7/16/2010

A Garden Tour

 Above is the Herb Shop with bell tower and tiny viewing deck, above.

Sometimes all the planets align, the weather cooperates and the garden grows. Yes, there are weeds, especially a variety of so-called spurge. But otherwise, a few bugs, too much rain and a lot of heat and humidity, are only small issues, I want to give you a tour of this summer's garden. Thanks to a lot of work from  Adam, Josh, me and The Fates, it is a GOOD garden.

There are two blue gates that you can enter through. This one (above) has a series of bells as weights, to make it self-closing. On the left of the gate is the red-leaf hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella) and overhead is the grape arbor with wild grapes and muscadines.

If you climb the bell tower above the Herb Shop and look down on the garden, this is what you will see, a partial layout of the garden beds. If you look us up on GoogleEarth, this is also the view but from directly above, via satellite.

Looking over to the right (east, toward the Long Creek arm of Table Rock Lake) you'll see the old barn where the goats and chickens live, the garden shed and the little water garden.

Native medicinal plants are on the left, some of the culinaries on the right (grape arbor straight ahead, blue gate on the right).

Notice there are trellises along the fence on the left. Pathways are gravel and wheelchair accessible.

Edible flowers bed with grape arbor in the background. The early blush of roses are over, the Japanese beetles devastated the flowers but they're about done with, and the roses will be back in bloom, shortly.

A garden angel resting on the rock wall next to the chives and Mexican mint marigold (Tagetes lucida).

You can't see the goldfish pond in the middle, but this is the bed that Bessie, the box turtle has been coming back to for the past 28 years to lay her eggs. The gazebo is in the background, which has a variety of vines growing upward.

Ahead is the Myoga ginger bed behind the bench. To the right is a bed of all salvias and the lengthwise bed to the right is mostly lavender.

I'm growing 17 varieties of hot and super-hot chilies this year. No, that's not an outhouse in the background. It was once a ticket booth for the Boone County, AR Fair. I rescued it from a ditch and it serves now as housing for stacks of plant flats, pots, row covers, and an occasional pack rat, which Molly removes promptly.

The tomatoes are in the old sweet corn bed. Lots of new research shows that corn leaves beneficial bacteria that tomatoes avoid some fungal problems.  To the right is the row of Potawatamie bear beans, a Native American variety. You can barely see the deck of the house in the upper left corner. It looks down upon the garden in a nice view.

This is a statue I like because it reminds me of the late Adelma Simmons of Capriliands Herb Farm near Coventry, Connecticut.

An especially elegant white althea grows just outside the kitchen door.

Well, there you have it, a tour of some of our gardens at Long Creek Herb Farm. We launched our new website this week. If you have old bookmarks to my books or products, they won't still work. But the web address http://www.longcreekherbs.com does work, that address has not changed. Now, when you go there, in order to place an order you have to create an account and sign in, with a password of your choosing. It's an additional step for security, as well as obeying new rules for web businesses beginning the first of July. It's an added bit of security that will help over-all, although our customers tell us it's frustrating in the beginning. (You may recall that in the past we have had no safe way to keep credit card numbers on file for extended periods, so our method has been to ask for it each time, then shred the orders afterward. The shreddings go into either the garden compost, or as nesting material for the chickens. Either way, it was safe, but this new method complies with all the regulations for web businesses. But we'll still be shredding and composting customer information, just like before.

Check out the new website, and forgive the parts that still need attention. I think you'll find more to see and do, including pictures of the goats, garden, and more. Happy gardening!

7 comments:

Steven Anthony said...

beautiful! mine has never looked that good :(

Carol said...

What a beautiful garden and so well laid out. Thanks for sharing it with us. I live about 40 miles west of St. Louis and just might have to pop in sometime to do the real tour.

Lya Sorano said...

This is not just a GOOD garden, although it certainly is that. It is also a brilliant garden. Congratulations!

Anne said...

Loved the tour! Your garden is so inviting it makes me want to linger longer. Besides the luscious bounty, the architectural garden elements you've installed make it a charming place to just simply be. Thanks for sharing.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Hi Jim,
The garden looks gorgeous! What an inspiration. And I love how you've incorporated the ticket booth. What a great find.

I can't tell from the photos - what do you have between the raised beds? Is it rocks? We've been struggling for years to figure out a between the bed solution that will work for us. In my previous garden, I used to have grass growing between the beds (which weren't raised) and that had good and bad points - one of the bad, of course, being that you had to mow it all the time.

When I first created the garden I have now - ten years ago - we put everything we could find through the chipper shredder and put the mulch between the beds. Long story (full of black plastic, weed barrier, etc.) short, right now it's full of out of control weeds. I sometimes see photos of raised bed gardens with bare dirt between the beds and wonder how the heck they keep it that way! ; )

I put a layer of chat in the walkway of my greenhouse, but even in there it ends up looking messy, with dirt spilled, etc. And then there's all the Swiss chard growing in it right now - I don't have the heart to pull out edible volunteers!

Jim Long said...

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! Of all the years for the garden to be photographed and written about, this one would have been the best.

Yes, the pathways are tumbled pea-gravel. I used to use wood chips, which stayed until they composted and I would till them up, mix with compost and build more raised beds. Once I had all the beds built, I switched to using pea gravel as it's easier to maintain and makes it more wheelchair accessible.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Thanks, Jim. I thought it looked like gravel. It certainly looks nice. Did you put any kind of liner under the rocks to keep weeds from sprouting up? Somehow even without weeds, I have a feeling my pathways wouldn't stay nearly as clean as yours! ;)