Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Don't Have Any Shade In Your Garden? No Problem!

Have you always wanted a little shade garden but have nothing to work with except glaring sun?  Well, maybe the answer is to build a little shade house like this one at Bourton House Gardens, in Bourton-On-The-Hill, England (  I simply loved this little structure from the first moment I saw it.  It's built almost  entirely of "slatted" lumber, which seems to provide just the right combination of sun and shade inside.  It has a little mulched path that runs right down the center so that plants are visible on two sides.  And, in addition to providing shade for the array of plants inside, the structure itself is handsome and serves as great 'ornamentation' in the garden. Here are a few more views…

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Crabapple Season

It's crabapple season here at Juniper Hill.  Crabapples are usually grown for their ornamental value, although they are often used as 'polinizers' in apple orchards.  Because of the plentiful blossoms on crabapples, they are particularly attractive to bees and many orchardists will intersperse a few crabapple trees among a row of orchard apples in order to encourage pollination.

The fruit of the crabapple is extremely sour to taste but this doesn't seem to bother the birds who find it to be especially palatable in the early spring when food is scarce and when many varieties of crabapples are still holding their fruit from the previous season.

In our gardens here, the pink and white blossoms of the crapapples provide the first real flower color of the season as they light up the landscape and get the bees stirring.
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