Garden Diary - September 2018

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A Visit to Hay Honey Farm

Thursday, 6 September 2018

It's like this. End of August, beginning of September, is just about time for my late summer bulbs in the greenhouse to wake up and start growing. In fact

the oxblood / hurricane / school house lilies, Rhodophiala bifida, are doing more than think about it. Hysteranthous, they flower first, then send up leaves. Sterile, they make offsets. And oh yes, like to pull themselves down to the bottom of their pots. If I lived in the UK I could easily find long tom pots for them. If I were wealthy, I could buy specialty pots from potters. I did find a company that sells plastic tree pots, but really do not want to buy a case of 128. Queried two friends with no success. Someone else who is moving away the end of the month has a lovely long tom clay pot but, alas, is taking it with her. Fourth try lucky, Hilary has pots and is happy to share

small diameter, quite deep tree pots that will be wonderful for the offsets.
They will, she warns, need to somehow be stabilized as they easily tip over.

So off I go to Hay Honey Farm. The pots will easily be washed and cleaned when I get home. And since I am there, the gardens call out for a visit. But with temperatures in the 90s Fahrenheit and humidity ditto I think I will

stay close to the greenhouse with its summer whitewash,

pots of succulents clustered outside the wide open door.

The cold frames have excellent screened covers protecting seedlings
and potted plants from strong summer sun (and excavating critters.)

Sprinklers dispense gentle sprays of water over the cutting garden

while work continues to tittivate the grounds. Saturday is visitors day,
when Hay Honey Farm is open for Garden Conservancy's Open Days.

A piece of the wildflower meadow, with a late summer tapestry of rich purple ironweed, Vernonia novaboracensis, and one of the numerous yellow daisies that gild the landscape. Not sure which it was I queried Hilary, who responded, "I know the yellow flower as a swamp sunflower, Helianthus giganteus. Although in truth it might be a different species, we've set about six different ones in there and now they're starting to seed about. The goldfinches love them."

Water flows from the meadow, a gentle streamlet flowing past
a multi-trunked tree. Snow melt and spring rain - a different story.

Across the lawn to the herbaceous border with its stone retaining wall backdrop.

A stately trio: eupatorium, Patrinia scabiosafolia, and sedum.

Close inspection reveals charming vignettes, such as
this small red flowering tobacco backed by the sedum

or dark red dahlias that sport before the eupatorium.

Above the wall you might have noticed the orchard, the stone wall
delineating the space so people do not fall over the edge into the border.

I gaze into the woodland. The sunlight is a heavy weight on my shoulders.
Perhaps next spring, I will walk to the magnolias and rhododendrons.

I turn around. One last look at an abstract sculpture, next to
a small apple tree with its boughs heavy laden with fruit.

The vegetable garden is lush with produce, a diversity of tomatoes from sweet
fuzzy skinned yellow Garden Peach to heirloom purple black, traditional red
in assorted sizes and shapes, golden, and tiger striped, hollow for stuffing.

Always good to see a friend, always pleasant to visit a garden, and
happy with the tree pots for my about to awaken oxblood lily bulbs.

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