"What have you enjoyed growing this season?"
"What new tips have you picked up this season and are keen to share?" and
"What suggestions do you have for my empty but ready for something spectacular space?"￼
Summers are long where I live, so we are still in the growing season for another 2 months.
Last year I designed a Japanese garden with a water basin (tsukubai), stepping stones (tobiishi) and a dry waterfall cascade (karetaki - which means dry waterfall design). I planted in some evergreen trees and Japanese maples. The garden has elements of both a Japanese courtyard garden for drinking tea and karesansui (dry landscape) elements as well. It's only 10 meter by 5 meter garden surrounded by walls on all sides (thus called a mini courtyard garden), but it's packed with lots of pretty stones, moss and greenery which are a joy to look at while drinking a morning coffee or tea.
This year, on the other side of the house, I attempted a butterfly garden for the first time. I focused not only on nectar plants, but also on gathering host plants for the butterfly to lay eggs on as well. It has been a spectacular success! I recommend planting in Heliotrope, Lantana, Buddleja (butterfly bush), butterfly weed, zinnias and orange cosmos for anyone who wants to attract butterflies to their garden. Also milkweed for the monarchs if you live in the U.S. As far as edibles, I planted in fennel, celery and parsley for both the swallowtails and for me. I also planted in broccoli and a cabbage to attract the white cabbage butterfly.
I've also planted in several different citrus trees and 4 kinds of prickly ash (which are also in the citrus family) to attract over 5 different kinds of swallowtail butterflies. I also had success growing 3 fig trees from cuttings.
I've also planted an herb garden in the parking lot that I rent. I'm growing thyme, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lemon balm, pinneapple sage, rosemary, English lavender, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint and hyssop for herb teas.
Finally, I have a collection of bonsai trees (thus my user name) and bonsai group plantings (mini forest on a trey) that keeps increasing every year. My favorite bonsais are ezo spruce, fuji (wisteria) ,Japanese maples and azaleas.
After all that, I have no space for vegetables! LOL
Have been trying for a while to upload 'before' image with no luck. Will give it a try again later.
Possum - would you believe that we have had some heavy frosts but my rhubarb is still growing strong and insanely, while some strawberries have died down, I have a handful of flowers (still)...
Bonsai, I have just shopped around on line and see I can get a ready supply of heliotrope and cosmos so as I have never grown either, I shall do so on your recommendation! Your courtyard sounds amazing!!!
ooh what a lovely thread - I do love gardens.
My garden sorta pleases itself. At the moment I can look out to see lots of bright red geraniums against a backdrop of a eucalytus tree and a small japanese maple bush. Right now I am getting lots of white butterflies and swarms of bees around my sweetpeas. I planted them at random as seedlings and they survived foxes having sex most nights and cats rummaging around.
Believe me, because of the bees I have to spray myself with insect repellant to weed in that plot - someone must be keeping bees nearby.
I'd love to do something with smooth and rough stones as you have done bonsai.
Hi Mary I've been growing climbing French beans for a few years. They're very easy and absolutely delicious. I also grew Cosmos from seed like Bonsai and that is very easy, delicate fern-like leaves and big daisy flowers. Dill grows well from seed as does Nicotiana. Sorry I can't remember which variety of Nicotiana I grew but it grew to about five feet tall with flowers that smell lovely in the evening
Mary J Bilge good news about the rhubarb! so delicious in pies!
Bonsai interesting you are planting lantana its a noxious weed here in australia......
I am rhubarb mad possum, exactly for stewing and pie. Planted an apple to go with it although that will be some years away...
Ruby - LOL! Naughty little foxes!!! Bees are exactly what I am after too. Have pea petit and pea progress seedlings on the grow and love sweet peas.
Xanthippe - I shall try nicotiana (new to me!) and French climbing beans you say? I have grown scarlet runners and dwarf green / butter beans... but will seek out some French!
Do you all realise at this rate, you will have a stake in my garden! 😄