Friday, March 21, 2014

Tulips in the White Garden


The tulips are up in the white garden. They bloomed just in time for the garden tour last Saturday.




The tulips take all the attention, but the edibles are thriving in the white garden too. If you didn't notice them in the first picture, you're not alone. My garden tour attendees didn't see them at first, either, which also means they're not immediately noticeable to my neighbors. The flowers steal the show, and unless you're looking for them, you won't see the edibles, which is just the way I planned it.


The Katy apricot has fruit on it already. This tree ripens 3-4 weeks before my Royal apricot, which means we'll have fresh apricots twice. I specifically sought out this tree, not knowing what it was called, but knowing that it had fewer chilling hours than my Royal. My father-in-law's tree is always ripe 3-4 weeks before ours, so I figured out what would be ripe then, and went to a different nursery that carried this particular tree.


Near the Katy apricot is this Swiss chard plant. Iris are coming up in front of it. The grass-looking wisps near it are leeks. Just out of view of the picture to the left is a bush variety of zucchini. 

I'll plant basil in place of the iris when they're done blooming.



In the upper planter behind the bench are mache, spinach, tarragon, oregano, and my new Meyer lemon tree. Behind the lemon tree I added some garlic chives this year. A single daffodil is up here, but others are starting to come up in this area. When the mache and spinach are harvested, Armenian cucumbers will take their place. I planted seeds for them this week in the garden. 



I planted two thyme plants between the roses. While the roses are edible, rose-petal jelly is prettiest with pink or red flowers, so I will be leaving these roses as landscape roses. They are a floribunda rose, so they will bloom every 2-3 weeks until frost. They're just about ready to bloom for the first time this year.


Next to the driveway is this planter. Eventually the bushes will grow larger and be pruned into ball shapes. The yellow flowers are the decorative white kale that are bolting. They grow well here from October to early spring. It's time for me to pull them. Between the bushes are daffodils; one has come up here as well. To the left of the daffodils is a red looseleaf lettuce, and to the left of that is parsley, which is still rather small. I'd like to stop buying dried parsley, so I have been planting it all over in order to have enough. I've realized that I would like to use a lot more than I have in the past, which is also incentive to grow more. 

The lettuce will be replaced by basil when it gets hotter; I planted basil seeds to the right of the dripline. I usually don't plant basil until April, but everything bloomed here a month early and it is plenty warm enough for the basil seeds to germinate.

In the same planter, to the right of the daffodils, is a different red leafed lettuce, and then I have some white alpine strawberries that have just germinated. To the right of that, lining the walkway, are white violas (these are edible if you like edible flowers on things). The violas are tiny, and it will be a month or two before they bloom, as I am growing them from seed. Violas can be planted as plants in October here and grow all winter, but seeds were more cost effective. I may try seeding indoors in mid-summer for fall plants this year.


Closer to the front door there isn't as much direct sun. In this area, I have primroses planted in front of parsley. When they primroses fade, the parsley will fill this space. The vine in the center of the picture is a passionfruit vine. I don't know how it will do in this space, but it as it grows it will reach sun further up the wall.


Not photographed are the peach and lime trees, nor the chamomile that is starting to come up.

The next flowers to bloom should be the Star of Bethlehem, daffodils, ranunculus, and roses. I'm looking forward to them!

37 comments:

  1. You have a beautiful and inspiring garden! I just started some more seeds indoors. A lot of herbs and lettuces and kale. Can't wait to start transplanting some outside. We have been lucky this spring and have purple tulips and beautiful daffodils all over our back yard. We moved into the house this past summer and had no idea we would have these flowers coming up in spring.

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  2. Your garden is lovely. It looks like all your hard work and planning are coming to fruition. Congratulations!

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  3. This post brought me big buckets of joy today!! It's so cold and dreary here in upstate NY right now. I planted my seeds last weekend- so far only pak choy seeds have germinated. Seeing your beautiful white garden is sooo much more exciting than staring at 144 spaces on seed trays with only six filled with teeny tiny pak choy starts. Ha. Your gardening posts are my favorite!!

    Thanks for sharing!
    KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

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  4. Beautiful and so elegant, Brandy. My eye went right to the tulips. However, I am so glad you shared all of the edible goodness hiding in and amongst the flowers. You have made me re-think planting more veggies and herbs. I tend to only plant them in pots and the raised bed. How exciting to have apricots forming on your tree. I have one peach tree and every year the fruit forms and just before it is ready to be picked, all of the peaches disappear. I usually don't even see any evidence on the ground although I suspect it is the work of squirrels. I tried netting and even a rubber snake with no luck. Do you or your readers have any suggestions?

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  5. Very beautiful Brandy! You've given me so many ideas about planting edibles in between the "pretty stuff" (as my daughter would say).

    I have a question about planting next to your driveway: Do you find that you have much trouble with car exhaust, grime/oil, etc from the cars getting into your edibles?

    Thanks - and I so enjoyed the photos today - its 38F and rainy here!
    Lea

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    1. I don't actually park right next to those but occasionally my father-in-law will park there. We park further over. It's not behind the car or under the car so they look and smell just fine.

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  6. It's so great that you have quite of few options for eating already. It will freeze again this week here and even starting cool sprouting veggies will be late this year. You were able to really sneak some nice plants in between the flowers. I plan on using this idea in our front yard this spring. I did have cucumbers planted in pots in the front yard last year but they did better in the morning sun in the back. I bet the kids enjoyed their back yard play area this week. Our girls did get out an play with the neighbor kids in the front. We had over 10 little ones all playing together. I'm glad we have such great neighbors.

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    1. Everything came up a month EARLY here this year. I planned the garden tour based on when the daffodils and peaches were in bloom last year (mid-March) and they bloomed a month before that. It is beautiful here.

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  7. Brandy your garden is a lovely as any Temple garden. I'm impressed and inspired. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  8. Beautiful!! Looks so wonderful. Keep a close eye on your garlic chives. Ours have transplanted themselves everywhere and try to take over :) Smell delish though if you like the smell of garlic!!

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    1. I have heard that and I have high hopes for it! Usually the good thing about things that tend to take over in other places is that they MIGHT make it in our heat here. I have onion chives in the backyard and I have not done garlic chives, but I have thought about doing them for many years. I decided I could find a place for them in the white garden.

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  9. You have such a pretty garden. I am so impressed with your garden when I know how dry and hot it is in your area of the country. I am in central TX and it is super dry here this year. (we are in year 8 of a very big drought; the reserves in our area are below 30% and watering is very restricted) We have put in 8 rain barrels this year. I hope to use those for our garden this year. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures.

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  10. It looks beautiful, Brandy, & you have blended the edibles into the "background" very well.

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  11. Brandy, what is under the beehive cloche? It looks SO pretty in the garden!

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    1. I kept the tarragon under it all winter (otherwise the tarragon will die). Then I moved it over some mache. I've just been putting it over whatever is small in the that section.

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    2. Do you separate your tarragon or cut it back. Mine turned into a very large bush!

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    3. Heidi, mine has never gotten much larger than you see in the photo! I have 3 tarragon plants now because I didn't have enough. If it grows that large, that would be wonderful!

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  12. Beautiful garden, beautiful plants and beautiful pictures! I loved it! Congratulations :)

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  13. Another frozen upstate New Yorker here, delighted to see anything green and growing at this time of year. We are still looking at piles of snow, although they are melting somewhat. Your chard and red leaf lettuce look so delicious from here! Nothing is blooming here yet, but my snowdrops are up and ready to, if we get just a little warmth and sunshine. Normally we would be starting greens, peas, etc at this time, but this year it's still way too wet or snow covered. Our planting date for tender crops isn't until the end of May--and if we're lucky our growing season lasts until the end of October--very short compared to yours! Many people here use started plants in order to have vegetables earlier in the year. I will probably do that this year, since it looks like the season will be late again. I like to start seeds and do have grow lights indoors, but my personal energy is in great demand this year, so it looks like I'll be buying some. I enjoy your blog and while I am fairly frugal, I realize there is always more I could do. Thanks for showing us one way to do it.

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  14. I'm so impressed! I've never been able to garden where we live but I would like to try growing some edibles when we get settled.

    Fresh parsley is so much better! When I buy a bunch of fresh parsley, I freeze the leftover by chopping it up, packing about a tablespoon into one compartment of an ice cube tray and covering it with a little water. Perfect for dropping into a pot of soup!

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  15. Your garden is so amazing. You have a real talent. We grow such an abundance in our garden (and I'm thankful for that!) but it doesn't look so beautiful like yours.

    This week I have been saving water from our sinks, showers, baths etc. Well, I haven't saved all of it just some, but I have been wandering around our acreage watering plants with it all. I decided that I should sell my treadmill which I did like to use. However, I started thinking that I would rather save money on things like water and get a little exercise doing more practical things. It's far more satisfying. The funny thing is that it has only been a few weeks since I starting back into more frugal things and my husband asked me if I had lost some weight! I think I have. All of those weeks on the treadmill with little as far as results and then just living frugally and I'm lose some weight. I'm excited about the upcoming year's garden. If people don't have a garden I encourage them to start one. My husband is the gardener in this family, but I have started to get involved. I think anybody can grow blackberries or raspberries and then go on from there. We freeze, can and dehydrate a lot of fruit (along with our vegetables.) I'm really grateful for the produce.

    Thank you for the gorgeous photos of your garden. I long for Spring and you bring me hope that it is coming!

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    1. I wish raspberries grew well here! Between the heat and our 8.2-8.4 ph soil and water, they don't do well. If they flower at all, they are the third the size of a regular berry. Blackberries will grow here with afternoon shade, but there is no danger of them taking over. It really depends on where you live.

      I hope you can sell your treadmill quickly! Then you can use that money to plant more things or pay extra down on your mortgage!

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    2. Thanks. I guess I show my gardening ignorance in my comment. I never thought of that! Well, I used to get all jealous of people for what they had (gorgeous gardens with white tulips etc.) and then I finally began to realize that every place is different and we all have different things to be grateful about. You have a warmer, longer growing season and can grow certain things and those of us in the Midwest where I am have four distinct seasons and we can grow different things. It's all good in the end! :) I will admire your tulips and be grateful for raspberries. I'm just glad I can learn and be inspired from your blog. (Liz)

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    3. If you plant white tulips, they will return. If I want these to return, I will have to dig them
      up and refrigerate them for 10 weeks ago.

      My dad mentioned to me that he never heard the term "set fruit" in Missouri. He said he just planted tomatoes and they grew. He didn't have to worry about it being too hot to get tomatoes like we do here.

      A reader wrote to me from Brazil and made the comment that it must be really different to have seasons! I thought that I don't have nearly the seasonal difference that others have, but compared to being closer to the equator, it's certainly a difference! I think it's hard for us to imagine gardening in a different climate. Each area has its own challenges. I live in a place of extreme heat and 2-4" of rain a YEAR. I like to bloom where I'm planted.

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  16. Beautiful! Have you seen the latest blog entry from "Tone on Tone?" I know you would love to see his white gardens. Your tulips, my favorite flower, are lovely!

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  17. Simply stunning! I love how your creativity thrives on your limited space. Do your neighbors like it? (not including your mom)? I am sure you will inspire some.

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    1. Since putting in the garden, I have gotten to know many more of my neighbors, who comment on the garden every time I see them when they come to get their mail! There are a few who never say hi still, but I think they are just not as outgoing. The others talk to me every time.

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  18. Oh Brandy your garden is so pretty.. Love that you pointed out the edibles too. I am going to try to integrate some edibles into my plantings around my house. In the last few years we have only been planting edible trees (dwarf fruits) and berries, etc. along with perennial plants. Only plant a few annuals from seed any more, the price of plants has just gotten to be way out of reach in the last few years. I generally will only buy a few vegetable plants It is still rather cold here, although we have had 1-2 actual nice warm days but we will be down to 18 degrees this upcoming week. I can't wait to get planting but it is way too early here. I did have a beautiful purple/yellow blooming crocus the other day, so Spring is coming but it is just taking it's sweet time for sure. Always look forward to your blog and the lovely pictures you post.

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    1. Allison, check out OutsidePride.com for a few annual seeds for a fantastic price. They have packets of seeds 1000 or 2000 (depending on variety) for $5. Also check out Wildseed Farms. Those are my sources for annual seeds for fantastic prices in large (very large!) quantities. Plus many things will reseed in planted if an undisturbed spot.

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  19. Really beautiful photography...
    Love, Mona

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  20. Very nice!

    You mention not wanting edibles to be immediately noticeable to the neighbors, are you not supposed to have vegetable gardens? You have really implemented them very well into the garden.

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    1. We have no restrictions on what we can plant in the front yard, but I don't want to make it too enticing to pick food from my garden. Also, I love that it just looks like a formal garden.

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  21. Brandy....ur white garden is gorgeous!
    How long did it take u to plan out ur garden and bring it to this pt?
    Also ur backyard...did u have a garden in the backyard in ur previous home?

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    1. If you click on the white garden image on the right-hand side of the blog, you can go to all of the posts on my white garden, including our planning and work.

      Our current backyard can be seen on my website under the Edible Landscaping page.

      In our last house we redid both the front yard and the backyard and we had edibles in both. I like this front yard SO much more.

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    2. Thank u Brandy! I went back and read those posts. I guess i just want it to happen overnight. It took alot of thoughtfulness, research and patience.
      The transformation is incredible!

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