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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Holy Cow!

This spring my friend Beth gave me some beans in trade for a cow...

Actually, Beth gave me two bean plants. She explained to me that these beans have been handed down generation after generation and came from Thomas Jefferson's garden. I'm pretty sure they are Hyacinth beans.

I have two groups of potted herbs on my back patio, so I planted the beans in a large container and placed it among those pots. Once I realized the beans were climbers, I took one of my copper stick-figure-folk and stuck it in the pot as a support.

This subject is hard to photograph. It would be better with a plain backdrop but I can't move the pot around and the thin lines of the copper pipe are hard to pick up with the camera.

Hopefully you can see the structure here and how the beans began to grow up the copper pipe.

I decided my stick-figure-folk needed a head (I named him "Tom") so I added a nice shiny copper toilet float on top.

Uh oh, those beans really started to grow and before I knew it they were encircling poor Tom's neck!

Something had to be done quickly, so I thought it would be nice to have Tom hold up an umbrella that the beans could still grow upon. Luckily I have a number of pieces of copper pipe left over from an old flower show exhibit.

Here you can see the collection of pots, the stick-figure and the long section of pipe. Ahhh, now I felt my beans had just what they needed.

This last photo was shot this morning. At the top of the long pipe I spread out some more copper tubing to simulate the spokes of an umbrella. Unfortunately I noticed that the beans are already as high as the gutter of the house and I don't think this is nearly enough of a growing frame for them!

Looks like a trip to Home Depot is on my "to-do" list. I'm going to have to get some more copper fittings and get creative. I think I'll buy a bundle of refrigerator copper tubing and create a larger umbrella structure up top.

Anybody have a better idea? I'm listening but hurry up, at this rate there's going to be a giant climbing down this structure by the end of the week!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bridge Gardens, Peconic Land Trust

This past Thursday I had the distinct pleasure of joining my fellow garden club members in a delightful tour of Bridge Gardens. Bridge Gardens is on the south Fork of Long Island in the town of Bridgehampton and is part of the Peconic Land Trust organization.

If you are vacationing on Long Island or lucky enough to live here, and if you are into herb gardening, I highly recommend a trip to see this place. There are lots of other things to see there too such as the perennial border pictured above but the herb garden is superb!

A number of topiaries can be found (hmmm, my spell check likes topiary and topiary's but not topiaries?) dotting the landscape. Some of them jump out at you like this trio of swans, others are more subtle.

There's a small water garden which had a nice reflection for me to play with.

As I said before, the herb garden is incredible. There was so much to see, touch, smell and photograph here. I think our club spent 45 minutes checking everything out.

There are four corners and a center planting. One corner had cooking herbs, one was medicinal herbs, one was textile/household herbs and the last was ??? (I'll guess ornamental herbs?). There were Boxwood borders, Lavender borders and Berberis borders. The Berberis (Barberry) was such a beautiful shrub and I never thought of using it this way. One warning though, it does have sharp thorns!

The brick walkway had no weeds growing in it, Rebecca and I wondered how they managed that but never got around to asking.

I took a number of close up shots such as this one of Saponaria (bouncing bet - used to make a type of soap) but I'm going to post those on my Melanie's Perennials blog. I usually try to limit my posts to 5 photos so that people who still don't have high speed internet can also view them but there's just too much to share this time.

I thought the use of pots around the garden was charming and had to take a photo of the simple cinder block used to raise the pot higher. In my own garden I've been raising pots up like this and it makes such a difference!

There's a number of pieces of artwork and sculptures around the gardens. Many of them elegant, other's are quite whimsical.

Hidden in the back (I still can't believe I found it) was a piece of artwork that's right up my alley. A lovely shopping cart with a burlap border and planted with some yummy edibles. Now you know I'm going to need one of these. In my case I think I'd plant it with kitchen herbs so I can wheel it right over to the barbeque when grilling dinner :-)

Off to spend the day trying to water the gardens. While I love swiming in my pool every day, I do wish we had a bit more rain.