Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Garden Challenge

On Saturday I was invited by Janet to go and visit the six local gardens chosen for this years week-end garden tour. I was amazed at the amount of work that has gone into each of the gardens I visited. I had planned on taking some pictures and adding them to this blog but I forgot to take my camera with me. I think of how long it has taken me to get just my front garden looking fairly nice and it is nothing in comparison to the gardens I saw.

Each year our local horticultural club choices six different gardens for this week-end tour, for a community of less than 2000 residents there are a fair number of wonderful gardens. When you consider the well laid out beds so neatly trimmed and weeded you know that the owners of these gardens love working in them. The use of raised beds and water features made each garden unique.

I would love to have the energy, and not be allergic to the small black flies that bite so viciously here, in order to be able to spend more hours working in my front garden. I have three basic areas of garden, if you count my pot display on the steps it would be four areas. Each flower bed has it's own challenge.

The very first garden is under the kitchen area and is basically clay, I've added peat moss, black dirt, manure and this year compost from our own compost bin and still the clay takes control. If you know anything about clay, you will know that thistles love it and I have spent the last four years trying to eradicate these thistles to no avail. This year a dug this flower bed up trying to get at the root of the problem, but I did not succeed, I found a product called Total and sprayed the offending weeds. Yes the thistles are gone but so are some of my perennials which will have to be replaced next year.

The next garden is separated by the width of a small path in front of the clay one. This one is all rock and gravel, so obviously it is my rock garden. The biggest challenge to this garden is the clover, I wouldn't mind if the clover was pretty but it isn't and every year I try to weed it out, every year it is back again. This is going to be an ongoing battle.

The third garden is across the steps from the first and under the living room window. This one is very very sandy. It originally had two large lilacs but now only has one after I requested the other one be removed two years ago. The biggest problem with this garden has been the suckers from the lilac and the daisies that like to take over.

I love these gardens each having their own challenge, I can't spend as much time as I would like working in them. They would be amazing displays of flowers if I could devote the time to them. With all that said and done they give a lovely display of flowers for all the passers by to enjoy. and I'm happy to be able to devote a small portion of my time to these gardens.

Of course none of these pictures were taken when the garden was at its best this year. That would have been when we arrived home from holidays at the end of June. The rock garden had a carpet of yellow with purple Johny jump-ups in the midst. As usual I procrastinated too long before taking pictures. From these pictures the garden looks overgrown this is a misconception many of the flowers are finished and only the greenery remains. Each year I look for new perennials and move plants around for their best advantage and growing needs. I find this small area a lot of work I can only imagine the amount of work that went into the gardens I saw on Saturday.


Sketti said...

I'm glad you like gardening so'll have to help me sort out my garden when you're's a bit of a disaster! I have no idea what I'm doing and would much prefer to have nothing but grass! Too much hassle!

Ronnie said...

As long as you do the work I'll give you some ideas... how's that?
Perenials aren't too bad but you do have to weed.