grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Virtual Garden Tour: Heather's Tidy Connecticut Garden

Location: Branford, CT
Size: 150’ x 50’ with about 6,000 sq. ft. that could be growing space
Age: 4 years
Bio: My husband Lee is my partner in crime.  We started gardening when we bought a new grill and I sent him outside to dig out a flat spot for it on the slope next to the house (the old one was balanced on a cinder block to keep it level).  He found a stone walkway under a few inches of tree roots and soil and we started thinking how nice it would be if that walkway led somewhere instead of under the house (we think the addition was built over a stone patio and the walkway was covered up during construction) so we had our first patio installed.  Around that time, our neighbor cut down a row of hemlocks running the length of the fence between our houses giving us sun in our yard for the first time ever!  I started blogging about the garden because it seemed easier than creating the huge photo albums with paragraph long labels that I was making for my mom.  Other people started reading, we learned more about gardening, and that’s where we are today
Garden Survey:
Type: A big mix, but lots of containers, veggies, herbs, and perennials
Garden style:  Tidy, I’m a straight line kind of girl even though I know curves are supposed to be better design.
Inspiration: Other gardens, nurseries, on-line, television, film, etc., but not books.  For some reason I can’t get into gardening books even though my family keeps giving them to me on any gift-giving occasion.

Favorite plant: It changes so often, but at the moment definitely the heirloom tomatoes. 
Biggest challenge: Too much shade!  Oh, and since we don’t actually own this property (we’ve rented the first floor of this house for 12 years), trying not to put too much money into ground that isn’t ours.

What your friends say: “Wow, I could never do this.  This is really beautiful, you have such an eye for design.”  To which I reply, “Yes you could.  Thanks, we like it.”

Biggest embarrassment: I can’t grow heather.  Heather’s Garden should have heather.  But I’ve killed two plants and don’t plan to try again, they just need more water to get established than I can remember to provide.

Proudest DIY: I’m pretty proud of our ‘patio garden’ because it’s the first bed I really planned.  Lee’s proud of the stone wall he built there and all the plants that he actually dug the holes for and planted all over the garden.  And together we’re pretty proud of the raised veggie bed we built this spring.

Biggest indulgence: All the ceramic pots I’ve purchased at Ocean State Job Lot.  They’re inexpensive and beautiful, but not a necessity, and I probably have too many of them.

Best advice: Jump in and try.  Whatever it is that you’re thinking of attempting you can do it.  Do a little research first so you don’t do anything silly like plant mint in a mixed herb barrel (easily rectified once I read about mint’s propensity to spread and take over).

Resources: I buy most of my plant material at two local nurseries – Vaiuso and North Guilford Nurseries.  But I always keep an eye out for a good bargain or something that could be repurposed in the garden.  And I have absolutely no problem buying stuff at a big box store.

Garden Tour:

Heather - thanks for participating.  I absolutely loved your biggest embarrassment.

If you would like to participate in virtual garden tours, please email me at myskinnygarden (@) gmail (dot) com.

1 comment:

  1. Heather, I also love heathers and have experimented with a few. Might I recommend Calluna vulgaris 'Kerstin'? It's the only heather I ever had luck with and if it survives winter in Michigan, it will in CT. Also I've found FULL SUN is just as, or maybe even more, important to heathers as water.