Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Who inspires you?

Every hardcore gardener has certain professionals that they look up to and admire and draw inspiration from…P. Allen Smith, Jamie Durie, Andre Viette, Michael Dirr, to name just a few.

All of the above certainly inspire me in my gardening work, but one stands out: European garden designer Piet Oudolf. His work spans from New York to many cities across Europe, and includes both public and private gardens and parks. I love his use of native perennials and grasses, the way he groups plants to create different textural effects. Check out this video of him explaining a garden he designed in New York:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Garden pressing on through midsummer lull

Overdue for a garden update. After a pretty hot and dry summer, we’ve finally started to see some good downpours. Of course, right after water restrictions were implemented. The garden at the moment is in that usual late summer “lull” when perennials and flowering shrubs have already peaked and are now putting energy into seed pod production (which reminds me, I need to remove the pods off of my Rose of Sharon if I don’t want a jungle of hibiscus out there next year).

My attention lately has been on the herbs and veggies. I’ve been growing several types of bell and chili peppers this year and am getting excellent harvests from all of them.

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But what I’m most anticipating is the butternut squash, which are still going strong in spite of heat and powdery mildew. This is my first try at any kind of winter squash, and am pleased to have 3 squashes maturing from two vines. The waiting is the hardest part as the squash slowly turn that pale tan color and the skin hardens. Turning to the herbs, I’ve found several eastern swallowtail caterpillars on my parsley, all of which have morphed into beautiful butterflies. I’m content to let them have a buffet of parsley knowing that I’m helping preserve these endangered garden friends.

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