Behind the Fence

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Last week a friend asked what I had covered in the garden. I thought about that yesterday as I finally got the strawberry towered covered with straw before this week’s predicted temperature drop into the low 20’s.

Ready for winter.
What will you find under these covers?

Lettuce, spinach and beets
and of course, arugula.

In the cold frame you will find............

more spinach, carrots, parsley, cilantro and a few strawberry plants. There will be
spinach for picking for a family dinner on Saturday, but the carrots won't be ready until
spring. Notice the black jugs, they are filled with water and will hold heat from the
daytime sun.
This seemed like a good way to protect the fig trees; however today's 40-50 mph wind gust
put the tarp right on the ground. Hopefully the trees will survive tonight's freeze and my
engineer (aka husband) will find another solution for protecting this year's growth so we will have figs next

Under this contraption is a 4 foot plus rosemary tree
I bought as a 12-18 inch plant at the Mayfair plant sale in
2007. It would probably survice the winter, but I don't want to
 take the chance. So far it has survived today's high winds.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Intergenerational Gardening

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting and working with the Floral Design Class from Lone Oak High School's horticulture department. About 25 students brought 25 poinsettias, which they grew in their greenhouse, to the Superior Blooms Garden Club. If you will recall, Superior Blooms is the garden club at Superior Care Nursing Home.
The students helped the residents decorate the pots (and in some cases the plant) and also assisted in making pinecone bird feeders.


I was impressed, not only with the exemplary plants they grew but also the way the students interacted with the residents; very poised, caring and engaging. I am looking forward to future projects involving the young and elderly as they learn from one another. Thank you Mrs. Keri Green and Ms. Brittany Fortner for sharing your students with our elderly citizens.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Love Fall Gardening

I love fall gardening! We had salad from the garden for dinner this evening.

Nice variety of lettuce

mixed with arugula and
a few lingering Sun Sugar tomatoes from my dad's plant.
Topped off with goat cheese and a lime infused olive oil balsalmic vinegar dressing.

Additional lettuce and arugula are up in the raised beds as well as beets and spinach. They will be covered with a fabric tunnel when the temperature drops. More spinach is up in the cold frame. I also planted carrots in the cold frame, but it may have been too late so there is a good chance they will not grow.
I am inspired with Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm and author of  Four-Season Harvest book. He gardens in Maine and has fresh greens all winter. And that is without supplementary heat!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Certified Master Gardener

It is official! I am now a certified Master Gardener.  

 Last fall I took the University of Kentucky Master Gardener Class. I finished my 30 volunteer hours earlier in the month and was awarded my certification today. I am also a member of PAMGA (Purchase Area Master Garden Association.)

 A lot of my volunteer hours were with the Superior Care Nursing Home as organizer and leader of the Superior Blooms Garden Club.

 The residents, activity director Erin Finke, her assistant  Brenda Valentine not only provided an opportunity but also were and still are instrumental in the success of our patio garden.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Surviving the Heat and Drought

With temperatures above 100° for 17 days this summer and almost no rain, I am often asked how/if my garden is surviving. Watering a couple of hours every morning, it is surviving but certainly not thriving.  Let me take you on a little tour; we will start with the patio.
The ferns and ivy are doing well with a weekly deep watering.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fig Time in the Potager

We are now harvesting the first of a very promising fig crop. (That is if the birds, raccoons, squirrels and ants don’t find them!) Figs are quite easy to grow in our Zone 7 climate. I have grown them in self watering pots for a few years; a couple of years ago I decided to try planting one in the ground. It is loaded! Let me show you my fig trees and explain my methods of growing as well as some mistakes from which I have learned.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Time Out

I have not abandoned the Chrystel's Potager blog. It has been an unusually busy spring with unexpected events that have consumed a major portion of my time. The blog has been put on a back burner to simmer for now, but with plans to resume in the future.

There has not been new or exciting things regarding the potager to post this spring. Basically it is being maintained. However we have had a small harvest of snow peas and some strawberries. I have planted a few tomatoes and basil plants

Due to events of this past spring, I will be focusing on a couple of new projects which will be announced on Facebook at a later date. One of the projects will probably involve a new blog. Also there may be some garden related events with the new projects. Have I roused your curiosity?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Time to Prune!

Last week I was invited to attend the Perennial Garden Club’s monthly meeting. Guest speaker, Richard Montgomery form Montgomery Gardens Nursery shared some advice on growing roses. I wouldn’t describe myself as a rose grower but I do have a few and I appreciated learning the following tips.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gardening in 2012

 The holidays have come and gone, decorations put away (well almost,) and garden catalogs are arriving daily. Time to think gardening!

Having taken the Master Gardeners class this past fall I need to complete 30 hours of volunteer work to receive my certificate. Since I am spending an extraordinary amount of time with my dad at Superior Care Nursing Home, creating a patio garden with and for the residents seemed to fit the ticket. Alas, Superior Blooms Garden Club was born.