At long last, our Chrysanthemum garden has begun to show its true colors! As you pass by in the coming weeks, more and more blooms are going to be developing culminating in an amazing extravaganza of show stopping color. It is definitely possible for one to enjoy such color right there at home. Join Steve Dawkins this Thursday from 6-8 pm to learn just how that is done.
Fall is approaching, and we all know that’s the best time of the year to plant some new and fun things in your garden. We happen to have around 200 species and cultivars available for purchase at our annual fall plant sale September 13th at our greenhouse facilities. Stop in to meet like minded people and get expert advice on plant selection and care from our dedicated staff and volunteers!
Looking for a spot for a peaceful reflection on life? Look no further! Take a break from the heat and everyday life for a while under this fruitless weeping Russian mulberry (that’s a mouthful!). Children love hiding in this spot, and many adults do to! With breathtaking views of the rose garden and the lake below, we highly recommend indulging in some alone time under this tree. You are never to old to enjoy the shad of our wooden friends!
What’s that?! A hole in our garden that must be filled! No butterfly garden is complete without a nice selection of species from the Asclepias genus. We’re talking about milkweed, here! Many of us are familiar with our native thin-leaved milkweed, however the genus is LARGE and full of exciting species. Some of these species reach heights of six feet and have a large shrub/small tree sort of appearance. We’ve had the good fortune of locating some of these rarities, and will be planting out the area with a good supply of other butterfly attractants as fall approaches. Have a look at the area in question, and keep an eye out as we make progress.
Things have turned out nicely for our rose garden this season. Due to a careful blend of liquid-fed organic nutrients, we have managed to sustain blooms, even during the hottest months of the year. The lesson here is simple. Feed your plants properly, and you will be rewarded with beauty beyond your wildest dreams. The hybrid tea roses in particular are showing their stuff at the moment. Things will only get better as the granular organic fertilizer begins to work its magic on the floribunda roses on the tiers. It’s never a bad time to smell the roses, but this is a wonderful time! Come back again in October to have your breath taken away.
Through a generous gift of plant material from Kathy Echols of Midhill Farms in Martinez, we were able to replace a bed of pincushion flowers with some gorgeous dahlias. These specimens are beginning to hit their stride in the garden, and should tide us over until we hit the fall blooming periods for Chrysanthemums and roses. Located in the parking area inside the garden, you won’t want to miss the blooms coming on as we speak. It’s always a tough road planting during the heat of the summer, but these dahlias in particular have put up with the temperatures remarkably well and will be there for our mutual enjoyment for years to come!
In these dry times, we have got to be a bit more choosy with the plant material we select to plant. An overlooked bastion of beauty in many gardens is the world of ornamental grasses. We have around 1,000 plugs growing over at our greenhouse in preparation for a volunteer planting day later on this month. The display will include pink muhly grass, giant sacaton, sand love grass, and others. The bed is prepped and ready for planting. Now, it’s just hoping the little ones are large enough to go into the ground by planting day! The spot is located right by the Chrysanthemum beds by the gate closest to the lake. Have a look at the space we are about to fill:
Through a generous donation of time, money, and plant material from local Chrysanthemum aficionado Steve Dawkins, The Gardens at Heather Farm has installed a delightful display of standard mums. Irrigated via drip and accented with beans to added beauty and nitrogen fixation, this spot is sure to be a show stopper in October. These are not your garden variety mums. We are stocked with unusual specimens that won’t be found in many gardens in the area. The rose garden will be in top condition at this time as well, so make sure to plan a trip to walk the gardens in the fall to see the complimentary blooms! Here’s a shot of the current state of affairs:
Our rockery is in need of a serious makeover! The alpine plant selection has served its purpose, and we are now working with the Ruth Bancroft Garden to install a nice succulent and conifer display. Certainly, this will be a unique an attractive take on how one can transform an area into a garden that uses incredibly small amounts of water and is extremely low maintenance. Look for changes in the upcoming months as we consult and install. We have a great deal of succulents in propagation at the moment will commence with planting as fall approaches!
Here’s a before picture so you can see the progress as it happens:
We have made major strides with the herb garden improvements! All of the old material has been removed, and we are preparing to plant the area with a nice assortment of water wise flora. We have been fortunate to receive some additional help from EBMUD. They have generously offered their time and resources to install a new drip irrigation system in the area. This will greatly improve the efficiency of the thoroughly outdated system that’s currently installed. Have a look at the bare beds, and wait for a bit longer for the finished product!