The Potager

The Potager

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rutgers Gardens

Last Friday my friend and I went to Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  The heat broke and it was only 90. Fortunately there were trees and shade so it wasn't as bad as the flea market in 100 degree heat!
There were shady little benches here and there. I thought it was clever how they made a trellis over the bench with logs.

One big disappointment was that there were no maps to grab to help you find your way around the grounds. We could have printed it off line, but assumed there would be maps available. There was a large map at the entrance, but none that you could carry.

This was a succulent display garden and it was very nicely arranged and labeled well.
I never thought of bringing the christmas cactus into the garden for the summer. They usually just hang out on my porch.

I mention that the succulent garden was labeled because one of the disappointing things at Rutgers Gardens was the lack of labeling. We would see an interesting plant and look for a label and there would be none.

I was most excited to see the vegetable gardens. After all, Rutgers is our state's agricultural school. I was hoping for some unique ideas, or new plants that I could take back to the Potager.

In front of the vegetable garden was a display garden which had a mix of flowers and vegetables.
This was my first disappointment of the day. Everything was tiny. Like the size of stuff you buy to put out on Mother's Day. I would have thought by the middle of June that the flowers and vegetables would be a nice size. Apparently they have an open house the last weekend in July and plant everything so it will look it's best that weekend. I thought that was a bit strange.

The only plant I saw that I had never seen were these purple podded peas.
We met a student who was tending the vegetable garden and he showed us around and let us taste the peas.

He was an environmental policy major interning in the garden, so my friend and I knew a bit more about gardening than he did.

I was hoping that they would have the latest and greatest techniques for growing things, and they just had a vegetable garden - with very small plants.

So I took pictures of structures, like this bamboo pea structure with bird netting for the peas to climb on (since my tee-pees didn't actually work for peas I need new ideas for next year).

And the support system for raspberries. I've seen bigger ones on-line, with two T supports.  This is my first year with raspberries and they are not putting out any long canes yet, so I am not sure what to do with them.
And there were no labels so I don't know what kind of raspberries these are.
I t would have been nice to have labels saying these are such and such and grow best in this part of New Jersey whereas these grow best in that part. Or something like that.
  I did take some pictures of plants I have in my yard that I haven't seen fully mature, such as these yellow flowers. They looked great planted as a mass. A friend at work gave them to me and I have them planted individually. I think I will move them all to one bed and let them fill in like these.

My camera battery died shortly after this garden.
There was a very cool (literally) bamboo trail that led to a running stream that we enjoyed.

There were no greenhouses to tour.

We finished the whole garden before noon. But as luck would have it, there was a farmer's market at the entrance on Friday afternoon's so we bought Rainier Cherries, Bacon Bread, cheese, pickles and fresh squeezed lemonade for lunch - and ate in the air-conditioned car!

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