Our family usually grows more vegetables than flowers. But the needs of our Event Center are for color and so we have planted gardens of Wildflower mixes, Black-Eyed Susans, Zinnias, Impatiens, and hundreds of Sunflowers in many places. We have flowering gardens of medicinal herbs – Echinacea, Calendula, and Poppy. We also have a Ginseng and Goldenseal garden in the nearby woods. The Goldenseal has beautiful red berries on them each summer.
For vegetables, we have enjoyed mixed greens year-round out of our greenhouse – including Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Romaine lettuce. In April the Asparagus begins coming in and in May the Broccoli is abundant. We have eat Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Squashes, Green Beans, and pesto made from our Basil. Fresh Salsa with our tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cilantro has been delicious! Some years we have Sweet Corn and Soybeans that bring us some fresh Edamame. Pumpkins and Ornamental Corn will give us decorative displays each Fall.
Blueberries and Peaches and also the wild blackberries are usually abundant in summer. We look forward to our young trees of Apple, Pecan, Cherry, and Nectarine to be fruit-producing. Hooray summer!
We endured severe droughts in 2007 and 2008 – more than merely “abnormally dry” conditions here in the North Carolina mountains. We irrigate gardens out of our pond with a one-horsepower pump. My son, Chris, tapped two fresh-water springs that he piped to the pond that keeps them full. But in 07 and 08 we were limited in how much we could take from the pond because it would not re-fill in time for the next watering. During the drought the pond became 15 thousand gallons low and, with wedding events coming, we had a 5 thousand gallon truck deliver us water from the French Broad River. As we were preparing to order more trucks of water a Gulf of Mexico tropical storm remnant came washing through and added the 10 thousand gallons needed to re-fill the pond and the springs have been flowing since.