Friday, October 26, 2012

And, So, The End is Near. . .

. Fall is upon us in full swing!  We have had a few days in the 80s, but a cold front is coming in tonight (on the coattails of Hurricane Sandy) and is promising temps in the 30s and 40s..
Today was the last Friday in the Garden for the season.  We are SO lucky to have the most dedicated, hard-working volunteers anyone could wish for!  They are here whether it's 100 degrees or 40 degrees, in windy, cold weather or  stifling hot days.  We have to make them stop for lunch. 
Geranium 'Caliente Orange'  
Here are a couple of photos of what's left in the garden:


These geraniums are just too gorgeous to pull out today, we may try to save a few of them to use next year.

Oakleaf Hydrangea & Japanese Anemones

Japanese Anemones are one of my favorite fall-blooming flowers, but one not commonly used in our area.  Nurseries sell lots of mums and asters, but anemones are often forgotten.

This is what remains of our railroad garden.  In 2001, it was installed by the nationally-known  company, Applied Imagination, which just happens to be headquartered just a few miles down the road from us.  They have permanent displays at  The Chicago Botanic Gardens, The Belagio, in Las Vegas, and seasonal displays around the country.  We have always felt very honored to have one of their original garden railroad displays.  Unfortunately, because it is made from natural materials, time has not been nice to it.  Several of our volunteers have taken on the task of taking it apart and revamping the area.  Some of the original parts will remain (the waterfall and stream) and other parts will change.  At this time it is not feasible for us to run the trains, so the tracks, bridges and overpasses have been removed.  The tear down/cleanup will be completed this fall and new plants will be installed next spring.   It is sad to have to remove this important part of the garden, but exciting to plan and implement new ideas and plants.
We are bundling up for a cold, windy weekend!

Friday, July 6, 2012

How Hot Is It?

It is SO HOT our irrigated turf is brown! We cancelled Fridays in the Gardens 2 weeks in a row because it is SO HOT! It is SO HOT that we are adding water to our garden ponds daily!
It is HOT in Northern Kentucky!! We are experiencing record temperatures for record extended periods with little to no rainfall. We are grateful for the irrigation system in the gardens, but even with it, plants are not performing well. The weeds, on the other hand, are loving it!

The shade garden is holding on. . . .the center of the bed has wilted on a couple
days, so hand watering was required. In a normal summer (whatever THAT is!) the irrigation is sufficient to cover the entire bed, but in these dry, hot conditions the soil and plants dry out quickly.

This is a view of one of our original landscape beds in the gardens. Even now, 12 years after planting, the different textures and shapes are beautiful. The bamboo in the background was not in the original plan, but replaced a planting of ornamental grasses about 5 years ago. It is maintained with a heavy plastic barrier buried 36 inches deep. It works well; this year we had 4 or 5 "escapees" in early spring, but we quickly removed them and all is well again.

BUT, other, exciting things are happening in the garden and around our building! In this photo you can see the beginnings of a new parking lot for the Campbell County Farmers Market. It is in the lower edge of the gardens. Although we lost several established trees, the main parts of the gardens are untouched, thankfully. The fruit orchard was removed in early spring and we are in the middle of a $1.5 million addition to our building. The new structure will include classrooms, offices, an enclosed atrium, and, much needed, storage space.

Be safe while in the sun !

Friday, March 9, 2012

Time Marches On. . .

Seems weather is the most prevalent topic on this blog. And usually the sentence starts with, "'s been a strange______________(season, summer, spring, winter). This post is going to be about the same! We've had an unbelieveably warm winter with very little snow and temperatures in the 50s and 60s most weeks. Everything in the garden is about 2 weeks early, including the daffodils.

The ones in the left photo are a new planting in the Hosta bed, the right photo is of the same area, but shows an older daffodil plantings on the hillside above the Hosta bed setting buds also.

We are getting ready for spring by offering educational classes. The scheduled classes include:
Gardening Through the Ages, March 14, 6:00 pm, Discover ways to adapt tools, change maintenance levels and still have the garden you love.
Deer Resistant Plants, April 4, 6 pm, Learn about deer-resistant varieties that can be planted in Northern KY.
Horticulture 101: Gardening for Beginners, April 9, 6 pm, New to gardening? Learn the basics of flower gardening, tree and lawn care.
Thinking Outside the (Flower) Box, May 2, 6 pm, Discover fun and imaginative ways of growing plants in containers. We'll share lots of new plant combinations, some you may not have thought of before!
Annuals in the Landscape, May 9, 6 pm, Learn about annual flowers that perform well in this area. We will also cover plant maintenance for annual beds and flower containers.

A 3-day Children's Garden Camp will be held in July and a children's garden club will be held during the summer months. Check our website for more classes and programs:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Where Did Summer Go?

Are we getting older, or is time going faster? Seems like we just finished planting annuals and tomato plants and it's already time to start planning the closing of the garden beds for winter.

We've had another strange growing season--weather-wise, at least. We had the wettest spring on record with 24.78 inches between March 1 & May 31, then the heat came with over 20 days of 90 degrees or greater (with a couple 100 degree days!) and now we are basking in daytime temperatures in the low- to mid- 70s.
Here are a few photos of the gardens this summer:

Chard 'Bright Lights' ready to be harvested to add to soup for
our hard working volunteers.

We use Zinnias for several of our on-going programs--perfect
for making table arrangements by Active Day Gardeners,
Highlands High School Garden Club, and kid's summer programs.

This is an antique wagon we have under a row of Pear 'Cleveland Select'.
It is planted with Impatiens, Caladium, Swedish Ivy, and Asparagus Fern.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How Hot Is It?

We just completed our 17th day with temperatures at or above 90 degrees! It tied a record from 1901. So it's REALLY hot and parts of the garden have suffered. The beds with irrigation are flourishing, but those without have suffered . The large containers and some of the vegetable beds are not producing like normal. Everyone (including us) has reported poor tomato performance.

The good news is: we've had some really fun, informative programs in the gardens this summer! We had a 3-day Kid's Garden Camp, a 4- session Kid's Garden Club, and a Master Gardener Summer Day Camp.

Our Fridays in the Garden volunteers have been real troopers in the heat. They continue to work weekly, regardless of heat index or temperature. They are, truly, the backbone of our gardens!

Here are some photos taken of the gardens this morning---after a much-needed rain:

The walkway into the gardens from the front parking lot.

The caladium bed ---5 different cultivars!

Pennisetum pupureum 'Vertigo' ,
Coleus 'Dipt in Wine' ,
Lantana 'Luscious Lemonade'

Happy Gardening!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Heat. . . .Already

Our volunteers stretching before starting a morning of planting ; led by Kate Vaught, Agent for Family and Consumer Science.

Where did Spring go? We've had a week of temperatures of 90 degrees and above with no end in sight. Another growing season of unusual weather! We are 13 inches above normal in rainfall and now are facing days of hot, humid weather with no forecast of rain in the near future . We turned on our irrigation system late last week as we had newly planted flowers that were suffering from lack of water.

We had a "planting blitz" last week! We were very late (because of all the rain!) getting our annual flowers planted, so we ask our wonderful volunteers to come daily to plant the beds. . . .and plant they did! All the display beds are now planted, fertilized, and watered in. Many THANKS to all who came out in the heat and humidity to get the beds done! We couldn't do it without you! Great job! Photos will follow in the next couple weeks to showcase their hard work.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beauty---Even in the Rain!

The shade garden is lovely this year---even in the rain!
The Tree Peonies are almost finished blooming, but were, once again, spectacular. They are an often overlooked perennial, but are truly worth the expense.
This Japanese Maple has been in the gardens since 2001, in the same pot, growing in the same location. Every Fall we consider removing it/moving it and, then, come Spring, it produces such beautiful color we change our minds! It's in exactly the right spot! It may get re-potted this year for it's own good.
We have several beds of lettuce in the vegetable area. We use it, weekly, for lunch for our Fridays in the Garden volunteers, our Active Day Gardeners and the Highlands High School Gardeners. Even lettuce tastes better fresh from the garden!