Southern Seasons

     Just as my family and friends up North are putting their gardens ‘to bed’ for the year, mine are recharging and waking up (gardens, not friends). Autumn and Winter are growing seasons in New Orleans. Praise Be the Lord!
     So out with old, and in with the new: new knowledge, new hopes, new plants. 
     Here’s what’s happening:
     I’ve removed two large hibiscus from the flower bed (I thought I could keep them small-ish and contained within my limited space, however, I found they only wanted to bloom at a certain height which was too tall). Out you go. 
     In their place I planted spring flowering azalea (pink type Geo. L. Tabor) on a standard leader (it looks like a tree). I’m keeping my fingers crossed that after a good spring flush I can give it a crew-cut and keep it’s girth minimized.
     I added a wrought iron arbor-arch in the hopes that a new climbing rose (Stormy Weather) will catch hold, and another hybrid tea (Rosa ‘Sport of Sam’) will complement the never disappointing double red knock-out. 
    To add more year-round color (and plant structure) I’ve tucked in several Eucomis ‘Leia’ Aloha Lilies under the fruit trees (they like the same pH), a few Dietes vegeta African Iris in a shady spot, and some very beautiful Curcuma petiolata Siam Tulips behind the prim boxwood border. The latter is actually not a tulip but a kind of ginger. My hope is that it won’t have the ginger habit of spreading too thickly, otherwise, it’s bye-bye beauty. We’ll see.
     Several clumps of purple Veronica Speedwell have already been cut back and with the application of a fish emulsion are already getting set for a second show. 
     I left unplanted areas for the ‘loves of my life’- spring blooming Digitalis Foxglove, Hollyhock, and Delphinium. In zone 9, these fabulous ‘old-fashion’s’ are more like annuals. 
     Now let’s talk the potted food garden.
     We have three fruit trees, all espaliered- a fig, satsuma orange, and lemon. All are doing well, respond to pruning, and bear small harvests of a dozen, or more, fruit. Perfect.
     I have planted a cross section of cold weather crops in the Brassicaceae family (cabbage, broccoli, mustard leaf) cucumbers, creole tomatoes (the third planting), lettuce, French bunching onions, scallions, curly parsley, cilantro, and common green basil. I can already taste a hearty stew.
     Here’s a look at what the newly planted itty-bitty courtyard garden looks like.

     Stay tuned!

Our itty-bitty courtyard garden.


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