A hosta garden was created at Ten Chimneys today. The Lunts planted hostas and ferns in the shady areas throughout the estate. Over the years a hosta bed outside the Main House had become a little uneven. The time to enhance this garden had come. A generous donor presented 28 fine varieties of hostas to Ten Chimneys and the master gardeners devoted their creativity and talents to planting this bed, incorporating surviving Lunt era hostas within the new scheme.
I had no idea that hostas came in so many varieties or that the cultivation and study of hostas is the passionate (and I mean passionate) pursuit of numerous gardeners. I am partial to the Blue Cadet myself. The next time you find yourself on a tour of Ten Chimneys, be sure to take note of the new garden as you leave the Main House for the Studio.
The choice was deliberately made not to recreate a historic garden from a certain documented date in time, but rather to carefully select plants that effect a spiritual rehabilitation of the original garden, using a combination or both historic and recent varieties of hostas.
Took a trip to one of my favorite spots in town today: The Iowa State University Extension Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at Lowe Park in Marion, Iowa. Fantastic flowers and vegetables. It’s just so peaceful and beautiful there. (Part 1)
Getting to the creepy stuff right away. But then again, when in the business of storing food for later consumption it’s a good idea to know what little creepy crawlies can disrupt a perfectly good pickle. The wonderful Delilah Snell lead us through the world of food borne illnesses and how to prevent them. Suffice it to say that there lots of ways we can get sick from food, enough to make you not eat again. But I don’t recommend that option. Instead, proper hygiene, food handling and storage while avoiding risky techniques and ingredients will keep us thriving. Bottom line - “When in doubt, throw it out!”
Before we got into the excitement of bugs and bacteria we had a chance to meet our UC sponsors, our fearless instructor Ernest Miller, and fellow MFP trainees. And what an amazing bunch! There are food gleaners, restaurant owners, goat caretakers, 4Hers, journalists, 501c3ers, educators, foodies, and a slew of Master Gardeners. Despite our varied backgrounds, the one thing that unites us is a strong desire to be a part of our community by sharing our knowledge and love of preserving food.
The Mission of the Los Angeles County Master Food Preservers, a volunteer arm of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), is to teach safe home food preserving methods to the public through development and implementation of programs that transfer research-based knowledge.
So off to a great start! Can’t wait for next week’s class: hand washing and canning basics.
Snapped this Burnt Orange Daylily at the monthly Through the Garden Gate Tour in Claire’s garden this past Saturday. It’s a $5.00 tour of a local Cville garden put on by the Virginia Master Gardeners. Claire is a collector and breeder of Daylilies so there was an abundance to see!
Ten Chimneys’ master gardener volunteershave diligently tucked the estate gardens in for it’s long winter’s nap: pruning, removing annuals, cleaning up leaves and autumnal debris, emptying dozens of decorative urns and pots, bringing in fragile plants for wintering, and then finally covering the beds with a rich layer of compost. Everything neat and tidy and ready for winter – and done with great élan on some very cold days – no fair weather friends they.
Master Gardener class today (Saturday April 5, 2014)
Crammed into a measly 8 hours: 4 speakers and a variety of subjects; Integrated Pest Management (IPM), edible weeds, mushrooms, composting, worm tea, native California wildflowers, school gardens, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah, blah..
Baltimore Master Gardeners Outline Steps for a Neighborhood Farm
The University of Maryland Home & Garden Information Center video from the Baltimore Master Gardeners gives a general overview of starting and maintaining a Neighborhood Farm.
The Neighborhood Farm seems to be a cross between a Consumer Supported Agriculture farm and a community garden. The difference being that the Neighborhood Farm involves the community, but each of the members of the garden is in essence a farmer. Each of the community members provides financial support and labor, but shares in the bounty of the garden.
If you ever need help catered for your specific geographical location, there’s always the Master Gardeners. Many have websites where you can submit photos and ask questions and many also hold local events.
You can use this link to locate your local Master Gardeners.
I make frequent strolls through the woodland areas of the Ten Chimneys property, including the proverbial “back-forty”, in order to monitor the condition of the site and, it must be confessed, to renew my spirit. On a recent walk about I was delighted by the sight of forsythia in bloom and lilacs in bud, the song of cardinals and scarlet tanagers, and the growth of numerous native and wild plants. Then I saw something that made my heart sink: garlic mustard growing along the back drive and within the kettle behind the Cottage.
Garlic mustard is an invasive plant introduced from Europe. This woodland weed spreads quickly and easily displaces all other herbaceous species such as the jack-in-the-pulpits and Virginia bluebells pictured here. One plant can have hundreds of seeds per blossom and can lie dormant for two to five years.The SOS went out to our fabulous Master Gardener volunteers who heard the call and turned out today to pull the garlic mustard before their flowers go to seed. For more information on controlling garlic mustard please visit here.
Spring is the time to make your free Organic Nettle Liquid Plant Feed
You will need: gloves, a bucket that will hold 10 litres (2.¾ gal) and 1kg (just over 2lbs) of young stinging nettles, and a cover for the bucket.
We used one of the black plastic builders buckets that usefully has the liquid measurements marked inside. We use a spring scale to weigh the nettles but as you can see from the photo 1kg of nettles pressed down fills the bucket. Now add 10 litres of water and cover, we used a recycled carrier bag and the covered it with some old slates. Place the bucket away from the house as does smell when mature, which will take around two weeks.
John has made the liquid feed ready for using on his tomato plants that were planted from seed on 15/4/13. The liquid feed will need to be diluted 1 part feed to 10 of water for use on the plants.