Satruday’s garden tour in my neighborhood was a huge success. We had our largest turnout since the inception of the tour about 6 years ago. The weather was nice and the lack of rain causing our drought significantly limited the mosquito population.
The naming of my garden was up in the air between My Wet, Dry, Vegetable, Fruit, Rose, Natural Organic Garden or Westbury's Own All Natural, 100% Organic Vegetable, Fruit, and Flower Garden of Delight. But those were both too long for the sign.
There was definitely a pattern to what people were asking about at my garden.
There were many questions about the Desert Rose which is in the genus adenium, but I’m not sure which species this one is. One person asked me if it was related to a plumeria. A little bit of internet research reveals that they are in the same family, one called Apocynaceae. They are also in the same family as oleanders and mandavillas which are also common in our area.
I purchased this one about five years ago, it was much smaller then. I don’t water it much and I’ve never fertilized it. It gets taken into the garage for the winter and isn’t given any water (similar to a plumeria). It’s best grown in a pot considering how wet our ground can be at certain times of the year.
I also got a lot of questions about the lisianthus in the back corner of the yard. These are an experiment. I first saw these at the farmer’s market being sold as cut flowers. They have a long vase life, but I’m not sure if they’ll survive our summer heat.
Then there’s the clerodendrum bungei aka cashmere bouquet or mexican hydrangea. This one comes with a warning, it can be very invasive. I have mine planted in part sun and it gets very little supplemental water, maybe that’s why it hasn’t become invasive in my yard.
Aah, the rain barrels. Yes, they look great don’t they? Too bad we haven’t had any rain since they were installed a couple of months ago. I bought them from plastic-mart.com.
This little grass in the rain garden was mis-identified. I’m not sure why I had it in my head that is was an iris cristata, other than the fact that the iris cristata was next to it. It is actually a white topped sedge. My apologies to everyone who asked me what it was and was given the wrong name.
The tomato wall. I have had great luck with my tomatoes, but this year, things are getting a little out of hand. In February, I planted 6 tomato plants in this 4’x8’ bed. Now, they have formed a wall of tomato plants and are packed with fruit. Each year I add compost and cow manure to my veggie beds, plus this year I sprinkled on some cottonseed meal.
This is my bottle bush. It will stay a bush until I find the perfect bottle tree. The bottles are from a variety of places, but my latest one was acquired from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. The food was delicious, and the water was served in blue bottles. The waitress was kind enough to snag one for me.
From what I have read, the bottle tree has evolved out of what was originally a tradition in Africa of hanging shiny objects or glass around your house to keep the evil sprits away. Felder Rushing has written a more detailed article on the history of bottle trees that’s worth a read.
This salvia gained a lot of attention. Many people complained that their salvia’s never get that tall. Well folks, it all depends on the variety. I’m not sure which one this is, but my guesses include indigo spires, mystic spires or blue queen. It is fairly easy to propagate from cuttings or by root divisions.
The yarrow was also lookin’ good. My original clump of this came from Hazel, the Westbury Garden Club president. Now, I have three large clumps and I always have some to give away to others who also like the look.
Our garden tour was four hours long, during that time close to 150 people wandered through the yard. I had a great time talking to everyone about my garden. It is an experience I highly recommend.