Late August white garden progress, and lots of veggies

I’ve cleared another section of the white garden:040And added two wheelbarrow loads of new dirt (old manure). I also imported a few plants: some garlic chives, and two small white echinacea plants.038Elsewhere in the garden, the vegetable harvest is in full swing. I took a few photos around the vegetable garden the other day. Here they are:

amaranth

amaranth

flowers of cranberry (dry shell) beans

flowers of cranberry (dry shell) beans

basil

basil

onions in morning sun

onions in morning sun

squash

squash

getting big!

getting big!

red raspberries, yum!

red raspberries, yum!

tomatoes

tomatoes–aren’t these pretty?

We are making pesto, pickling cucumbers, and making tomato sauce:034

White garden, bit by bit

This week the weather has been so hot, and I’ve been busy picking blackberries, so the progress on the white garden is slow–but steady. We bought another hydrangea, paniculata “Pink Diamond”, like the one already thriving in the front yard:

Pink Diamond hydrangea in the front yard last year

Pink Diamond hydrangea in the front yard last year

I cleared out a section of the future white garden toward the back and planted our new one there:010I also moved a white spirea Vanhoutte spirea (S. vanhouttei), or bridal wreath spirea, which has been barely alive for the last few years in the poor soil near the road, up to the white garden. Here it is trimmed and watered in its new home:012I also moved a piece of sculpture made by my niece, trying it out here. Lastly, I moved a tall white garden phlox ‘David’ from the front yard to the back of the white garden. Here it is in the wheelbarrow:006After I put it in, although I watered it, it was drooping. 009So, I cut off all the blossoms, hoping that would help. Luckily for all these plants, we had a long soaking rain last night. In the picture below, the phlox stands next to a white echinacea. In the foreground are some pieces of wood I plan to put in the garden in some creative way. Yesterday we got some used wood shavings from the stables and filled in the path.013Other plants to go in when the rest of the bed is cleared: medium sized: white flowering hostas, goose-neck loose-strife, sweet ciceley, white yarrow, more white phlox, and small: tiarellia, woodland anemone, sweet woodruff, lily-of-the-valley, coral bells. I also ordered Mount Hood white narcissus, and some white heirloom turk’s cap lilies. Maybe we will also find room for a white clematis. It’s coming along!

A White Garden!

I’ve decided to create a white garden where the sandy garden is now. Here is the “before” picture:008The back side falls away to a steep bank, with a viburnum shrub, a tall black walnut tree, and a not-quite thriving maple tree, and a few smaller black walnuts as well. The bed is sandy because under a layer of topsoil (created by me) is a foundation of very sandy and stony soil. It drains too quickly, making it a challenge for non-drought-tolerant plants. In spite of that, and in spite of the black walnut, it has for the last ten years been growing solomon’s seal, chelone, echinacea, rudbeckia, dicentra bleeding heart, phlox, false sunflower, monarda, cleome, poppies, and daylilies. In this picture, which I took last week, you can still see the rocks lining the bed, and grass to the left. Those are gone now, because both of us were working there yesterday and the grass has been covered with newspaper/cardboard and old hay. Next we will put a layer of horse manure, followed by more hay, to create a garden there. A few days ago we bought a hydrangea paniculata ‘phantom’. I cleared out one section (of six) in the sandy garden (soon to be renamed the white garden or the moon garden!) and planted the shrub there with two wheelbarrow loads of old manure and heaped with a mulch of old hay. In the picture below you can see the process. The picture after that shows it with the mulch added. 010014Then, yesterday I tackled another section, the far left part. Below is a picture I took just before starting the work. It shows how pretty the morning light is coming through the black walnut leaves. The tree, which is a mature, beautiful old one, is on the slope a little below the garden, and it has some low branches, so it forms a lovely backdrop for the flowers. You can see the rock wall around the bed. You can also see the hydrangea we planted the other day, far right. 020I worked patiently to dig up plants and moved most of them elsewhere. Here are some of the “orphans” waiting to be planted back (the white ones) or transferred to new spots:031While I was doing that David was covering the lawn where the old swingset used to be. We’re keeping the tall part of it to grow viney plants on, but we removed that side lower section, as you can see in the second photo. 019024In the picture above you can see both of our work–I removed the rock wall and moved plants (and lots of bulbs) from the garden while David worked on the lawn. I then went to the barnyard for more manure and added it to the cleared bed. 028Here’s how it looked when we quit for the day: 033It will take awhile to get the whole sandy bed cleared, amended, mulched, and re-planted, but I’m hoping to have it done by cold weather. I ordered 25 white heirloom tiger lilies for this bed, and some white narcissus, but other than that I’m using all plants I already have in the garden.

southside overhaul

The bindweed got ahead of me and covered over the plants on the southside hilltop garden. Here is how it looked:063069southside path startI grabbed my shovel yesterday morning and spent most of the day making a wide path through the hillside “garden”–too steep and rocky to really be a garden–it has some tiger lilies and wild roses, golden rod and asters, apple mint and grass–and bindweed. Here’s the hillside path:hill path part donehill path doneI put those big rocks in years ago, to create a garden bed along the top of the hill. Next I tackled that bed and the southside path. southside path part doneHere is how it looks after I was done cleaning up and re-setting the rocks:southside path doneLast, I added some manure from the barnyard and topped it with a lot of old hay:004

Next, I plan on building a moon garden. I’m going to put it where the “sandy” garden is now. garden 436This is the west edge of the sandy bed. Here’s a different view of it:July 13 017The black walnut stands behind the bed, giving it a nice dark green backdrop. I plan to take all the current plants out, except the white echinacea, white iris and the white obedient plants. Then I want to put hydrangea near the back–hopefully they can tolerate a black walnut neighbor–I better do some research on that.