Saturday, May 19, 2012

Garden Tours!

I love garden tour time.  When else can you freely poke around other people's gardens to get ideas, see how different plants are performing in different settings within your own gardening climate, be sparked with ideas on plant combinations and garden art, and generally share your time with other plant enthusiasts?!

I've learned to always bring my camera and snap photos - it's much easier to remember what I saw when I look back on photos, compared to plain old memory or even written notes.  Nothing like a visual!  So here are a few things that caught my eye on the Wichita Garden Tours yesterday....

Floating Clouds redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Floating Clouds')....


I like the white variegation on this variety, although I don't know how hardy it would be around here.  (It hales from South Carolina.)  This plant was just a tiny sapling, so I chose to show a closeup of the leaves, rather than a picture of its (currently uninspiring) form.

Princess Diana clematis (a clematis variety with Clematis texensis, a native clematis, parentage) does very well around here....


Snow Angel heuchera actually can do very well around here, contrary to my prior experience....



It probably needs more water and less competition than I gave it the one time I tried it.  This one is located on the north side in a garden that probably has a sprinkler system.  (Note, also, the block edging right beside it, helping to keep the roots cool and reducing root competition).

A dead peach tree repurposed as a stand for a bird house....


(I've also seen this done on a smaller scale in Mobile with larger crape myrtles.)

A great utilization of the often-hard-to-figure-out-what-to-do-with space under a high deck....


(Yes, there is drip irrigation being used here.)

A new (to me) way to utilize pressed glass plates in the garden....


These are mounted into slots cut into the tops of copper pipes.

Climbing hydrangea seems to grow well here in sheltered locations, which completely surprised me.


My only question is WHICH climbing hydrangea is this?  The native-to-the-southeastern-US one (Decumaria barbara)?  Or one of the true hydrangeas from China or Japan (Hydrangea petiolaris or H. anomala)?  Or one of the hydrangea-looking vines from Japan or China (Schizophragma hydrangeoides or S. integrifolium)?

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) can make a surprisingly dense arbor cover....


Here it was combined with trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), but the trumpet creeper seemed to be localized more on top;  the side shelter was created primarily by Virginia creeper foliage.

The simple pleasure of a piece of rough rock, drilled to create a gently bubbling fountain....



Or, finally, a reminder about my favorite method of bed edging in Mobile - cheap, easy, long-lasting, easy to refresh, relaxing on the eye....


This is simply a small "trench" dug with a shovel.  Cut down almost perpendicular to the grass and gently throw the removed soil onto the bed.  Move one shovel-width to the side and repeat, ad infinitum.  Refresh the mulch after edging.  I don't know how this edging would hold up to Bermuda, but it was great with centipede and with St. Augustine and I'm pretty sure it would be fine with buffalo.  It also looks downright easy with fescue.  Even with the sandy soil and heavy rains of Mobile, this method of edging would last for several years and was easy to refresh when necessary.

The best thing about garden tours is that everyone comes away with a different list of ideas to implement.  If you get a chance, I'd sure recommend going to any garden tours in your area.  Who knows what interesting ideas you would bring home to help make your garden more uniquely you?!

9 comments:

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

My experiences with heuchera have not turned out well, but I love how they look. I think I may have more protected areas now to try again some time.
Love the peach tree bird house stand.
The plates are interesting. I probably wouldn't leave them out all year though.
I think Virginia creeper is very pretty in the fall. I just don't have room for it. Sigh.
We have the trench edging method along our beds in the front garden where we have our tiny Bermuda lawn. It helps. I still have runners but they are easier to pull from the trench. We filled the trench with mulch chips. I still have to spray occassionally when a runner gets underground and way into the bed. You've rem‌inded me that I probably should redig them this year.
Thanks for sharing some of the garden tours you enjoyed!

greggo said...

I was going today. Changed my mind as I had to give the dog a bath and groom. I looked at the previews on their website and unfortunately not too excited. As if grooming a dog would be more exciting. lol.

Anonymous said...

in setting up and working the tour I have seen all gardens twice this week and some 3 times, yet you found some focal points that I missed. Thanks for sharing!

Gaia Gardener: said...

GonSS, I've had mixed success with heucheras. I have 2 Heuchera americana that have done very well and one Venus, which is also a H. americana hybrid, that is looking great after several years. The others I've tried have all faded out. So this spring I started looking specifically for H. americana hybrids and I've added Dale's Strain, Marvelous Marble and Green Spice. Hopefully they'll do well too.

Good to know that the trench method works well with Bermuda - if it can handle that, it can handle anything.

Gaia Gardener: said...

Greg, Although all of the gardens weren't necessarily my style, I think I managed to bring home at least one "Aha!" or "That's a good idea - I ought to try that!" from each one. I must admit, though, that I did wonder if the Wichita garden tours could be extended to include Winfield. Your garden gives me lots of "Aha!" moments through your blog!

greggo said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Did you ever attend the Wichita Garden Show before they shut it down this year? It was pretty good. Don't know about this new group this year.

Gaia Gardener: said...

Greg, I attended the Wichita Lawn & Garden Show off and on for many years. It was wonderful - better than any I visited elsewhere. (Of course, I never have been able to attend the really big ones, like Chelsea or Philadelphia!) The new one wasn't bad, but without the display gardens I came away without any real inspiration. On the plus side, it didn't require as much of a time commitment!

Melanie said...

I had stopped at Scenic Landscapes on Friday on the way to my mom's. .I noticed that they had garden tours this weekend. .would have been fun to go!! I've never been. My uncle said that the pond society quit doing home tours after a couple of HUGE koi got stolen when one of the couples went on vacation. .too bad!! A garden tour is on my bucket list of things to do in life ;-)

Gaia Gardener: said...

Melanie, Just mark the 3rd weekend in May for next year. Then you'll have done yet one more item on your bucket list! (That's usually the time that the Sedgwick County Master Gardeners have their garden tours each year.) Sorry you didn't have time to catch at least a couple - I think you would have had a lot of fun.