A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Friday, June 02, 2006

Gardening My Way Across NJ

I have definitely bitten off more than I can chew. Yesterday, I finally finished my new garden at home. This morning, I was working on my Master Gardener Herb Bed and then in the afternoon made a stop at Rutgers Gardens. I'll be back there tomorrow morning planting my Adopt-A-Plot bed. I have no time for anything else. I've lost 5 lbs because I haven't had a decent meal in weeks - no time to cook. My house is filthy - no time for housework. The recycling in piling up - no time to tie up newspapers. About the only thing that is getting done is the laundry. I need clean clothes for work.

This is the new rain garden that was installed next to the building used by the Master Gardeners at Davidson Mill Pond Park.

It was actually built during a rainstorm! They are very concerned because it is not draining as quickly as it should.

The veggie bed has been expanded to include a cutting garden composed of annuals such as zinnias, cosmos and glads:

The herb beds are almost all planted:

The ugly brown piles are mulch. Everyone is making fun of the bed that looks like a cemetary. One of the members of the team that planted it got the idea of using leftover pieces of fence . . .
. . . printing out information on the herbs in the bed and laminating it . . .

. . . creating ID tags that are more descriptive than the usual ones:
Sorry, I don't know what the theme of this bed is. They haven't yet published the key to the herb beds. The "cemetary" bed is "A Monastic Apothecary---The Monks' Medicine Chest".

This bed is "Witch's Brew":

I weeded and mulched my bed:

There are annuals available now for us to use to fill in our beds but I'm waiting until next week when my partner will be available. She designed our bed.

Because our class is so small, ten students instead of the usual 20+, there weren't enough teams to plant all of the available beds so they were offered to other Master Gardeners. Two of those teams have reneged on their obligation. I helped plant one of those beds after I finished with my own. It's the one directly behind mine in the above photo. Here's a closer look:

The theme is "Basil, Basil and More Basil". I had no idea there were so many kinds of basil! That's nicotiana in the corners to give it some color.

Then I moved on to Rutgers Gardens to find out exactly what the mice had left me and to pace out my bed so I will know how many plants I will need.

One of the frustrating things about Rutgers Gardens is that many plants are not labelled so I can't tell you what kind of rose this is.

Or what this is:
I'm hoping this is a transitional combination, that they are changing from one display to another:
I don't know about you, but I find the juxtaposition of pansies (cool weather plants) with bananas (tropical plants) very jarring.

This is the year bed in the display gardens:

The year is planted in different flowers each year. Some years are more successful than others. I have a feeling this year is not going to be one of the successful ones.

The finished theme garden:
I'm told that there is a turtle that lives in the pond in the center of the display gardens. I didn't see him today, but I did see a frog:
I lover this magnolia tree. Someday I will have to get someone to stand in front of it so you can see how enormous it is.
Children love to play inside of it.

The mice didn't eat all of my plants. They left me all of the alyssum, quite a bit of portulaca and some thyme but only two Thumbelina zinnias and one miniature sunflower. Now I have to see what is large enough to transplant from my own gardens and come up with a new design.


At 8:31 AM, Blogger RusticateGirl said...

Wow, you have been busy! I am due to have a baby this winter and now I so wish I had taken the local Master Gardener's class while I had the chance, I didn't realize it was so involved.

That magnolia is incredible.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

What a neat tour. Can we have pictures of your herb beds again when they fill out later in the summer? It's amazing how quickly they grow.

By the way, I really like the "cemetery bed!"

At 2:31 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Most of the Master Gardeners are retirees since the classes are only offered during the day when most normal people are working. I work nights so I could do it. Sort of. I had a tendency to doze off when the lights went out during the PowerPoint presentations!

And congratulations on your baby!

I'm trying to remember to bring my camera whenever I go there. It's a really beautiful park/preserve and it's fun to see how the gardens grow and change over the season.


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