Sunday, April 15, 2007

In the Garden


I was able to spend a few hours yesterday (before the rain came) working in the garden. I got lots of debris cleaned up, the boys mowed the yard, and I got started moving lilies, lamb's ear and hosta. I have lots and lots of those three plants, and they multiply and replenish my yard constantly. If anyone wants daylilies, lamb's ear or hosta, please let me know. I also planted a trumpet vine so that we can attract some hummingbirds. I got a new clematis that I picture growing up the side and over the roof of the addition, oh so romantically cottage-like. I want to get new hydrangea bushes for all around the foundation of the addition. I pruned the butterfly bush and the front hydrangeas, and started spreading this year's crop of compost on all my beds. I will ease myself back into veggie gardening by having a little tomato garden and some marigolds. I am planning my containers and trying to keep them simple. I love petunias, ranunculus and a few other annuals for containers, with some daylilies growing in the center for a little height. I have lots of creeping jenny and vinca vines that have stayed with me from previous containers, so I'll transplant some of those. My lilac looks like it will be beautiful this year, and the irises have lots of buds. My primroses are just coming on, as is the bleeding heart. I think they're pretty late due to the cold spring. The peonies are up and look pretty good. I would like more of those, too. It looks like I still have some holly hocks that survived the addition, but sadly, my mature wisteria did not, and I don't really have a place to put another one. I will have to get rid of more hardy heliotrope again this year and keep the creeping sedum under control. The hardy nasturtiums are coming up like crazy, and I think I'll transplant some of those to other locations, too. I definitely need to put in new bulbs this fall. I often forget, but this year I'll try to remember. The sweetheart rose needs major pruning and I need to make a new teepee for the Zepherin de Drouhin rose. The other old roses still hang on, as do my pink ones on the hill. My greatest ambition for my later life continues to be to have developed the patience and discipline to maintain a real rose garden. Rose gardening doesn't really suit my way of life or my way of doing things, but I love the idea of a rose garden and it makes a lofty goal to work toward. I actually do like how my garden reflects my personality. It is loose, but organized in my own way (it may not make sense to you, but I know where everything is!). It looks beautiful in a way that pleases me-a little wild, but full of color and surprises and lively combinations. It does not follow any of the "rules" of garden design or anything like that. As in most things in my life, I take the "if you shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land in the stars" approach. I fly by the seat of my pants, read lots of books, try, fail, and try again. I don't ask for a lot of advice, because I like to learn by doing, and I often get a little stubborn that way. Every year there are days when I walk out my door and the effect of my little flower beds absolutely takes my breath away and I have to just sit down and stare for a minute. Other days, its all I can do to put my gloves on and fill yet another bucket up with pulled weeds. My garden does pretty well if I can just be consistent. If I spend even 30 minutes working in it every single day from now till November, it will be spectacular for me all summer long. That doesn't seem like much, but like so many other things in life with big rewards, so many things seem to get in the way. All I can do is take it one day at a time. There are so very many lessons to be learned in the garden. How lovely to have another season to try and get a few of them into my head.

4 comments:

  1. Holy moly, Kellie! I don't even know the names of that many plants--and I spent a summer working at a nursery. I bet your garden's beauty makes sense to anyone who sees it. I'm just hoping to get some annuals in the front and a few veggies on the side of my house. I did the some veggies and berries two years ago and thought my Maia would die of pleasure at picking her own tomatoes off the vine. How can I trust that winter is over and it's safe to plant?

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  2. Yes, I hardly know names as well. My cute little garden has gotten more and more ragged every year I've lived here. I can sure my annuals look good--you know, the ones I buy at Home Depot that are already blooming . . . But last year, when we were building our deck, I dug up all the hostas and tried to give them away, and plant a few in front. They were ginormous, and there were tree roots everywhere--it was hard to make a big enough hole, no matter how I divided the plants. So, this year, after all the rain and snow, I can see the roots! It looks like my hostas are upside-down. Actually, they are kind of growing that way too. They are quite resilient! Anyway, if these don't quite work out, I may have to come help you thin out your garden. :) Maybe some day I'll care enough to really figure it out as you do. Until then, I'll just come bask in YOUR garden!

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  3. You remind me of my mother - she knows the name of every plant we see and I can see that my sister has the same gift. I really do think a love of working the earth IS a gift and I find that occasionally I let myself give in to it. Often, though, I make myself too busy to appriciate the time that I spend in the yard. Someday, hopefully :)

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  4. (Holly from the Nook here...) Wow! I'm so inspired! I've always loved working in the dirt with plants and pouring over garden magazines. It's the the reality and consistency that get me! I put in a bunch of perennials last year and was excited for their always magical reappearance this spring. Now to eek out that 30 min a day and keep my curious toddlers from plucking out my sedum!!

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Thank you for sharing your insights!