Camden (Maine) Garden Tour 2014: Part 4

Posted in Garden Tour, landscape design, Maine, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen at the beginning of September.  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of events and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Sales of miniature hostas described in the 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue are also suspended until the fall, click here for details.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-38-20 PMThe newly built Arts and Crafts style house at the final garden on the tour is reached via a long drive ending in an elaborate stone bridge and pond.

This post is the fourth in a series of posts on the Camden House and Garden Tour put on annually in mid-July by the Camden Garden Club.  To read the first three posts, click here, here, and here.  Next year’s tour is on July 16, 2015, and will consist of historic houses in Camden.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-58-43 PMThe entrance walk crosses a large stone slab that acts as a bridge over a boulder strewn stream.

The final garden that I am profiling surrounds a new over-the-top Arts and Crafts style house built half way up Mt. Battie overlooking Camden Harbor.  We were transported up a steep drive to the property in chauffeur-driven golf carts, passing through extensive plantings surrounding large boulders.  At the top, a beautiful stone bridge brings visitors to the impressive front entrance.  I will let the photos and captions tell the rest of the story:

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-58-54 PM.

Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-59-13 PMThe entrance path

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-59-20 PM

An elegant planter on the entrance walk.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-59-35 PMA man made stream runs along the front of the house under the entrance path.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-24-20 PM

The stream ends in this pool. Behind it you can see the stone bridge and above that the guest house.

Although we were not allowed to take photos inside the house, I did take some shots from the master bedroom balcony:

Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-11-12 PM

Hillside perennial garden with native woods in the background.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-11-02 PM

Looking down from the balcony onto the pool area.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-12-01 PM

View of Camden Harbor from the master bedroom.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-17-44 PM

Stone path leading around to the back of the house.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-16-05 PM

The tour brochure states that “the garden encompasses more than 5,000 trees and plants”, and every one of them was perfect, no brown leaves, no spent flowers, no unhappy plants.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-20-57 PM

Looking up from the lawn area to the perennial gardens on the back side of the house.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-19-41 PM

Everything about this property was massive, including the stairs from the lawn to the back terrace.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-10-49 PM

Another gorgeous view from the back terrace.

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Lobelia 'Fan Scarlet'

A plant that caught my eye ‘Fan Scarlet’ lobelia.

Just like everything else, the pool was over the top so I thought you would like to see a few shots:

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-23-42 PM.

Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-30-28 PM

Granite boulders were incorporated into the design.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-22-40 PM.

In the last post in this series, I intend (if I have enough good photos) to show you some of the non-garden sights in the Camden-Rockport area and recommend a few wonderful restaurants.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  If you are within visiting distance of the nursery and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Camden (Maine) Garden Tour 2014: Part 3

Posted in garden to visit, Garden Tour, landscape design, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen at the beginning of September.  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of events and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Sales of miniature hostas described in the 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue are also suspended until the fall, click here for details.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-39-15 AM

This post is the third in a series of posts on the Camden House and Garden Tour put on annually in mid-July by the Camden Garden Club.  To read the first and second posts, click here and here.  As mentioned previously, this year’s tour was the 67th annual event, quite an impressive history.  Next year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the garden club.  To honor the occasion, the tour will feature “the most-loved homes and gardens from our annual tour dating all the way back to 1948….[including] grand summer ‘cottages’ and gardens, so iconic to the Maine coast.”   It will take place on July 16, 2015, and I hope to be there!

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-53-15 AMLooking back across the meadow to the historic home.

The third garden that we visited on the tour was also in the countryside around Rockport.  This was probably my favorite garden because of the setting and also the gorgeous English style garden.  The home itself was not open for the tour, but it is an historic saltbox homestead, dating from the 1780s.  Set on the top of a hill, the house has a sweeping view of the large pond and meadows below.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-44-27 AMView from the house

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-59-16 AM.

As is typical in New England and especially the Camden-Rockport area, boulders, rock walls, and lichen covered slabs are everywhere on this property.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-51-05 AM

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-46-43 AMThe owners had even used some of the local rock to create an outdoor dining area.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-41-50 AMEntrance to the perennial garden in an old barn foundation.

My favorite part of the property was what the tour brochure described as an “English” garden nestled within the walls of an old barn foundation.  In the rectangular footprint of the barn was a flowery oasis crammed with plants in a beautiful combination of habits, textures, and colors.  I felt like I was entering a magical sunken paradise easily explored by following the sinuous, bark chipped paths.  Though on a small scale compared to the great English borders, this is one of the prettiest perennial gardens I have ever visited.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-34-21 AMMy overview photo of the barn foundation garden doesn’t do it justice, but I wanted to give you some idea of scale.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-36-46 AMThe wall of the barn foundation runs along the back of these beds.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-37-18 AMA better view of the foundation wall.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-37-58 AMThe bark chipped paths.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-39-02 AMAn arbor runs along one side

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-39-21 AM.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-42-36 AM.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-42-17 AM.

I have one final garden to show you on this tour, a garden that has everything that money can buy!

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Camden (Maine) Garden Tour 2014: Part 2

Posted in garden to visit, Garden Tour, landscape design, Maine, organic gardening, sustainable living with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen at the beginning of September.  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of events and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Sales of miniature hostas described in the 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue are also suspended until the fall, click here for details.

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Camden Garden tour Avena 7-17-2014 11-44-14 AMThe Avena Botanicals apothecary and shop

This post is the second in a series of posts on the Camden House and Garden Tour put on annually in July by the Camden Garden Club.  To read the first post, click here.  This year’s tour was the 67th annual event, quite an impressive history.  Next year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the garden club.  To honor the occasion, the tour will feature “the most-loved homes and gardens from our annual tour dating all the way back to 1948….[including] grand summer ‘cottages’ and gardens, so iconic to the Maine coast.”   It will take place on July 16, 2015, and I hope to be there!

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Camden Garden tour Avena 7-17-2014 11-28-53 AMThe Avena apothecary and barn

The second garden that we visited on the tour was also in Rockport in an area of fields and farms.  However, this property is a working farm used to produce the natural remedies and body-care products sold by Avena Botanicals Herbal Apothecary. Avena is a 32 acre certified biodynamic farm of which three acres are intensively planted with over 175 varieties of medicinal herbs.  It was begun in 1985 by herbalist and author Deb Soule and moved to its current picturesque site in 1995.  Over 100 hand-crafted products, sold there and by mail order, are produced on site almost exclusively from plants grown on the farm. 

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Camden Garden tour Avena 7-17-2014 11-29-23 AM.

Although not a typical garden tour garden, Avena’s working farm is planted with design as well as practicality in mind.  It was a wonderful change to wander through the peaceful and relaxing areas surrounding the farmhouse and see all the well-labeled medicinal plants covered with butterflies, honeybees, and native insects.  The apothecary shop and gardens are open to the public weekdays from May through September, 12 to 5 pm.  If you are traveling in the Camden area, Avena is well worth a stop.

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Camden Garden tour Avena 7-17-2014 11-37-49 AMAvena founder Deb Soule and her mother greet garden tour participants.

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Verbascum olypicum, Greek mulleinThe flowers and seeds of Greek mullein are used medicinally, but it also makes quite a striking addition to the garden.

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Camden Garden tour Avena 7-17-2014 11-59-14 AMMexican sunflower

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Camden Garden tour Avena 7-17-2014 11-23-01 AMThis circular garden surrounded by a gravel path is filled with many kinds of thyme and lavender.

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Camden Garden tour Avena 7-17-2014 11-22-49 AM.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Camden (Maine) Garden Tour 2014: Part 1

Posted in Garden Tour, landscape design, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen at the beginning of September.  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of events and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Sales of miniature hostas described in the 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue are also suspended until the fall, click here for details.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-36-44 PMThe Furey farm and garden

Last year I attended the 2013 Camden House and Garden Tour in Camden, Maine, and really enjoyed it.  The gardens were great, and the Camden-Rockport-Rockland area is beautiful.  You can read about that trip here, here, and here.  In fact, I liked it so much I decided to go back this year, spend two nights in the area, and take my husband Michael.  This post is the first in a series on our trip.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-41-16 PMThe front of the house was in blazing sun when we visited so it was hard to do justice to the gardens and window boxes.

The first garden that we visited was in Rockport in an area of fields and farms.  The intensively planted cottage style garden surrounds a quintessential Maine farmhouse probably dating back a couple of hundred years.  Although some of the gardens on the tour were clearly the creation of hired help, this award-winning garden has been lovingly tended by the owner and her family for five decades.  The colors and combinations are beautiful, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-41-41 PMWindow box on the front of the house.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-37-00 PMElaborate perennial beds surround the back of the house.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-39-52 PM.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-38-50 PMThe attention to detail is lovely.

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Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-38-27 PM.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-40-49 PM.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-35-34 PM.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Furey 7-17-2014 3-39-46 PM

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

More Annuals for 2014

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, How to, landscape design, shade annuals with tags , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen at the beginning of September.  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of events and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Sales of miniature hostas described in the 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue are also suspended until the fall, click here for details.

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photo 1

Since I revisited the boat planting last post (click here to see those photos), I thought I would also pay a repeat visit to the window boxes I raved about last year.  To read my 2013 window box post, click here.  They are located at a little market on Main Street in Yarmouth, Maine.  I am happy to say that they did not disappoint, but you can judge for yourself:

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photo 6

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photo 7

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photo 2

Although the plant material and the color combinations are not as wonderfully creative as 2013, I would still be happy to have these window boxes at my house.  I hope they have given you some good ideas for your containers. 

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Row Your Way To Color Revisited Again

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, How to, landscape design, organic gardening, product review, shade annuals, sustainable living with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen at the beginning of September.  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of events and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Sales of miniature hostas described in the 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue are also suspended until the fall, click here for details.

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DSCN4634The dinghy planting this year is a disappointment.

Those of you who follow my blog may remember the posts that I wrote in 2013 and 2012 on the creative use of annuals in a dinghy (small rowboat) at a Maine marina.  You can find those posts here and here.  I used the dinghy planting as an example of how the imaginative and thoughtful use of annuals can produce an elegant and striking result.  Unfortunately, the planting this year is not up to the former standards.  Normally I wouldn’t feature it, but I thought it might be illuminating to think about what went wrong.

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Handy Boat dinghyThe dinghy planting in 2012 was gorgeous.

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Handy Boat dinghy 32013 was not quite as sophisticated but made up for this with its exuberance.

When comparing the three plantings the first thing you notice is that the colors for 2014 are too subtle.  I love chartreuse and purple, but in a container planting you need some plants that cause passers by to stop and look.  But the bigger problem is that there are not enough plants.  As I pointed out before, containers generally last for one season only and need to be filled to bursting from the beginning.  There is no time to let them fill in as you would with perennial plantings in the ground.

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Handy Boat dinghy 22013 packed with plants

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Handy Boat Dinghy 12012

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DSCN4630This year’s planting shows a lot of bare soil.  The photos for all three years were taken in early July.

Another mistake the designer made was to ignore the classic filler-spiller-thriller formula of planting containers.  The heucherella flowers in the back just don’t provide the necessary height that you need, especially in a container this big, and will be done flowering shortly.  The sedum, coleus, and plectranthus (I think that what it is) will not fill in the middle, and the fibre optic grass and the two sweet potato vines are not spilling over the side enough.

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DSCN4633 A close up of 2014.

Despite my negative comments, as you can see from the photo above, the habit and colors of the plants go well together.  They would look great crammed into a smaller container situated for close up viewing.  I also always encourage the use of perennials in containers, like the sedum and heucherella here.  In late fall, you can transfer them into the ground and enjoy them in your perennial garden for years to come. 

Looking closely at this dinghy planting in good years and bad has given me a lot of ideas about my own containers.  In fact, I had never seen fibre optic grass and purchased some for my window boxes.  I hope you too will find inspiration for your own containers.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Do You Know Where Your Mulch Comes From?

Posted in green gardening, How to, landscape design, organic gardening, product review, sustainable living with tags , , , , , , on June 9, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Your final chance to shop at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will be during our open hours on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14, from 10 am to 2 pm.   We close on June 15 and reopen around September 15.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is on line, click here.  Our last shipment of the spring will be mailed June 23, and we must receive your check before we ship.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-13-29 PMA pile of freshly ground mulch, but what’s in it?

My friend and longtime customer Caroline Moriuchi invited me for a guided tour of her family’s mulch production operation, M&M Mulch in Moorestown, NJ.  I jumped at the chance because I always wondered how mulch was made.  What I learned from my trip plus subsequent research is that if you don’t know what your mulch is made from, you should.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-07-43 PMAs you can see in this photo, M&M Mulch accepts only wood chips and brush for grinding into their high quality mulch.

M&M Mulch, which is run by Caroline’s son Seiji with the help of his father and brother, has a company policy of using only wood chips from tree services and brush from landscapers for grinding into mulch.  They will not use wooden pallets, scrap lumber, or parts of demolished buildings to produce mulch, although this is common practice in their business.  For this reason, they do not produce red-dyed mulch because it can only be made from processed lumber like pallets.  I am going to show you the Moriuchi’s mulching operation, but first I want to outline some of the dangers from pallets.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-36-19 PMMulch being ground at M&M Mulch

You should do your own research, but, after reading many articles, I would never use commercially produced mulch without knowing what it was made of.  The best article on the subject is in Natural Life Magazine, to read it click here

Basically, a lot of mulch is made from recycled shipping pallets.  If you drive down Interstate 95, you can see the huge pile of pallets waiting to be ground into mulch near Wilmington, DE.  A high percentage of pallets are contaminated with bacteria, including e coli and listeria, from the food transported on them and from improper storage.  They are often made from “engineered wood” which is treated with formaldehyde.  The pallets themselves are often treated with dangerous chemicals, although this is being phased out.  If they come in from abroad, they are fumigated with toxic fungicides and pesticides, and toxic substances often spill on pallets during transportation.  Wood scraps and demolished buildings pose similar dangers from toxic applications like lead paint and pressure treated wood. 

Now we get to the fun part, how mulch is made:

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-03-23 PMThe mulch production process starts with this very big machine, the grinder.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-04-43 PMThe grinder is moved around the production yard using this remote control.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-35-26 PM  A front end loader is a crucial piece of equipment.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-35-34 PM The loader scoops up the wood chips and brush from the giant piles waiting to be ground.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-35-54 PMThe raw material is deposited into a hopper on the grinder.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-06-46 PMConveyor belts inside the grinder feed the grinding teeth.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-37-13 PMThe grinder produces a giant pile of mulch, but the process isn’t over because most consumers demand that their mulch be dyed.  I am not sure how this process started or why dark black mulch is considered more attractive than natural brown.  I personally think black-dyed mulch is hideous.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-16-29 PMThe dyeing machine

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-24-42 PMThese paddles mix the ground wood with carbon black to make it black or iron oxide to make it brown.  M&M does not produce red-dyed mulch because it can only be made from pallets.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-22-27 PMBlack-dyed mulch emerges from the dyeing machine.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-22-54 PMBlack-dyed mulch on the right, brown-dyed on the left.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-23-41 PMBrown-dyed mulch on the right, un-dyed mulch in front and on the left.  I think gardeners should question why they need dyed mulch.

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Thanks so much to the Moriuchis, especially Seiji who answered all my questions, for the fascinating tour.  If you live near Moorestown, New Jersey, you are very lucky to have a safe source of mulch nearby produced by the fourth generation family farmers at M&M Mulch, 400 Hartford Rd, 856-234-2394.  They deliver free to the Moorestown area and for a fee to other parts of New Jersey.  Who knows maybe they can be enticed to cross the river to Pennsylvania!

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2014 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.   Your final chance to shop at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will be during our open hours on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14, from 10 am to 2 pm.  We close on June 15 and reopen around September 15.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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