Friday, October 29, 2010

Still Growing!

Even though it is the end of October and the growing season is "officially" over, we still have some beautiful plants performing in the gardens.

Lettuce in the vegetable area

Swiss Chard waiting for a delicious soup!

The roses are still going strong!

Thank You Garden Volunteers!

Another gardening season comes to an end! Today was the last scheduled "Fridays in the Garden" when our wonderful volunteers come and work in the gardens. Today's work included removing impatiens from a large planting bed, removing the UK Trial plants and constructing a wooden walkway between the raised beds in the vegetable area. All the workers give 110% no matter the temperature, weather conditions or time of year. We are SO grateful for their time and enthusiasm! We could not maintain the gardens without their help! THANK YOU!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Where Have You Been?

One of several containers in the gardens.

The shade bed.
A bed of impatiens.

The University of Kentucky trial bed.

I always hate to start with an apology. . .but. . .I am sorry I haven't written throughout the summer. It seems that the garden work got in the way of writing about the garden work!

We have had a very odd growing season---the 2nd hottest July on record, no rainfall for weeks, followed by 4 - 5" of rain in one afternoon, then back to no rainfall for several weeks. we are grateful for the irrigation system, but rain is always better than applied water. Somehow the plants know.

We have had many fun, educational activities in the gardens this summer. A 4 day Kid's Garden Camp in June, our adult day care garden club has met monthly, the Mommy & Me cooking/gardening group planted, harvested and cooked potatoes (potato salad), peas (pea salad), and tomatoes, onions, and peppers (salsa). we held a class entitled, "Cooking from the Garden", where we shared and tasted 14 recipes with 47 participants. This week we made hypertufa planters with 20 people.

We are already thinking about ordering for next year's annual beds and renovating some of the old ones.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!

The gazebo area by the lake is looking beautiful. The Rose 'Homerun' is outstanding. It rivals Rose 'Knockout' for blooms, disease resistance and overall performance.

The shade garden we planted last year is lush and beautiful! It is filled with hostas, ferns, Variegated Solomon Seal, hydrangea, and Baptisia (which you can see blooming in the lower photo)The iris and tree peonies are blooming. We will probably need to move the iris in the fall, our full-sun garden has become a mostly-shade garden over the years! The iris will be planted on the outside edges to get more direct sun.

I have neglected the blog for several weeks as we have entered our busy season. Yesterday I finished the last class until fall, so we can concentrate on planting and maintaining the gardens.

We have had very temperamental weather recently, which has made it difficult to schedule planting. Three weekends of heavy rain (totaling about 8 inches of rain), frost on May 9 and 10 and high daytime temperatures ranging from 53 to 84 degrees---often within the same week has made for an interesting planting season.

We are having a Kid's Garden Camp during the last week of June . We love to get young children involved in gardening so it will become a lifelong passion for them as it is for many of us. Children are so open to experimenting and trying new things while in the garden. It should be a fun, educational week!

We welcome you to come visit the gardens when you are in the area. They change almost daily, so it's a good place to put on your "must stop" list!

Happy gardening!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring is When You Feel Like Whistling. . .

"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything" William Shakespeare

The gardens are changing every day -- sometimes it seems they are changing every hour ! We have had unusually hot ( almost record breaking) temperatures -- mid- to high- 80s -- for early April. This can be a good thing---lots of time to get garden cleanup started, quick seed starting, and beautiful spring blooms. BUT, it can also be a negative---we will definitely still have some below 32 degree nights/mornings, which can damage all the blooms and new growth showing on everything, weeds are already actively growing so pre-emergent treatment may be too late, and it makes everyone want to plant warm season flowers and vegetables. It's still weeks away from being safe to plant summer annuals ---petunias, geraniums, tomatoes, peppers, etc. Our last frost date range is May 10 -- 15.
Our first Fridays in the Garden is tomorrow and there is plenty of work to be done! Our goal is to get the vegetable area cleaned and ready for some cool season crops to be planted.
Hosta leaves emerging

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want--oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! Mark twain

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring is in the Air!

The garden is coming into it's full Spring glory! The trees are flowering and leafing out, the daffodils are blooming, and the tulips are up about 5 inches, we're waiting for their buds to appear. We have spinach, radish, and carrot showing new growth in the vegetable area.

Our "Fridays in the Garden" work days will start in a couple of weeks. As always in a garden, there's plenty to do before we start the fun task of planting annuals.

The catkins have formed on the Harry Lauder's Walking Stick .

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Spring!!

The garden is awakening from it's winter slumber! After experiencing our 5th coldest winter in recorded history, the plants are slowly waking. The thousands of daffodils are budding and some are already in bloom. The trees and shrubs have swollen buds, ready to explode with a few more warm, sunny days.

Two of the educational programs that we welcome to our gardens have planted onions, lettuce, radish, spinach, peas and potatoes in the vegetable area.
It's time to call in the volunteers to start raking and cleaning the beds. As always, there is much work to be done! Tree Peony leafing out.
Merrill Magnolia ready to pop!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mother Nature's Glory

The garden is beautiful after the snow ! It is especially pretty because we had rain all day Friday, which froze and then received 4-5" of snow. We have some small trees and shrubs that are bent with the weight of the snow/ice, but, hopefully, we won't have too much damage. It is worse to try and knock the ice off plants than let it melt naturally. More damage occurs when humans try to help!
Our grower, S. Zink, is busy planting seeds for us. She grows all the vegetables and herbs that we use in the garden and for our many spring classes. She also starts the annuals used in the demonstration and display beds. David started some broccoli and cauliflower seeds in the office on Friday.
We received sad news this morning. Dolores Fink, horticulture technician, passed away this morning after a short illness. She was the pleasant voice and smiling face our clients were met with when calling or visiting with a question or plant problem. She will be missed for her grace and positive attitude.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Our first snow of the year!
We received between 4 and 5 inches yesterday through this morning. Unfortunately we are also having temperatures in the single digits. The highs have only reached 22 degrees for the past 8 days. But, snow acts as an insulator for plants, so this snowfall was a good thing for them. With the cold temps forcasted for another few days, we won't be too concerned about any plant protection . We always keep a good layer of mulch on all our flower beds and plants because of the cold wind coming off the lake, blowing across the garden constantly.

We are spending time choosing seeds and plants from the many catalogs we receive. The orders will go in by Tuesday; our grower will need to start some by the end of January. It's always a fun time of year!
We are making final plans for our spring gardening classes; I will post them on the blog in the next week.
Enjoy nature's beauty!