Friday, 16 January 2009

Garden Design - Giraffe Style! (Part Two)

As Littl' Nicky helped me dig this morning, I benefitted from his untrammelled imagination as he chattered about his ideas for summer planting themes!

He was eager to help me sort my photographs for today's post. Yes! Our Interneck connection is restored - I can publish again ...

Having concluded my previous post with a photo of my plot freshly dug and ready to overwinter, I will begin with another side-view.



Here we have the specified vegetables to the right, and my emerging garden design on the left.

Now, follow me round to the front of the design ...

*The following photo is actually two photographs stuck together, (small pre-digital camera!!) I've 'healed' the join but it is still a little visible.





Your first view of a Giraffe Garden in progress! High nibbleable trees and the beginnings of the summer display of mixed planting with food, fragrance and colour.

You may be wondering how I contrived to grow tall trees so swiftly - I did not ... These are very long prunings from willows. I merely stuck them in the ground in the early winter to root and grow leaves. Instant height from material which would otherwise have been discarded.




A closer look at the fence reveals more willow. I chose different coloured stems to weave into the pattern, and echoed the colours in the planting scheme.




I love warm shades of orange, yellow and red in flowers and foliage. The path to the little seating area was edged with white ageratum and zaluzianskya capensis for heavenly perfume. Close to the fence grew taller leaf beet rhubarb chard, bronze fennel and up against the willow trees I planted sunflowers - Helianthus 'Pastiche'.




Carrying on the theme of mixed food and decorative plants, you can see lettuce 'Lollo Rossa' and 'Sangria' among the marigolds. Part of our task as students was to grow our own plants from seed in the college glasshouses, giving us the rewarding experience of tending our plants right from their beginnings.





Amaranthus caudatus 'Crimson', Basil 'Purple Ruffles' and Antirrhinum 'Black Prince' continue the colour scheme in a cascade of height and colour.
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I loved my little plot! All summer we tended and watered our handiwork, and when the course came to an end, it was a real wrench to leave. Happy memories indeed!
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So, my friends ... your introduction to Giraffe Gardening. I hope you have enjoyed the experience!


NB: I've just read a beautiful and evocative garden poem by Tom Atkins at Summit Manor - call over there and read it!



29 comments:

Poetikat said...

You have used all my favourite colours, Raph and the result is most magnificent. Care to come round and have a go at my garden? It's in dire need of an overhaul.

Kat

Jan said...

Mmmmmm marigolds always remind me of childhood - my dad said they where the first flowers I ate as a child moving on to tulips and rose's !!!!
I love the design of your garden - what veggies did you plant ?

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Poetikat!

Pity about the great distance - I'd have loved to come and do some gardening for you!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Jan! I can't remember the exact varieties of the vegetables, but there were peas, carrots, and I think spring onions, curly kale, potatoes and sprouts. A lot of these were harvested after the course was finished.

I remember also at the end of the course, the college needed some bedding plants for a show, so I swopped some of my left-overs for a little eucalyptus trees, which is now in a huge pot outside Necky Knoll House!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am so impressed. Your garden is just lovely. This makes me hungry for Spring!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Pamela!

Today feels most Spring-like, with sunshine, a fresh breeze and that lovely sense of hope in the air!

Derrick said...

Hi Raph,

Well worth the wait! Lovely colours and I like the coloured woven willow fence. Willow is amazing isn't it? It seems to take root as you look at it!

The marigolds were a good idea to attract the slugs and keep them away from your lettuces! Did it work?

WV - bushe !!!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Derrick!

I can't actually remember about slugs, as this was way back in 1997, but I don't recall any plant damage.

Here at Necky Knoll House the snail population is abundant, but they kindly ignore most of our plants. I spray a harmless eco-friendly garlic wash on the most vulnerable, which makes the place smell wonderful and works!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am very impressed Raph - lovely garden shots.
In our paper today there is such a lovely photograph of two giraffes cuddling up to each other. If it were not for the laws of copyright I would send you a copy - it made mme think of you anyway!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Weaver!

I'd love to see the photo - maybe the newspaper will put it on their website.

Jeane said...

Raph - this is just beautiful - lovely, lovely garden - I knew you were an artist but it obviously extends beyond family pictures...

Heather said...

What a gorgeous garden - lovely to look at, lovely perfumes and lovely eats. What more could anyone ask for. You should be on Gardeners' World - move over Joe Swift and Co!! My daughter is going to run some maintenance test programmes for me to see if she can get rid of my gremlins, but has had no time to date. At least it is giving me extra time to acquaint myself better with my digital camera.

Heather said...

I've just read Tom Atkins' poem and how cleverly he has phrased the thoughts so many of us have on tackling a neglected patch of garden. I am hoping for some drier weather so that I can get to work on my untidy borders. The snowdrops are all beginning to show and I want them to be seen to their best advantage.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Jeane - what a lovely compliment!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you for the compliments Heather! I am an ardent fan of Gardener's World - I wonder what they would think of having a giraffe on it!

Tom Atkins' poems are great.

acornmoon said...

your garden is bigger than our village!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Acornmoon - I wish it was my garden! It is in the extensive and varied grounds of the horticultural college where I did the plot as part of a course.

Mad Bush Farm Crew said...

You've just inspired me to get my backside into gear and sort out my disaster of a garden that has weeds and every so often my cows getting into and destroying. Marigolds are great companion plants. Love th illustration as always. Wonderful

All the best Raph

Liz

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thanks Liz, and glad I've inspired you!

Cows in the garden must be somewhat destructive - I guess you will have to have very strong fences!

Deborah Godin said...

Thanks for your visit and the link here - I loved seeing your beauteous garden, and I covet your willow fence!!

Peggy said...

Tremendous! That's what I call eye candy! Your "nibbleable trees" look wonderful, Raph. Thanks so much for sharing! :-)

The Pink Cowboy said...

Great blog. Giraffes are my favorite animal!!!!, so I feel right at home. The garden blend rather beautifully with the colors featured in your blog. I'm coming back for more.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Deborah, you are always welcome here!

It is great fun making willow fences - I was fortunate in having access to so many different coloured stems too.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Peggy!

(The nibbleable trees were a little less popular when it was time to dig them out later in the year ... the notoriety of those roots is justified!)

Raph G. Neckmann said...

The Pink Cowboy - thank you so much, I'm really pleased that we are your favourite animal! Glad you feel at home here, and thank you for following!

Country Girl said...

This is such a wonderful sight to see in the middle of a cold winter. I love your little blog!! Am reading down to find out if you draw and paint all the illustrations as well.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you, Country Girl! Hope you enjoy all the illustrations ...

Barbara Martin said...

Gardens are wonderful to create and plant, and of course, at the end of the growing season there are the fruits of your labours.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Yes, Barbara, and there is something almost magical about eating the vegetables, fruit and herbs grown in one's own garden!