Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Flowers

These are not what you might be thinking from my post title; these are pictures from around my flowerbeds at home. The past week we really got focused on getting the place cleaned up in time for Memorial Day, and we almost finished. A half-truck of mulch still to spread, a few more weeds to cut, and a little more cleaning up and we'll be done.

 This metal rocker frame was one of those plastic "wicker" rockers someone tossed in the trash. We removed the plastic, and ended up with a nice frame for the garden. I've planted morning glories around it. We'll see how they do.

My gardens are always a mishmash of whatever comes up. Here the vervain is crowded by the oregano that planted itself and an ever-spreading grape hyacinth that came from who knows where. Behind them, the dead stalk is actually a small cherry tree that Larry accidentally broke off--it had come up from seed, and is now sprouting new growth. I am curious to see what kind of cherry it is, a wildling or a seedling from my sour cherry.

Young apple trees survived the winter in fine shape, but a black cherry sadly did not.

The newest of the flowerbeds is now at least 10 years old, I'd guess. It's doing very well after all the dirt, manure and mulch we've added over the years.

One spot in the "new" bed: when I find something that does well here, I plant more of it. Our spring weather is great, but summer can be tricky because our sandy clay loam soil can dry out quickly and we get a lot of sun. So if a plant can thrive in those conditions, those are the ones for me. Coreopsis, daylilies, stevia, coneflower, vervain, and some hostas seem very happy here.

The far end of the new bed has been taken over by pink poppies, and I don't mind one bit. Wild yarrow has also made itself at home here, and coneflower has seeded in all of my beds.

Another view of the rocker frame, and you can also see the windchime made by my nephew Josh Mathias, who has started an etsy shop of his creations. I'll be writing a post about Josh's work soon.

The peonies are finally recovering from being moved a few years back. I planted a red one two years ago but no blooms yet, mainly because my old dog Jeb (who passed away a month ago; we sure miss him) was always digging it up.

I am doing a lot more container flowers this year because of the dogs. The new ones are learning not to lie in my beds, but if the flowers are in pots they're safer, and by placing the pots strategically in the flowerbeds I can protect some areas from being mashed by dogs. It's a trade-off: I know my flowerbeds are attractive places for them because the mulch is cool, and I know some plants will be damaged by the dogs whatever I do. In exchange, the dogs keep groundhogs, possums, most of the deer and other varmints away. I cannot imagine trying to have gardens here without dogs to help protect them.

The herb garden was a jungle. I made the mistake of allowing a goldenrod plant to stay in the garden and bloom last year. I was rewarded with goldenrod coming up everywhere and strong roots that were a bear to remove. That little succulent groundcover I call sedum was also taking over, along with my arch enemy gill-over-the-ground. I filled two big wheelbarrows cleaning up this little patch, but it's looking good now. I'll need to be vigilant with the hoe this summer

That's a tour of most of the gardens in the yard. They will probably not look as good for long, as summer will descend on us, weeds will try to take over again and I get too busy with storytelling. But for this one moment, I am enjoying the peacefulness and beauty around me. I hope your gardens are doing well, and that you will have time this weekend to enjoy the fruits of your labors too.

As for me, this day will be spent on the porch, reading, listening to the birds and petting the dogs.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Your yard and gardens are so beautiful - my flowers are blooming like crazy - so pretty in the spring. We are having rain this weekend but that's ok - it is a pleasant temperature and everything is getting watered.

Mac n' Janet said...

Your garden is beautiful, it has such a natural feel to it.

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