Thursday, July 19, 2012

How the gardens grow ...

So the task this morning was to continue planting the new herb garden alongside the back porch of the Stephens House on the Lucas County Historical Society museum campus. Kay Brown (right) is lead gardener and her associate, Robin Kennedy, ISU Extension horticulturalist in Chariton.

Preparing this space was not an easy task. First, Bill Marner brought the tractor out to pull a dying shrub. Then Kay and Robin, with Meg Prange swinging the pickaxe now and then, broke up a century's worth of hard-packed gravel and earth, spaded the soil and added peat. Kay used bricks to divide the small area into beds. And on Thursday, we added thyme, lavender, chives, basil, sage, beebalm, taragon, rosemary and a few other herbs. Space remains, so we'll add more.

I went out to the garden here this morning to dig marjoram, but forgot the butcher knife --- couldn't separate the matted root system. So that will have to come later along with a few other things.

Elsewhere, here are Kay and Robin in the tiered flower bed that climbs the hill from patio to the main level of the Lewis Building. This looks the best it has in years, thanks for the most part to Kay's efforts. We've been extremely fortunate this year to have Kay with aid from Robin and an assist from Sarah Palmer to take our gardens on. And with plenty of water, they're thriving and will continue to do so.

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