Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fire Pit & Garden Planning

I love it!  Byron finished the fire pit under the pergola.  Just in time for winter.  Hopefully we will use it often!  Byron and a friend from work made the metal insert....thanks! thanks! thanks! 

Then Byron dug a foundation out.  The first layer of stones is buried about 2/3rds.  Next Byron stacked three more layers and put a one foot decorative/draining ring of river pebbles along the perimeter.

Drippy yummy melted crunchy marshmallows coming up! 

See the vine in the back? It is a bushel gourd vine.  There are four gourds so far, gaining weight faster than I thought possible.
I'm constantly planning the garden.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't run and scribble some notes in my sketch book journal.  It's been ten years since the initial thoughts for this garden went on paper.  My thoughts and experience has caused continual modification to the original design.  It's so fulfilling to see the garden evolve and grow.

It really is a young garden.  Katrina happened over five years ago.  At that point everything was wiped out and we had to start the garden all over again.  There were several oaks, four pecans, two crepe myrtles, and all of the old pears.  So for all intents and purposes this garden began just about when my blog began.

In two weeks the Federated Council of New Orlean's Garden Clubs is having their annual Founder's Day Tea at my garden.  I must say I am a bit nervous.  Hopefully they will enjoy the beauty that is there and see my vision for the future.

I am making "signage" for the garden explaining what is planted in each bed.  They will perch on top of bamboo stakes. 
Garlic is something that I love to grow.  The first year I grew garlic the bulbs were lovely, but they stored terrible.  Maybe the variety had something to do with that.  It would be easier to know if that were the case if I knew the variety! 

This year there are four varieties I'm trying.  One from Wholefoods, one that I grew successfully this year (and  is storing well), and two that a friend gave me to try.  Her Father is a local grower and these are the two varieties he grows  (creole and elephant).  The little bowl in the front contains some seed balls I made with my Sunday School Children.  I'm going to throw them behind the levee and see what happens!
My well crumpled fall garden plan!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Around The House and Gardens

The front garden is beginning to grow back out.  I've added some cool season annuals to the front:  Flowering cabbage, snapdragons, dianthus, and a few pentas.  I know pentas isn't necessarily a "cool" season plant, but they will have plenty of time to bloom before the first of the cold and often they make it through the winter to bloom bigger and better the next year.
Here is a view down the front garden path to the pergola and potager.

We just installed a new energy efficient air conditioner.  Now there's all these great boxes to mulch the new side garden.  In a week I'm getting in a load of pine straw mulch.
A view of the potager.  Everything is planted and sprouting.

It's feast or famine.  Not too long ago the yard was flooded.  Now....not a drop.  So the sprinklers have been kept busy lately.

Here's a pic of the bamboo trellising for the peas.

I also made two trellises from bamboo for my Lady Margaret passion vines.

This sago palm came from the backyard to fill in an empty  spot.  I'm trying to get the camillia behind it to recover. 

A red seeded asparagus bean blossom.  It's a variety of Asian long beans.

Some fresh picked long beans!

The old iron table I salvaged got a fresh new coat of paint this fall.  The two chairs are going to get new bottoms soon.

"Que?!  You brought me all thee whey from Santa Fe to jeest to have mee hang around on theese seelly pee-can tree?!"  My Mexican frog.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Almost There!

The front garden is all clipped up and ready to burst out for fall! We were delighted to wake up to 73 degrees this morning....fall weather in the gulf south! The river birch has recovered from the shock it received in Gustav and is putting forth wonderful growth.

The next step in my garden plan has begun. A wider side garden extends from the front garden. It already contains bananas and pomegranates, and I added a bay tree, four figs, and a Japanese plum. I'll also intersperse a couple of peaches and other crops throughout. There will be a path down the center. Each year I'll try a few things like cucumbers, Asian and European melons, and pumpkins along the edges.

Notice how crooked the edge is. Blame it on Byron's poor eyesight :-). In a reminder of how dear he was to dig it for me, I'll keep it just as it is!

Look how wonderfully my windmill palm has grown this year. It seems to have doubled in size.
The front planters are planted up with hibiscus, pentas, sweet potato vine, blue daze and Aztec grass. In a couple of weeks they should be overflowing and beautiful.
The citrus has attained most of it's size and will start coloring up in the next couple of months. The trees are dripping. My small lemon trees were stressed by the amount of fruit on their small frames so I removed all of the fruit. Next year they should be a little more ready to bear. (I lost all of my lemons and limes in last year's odd freeze so had to replant them all. The other citrus held up fine and are doing better than ever.)
Looking better! I've removed 99 percent of all of the vines. I only have three more beds to clear and plant to be fully ready for fall. I harvested the last of the melons before removing the vines. The peppers, okra and eggplants are still fruiting.
Another view...I really like these sunflowers...I'll have to look up their name for you.
The blue trellis have been spruced up with a light new coat of paint. Still....there's always something more to do....I'm smiling though!