Right now we’re planting the ‘dessert’ garden. Yes, we’re recommitting the Liberty Garden from an additional kitchen / cutting garden to one dedicated to fruits and berries. This garden, enclosed by espaliered apples and a pear fan, will be dedicated to strawberries, currants (red and black), blueberries, grapes, raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries (there you see Andrew’s British heritage coming through). Yes, there is the asparagus patch, a recent perennial installation that we coddle and therefore will leave be, but the rest, the annuals; the zinnias, cosmos, calendulas, sunflowers, larkspur, Bells of Ireland, cutting marigolds, morning glories, dahlias, gladiolas, artichokes, cardoons, leeks, florence fennel, kale…, all will be deported and we’ll have to find a new home for them.
The “dessert” garden isn’t happening in a vacuum. We are trialing a number of plants for the USDA. and we’re interested in finding out if these are suitable candidates for broader, commercial cultivation in the State of Connecticut than they presently are. With cuttings provided by the USDA, we have rooted and nurtured 15 currant bushes, all of which are varieties that date as far back as 1850, one gooseberry (most of the gooseberry cuttings failed) and 56 willows ( of which, the latter address an entirely different environmental and artistic objective and a subject on which I’ve previously posted).
Meanwhile, Andrew Pighills, horticulturist , has struck roughly 15 cuttings of ‘vitis vinifera’, grapes from stock provided by the Killingworth Lion’s Club,presumably ‘Marechal”(as I remember). We shall see.