A nearly native plant habitat garden located in northeast Georgia in eco-region 231 (Southeast Mixed Forest Province) zone 7b on 10 acres of meadow and forest habitat. I’m Karin, gardener, photographer and writer. I hope you enjoy a little taste of Georgia and will come back and visit often. xo!
It is summer and it has been hot, humid and steamy. My time has been spent with my kids enjoying summer fun activities...floating down the Chattahoochee River in the North Georgia Mountains, playing in the Shoals and at the pool & water park...it is the only way to beat the heat! But, it hasn't been all fun and games...there has been some serious work going on in the garden.
C O N S T R U C T I O N Z O N E
My husband and daughter (who is a Horticulture major at Clemson University) have been busy laying the bones for three new garden beds.
We had 3 pallets of these thick stack rocks delivered last week. These will serve as the framework for the new beds.
This stack of flagstone will be placed randomly throughout the walking paths to add interest and help hold the mulch in place.
Two of the new beds are located on the west side of the back driveway and in front of the woodland garden. The photo below shows the largest path into the woodland garden which is divided by a central bed. The right path leads down to the compost area and wood pile and the left path leads to a fire pit and the childrens' garden.
Bed #1 is approximately 500 sq. ft. and sits to the front right of the above view.
It gets some morning and afternoon sun in the top half of the bed and filtered shade in the bottom half. I am undecided as to what I will be planting in this bed.
To the left of Bed #1 is Bed #2 (for lack of a better term). We will be naming these beds, as we do all our beds since it just makes it easier to communicate about the garden. Bed #2 is approximately 700 sq. feet. Between the two beds is a new path that leads into the woodland garden.
Bed #2 is mostly shade but some parts get some filtered, morning sun. My plan is to create a Blue and White garden. I have already transplanted two upright rosemary that were pretty root bound in pots from the back deck to this bed.
This is another view of Bed #2 looking North.
You can see we have very poor soil to work with. The red clay is very acidic, which is wonderful for some plants but generally bakes like clay in the summer heat and isn't a good soil for either drainage or happy plants. It is difficult to see in the photo but we had some of the soil dug out to give the beds a little more depth. We had to be very careful not to disturb the root structure of the existing trees. Our plan is to fill the beds with leaf mulch, compost and soil. Since summer is not a good time to plant in the Southeast (we would have to water constantly) our project for the remainder of the summer is to get these beds prepped for Fall planting. And, it will give me time to decide which plants I want to fill these beds. I welcome any suggestions you have!
Finally, the third new bed, which is about 300 sq. ft., is at the back end of the woodland garden next to the fire pit. The bed gets filtered morning sun. We planted a Cherokee Princess Dogwood in this part of the woodland garden this past spring and we designed this bed around the tree and three other existing trees.
The kitchen garden is also getting an overhaul. This 30 x 30 area was leveled a few weeks ago to make space for some new raised beds. This is the future home of six 12 x 5 raised beds and one 24 x 5 bed.
The two year old blueberry shrubs are in the foreground. Behind this area is the newly installed retaining wall, which steps up to six fruit trees. The wall was a surprise Mother's Day gift to me from my "boys". It is not perfectly level but I love it! I think it adds character and is a great place to put some extra pots.
Here is a little taste of some of our morning harvest. We have been enjoying picking our breakfast straight from the garden.
I can't leave this post without a few blooms for Father's Day and a very special thank you to my wonderful husband who is an amazing father to four great kids and who is so supportive of all my gardening endeavors and crazy ideas!