Saturday, May 29, 2021

A Visit To The Inn At Tranquility Farm

The gardens were started from a blank slate in the late summer of 2014. They kept expanding through the summer of 2019. New projects and expansion have now come to an end. A maturing garden is well into the slow pace of change and maintenance phase. No garden is ever truly static.

There were two damaging spring freezes this year. Finally the garden has grown out of the damage and is looking all fresh and new again.

All the Hydrangea macrophylla froze and were cut down to regrow from the base. They won't be flowering with any abundance until right before the first freeze of autumn. Maybe next year.

Most of the bearded iris are blooming way better than I expected after getting zapped.

There are Hydrangea paniculata and H. arborescens throughout the grounds so there will be hydrangea blossoms for summer weddings.

I've been told it is the lawn between pavers that elicits the most admiring commentary, in a garden jam packed with botanical abundance, good grief.

Vat of pond scum #1, Twin Falls Pond has been through countless koi. There is a heron that likes to visit.

The greenery around the ponds gets so lush during the growing season I have to trim it to keep the pond and fish open to view.

Two pretty koi are left. These small ponds are easy pickings for a heron and other kind varmints should they choose to go fishing.

One cement fountain is starting to shed bits of concrete even though it is drained and covered for the winter. It is just another vat of pond scum. The water can get nasty in the warm. It does not help that people, children in particular, have some primordial need to toss rocks and gravel into the thing. I would must prefer dollar bills.

Vat of pond scum #2, The Almighty Falls will be the death of me. It's not easy growing a garden on a wet pile of rocks. The hillside above with Fothergilla, Sumac, Juniper and Cotoneaster is almost filled in. The sumac is starting to sucker which makes me happy.

The Wedding Cake Garden is in spring three and coming along nicely.

Autumn Fern, hosta and geranium are in the upper tiers.

The lower tier has Vinca minor 'Illumination' as a groundcover and 'Wee White' Hydrangea arborescens which has been struggling mainly due to it constantly being eaten by deer and the groundhog. Damn varmints. There are bunnies that live here too.

The giant wet rock at the bottom only wants to grow weeds. I think I am just going to start mowing it and be done with it. It can be a nice Japanese maple in the lawn with some ferns.

That will work visually with the flat groundcover Cotoneaster dammeri 'Streib's Findling' on the other side of the falls.

The first $1500 pump it takes to lift all that water thirty five feet high lasted three years before it shocked me and sent the prettiest koi belly up into the skimmer with a 240 volt flow of electricity in the water. We both survived. Pond scum is not cheap or low maintenance or always safe.

It does make a fine background for photos.

The front porch beds are rather traditional and mundane by comparison. 'The View' is from this covered porch so the plants don't matter quite so much.

Creeping Juniper, Cherry Laurel, Hydrangea, Nandina and a dwarf Chamaecyparis with annual flower filler are the core elements of these front beds.

The lawn sweeps over to The Almighty Falls.

But the stepping stone lawn is everybody's favorite. Who knew it would be such a hit?

That is a Persicaria polymorpha on the right. I wanted to give it a try in a proper garden. I have three of them in mine.

This is back around to the Kitchen Garden seen a bit earlier. It is what you see from the kitchen window. It was looking lovely after a much needed rain.

So ends the garden tour of The Inn at Tranquility Farm. It is just one of the proper gardens where I go to play.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Rhododendron In The Forest


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

In The Garden This Week

I worked all weekend in the wild cultivated gardens and again on Tuesday afternoon. A mile of paths are mowed and hours of editing happened. I'm a bit wore out. The gardens are show ready at least. There is just no one to see them.

Work kind work has kept me busy too. I picked up five new clients to replace the Posh Estate that sold back in December. The new owners think they are going to do it themselves when they finish moving in this summer. They are going to have a lot of catching up to do.

Lorelei blooms in a mountain top meadow.

There are mowed paths in here. You just have to walk them to see.

Five new clients that have not had a real gardener in them on a regular basis means I have had a whole lot of catching up to do for them. It takes some time to reach my standard of tidy in a proper garden.

The Amsonia is a perfect blue with the Blue Globe Spruce. The blue Baptisia in this section is also starting to bloom.

One half of Creation after the first mowing.

I was busy in the roadside vegetable garden as well. Black beans, pole beans and parsnips were seeded. A new row was turned in preparation for the okra.

Low and behold there was some un-dyed mulch at the Big Box. A load was brought home and spread in the vegetable garden. I don't need to be weeding up there. I still need another dozen bags, but there has been a freak mulch shortage all spring. It is incredibly annoying. I don't do dyed mulch. That's just sick.

So what is happening next door in the ridge top garden with freshly mowed paths that you mostly need to walk to see?

The Lady is in Full Slipper.

The Rhododendron and Phacelia are in full bloom.

I spent a few hours editing over here too. It's not enough. The time this garden could use to really make it shine would be like taking on another new client - at no charge. I do what I can with the time and energy I have.

Seriously, the Phacelia.

With Lorelei the Reliable.

And giant rhododendron.

The new head gardener has allowed the native Solomon's Plume to spread. How can you not like a native plant that does this?

This year we are getting a very good bloom. Last year they either got eaten or frozen in a Blackberry Winter. We could even get a good berry crop this year and those are also quite showy.

Viburnum opulus is another nice berry maker.

It has been a most excellent bloom year - so far.