Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Three More Gardens
As noted in the previous gardening entry, gardens can take many forms. In the photo to the left, three gardens are visible: the strawberry patch previously mentioned; an herb garden, and; a traditional vegetable garden. And further down the hill, out of view is something of a 'wild' garden where native vegetation grows.
The herb garden, in the next photo, is also a rock garden with a variety of plants. It's under development but may always remain in that state. There's a number of perennials in it like aromatic grasses, rosemary and mother of thyme. But there's some annuals too, like a culinary geranium with an orange flavor. It's not strictly for herbs, then again, there's really no strict definition of an herb. And as it is neither exclusively an herb or rock garden, so too might it be called a rain garden. Note that water drains directly onto a portion of it, while rainwater from the gutter fills a 'cascading' pond alongside it. It's very enjoyable to develop this, finding what works out and what look good.
The herb-rock-rain garden could get a lot bigger. Some drawings should probably be made first to experiment with ideas. The next garden pictured is for vegetables. It has a four-feet high fence because there are many critters in my neighborhood. There are deer, rabbits, squirrels, opossoms and woodchucks, at least.
The final photo (below) is of the 'wild' garden for native plants. Most of the plants came from seed obtained at a nearby prairie restoration area. It may take some time to engender the natural vegetation. Things that "just grow" at a location are not necessarily native to a particular region. Many plants were introduced when people first settled in an area. Some they brought along on purpose like favorite vegetables, others essentially hitched a ride. In this way, invasive species got a foothold to later flourish, because in the new environment had no natural predators. Invasive plants and animals tend to push out the native life, which not only disturbs natural aesthetics, but also upsets the balance of the ecosystem.