Nestled in a valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Beagle Ridge Herb Farm awaits you. Nature is the watchword at Beagle Ridge. Prior to becoming our dream come true our 160 acre property was part of a 2,000 acre hunting preserve. It's pristine beauty is what nurtures us daily and we would like to share it's bounty with you.
Our farm building was the site of the pen raised quail and partridge and the mountains around us are filled with wildlife. We share the farm with deer, turkey, grouse,rabbits, numerous bird species and even black bear. Gardening in this situation is a challenge: however we have encroached upon them so we need to work with them.
Our Tea Garden is redone every few years due to the abundance of mints we use. These herbs do tend to take over and we are now using these terra cots tiles to contain them. It also makes a nice sculture aspect to the gardens. Everything in these beds can be used for a tea. Come sip teas and watch the hummingbirds, or birds, and enjoy the quiet.
The remainder of the gardens include a formal walled herbal display garden, a Lavender walk ( check our photo page), Thyme, Oregano and Lavender collections, a pergola which shades our medicinal herbs, a water garden, a Cottage garden,a Wildlife habitat garden, shrub borders with rogusa roses for long season bloom, a Japanese Meditation garden,a Tea Garden and a Gravel/ Mediterranean garden ( yes everything is planted in a substance we call "Dirty Rock").The picture below shows the Thyme walk which is in bloom and looks like a persian carpet. All the plants are xeric, which means they can survive with little or no additional watering ( of course that means after being established).
The woodland garden has filled in and provides the only true shade in the gardens. The Viburnums create the backdrop to our shade lovers, Columbine, Hepatica, Ginger and many others.In addtion we have lots of berry producing shrubs whch provide a food source for the birds.
The dry-bed through the woodland helps eliminate a water problem which occurs when we have thunderstorms. Along this temporary watercourse we have many primroses, ferns, columbines, sweet woodruff and Golden Alexander. The pines were in place and since shade is at a premium in the garden we decided to provide a shady habitat which was lacking in the garden.
We built a raised bed planter with wheelchair accessibility- I call this my Garden for all Ages. We are in the process of redoing this area so please excuse our mess.There are lots of other areas to focus on and this will be replanted and pretty again soon. Since it is raised I have found out how much more enjoyable it was to plant, care for and harvest from it.
The Bee balm will be a permanent fixture in the bed but we have new raised veggie beds so no more vegetables in this bed now- wait and see what we do next... This simple planter box is just the right height for wheelchairs and at less than 3' wide is accessible on all sides. The two legs of the raised planter contain herbs on one side and cutting perennials in the other.
They say if you will build it they will come.
Well if you plant it they will come too. In addition to the status as a CertifiedHabitat Garden with the National Wildlife Federation,this is now a certified Monarch Watch Site. It is a myriad of color and activity. We enjoy a chorus of bird song in the morning and bullfrogs at night. We have resident birds, bunnies and too many species of butterflies to mention. In addition the frogs, fence lizards and toads were doing their job on the insect population.
We specialize in Lavender, see our Lavender page for more info.
Harvesting was completed in August and we have Lavender available as bunches, sachets and of course in bulk for your crafting needs.
The Knot garden is in the background of this picture. It has now been replanted in Grey Santolina, a wonderful pink Germander and a Rosmarinus Santolina in the center. Come see what a few years of growth will do.
The slate wall surrounding the Formal garden, was an anniversary present from my husband. This creates a microclimate around the herbs, protecting them from the biting winter winds. All our hardscape( fences, walls, rock paths, etc.)helps absorb the heat of the sun and then release it at night and as such we are able to grow plants which normally could not survive in this zone. The Spanish Lavender, in the picture, is a great example of that- normally hardy to zone 8, it has thrived in our zone 6 climate due to the optimal drainage and lots of reflective heat from the stone and the slate wall. We get some winter kill, but once we do a bit of pruning it comes into bloom in April and will bloom on an off most of the summer.
The hardscape also lends a scupltural addition to the gardens. When the plants are dormant,the bones of the garden are visible and that is a great time to do planning for the next year.
The playhouse in the children's garden inspires future gardeners- how better to introduce a child to the joys of "digging in the dirt"? Children of all ages seem to gravitate to the Children's garden. Last year we let it sit fallow as we decided what changes to make. We now have some raised beds for our Tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Come see what changes we have made every year. We have added a patio to the playhouse and moved the compost pile and the insectary has been a great learning tool.