This week we're at Barnsley Gardens in
Adairsville, Georgia. Euan McGlashan is the general manager
and gives us a little background on Barnsley. The architecture
of some buildings dates back to the early 1800's. The resort
has 72 suites and is on 1,300 acres. The amenities are endless,
they have a Fazzio designed golf course, horseback riding,
biking and a european spa. There are two restaurants and
a beer garden. This resort is owned by a German. Barnsley
has been open three years, yet has been named by Conde Naste
as one of the top 700 properties in the world and one of
the top 50 in North America.
Barnsley takes great pride in providing
good old fashioned hospitality, it has the personal touch.
Euan feels there is no where else in the world where the
guests are as well cared for. Barnsley Gardens has spectacular
gardens. Those gardens are tended to by their horticulturist
Robert Stoney, from Ireland, and he too is extraordinary.
Dr. Rick and Robert discuss Pansies and raised beds. These
Pansies are planted in the shape of the emblem of Barnsley
Gardens, a fleur de lis. He's chosen a smaller, flowering
variety of Pansies, Violas. They a more winter hardy than
the larger regular Pansies and they are self cleaning. Meaning,
they shed the old petals when the flowers are through. Their
faces are very clear, they have a uniform color and don't
have the eye that regular pansies have. These are planted
in a raised bed, higher in the back than front. This allows
for easier viewing when driving by and allows for improved
drainage. It's probably ideal to have raised beds in the
winter and level beds in the summer. If you have heavy clay
soil, incorporate a lot of organic matter, compost, and
some nice loomy soil, even sand. Raise the beds about 6
inches higher than the final, ideal height because they
will settle that much. This will provide a wonderful, porous
draining medium for all sorts of annuals, particularly Violas
for winter color. In the south these should last until about
mid April. Robert has no mulch in this bed. In winter it
is best to not have much mulch because most mulches don't
stay put and wash away with the winter rains. Also mulches
keep the soil from warming; if sun gets directly to the
soil, it warms more quickly making a better bed earlier
in the spring. At the back on the edge of the bed is a steep
area which isn't planted. There Robert used a coarse mulch,
a chunky pine bark mulch, this is just for looks. They avoid
fertilizer during planting, use their own compost and top
them off with Nitrogen every week to 10 days as growth starts
in the spring. If too much Nitrogen is used early on Botchritis,
a sort of rot, makes the plant loose flowers.
Robert shows Dr. Rick his "cheater containers."
They are a great way to
get some interest in your pots before everything starts
to grow in the
spring. They're called "cheater" because everything
is just stuck in the
pots, not rooted. He's taken cuttings from the garden, evergreens
for example, and stuck them into soil or compost or wet Sphagnum
Peat allows for moisture uptake, is acidic, kills bacteria
that would rot
the base of the plant and actually preserves the plant for
a period of
time. Some cuttings may actually start to root. Robert places
Dogwood branches, Cherry blossom, Blue Cedar, Eucalyptus,Southern
Magnolia, etc. in the container. These are long sprays,
often they would be removed in the spring anyway. Arrange
them as you would a flower arrangement. Put in conifers
or other plants that might not be seen otherwise. This method
only works when it is cool and in the shade, it won't work
in summer. Make sure the Peat is as moist as possible. These
can then last 4-5 days.
Slow release fertilizer is an amazing product. It is a complete
fertilizer that's been encapsulated with a substance that
allows it to
slowly, yet consistently feed our plants. Place it around
the outside perimeter of our plants and over the next 3-4 months it
will gently release fertilizer based on the amount of water and temperature.
The more water, the higher the temperature the more fertilizer
The lower the temperature, the less water the more it holds.
It is a great way to adequately and consistently feed your
One approach to planting a garden is to plant everything
at the same time in a general area. That way you get a real
visual punch. A lot of energy, but it is short lived. Another approach
is known as a succession garden, it creates a space that
blooms over a longer period of time. Robert has created
just such a garden. He's started with Hyacinths to begin
the show. Then over- wintering annuals like Violas and Pansies
are placed. Next are Herbaceous plants, then flowering shrubs.
This is very European, it allows more liberties. You can
put in anything you like as long as it flowers in succession.
Place low plants in the front, larger ones in the back and
intermediate plants in the middle.
Hyacinth, comes in a huge range of colors
from yellow all the way
through blue and reds and oranges. Besides their visual
have a terrific fragrance. They provide instant color, they
won't naturalize and will fade away every couple of years.
Iceland Poppy is tolerant of the cold.
They are typically planted in the fall but can be planted
in the spring, any of the cooler times of year
these could be set out. They will then be poised to explode
into a wonderful poppy bloom in the spring.
Primula is a low growing flower that adds
a lot of interest deep down
in the border. In the south they're treated like an annual
tend to die in the heat. Put them out in the fall, they're
in the spring and often last until June.
Peony's have an incredible flower, almost
like a corsage. It blooms
later in the season. They need support because they grow
to about 2-3 feet high and flop especially in wet weather without a support
Any bed will have gaps or holes. To fill
the bed Robert has used Violas and Pansies and biennials,
Foxgloves as annuals. These are planted in the fall, they
flower once, then pull them.
Dr. Rick likes the variety of foliage
and different plants in this
bed. It's a wonderful job.
Dwarf Flowering Almond, Prunus Glandulosa,
offers only a week or so of
flowers per year. After that it is rather nondescript. It
is trouble free, prune it hard after flowering, that encourages
fresh growth which provides a good show next season. When
out, it provides a stunning
display of double flowers. They are wonderful close up and
from a distance.
Robert wants some splash in a garden after
a dreary winter. To
accomplish this Celeste Harrs has designed a fire garden,
with a lot of bright, hot colors - yellows, reds and oranges.
Yellow is the color of brightness and sunshine. The yellow
around the front comes
from Violas, the Daffodils are a variety called "Tahiti"
double Tulips called "Monsella." In behind, the
Lily-Flowered Tulips look
like flames. In the middle are Anemones, "Governor,"
which are red. You
can almost feel the heat coming from the garden with these
vivid colors. It won't last much past mid April, at that
point all plants will be pulled and replaced with the next
load of annuals.
If you like to give plants as a gift,
Dr. Rick has a tip. Go to a paint
store and buy a small paint bucket, they're less than two
they add zest and interest to plants. Punch a few holes
in the bottom
for drainage, then fill with a premium potting soil mix
basil or dill or anything you might want to give away as
a gift. It's a
unique, different container with pizzazz yet inexpensive.
Phlox Subulata or Pink is a great ground
cover that tolerates poor
soil and doesn't need a lot of attention and provides good
color in the
spring. It is a soft color yet intense. In evening light
morning it comes into its own. It's ideal for mass planting,
particularly on a bank or under a building. The foliage
is reasonably attractive. Its an evergreen, thus cheerful
all year round. It's an heirloom plant, thus sturdy. It
needs well drained soil, is at its peak in spring and can
look a little beat by the middle of the season. Be ruthless
about weeding in summer otherwise it will be taken over
by grasses and other weeds. It comes in blues, whites and
pinks. Pink is most common.
Periwinkle, Vinca Minor has delicate very,
blue flowers and blooms
before its cousin, Vinca Major. It will spread but a mower
it in place. Some put their mower on the highest setting
and cut it back
after it stops blooming, around the end of May, when it
starts to look
ragged. They will root where they land where there is a
little moisture and soil, thus they're good for erosion
control. It's a good plant for steep banks and dry shady
areas. Under large trees is an ideal spot. It contrasts
beautifully with Daffodils, with the yellow and blue and
they bloom at the same time of year. Vinca Minor, it's a
trouble free plant.
Vinca Major is Vinca Minor on steroids.
It is more aggressive, not as
free flowering, but the flowers are bigger than an inch
across. The flower again is intense blue and in the spring
looks like patches of
sky have fallen to the earth. It prefers the shade, but
will survive in full
sun if well watered. It is evergreen and hardy. A hard winter
it back but rarely kill it. Only put it where you want it
and stop its spreading by mowing. It won't climb a tree,
looks informal but natural.
Vinca Major is a good choice.
Link: Barnsley Gardens
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