Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Herbs in the Herb Garden

 This weekend, with the weep holes drilled and the soil in place,
we arrived at the planting stage for our herb garden!

The inside curve has my favorite perennials: thyme, oregano, chives, and sage.
Along the sidewalk are zucchini, squash and peppers.
 And at this end, I planted some basil and a pair of tomatoes.
It's late in the season, but I really wanted to try some tomato plants. 
Even if they don't set, I love the way the leaves smell.
(In temperatures over 90 degrees, tomatoes just sit there, too over-heated to attempt to make fruit.) 

 We also started to plant the American arborvitae hedge which will screen the area.


We selected Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd'.
Th image below shows what a handsome hedge these column-like plants can create. 


Thuja will spread 3-4 feet and get 10-12 feet high.

We need eleven more to complete the line along the pool deck, but can only fit so many into the car at one time!

In the middle, waiting to be surrounded by lavender, is a statue of St. Fiacre (died c. 670).
Originally an Irish hermit, St Fiacre later moved to France
where his ability to heal the ill became legendary.
He must have had a wonderful physic garden
because he eventually became the patron saint of gardeners.

St. Fiacre is commonly depicted with a shovel in one hand and a flowering plant in the other.

It was a windy weekend, but the covering of clouds didn't bring enough rain to raise the lake levels....

Monday, May 13, 2013

Raised Beds for the Herb Garden

The herb garden is out of the dreaming stage and into the action phase.
At the moment it looks like an archaeological dig somewhere in the Greek isles.

The walls were completed earlier in the week,
and then the irrigation team returned and put in the sprinkler heads.
Next step: gravel for drainage, topped by amended soil.

We decided to eliminate the additional raised beds at this end,
in favor of supports for table grapes.
 This photo was taken at 8:00 AM, looking west.

The back of the house faces south, so once the sun comes around,
the herb garden will be out of shadow.

Past the herb garden, the retaining wall for the garden below the pool deck is also complete.
 I started planting for butterflies in the "wedge" area on the far left.

I have been dreaming of Apricot Drift Roses in this spot. 
I love their color! Drift roses are short (2'H x 3"W), a cross between miniature and Knock-out Roses. 
This weekend I planted three, fronting a stand of Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'), and mixed with yarrow, daisies, day lilies and asters.

Down on the beach we discovered these pretty wildflowers.

They are an annuals named Texas Star (Sabatia campestris).
According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center,
they form large colonies and readily self seed. 
Once the lake rises they will disappear, so I dug up several and transplanted them into the garden.  Hopefully, they will survive the shock and make a home on higher ground.
It would be so pretty to see their little magenta faces scattered throughout this bed.

Inside the house we had tulips!
A beautiful Mother's day treat from the girls.