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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hanging Gardens - Part 3

This party continues - fun and games. Welcome back. We are getting there... slowly. Work is still in progress: stone jumbles, flags, wheelbarrow a-tumble.

In this photo (upper right) notice that the old cement blocks forming the little nursery bed were being replaced with stones to match the new Hanging Gardens. I know, with the shadow it doesn't show up well, but so far these are the best photos I have found of that area.
I show you this next one, because I want to point out something to you. Looking down: there are the Hanging Garden beds; then a gravel path that runs from the bottom of the steps parallel along the beds to a path far to the left; then a small (very small!) Meadow with a tree shadow across it; then there is a brown looking section with a path of black path-fabric across it going toward the garden hoses. That brown looking area is now planted with Siberian Irises and columbines. They are still young and do not present much of a show, yet, but I have high hopes... if I live long enough.That area is named "Wings Over Water".
White Flower Farm's catalog showed a group of white, purple, and blue Siberians which they called "Wings Over Water". The idea is that they bloom together and the white ones could be seen as gulls flying over the blue and purple "water". I ordered it, Neal did the installation, then later added more to it. Because the plants were so young and small I decided to inter-plant the short lived perennial columbines. My idea is that as the iris plants increase in girth, the columbines will be dying out. Hope it works. Husband/Best Friend/Chief Photographer says: You and your bright ideas!

Try to remember this long brush pile, more about it later (across the middle of the picture). It runs along the base of The Bank, between it and Wings Over Water.
Drainage: All the beds have drainage tubes buried behind and running parallel to the front wall. They are covered with landscape fabric to keep soil out of the tubes. Those tubes empty into other tubes that run downhill. Some are buried under paths where we see path-fabric on both sides of the climbing plants' fence. Others are farther away more into the curve of the bank. They empty under or into that brush pile area.
Here is another view of the brush pile, The Meadow, and Wings Over Water. There is a path that runs along the front of the brush pile, between it and The Meadow then on into the Woodland Garden. A spur off that path runs through The Meadow, and Wings Over Water to the grassy area which has a scatter of daffodils planted in it. I love laying out paths and projects! The long brush pile is the focus of our current project: It is being turned into a long bed of clumping varieties of daylilies. The collection of limbs, prunings, and pullings have rotted down over the years. Last year we tramped on it over and over to mash it down and smooth it out enough to plant into it after bags of potting mix were spread atop the whole length.

During the project called "The Wheel of Thyme" we had to remove daylilies from E-Bed-2. We also took out most of the ones in E-Bed-1 in prep for another project yet to come. This former brush pile is where they were planted. This spring we are weeding them. Vinca minor was growing into them in the E-Beds so that is our worse weed for now; it is all down in the crowns of the plants, and it is hard to pull out. This will be an ongoing task until it all dies out. Vinca minor or V. major will take over a bed and choke everything else out.

Then the daylilies will be mulched with flakes of old straw - straw simply because I have some bales that need to be used to get rid of them. The daylilies should do well with all the moisture draining out of the Hanging Gardens and from above.

Weeding. Forever weeding. Someone should write a book about the zen of weeding. I love to weed. During one of his recent visits here, Neal gazed about and said, "I wish I had time to come here and just weed."
(May 9, 2007)

(May 15, 2007)
Dame's Rocket, Hesperis matronalis
(a.k.a. Damask Violet, Dame’s Violet, Dames-wort, Dame’s Gilliflower, Night Scented Gilliflower, Queen’s Gilliflower, Rogue’s Gilliflower, Summer Lilac, Sweet Rocket, Mother-of-the-evening, and
Winter Gilliflower)

From The Meadow looking uphill.
I can make that climb about twice a day, then I'm drained. That is my limit.

(July 6, 2007)
What a difference a few weeks make in The Meadow. When one helper left for a few days off, The Meadow was mostly white. When she returned a few days later and started off down the hill, she stopped and said out loud with a voice full of surprise and wonder: "It is yellow!"
(July 13, 2007)
One problem we still encounter is extant perennial weeds - well they aren't all weeds, but they are plants in the wrong place, so they are weeds; I have "keepers" and "weeds". Some examples of especially persistent ones are this Iron Weed, plus common milkweed, apple tree suckers, and yucca.

I would love for the milkweed to be down in The Meadow, but I know that it wouldn't "take" if we tried to move it. At least we have the Honey Vine milkweed down there. The monarch butterflies find it and the common one up in the hanging bed. Their babies really eat them up and make them look ragged and terrible, but that is what they are there for.
Our original idea for this area, Neal's and mine, was to have trailing, "dripping" plants. Some would be creeping phlox; this one has taken well and seems happy here. It just needs more time to grow and creep and cascade over edges.
So... what do I have? Erect plants! But, it was an emergency, the irises had to have some place to go. I thought it would be temporary, and would eventually be replaced with roses and with cascading plants falling over the edges. Sigh, I doubt if there is a more erect plant than iris.
(October 2, 2007)
Note the beans growing on the fence: White Half-runner beans.

(October 31,2007)

(November 5, 2007)

(April 11, 2009)

(April 25, 2009)

If you wonder why all the areas are named, that is addressed in the post "Student Helpers".

To Be Continued


Bob said...

That's a good healthy Nasturtium you've got there, too, Barbee! Lovely peppery addition to your salad greens - and the flowers are edible, as well.

The 'construction zone' will soon be a lovely garden, I'm sure. Those Irises will bloom soon, by the look. (I wonder if you can eat them, too?)


Canyon Girl said...

I have always loved gardens like these. Terraced...is that the word? I love picturing the white bird over blue waters. You could design museum gardens. I once worked with a guy who designed Japanese gardens, both at UCLA and later at the LA Country Museum. He is no longer alive, but his gardens live on.

Vetsy said...

Barbee' I agree with Canyon girl. I like that idea you adopted from White Flower Farms.. " Wings over Water" sounds like a very artistic endeavor that I'm sure is/will be beautiful in bloom in your hanging garden, how exciting!

Balisha said...

You must get so many beautiful butterflies in your meadow. I am simply stunned at the amount of work involved in building this lovely garden. I know gardens are never "finished" but I am anxious to see things taking hold and blooming next year. Balisha

garden girl said...

Wow Barbee' - what an undertaking! It's beautiful, and fun reading the posts and seeing the photos.

Barbee' said...

Bob, thank you. One time while out there I picked a seed off one of the Nasturtium plants, it was still green, I popped it into my mouth and munched down on it -- and oh, boy! I wished I hadn't done that! I have used the flowers, but that seed packed a big wallop. Wish we could eat the irises, we surely have a lot of them.

Canyon Girl, yes, I think 'terraced' is exactly the right word, as far as I know. Thank you for your positive feedback. I certainly admire anyone who can design Japanese gardens. I have a book about them, and they are far more complicated than they appear. I do love the serenity of them, and the opportunity they provide for contemplation. We have a small section I call the Oriental Garden.

Vetsy, Wings Over Water is finally settling in. Several of the plants bloomed this year. Now if they would just all bloom at the same time! I think the younger plants bloomed later than the first ones planted. This gardening thing is really complicated, isn't it, by the time we factor in climate, weather, and Time!

Balisha, I love that you wrote: "gardens are never finished." Exactly! How wonderful to have a friend who understands. I read that a garden is not a thing, it is a process.

garden girl, thank you for your enthusiastic comment. It is very encouraging, and greatly appreciated.