Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Growing the Garden

My largest outdoor project was the central garden at Old Farm you see as you arrive, and on view from the kitchen windows and door. I hunted for design help on-line, and found an article by C. L. Fornari, an expert on Cape gardening.  She visits local homes to give scaled garden plans and advice when available. We were lucky to have her come to advise us on all of our old plantings and do a garden drawing in early May before I started removing things. It took me all summer to dig out a foot deep of mugwort weed roots and slowly put in selected plants - mostly on sale as fall approached.Christian and Leif helped pull weeds luckily and the two sculptures and planter in the garden are my husband’s contribution. 


Beginning to Dig...


I added some boxwoods upfront for winter structure and interest, worked around some existing lilies that showed up, and moved the herbs under the maple for more shade.

C.L.’s plan was drawn to scale in fifteen minutes and included seven group plantings, all low maintenance, high performing, and color balanced for all seasons - with options in most groups. Alex hoped for as many blue hydrangeas to be planted at Old Farm as possible, so I selected nine Endless Summer hydrangeas to encircle the red maple. Behind them are eleven large white balled Annabel hydrangeas. The existing back plantings are bi-colored Rose of Sharon; pink and white, so C.L. suggested some Festiva Maxima peonies up front, which are double white blooms with scarlet stripes in their centers. Summer Wine Physocarpus anchors the garden at its’ ends and echoes the color of the maple while contrasting beautifully with the Golden Magic Carpet Spirea and Winter Blooming Heath close by.

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