March 21, 2016


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How My Garden Grows


The garden in mid summer.
Often after a presentation or in a conversation about my garden I have noticed several recurring questions that people have. Last week, I spoke to a crowd of two hundred plus ladies of the Johns Island Garden Club and Johns Island Garden Group in the Floridian paradise known as Johns Island. During the question and answer period the same questions came up again and I decided to do a blogpost addressing them for others who might be interested. Most of the answers are in my book about the garden, An Invitation to the Garden but one or two may not be directly answered there. 
In no order, here are the answers to the questions of how do I....?

late summer morning in the garden.
How did I design the garden? 
Truth be told I have always loved gardening since childhood.
When it came to designing my Kinderhook, NY garden, I was deeply inspired by one of the wonderful garden books by Louisa Jones. Her book the Kitchen Gardens of France is chock a block with great photographs and information on creating the perfect potager. It is the foundation book of my extensive garden book library. A must have. 

Willow panel clad raised beds. 
Where did you get the willow panels to cover beds?
They came from a company called Master Garden Products. They have an amazing assortment of different types of beautiful fencing. We also bought the rolled heather fencing that covers the Bagatelle roof from there. The customer service is good, but the website is really challenging to use today as it was when I first used it ten years ago.
One other note about the beds. I recommend using an organic dark stain to paint the cedar beds first before applying the panels so the natural doesn't shadow through.

An assortment of my favorite watering cans. They are filled with water after each
use so the water is ambient temperature when I use it.
What fertilizer do you use?
It's the same every year. I use organic Algoflash
It does wonders for the roses and they have different formulas for different types plants. 

The delicious Madame Caroline de Testout basking in the morning sun. She is supported
by the grapevine that runs up the side of the Bagatelle. 

Where do I buy my rose bushes?
I have tried several different companies that specialize in heirloom roses over the seasons. I keep coming back to Antique Rose Emporium in Texas. They have a great selection of hard to find antique roses and they just work in my garden.

Raspberries ripening in the summer.
Where do I buy my raspberry plants?
I planted everbearing Heritage plants along one side of the fence in the garden. They are fantastic and produce abundantly twice a season. I have had great luck with buying them from Indiana Berry. I also planted a few Anne variety yellow raspberries. They were a big surprise, in the next garden I will plant many more of those. They are sweeter and definitely more delicate than a red raspberry.