William Morris, one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts Movement in art, architecture, and crafts during the late 19th century. Morris advocated a return to an informal planting style based upon an idealized English cottage garden. Jekyll shared Morris’s mystical view of nature and drew on the floral designs in his textiles for her garden designs.
In 1889, Jekyll was introduced to the architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, with whom she began an association, creating landscapes for his avant-garde constructions. This successful partnership, with each influencing the other, resulted in one hundred Lutyens/Jekyll designs and greatly contributed to the English way of life.
Jekyll was a formidable plants-woman, who experimented with plants in her own garden at Munstead Wood in Surrey before recommending them to anyone. She taught the value of ordinary plants familiar to gardeners today, Hostas, Bergenias, Lavender and old fashioned roses.
Gertrude Jekyll concentrated her design work on applying plants in a variety of settings, woodland gardens, water gardens and herbaceous borders always striving to achieve the most natural effect. She had an artist’s eye for color and contrasted plant textures to great effect.
Jekyll was the author of 15 books, her most famous being Wood and Gardening, a guide to the creation of gardens in a variety of climates and conditions. She was a prolific designer, completing around 350 commissions in England and America, many of which still exist today.
In 1986, the rose breeder David Austin created a deep-pink shrub rose and named it in Jekyll’s honor.
Jekyll died on December 9, 1932 at Munstead Wood, Surrey. She is buried in St John’s Churchyard, Busbridge. On her tombstone is inscribed the simple epitaph by Sir Edwin Lutyens, ‘Artist Gardener Craftswoman’.