GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2009 show10
GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
 
Visit our Sponsors!
Visit our Sponsors and win.
Past Shows:

Show #10/1510
Louisiana Garden Stroll


Avondale
HER GARDEN IS CALLED AVONDALE. It was named after Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans because one of the previous owners was hired there as a physician shortly after graduating from medical school. That job gave him the where with all to buy this property. And, he was quite a Camellia aficionado. This resonated with Michelle because she grew up on the north shore of Lake Ponchatrain and her grandfather had extensive Camellia gardens. This property was magical for her although a bit overwhelming. She realized she had quite a treasure but needed to learn how to care for it. So, she went back to school, at LSU, took freshman horticulture courses, signed up for the plant propagation class, took a landscape class, etc.

Click here for more info

Perennial Garden
MICHELLE FIRST SHOWS RICHARD HER PERENNIAL GARDEN. It is viewed when first driving up to the house and she chose this spot because of the sculpture her son made. It's a harbor buoy and a giant spring, it's quite whimsical and reminds her of a king. And it moves because of the spring. The Iris in front really sets it off. Michelle planted them because they look like a necklace around the King's neck. The bed in front is a little deeper because of the tall Camellia japonica in the back. Richard likes the proportion, in fact a good rule of thumb is if the depth of the bed is 2/3's the height of the plants behind it, it's the perfect proportion. Michelle just knows she liked the way it looks. There are layers of different plants and a lot of interesting colors, but mostly blues and purples.

Click here for more info

Playground Garden
The next garden is a favorite of Michelle's, SHE CALLS IT HER PLAYGROUND because this is where she spends most of her time. When originally set up it was a protegee, it had herbs and vegetables, flowers and fruit trees. But she moved the herbs closer to the house so they would be more convenient when cooking. She still has Citrus reticulata Satsuma trees as focal points on the 2 side squares but in the center another sculpture of her son's.

Click here for more info

Cut Flower Garden
THE NEXT AREA IS DIFFERENT, ALMOST LIKE A SMALL FARM. Michelle was in charge of providing flowers for Grace Episcopal Church to use on their altar. At the local farmers market there was a vendor who sold cut flowers. She moved away and no other vendor would take over that job. Michelle decided to expand her garden and provide the flowers. But she needed to do it in a manner that was not as demanding and lower maintenance. To set up the beds she rowed them like one would a crop, they put down drip irrigation, then covered it with weed plastic that has tiny holes to let in rain. The black color will help keep the soil warm, the moisture in and help keep the weeds out.

Click here for more info

Lynn's Herb Garden
THEY FIRST LOOK AT LYNN'S HERB GARDEN which is located at the front of the house. It looks beautiful and Richard likes the way it's laid out. Since it is at the entrance to her house Lynn wanted it to look good. Thus it has perennials, annuals and herbs mixed together, a nice combination. Lynn likes to keep the flowers blooming for the hummingbirds and they enjoy seasoning their food with all the herbs. And it makes a lot of sense that they're close to the house. There are a lot of different herbs in this garden. For example there are 4 or 5 different types of Mentha mint.

Click here for more info

Edible Flowers
Lynn has a lot of herbs in her garden and a lot flowers in her garden. And, SHE HAS A LOT OF FLOWERS SHE CAN EAT IN HER GARDEN. Lynn likes Tropaeolum Nasturtium and they are great in salads. They give it a peppery flavor, very spicy. The leaves are even tasty. Lathyrus odoratus Sweetpea also goes well in a salad. It's great as a decorative garnish. Richard likes the subtle colors. Viola Pansy and Viola Violet are also good in a salad or dip them in egg white and sugar and one can then decorate cakes.

Click here for more info

Raised Beds
THEY NEXT VISIT A RAISED BED AREA. This looks like one of the more productive areas. But, why raised beds? Several reasons - They keep critters out, they're easier to control the soil and it's easier on the back. As we get older easier on the back is a real consideration. Regarding the soil - They used dirt from a plant nursery, added composted manure from a farm, then amend it every time they plant. Thus they have a lot of organic matter.

Click here for more info

Winter Vegetables
Lynn still has some WINTER VEGETABLES in the beds. Richard notices Kale, Collards, different Chards of all colors, the Violas plant themselves, they have many different varieties of lettuces, all grow throughout the wintertime. Some of the lettuce is going to seed. They've been having trouble getting some of their favorites from catalogues where it's listed as "crop failure." So, Lynn and a neighbor decided they would save all their seed of their favorite lettuces.

Click here for more info

Summer Vegetables
Lynn has already made plans for after the cool season. MOVING INTO SUMMER, she's started the Lycopersicon lypersecum Tomato, she has Cucurbita pepo Zucchini and as they clear out the lettuces that are going to seed she will add some Peas, then fall tomatoes. She doesn't need to clear out all the cool season before getting the warm season going. They can overlap.

Click here for more info

 

LINKS:

Garden Smart Plant List

Butler Greenwood Plantation & Bed and Breakfast

Giles Subaru

St. Francisville, Louisiana

Garden Sculpture - Hunter Roth

Plant of the Week


Complete transcript of the show.

Show #10/1510.
St. Francisville, Louisiana has a great history and a number of beautiful gardens. And one of the best ways to see gardens in an area is to visit those at private residences. In this Episode GardenSMART takes a "Garden Stroll" in St. Francisville.

Kitty Martin is the Director of Tourism for St. Francisville and introduces the area. She feels they have their own little Mayberry right here in Louisiana. And there is quite a bit of history in this area. St. Francisville is in the west Louisiana parish and when looking at a map it's in the instep of the boot. It was settled by the English, whereas most of the rest of the state was/is influenced by the French. St. Francisville is built on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The Franciscan Monks from across the river in Pointe Coupeee parish came to this side of the river to bury their dead because this was on higher ground. Therefore the name St. Francisville came from the Franciscan monks. Audubon also spent some time here. In the 1820's he was a tutor for the children at one of the plantation homes. He had extra time in the afternoons, thus painted a lot of his Birds of America right here in West Louisiana Parish. And there is a lot of wildlife in this area. In fact because of the hilly ravines and the topography of the land they have chipmunks here and, according to Kitty, they're not present in other parts of Louisiana.

They take gardening seriously in these parts. And, they're celebrating 200 years of history, thus one notices different types of architecture. From grand houses to small cottages, each has a garden, whether it small or large. Since it's warm here most of the year, they have a long growing season and everyone enjoys gardening. Gardens are important to the residents because they spend most of their time outdoors. The gardens become their outdoor living spaces. People share cuttings with their neighbors, it's a great way to meet a neighbor, give them a cutting from you heirloom rose, for example. Everyone likes pass-along plants.

Kitty knows Richard is visiting 2 gardens. One is more established, the other is newer but she knows he'll enjoy both. Richard thanks Kitty and is off to visit the first garden.

Richard meets Michelle. HER GARDEN IS CALLED AVONDALE. It was named after Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans because one of the previous owners was hired there as a physician shortly after graduating from medical school. That job gave him the where with all to buy this property. And, he was quite a Camellia aficionado. This resonated with Michelle because she grew up on the north shore of Lake Ponchatrain and her grandfather had extensive Camellia gardens. This property was magical for her although a bit overwhelming. She realized she had quite a treasure but needed to learn how to care for it. So, she went back to school, at LSU, took freshman horticulture courses, signed up for the plant propagation class, took a landscape class, etc. Some of the classes were disappointing, especially freshman horticulture because there was more about soybeans and cotton than she was interested in. So, when she heard about the Master Gardener program she signed up and fell in love with it because it's just a wonderful, fun class, full of practical home owner information. Michelle recommends it to anyone who wants to learn about gardening.
Top

MICHELLE FIRST SHOWS RICHARD HER PERENNIAL GARDEN. It is viewed when first driving up to the house and she chose this spot because of the sculpture her son made. It's a harbor buoy and a giant spring, it's quite whimsical and reminds her of a king. And it moves because of the spring. The Iris in front really sets it off. Michelle planted them because they look like a necklace around the King's neck. The bed in front is a little deeper because of the tall Camellia japonica in the back. Richard likes the proportion, in fact a good rule of thumb is if the depth of the bed is 2/3's the height of the plants behind it, it's the perfect proportion. Michelle just knows she liked the way it looks. There are layers of different plants and a lot of interesting colors, but mostly blues and purples. Michelle likes blues and purples because she has a blue and white kitchen and loves to bring cut flowers inside. As to the layers, for aesthetic reasons she put tall things in the back which provide different colors as they bloom at different times. But there will be different colors introduced as summer progresses because she does mix in annuals. It will then be a lot lighter, with more pinks and whites, probably some yellows. It's important in a perennial garden to mix in the annuals because they continue the blooms for the whole season. Richard also likes the silver in the garden. It really looks pretty with the purple and the blues, it mellows it out and brightens it up. At a distance the blues might be hard to see, the silver draws the eye from the driveway.

The plants at the back have different textures. A large Rudbeckia gets fairly tall and is a pretty backdrop to the blue Salvia with its bright yellow/gold. The Kniphofia Red Hot Pokers are also interesting. Richard thinks the garden striking and well put together.

Michelle has a lot of gardens. She views them as her job, it's her passion. The next area visited is her arbor, she calls it the hallway because it divides her partier garden from her cut flower garden. They needed a passageway to get to the other side of the property. When first built it was bamboo but the hurricanes flattened it. So, she went with steel.
Top

The next garden is a favorite of Michelle's, SHE CALLS IT HER PLAYGROUND because this is where she spends most of her time. When originally set up it was a protegee, it had herbs and vegetables, flowers and fruit trees. But she moved the herbs closer to the house so they would be more convenient when cooking. She still has Citrus reticulata Satsuma trees as focal points on the 2 side squares but in the center another sculpture of her son's. He made it while at LSU. This area is very structured in terms of beds, in terms of layout. The squares and the triangles work well together, particularly with the informal plantings. The rustic sculpture too plays well against the area. The rustic fence was added to keep deer out because in this part of the country one cannot have a garden with flowers or fruits unless it's fenced.

Michelle has some friends nearby. She calls them the "girls." They're chickens and Michelle has placed their coop next to the garden because it's convenient. When weeding she can throw the weeds over the fence and the girls eat the weeds. Michelle gets fresh eggs and occasionally a fresh rooster and when they clean the coop the litter comes back into the garden. Everybody benefits. A lot of people today are trying to make their gardens more utilitarian, more productive yet beautiful. Michelle has certainly done that.
Top

THE NEXT AREA IS DIFFERENT, ALMOST LIKE A SMALL FARM. Michelle was in charge of providing flowers for Grace Episcopal Church to use on their altar. At the local farmers market there was a vendor who sold cut flowers. She moved away and no other vendor would take over that job. Michelle decided to expand her garden and provide the flowers. But she needed to do it in a manner that was not as demanding and lower maintenance. To set up the beds she rowed them like one would a crop, they put down drip irrigation, then covered it with weed plastic that has tiny holes to let in rain. The black color will help keep the soil warm, the moisture in and help keep the weeds out. Later in the year, as the temperature gets a little too hot she goes back, paints it white with latex paint which reflects the heat so the plants don't cook. Between the rows she puts down oak leaves for several reasons. One, it keeps her feet clean when raining and it keeps the weeds down. And at the end of the season she pulls the plastic out, tills it all in and adds organic matter to the planting area.

Michelle has great flowers growing. To help establish strong stems she utilizes a netting which trains the flowers to grow up through the horizontal netting. Especially if the plants are going to be tall they may tend to flop over in heavy rainstorms. As the plants grow, move the netting up so they'll stay straight and strong. When cutting, cut the long stems then put them in a floral preservative, something that will prevent bacteria growth. A little Clorox, even a lemon lime soda will help. And, it works.

We get a lot of questions on our web site about continuous blooming flowers. How is this accomplished? Michelle believes it's essential to plant every 2 weeks. She starts her seeds in a greenhouse, then sets them out every 2 weeks. It's the only way to have fresh flowers from May to November. Richard thinks they're beautiful but must be a lot of work. Michelle agrees, they are, but she really enjoys it.

Richard thanks Michelle. It's been an enjoyable experience but is off to the next garden. Michelle know Richard will enjoy Lynn's garden.

We've seen some interesting plants today but for new plant ideas visit us on our web site for the Plant of the Week.

Richard next meets Lynn. Lynn tells Richard that her mother and grandmother and the lady next door growing up were all gardeners. And, Lynn grew up nearby in Mississippi, which had the same climate. The gardening bug really bit in between semesters in college, it was then her mother would give her assignments in the yard because she was working at the time. Lynn fell in love with gardening at that point so everywhere she has lived since then has had a garden.

This garden originally had only 1 spot with sunlight, because the yard was all pine trees. But they couldn't get good produce like they had become accustomed to in Baton Rouge so they started growing winter vegetables - lettuce, kale and collards, all the good winter crops that will grow in Louisiana. The pine trees developed pine beetle and had to be cut down. Thus the disaster of losing the pine trees turned out to be delightful, allowing more sunlight in and the opportunity to grow a wider variety of plants.
Top

THEY FIRST LOOK AT LYNN'S HERB GARDEN which is located at the front of the house. It looks beautiful and Richard likes the way it's laid out. Since it is at the entrance to her house Lynn wanted it to look good. Thus it has perennials, annuals and herbs mixed together, a nice combination. Lynn likes to keep the flowers blooming for the hummingbirds and they enjoy seasoning their food with all the herbs. And it makes a lot of sense that they're close to the house. There are a lot of different herbs in this garden. For example there are 4 or 5 different types of Mentha mint. In Louisiana one has mint for Mint Juleps, they make a tea with mint, they put it in salads, even fruit salads. It's wonderful in all. She buys mint for both look and taste. Lynn has tried different flavors - for example, pineapple and lime. But she finds the old-fashioned Mentha spicata Spearmint and Mentha piperita Peppermint have the best taste.

Lynn has other plants like Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary in containers. Lynn has found herbs do better in containers in Louisiana. They like well drained soil thus the clay-like soil here is tough for herbs. Plus by being in containers it provides the opportunity to move things around. That's convenient and provides a bit of a Mediterranean look. Lynn also has Oxalis Sorrell. They're learning how to use it, especially in Sorrel soup, French Sorrel soup. Allium Leeks are great, they've found no bugs that are attracted to Leeks and they grow year round in Louisiana. They have found that caterpillars, swallow tail caterpillars, love Foeniculum Fennel but they've also discovered that this variety develops a big bulb and is wonderful to cook with. As her culinary expertise has increased so to her choice of plants.
Top

Lynn has a lot of herbs in her garden and a lot flowers in her garden. And, SHE HAS A LOT OF FLOWERS SHE CAN EAT IN HER GARDEN. Lynn likes Tropaeolum Nasturtium and they are great in salads. They give it a peppery flavor, very spicy. The leaves are even tasty. Lathyrus odoratus Sweetpea also goes well in a salad. It's great as a decorative garnish. Richard likes the subtle colors. Viola Pansy and Viola Violet are also good in a salad or dip them in egg white and sugar and one can then decorate cakes. Or instead of cake try it with vegetables, an idea to get our kids to eat vegetables. Richard likes plants that are utilitarian, plants that are beautiful, but as well as plants that can be eaten. It's all here.
Top

THEY NEXT VISIT A RAISED BED AREA. This looks like one of the more productive areas. But, why raised beds? Several reasons - They keep critters out, they're easier to control the soil and it's easier on the back. As we get older easier on the back is a real consideration. Regarding the soil - They used dirt from a plant nursery, added composted manure from a farm, then amend it every time they plant. Thus they have a lot of organic matter. But they did make an early mistake. The soil here is full of clay, so full that they didn't add any native soil. They probably should have added some because it drains, probably, too well and they need to water these beds too frequently. A good ratio of native soil to organic is 50/50.
Top

Lynn still has some WINTER VEGETABLES in the beds. Richard notices Kale, Collards, different Chards of all colors, the Violas plant themselves, they have many different varieties of lettuces, all grow throughout the wintertime. Some of the lettuce is going to seed. They've been having trouble getting some of their favorites from catalogues where it's listed as "crop failure." So, Lynn and a neighbor decided they would save all their seed of their favorite lettuces. Since many are old-timey varieties the new plants will be true to what's been growing. Lynn has already made plans for after the cool season.
Top

MOVING INTO SUMMER, she's started the Lycopersicon lypersecum Tomato, she has Cucurbita pepo Zucchini and as they clear out the lettuces that are going to seed she will add some Peas, then fall tomatoes. She doesn't need to clear out all the cool season before getting the warm season going. They can overlap. The deer enjoy the area, especially in the fall. To control they they've taken fencing and made something like tunnels. They cover the plants when they start planting in the fall. In addition that provides a framework for plastic covering if it gets too cold. A great idea and a fantastic garden.

Lynn's garden is productive and beautiful but also playful. Richard notices a tub in the garden. It came from a camp they had, it wouldn't fit in the house, so it went in the garden. And out of the tub comes a hand. Lynn calls that their lady of the tub. She is being shaded by Livistonia chinensis Chinese Fan Palm. A neighbor was going to New Orleans to buy Palm trees and asked if they would like one. Lynn said sure. It's whimsical which is a very good reason to get one. Richard notices an Elvis bust. It came from an antique store in Woodstock. Her daughter found him and decided he needed to come south. The garden troll is fascinating but Richard does wonder about the blue and green bottles. They were in a storeroom, Lynn had been collecting them, her husband was putting up beanpoles and the next thing she knew they were adorning the tops. Everything seems to have a sentimental reason but all add color to the garden.

Richard thanks Lynn. We've enjoyed St. Francisville and the "Garden Stroll." Lynn invites everyone to come back again.
Top

LINKS:

Garden Smart Plant List

Butler Greenwood Plantation & Bed and Breakfast

Giles Subaru

St. Francisville, Louisiana

Garden Sculpture - Hunter Roth

Plant of the Week

 
FEATURED ARTICLE
GardenSMART Featured Article

By Toro, photos by Toro

Regardless of where you live and what type of turf grass you're working with, aeration can help your lawn be healthier and more beautiful. The trick is knowing when it's best to aerate, what equipment to use, and what else you can do to encourage the vigor of your grasses, while limiting weeds' ability to gain a foothold in the lawn. Read more...


Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!

 
   
   
   
 
   
   
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.