Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Walled Garden "Re-do" Continues

It hardly seems possible that a month ago this bed was literally overflowing with vegetation!  The fact that it was mostly "vegetation" and not specifically "bloom" is why it's now been stripped down to the bones.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, we've reached the point at which the walled garden needs to be pulled apart, edited, and rearranged in order to continue its purpose as a cutting area.  This first shot shows the first of the flower beds to be totally taken apart and put back together (really about as much as we can do with it until spring.)  We'll fill in all of the blank spots in spring with other perennials and some strong annuals.

This photo also shows off some of the great details that make this such a beautiful garden.  The brickwork has filled in beautifully with creeping fig (not nearly as high maintenance as it might look, but it does take a clipping once every couple of weeks in season).  These white tuteurs get used for different things in different years (tomatoes, hyacinth bean, cypress vine), and are really most effective in winter when the beds are not brimming with produce. 
In this other angle, you can see where those wretched banana shrubs got removed, and we've replaced them with tuteurs to support Rose Zepherine Drouhin.  It's a thornless repeat bloomer that has brilliant cerise flowers in spring and then again in fall.  We're refilling this bed with many of the same flowers that were there before (just majorly thinned), as well as some others to give a longer consistent bloom season.  I've been working with Christopher Lloyd's "Succession Planting" book, trying to adapt the principles to plants that will tolerate Georgia's hot days AND hot nights.  (For example, the back is being planted with delphiniums and then Ruellia in one area, and with foxgloves followed by tall white Nicotiana in another).  
The long hot dry summer has done great things for this little island bed, where the Mission olive seems quite happy underplanted with Mother of Thyme.  The edge is Buxus "Grace Hendicks Phillips," which is a true dwarf; it is painfully slow growing, but hopefully during my lifetime as the Big House gardener it will grow into a solid hedge. 
The photo below shows the beatiful color from Blueberries (after all, this is also the vegetable garden). 
Lastly, here's the second of the flower beds to get tackled; we've finished most of the stripping, and will hopefully start on the new plantings one this rain stops. 


  1. Beautiful! Is creeping fig hardy in your area? I've always wanted to grow it but was afraid it would never make it during the winter.

  2. We have great luck with creeping fig, though the variegated is slightly less hardy than the solid foliage. In a freeze, most of the leaves die, but as soon as it warms up again they come right back. We have found that to keep it fresh looking, we take an old-fashioned corn broom to the brown leaves, and that doesn't disturb the vine itself.