Saturday, May 30, 2009

Green Acres

Hosta road trip

Pat and I have had the Wade and Gatton Nursery on our to do list for the last couple of years. Gardening friends said that it was "the place" to visit if you liked hosta. We finally got the chance today. We brought Shirley, the mother-in-law, along for the ride. I was not prepared for how massive this place is. Huge isn't quite the right word; Poderosa large better describes this place. We drove for a mile from the front gate before we saw the botanical garden sign. We kept driving till we saw some cars. I went into the office to find out about the routine. I was informed the "Mr. Wade encourages everyone to walk through his gardens." This wouldn't be the last time Mr. Wade's name would be used. The office must have been the Wade's summer kitchen at one time. This place is the largest hosta garden in the world. The hosta catalogue you get is 145 pages. I was awed. We started by the "big house", which is the actual Wade residence. Hosta, beyond count, companion plants, day lilies planted alphabetically, it was all to much to take in. My brain went numb. I just took pics and vids. We lost sight of Shirley, and Pat kept mumbling about some kind of phone call she was going to have to make to Omaha if we couldn't find her.
We made a list of various hostas we wanted to buy while we wandered through the gardens. The perennials are kept in 50 some green houses. We grabbed a wagon and hunted for what we wanted. The catalogue has the house number where it's found. I can't fool Pat for a second. She wouldn't go into any green house "just to look". When we checked out, the nurseryman who priced the plants asked us if we belonged to a garden club. Well, we do, and it was worth a little extra discount because "Mr. Wade wants his customers to be involved". Well OK then.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Our Ed Begley moment

In a moment of environmental activism, Pat and I went to a rain barrel making class at the Olmsted Falls garden club. The barrel kits sat in the garage for the last 6 weeks, waiting to get painted and installed. I finally got around to installing the first one today. A storm blew up unexpectedly off the lake this evening, so we had a test drive. The barrel worked just like it was supposed to. We had our Ed Begely moment.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More garden vids

Here's a vid from the center of our hosta patch. I'm still trying to figure out how to video blog. Any advice is welcome. I really don't want to write a script. I like the idea of taking video like I take pictures. I suppose I could put the camera on a tripod and pretend that I'm filming Mutual of Omaha and I'm Jim.

My camera is sitting on my desk waiting for me to pack it up and send it to Fuji for repair. I'm going to do it sometime, but the video cam is fun to use.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fun with sweet peet

Or, where's the pony? I know I posted a blog last week about sweet peet. Well, we used it all up. Since I'm still waiting for my children to lend a hand, I ordered 3 yards more. Pat and I finally came to the realization that we need about 8 cubic yards total to treat all our areas. We knocked this load out in one afternoon.

I love hosta

This is our biggest hosta. it's a Big Blue, or some kind of big something or another. I am still pretty bad at the name thing. It is one big hosta. It gets about 5 hours of afternoon sun. We sweet peet it every year. The ground is wet well into August.

Monday, May 18, 2009

For hosta lovers everywhere

Just some hosta and one really nice flower. The garden looks good after we spread sweet peat. The colors just jump out. We have so many plants , so close together, that Pat and I have to spread the sweet peat by hand using buckets. Long gone are the days when I could wheel barrow a load and just shovel. We have to look at every plant when we're fertilizing. The overlapping foliage with all the different shapes and colors is just the look we're after.
I wonder how hard it would be to tag all the different kinds of plants we have in our garden. I'll probably need to get some sort of thick hosta picture book. When we started, all I cared about was if the plant looked cool. Now I'd like to know what we planted. See if you can find Pat.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our greatest success

We planted our first japanese dappled willow six years ago. We picked it because it looked nice. The fact that it had willow in its name also helped because six years ago our back yard was a mud pit. Our gardening prowess was still in the basic amateur state. Anything with willow in its name had to be OK in a wet back yard. Now we know that we planted it in the perfect spot. The plant is in a well watered protected spot with just enough sun.
When we brought it home from Pettitis, it was maybe 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Well look at it now. It's maybe 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide. If Pat didn't prune the snot out of it every year, who knows how tall it would be. I can't watch the pruning because the voices grow too loud. Pat swears she can't hear them, but I can. Its flower is a soft pink leafy looking thing that only blooms on the tip of new growth. The bush is simply gorgeous.

Where are my children?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How'd it get there

This little orphan hosta had to grow from seed. We split hosta all the time to propagate it, but growing from seed seemed beyond our ability. Well, it still is beyond my capability, but the hosta plants seemed to have it all figured out. It's growing in a crack between a couple of bricks.
The ligularia tucked in amongst the ferns came from seeds I scattered last fall. It will be a nice counterpoint to the ferns. The ferns die back about the time ligularia bloom.
The brunera growing in the myrtle also came from naturalizing (I think that's the right term. I still resist garden lingo.) The silver and green leaves look nice against the darker green leaves of the myrtle.
The bottom pic is of our ligularia nursery. All the plants are from seed that I scattered 2 falls ago. We transplanted them from the yard last fall. We'll transplant them back into the yard this fall. I crossed the line into serious gardening didn't I? Maybe I'll start speaking Latin besides "ubi est mea."