Garden Design Update: Need To Mull, Soon

Garden designs, as it turns out, often take a break in the summer time, or at least mine is.

My last assignment from the garden designer for the garden design was to mull over a list of suggestions she sent me for the backyard borders and give her some feedback.

That was a month ago, and from then until now, we've had very little rain and it has been very very hot, so mulling has been difficult.

One would think mulling would be easy to do with no rain, but it has also been too hot to do much outside, which is the best place to be to mull over a garden design.

Anyway, I vow to commence mulling now and send some feedback to the garden designer soon so that we'll be ready for fall planting, if it starts to rain again.

I did get a notion one hot evening to work out the path through the "woodland garden" and make some changes suggested by the garden designer on where the path should start. Then I decided that I should use some edging blocks previously removed from the old garden beds to line the path until I figured out what I really want to use for the path.
I thought it looked hideous, and kept thinking about how there is nothing more permanent than a temporary solution, so I stopped before this became my solution for the path. I'm shocked I'm even showing it to anyone. Don't judge, it has been so very very hot and dry!

Out in the front garden, four of five Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Sungold' died. This was before the drought of August 2010 descended on my garden, so I don't think it was due to lack of water. I wonder if it was due to too much water because June was the third rainiest June in Indianapolis since they started to keep records.

Speaking of records, I wouldn't be surprised if August turned out to be the driest August in Indianapolis history making this a very conflicted summer in the garden.

Anyway, I pulled out the four dead Chamaecyparis and could see no signs of any root growth on any of them. They popped right out as though they had been planted just a few minutes before. Odd.

I sent a note to the garden designer to let her know. I also told her that I had a trial plant, Juniperus chinensis 'Etzogam', that I had gotten in Cincinnati at the regional Garden Writers Association meeting and was very intrigued with the gold coloring.
This is from Novalis and will be marketed under the trademark name 'Eternal Gold™'

Being a new introduction, it might be hard to find five good sized plants, which is how many I would need. But I'm tempted to hold out until I can find these because did you see that gold coloring?

I know! I don't need to be reminded that I swore I would not plant any junipers in my garden. But I would if I could find these to plant.

There is still some hardscape to install for the garden design, other than the path through the woodland garden.

I need to find a fountain for the patio. The lovely, lovely patio that I love more every day.
Which also needs way better furniture than what I have now.

I also need a gate for the entrance to the vegetable garden. Mary Ann from Gardens of the Wild Wild West sent me a link to a gate featured on the Fine Gardening website that is made with some garden tools. It is pretty close to what I want, though I would like more "hoe" in mine. I'm currently waiting for some proposals based on sending the garden designer and the hort-enabler the link to the picture of the garden gate and asking for something like that but with a bit more hoe in it.

While I am waiting, it is time to get back to start mulling over those ideas and plant lists the garden designer sent me so I can send some feedback.


  1. What a summer! I actually think late August/early September is the perfect time for mulling here in Nashville. Then we can plant. Not sure about your part of the garden, though! I hope you kept your sales receipt for those dead evergreens...Love the gate...where will it go? gail

  2. I love your patio too! It's wonderful. Mulling is good because you will eventually see the right will just reveal itself!

  3. Yes, it has indeed been a conflicted summer. It will be interesting to see what kind of fall and winter we have.

    Your patio looks wonderful! I know you will enjoy it even more with your garden in place and your new fountain.

  4. The patio is wonderful, and I've had plants likes your Chamis which never did anything and died. Always thinks it's odd though. There is nothing wrong with special junipers, and that one is lovely. Maybe Novalis could help you find a nursery who'd have larger ones? Maybe?

    It's coming along nicely, and you'll be so glad when you're finished.

  5. I think you are doing some mulling already, Carol, from what you have just described. Your patio is fabulous! I love the little gold juniper too, and am glad you are not a juniper snob. Just because some types are overused doesn't mean the whole genus should be ruled out. There has only been one chamae death here, Vintage Gold after too much rain then too much dry. It is the one two punch for them, I believe. I look forward to seeing your gate, with plenty 'o hoes in it. :-)

  6. I bet it's a lot easier to mull with a mug of hot mulled cider in your hand while wearing a cozy sweater.
    You know, those edging blocks wouldn't even be noticeable with beautiful plants spilling over the edge of the beds into the path. And if they were sunken nearly flush with the ground, you wouldn't notice them at all. The patio looks marvelous.

  7. Maybe the same thing that got your Chamaecyparis got my Sky Pencil hollies!

  8. I agree -- it's almost too hot to mull. Thanks for the link to the garden gate. I like that idea! Crossing my fingers for lows in the 60s!

  9. Frustrating about the dead shrubs. The new patio is glorious though.

  10. Your new patio is spectacular! I went back quite a ways to find the construction details and compare with how it looked immediately after finishing. I like the green paint on the box window and the doors. Looks ready for a party.

    We've had so much rain that ginger and Hellebores seem to be getting some kind of scab disease! Usually they are indestructible. I'm waiting til mid-september when it cools down and some mosquitoes disappear (I hope) to work on redesign ideas and moving plants.

  11. I can see why you love your patio. It's perfectly scaled for your house. August is a good month for mulling. I've been doing a good deal of it myself while floating in the pool. It's much too hot to consider actually putting shovel to soil yet.


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