Garden Photo of the Day

Kate’s Garden in New Jersey, Day 2: The Cottage Garden

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

Welcome to Day 2 in Kate’s garden in Mays Landing, New Jersey! Today we’re seeing Kate’s cottage garden.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

In addition to what Kate said yesterday, here’s what she has to say today: “All of my gardens were double dug by hand and a lot of my plants were grown from seed or propagated from friends’ gardens. I love lots of color, lots of flowers, and lots of variety. My goal is to grow one of everything. The cottage garden is my sanctuary and the plants in there are safe from the deer.”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

I can’t wait to see more of your garden, Kate. Send more photos!

Have a great weekend, everyone! The GPOD is taking a trip to Canada on Monday….

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

I’ll choose randomly from everyone who sends me photos for the GPOD by Monday morning, November 26th (email to [email protected] or [email protected]–Click HERE for details) to receive a free copy of 1 of the 4 books shown in the last photo–your choice!

Here they are:
Zen Gardens by Mira Locher
50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants by Ruth Rogers Clausen
Front Yard Idea Book by Jeni Webber
The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour

As I’ve been saying for the last week or so, GPOD submissions get a bit sparse in winter. We don’t want me having a panic attack every afternoon as I frantically search for something to post, do we? Help a girl out… In the meantime, have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving, you Americans, and for everyone else, have a wonderful…3rd week of November!

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/23/2012

    Besides being a human sanctuary, I would guess that your colorful, flower filled cottage garden is a very popular tourist stop for all the winged, nectar loving creatures in the area. You have a wonderful variety of things growing.I love the spots of purple which contrast so nicely with the golds and oranges. And, all that double!

  2. janetsfolly 11/23/2012

    Ah, Kate, your cottage garden is just perfect...charming, unconstructed, joyous! Your hard work is truly rewarded and it certainly made me smile :). I also enjoyed your shrub garden and got some ideas there for my very large property, thank you! One question, what variety is the aesclepias in the last shot? It looks so healthy and I have to fight off hordes of aphids! What's your secret?

  3. joycedaffodilhill 11/23/2012

    Day two is an even better treat. Thanks for sharing. The pictures make me want to stop by for a cup of tea and a garden tour. Keep up the excellent care of God's earth and creatures.

  4. tractor1 11/23/2012

    Double dug by hand, wow, why not a yoke of oxen pulling a plow? There are things called rototillers nowadays. Many years ago I would fork and spade by hand but then I got smart and bought a rototiller. I will admit that they can take a bit of muscle to control but they are a lot less effort than digging by hand. And a good sized tiller with enough power to break virgin ground can be pricy but one really only needs to rent one for the day (I bought a 7 HP Simplicity and there it sits in my shed rarely used). But once ground is broken and cleared of large stones all one needs is a Mantis, a terrific machine that anyone can handle, even a ten year old... I love my mantis for prepping my vegetable garden and my veggie plot is 2,500 sq ft, with the Mantis I don't even work up a sweat, and it's light enough to tote from place to place with one hand. I have the 2 cycle (they make a 4 cycle now), but I don't mind mixing the gas with oil because my leaf blower and string trimmer are 2 cycle too. The mantis is a fuel miser, one little tankful goes a long way, and the machine is very easy to start. I've had people see my Mantis and laugh saying "that puny thing", but it's plenty powerful, you'd be amazed. Every gardener *needs* a Mantis.

    Kate, your cottage garden is lovely, unlike most cottage gardens it's very neatly arranged, more on the formal side. In the first row, third picture down, in the lower left hand corner, is that a smokers butt recepticle I see? Your plants all look well cared for, they are very lush. Thank you, Kate.

  5. GrnThum 11/23/2012

    Wow! Butterfly paradise! The Asclepias tuberosa looks fantastic. Like putting up a sign, 'Monarchs welcome here'.

  6. mainer59 11/23/2012

    Kate, I also double dig a new bed by hand (unless I am digging sand fill out by hand). Maybe your topsoil is thin like mine, and a rototiller can only work the top and not get into the glacial till below, There are also rocks to remove by hand. Once a bed is done, it never has to be done again. Top mulching and compost additions into holes when new plants are put in is all that is needed. Your flowers look healthy and vibrant, clearly enjoying where they are.

  7. tractor1 11/23/2012

    mainer59: To prepare a planting bed you really don't want to dig down any deeper than the depth of one garden spade lest you ruin your topsoil, and any rototiller can dig deeper easily sith subsequent passes, in fact the better ones have a depth stop one can set so it's doesn't dig too deep... you really don't want that sub strata mixed into your topsoil, if your topsoil is poor then ammend, mixing in sub strata makes your topsoil poorer. Tillers are designed to dig down at that depth for good reason, that's the proper planting depth... were deeper necessary they could have easily intalled larger diameter tines. Plant roots don't go down nearly so deep as many think, most are near the surface, and plants that need to go deeper have taproots that go deep without your help. I also have a rototiller that attaches to my tractor, it tills a five foot swarth but on the first pass tills no deeper than a Mantis. I can dig a three foot deep tree planting hole with my Mantis, just keep loosening soil and shoveling it out. I can't do that with my big Simplicity tiller, it's much too large, heavy, and dangerous to handle in a hole. If your topsoil is "thin" ammend with better topsoil. And it is necessary to till at least once a year, especially for annual beds and vegetable gardens... it's good to till at the drip line of shrubs and trees too, pruning root tips strengthens the root system and permits more nutrients to get to those feeder roots... you don't fertilze at the shrub base and tree trunk.

  8. tractor1 11/23/2012

    This is my 5' wide rototiller (in the corner of my barn behind my snow plow), it attaches to the PTO at the rear of my tractor and can be offset so I don't drive over the freshly tilled swarth. This is a high quality professional agri tiller yet still is designed to till no deeper than ordinary consumer tillers:

    If your topsoil layer is shallow ("thin") plowing/tilling deeper makes it poorer, instead ammend... the best remedy is to haul in lots of high quality topsoil... till it in but no more than six inches deep or all you'd do is dilute your new topsoil with sub strata and be back to square one. Plant roots don't need to be in the topsoil to extract nutrients, roots extract many nutrients from the deeper moister levels, especially when it rains... tilling too deep loosens the soil deeper making it more permeable so causes the nutrients to wash to depths the that the plant's shallow feeder roots can't reach. Tilling too deep will also necessitate much more copious irrigation, water will perculate to depths plant roots can't reach.

  9. janetsfolly 11/23/2012

    Well, tractor1, you have finally given me the 'tipping point' reason to buy a mantis! I have 26 little trees still to get planted this (rapidly vanishing) fall and this sounds like a real shoulder-and time-saver. Thank you!! Also, very interesting viewpoint on pros and cons of tilling - there's so much debate on this issue! More info is always helpful.

  10. tractor1 11/24/2012

    janetsfolly: A Mantis tiller will sit idle most of the time but it comes in very handy when you need it, and saves a lot of sweat. You can use it to prep an area for planting but blanting 26 trees is a lot. I tiller is not meant for digging holes but can be a help in certain situations, if soil is too hard to shovel it will loosen it. If your trees are small (seedlings) I'd suggest using one of those 2" augers used with an electric drill... you can drill several holes in a grouping and voila, you have a good sized planting hole. The auger works with a 3/8" cordless drill but I found it works much better with the low speed power of a corded 1/2" drill, if you have an electrical outlet nearby... I've used it to plant bulbs with 200' of extension cord. Happy planting.

  11. kmhumes 11/24/2012

    Thanks everyone for all your comments. I glad you enjoyed seeing pics of my garden. As for the rototilling comments. The first thing we did was rent a full size tiller. Even my husband bearing down on it did little more than scratch the surface. Called around to hire someone to do it and never heard back from them. I don't have soil, I have cement. Double digging was the best solution. I set aside the first layer of dirt and then removed the sub strata, replaced that volume with compost and turned it together. Yes, it's a lot of disruption to the soil layers. But once it settles and the worms and micro herd return, mother nature heals herself. And unlike my neighbor's water-needy, sitting on the clay garden, the roots of my plants aren't alternately being strangled by dry clay and soggy when it's wet.
    Tractor 1: Not sure what you're seeing in the photo, but there are no smoker's butt receptacles, anywhere.

  12. tractor1 11/24/2012

    kmhumes: I don't know what kind of tiller you tried but if you can dig by hand the proper tiller can make easy work of it. With very hard dry compacted soil a tiller with straight pointed scarifying tines is what's needed, not one with bent/hook tines. The straight pointy hardened steel type of tines on a Mantis tiller are perfect for breaking up hard pan. Any home gardener considering a tiller really ought to examine a Mantis first... it's small but definitely not a toy. Its very light weight and having no wheels allows the machine to feed itself at it's own rate rather than how larger machines use their great weight with self propelled wheels to attempt bulldozing through all at once. With hardpan a tiller that takes small bites with each pass is much more efficient than one that tries to dig in deep all at once. I have three tillers, the monster in my barn that attaches to my tractor is not good for hardpan, there are different types of agri tillers for different soils. My agri tiller, with its hooked tines, is best on previously broken ground (run a plow through first), it's good for mixing in ammendments on large parcels. I also have a 7 HP Simplicty rear tined tiller with hooked tines, probably like the one you rented, it's awful on hardpan, because it's too powerful, too heavy, and is self propelled, so when it hits anything hard it bounces around like a bucking bronco and takes you with it, really dangerous for a small person... it's the reason I bought the Mantis... and I'm a big strong person and that Simplicity tossed me around, so why stress myself when a Mantis makes tilling so easy... I've been thinking of selling the Simplicity, I havent used in in seven years. When you see those ads showing some granny tilling with one hand don't you believe it. But the Mantis does it all, its light weight, no self propel, and well engineered tines for all types of soil make it the perfect do-everything home gardener tiller (there are even several attachments available for different situations) it can be used as an edger and shallow weeder, and is so easy to use a ten year old can handle it. But if one has several easily accessable acres to till than I would recommend a whole different approach, call an excavating company, hire someone with a small dozer with a scarifying attachment. Every job is easy with the correct tool. I can't do every earth moving job here myself, occasionally I use the services of a local excavating company. Locals who do garden tilling for pocket money probably drove to your property at the appointed time, took one look at your property and kept going... they are only equipt to rototill relatively small previously tilled vegetable gardens, small annual plots, and the like... they are not into spending all day struggling to make a garden in virgin ground or till acres for the few measly dollars that homeowners are willing to pay for what they presume will entail a couple of hour's light labor. People who do the job you did by hand very likely weren't willing to pay the price of hiring someone equipt to do what you wanted. Your description sounded like a very big job, really what you needed was a professional landscaping company but that can be very expensive, and you'd still need to do regular maintenence, that's where a Mantis shines.

    I don't know if you'll read this, its the next day, but my posts here are meant for everyone.

  13. cwheat000 11/24/2012

    Sorry I missed day 2 on day 2. Great garden shots. I love all the saturated color and I love violet and orange together. Even your vegetable garden is beautiful to look at. Absolutely lovely!

  14. tractor1 11/24/2012




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