After several seasons of drought conditions, we were thrilled to have a fall season that permitted us to line out most of the garden. We also had some rainfall.
For the past several years the blooms have been smaller with fewer buds on the scape.
The one thing that was glorious in the 2016 season was the peach crop. They were wonderful -- sweet, juicy, and available in SC from Mid-May to mid-September. We drove the 20 miles down to the SC peach farms through the whole season. We tried over a dozen different varieties and they were all great. The last variety was 'Autumn Prince' and it was as good as the earlier varieties. This year, because of late freezes, only 20% of the crop survived.
Van no longer recommend young people to study banking or law. He now recommends that they go into fruit farming! Can you believe $1 for one apple? Annually, we try to travel to Taylorsville, NC (50 miles north) the first of November for Van's favorite apple - 'Limbertwig', an old variety.
Our Magnolia 'Elizabeth' (light yellow) is in full bloom at near 40 feet - an awesome sight. Camellia 'Bella Rosa' is a magnificent red double. Want a good flowering shrub? Get a Pearl Bush or a double flowering quince, or a Mock Orange var. Natches. Never plant a Bradford pear, any wisteria, or ivy of any kind.
We have three interesting new introductions this season:
'Balinese Skirts', 'Native Colors', and 'Three Sevens'. All are somewhat taller than our usual introductions. 'Balinese Skirts' is a yellow-gold with a slight burnished edging. Not a strong edging - just enough to make you look twice.
'Three Sevens' is our contribution to Las Vegas slot machines.
Snowflake continues to be fat and sassy. He is happiest when there is someone outside with him to walk the garden.
Though we cannot plant everything, we give it a good try. We try to get some new perennials every year. This year we bought new Dutch and Siberian iris. Vic has expanded his tall bearded iris collection. They are magnificent.
A plant worthy of all gardens is the Chinese Snowball bush, Viburnum macrocephalum. It starts blooming in early spring with hundreds if 4-6 inch clusters of apple green blooms. These mature to 8-10 inch pure white clusters that last a long time.
We also highly recommend growing tomatoes and peppers in large pots - also cucumbers. Van likes a small white cucumber grown locally. They grow quickly and bear fruit for months. We make a trellis from cement wire and place it in the pots to keep the plants upright.
Come see us!