dicentra spectabilis (alba)
(Angus won.) 3 days ago
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dicentra spectabilis (alba)
(Angus won.) 3 days ago
the second one that was damaged in the bad weather has not, so no apples this year unless one of my neighbours has a hidden apple tree, but I am so happy they have both survived and the flowers are beautiful.
My lovely neighbour has cut the grass too, so it looks…well, not exactly neat and tidy, but not completely neglected.
And my neighbour at the end has killed off his ivy, that was swamping everything on my end wall.
I feel very inspired. As soon as final college assignment is sent off, I will see what I can do in the garden this year. 1 week ago
I broke down and put weed and feed on the grass in back. So now the dogs have to be taken in front every time they want to go out for a while. Even so, they regard the back as their personal property and have been barking angrily periodically at my wife and me as if to say,
I demand to be allowed to visit my property.” 2 weeks ago
is this? 2 weeks ago
Some denizens I thought were in for the long haul said “Adios, amiga,” over the winter and are never coming back. I’m surprised to lose almost all of the stachys byzantina (lambs’ ears), myosotis (forget-me-nots), a rose (The Shropshire Lad), veronica, echinacea (coneflowers) and lupins. Bloody lupins!
So those of us who survived are now close-knit, in love with our steadfast nature. New things have shown up. I do not remember planting pink hyacinths, some pretty yellow lilylike thing or a Korean lilac. But I did, somewhere along the line, and here we all are. Kind of cool, isn’t it?
Festiva Maxima is a peony who must be about 60 or 70 years old by now. He is remarkable in that he and his bits and pieces travel all over the place and never sulk. I found him languishing under a pear tree in 1991 and grew him to a stately 5 feet the year after. I could not bear to leave him behind when moving to a new garden a decade later. I had left 65 antique rose bushes, all known by name, and that was enough leaving behind. Festiva was so big he had to be carried to his new digs in a garbage bin. And again he chose to thrive.
Last sometime or other, I lopped a chunk of him at the wrong time of year and gave it to Mr. Sunshine, hopelessly hopeful. Today, he is the bushiest peony in the garden, bristling with fat, promising buds. Talks the hind legs off a donkey, too. Watch out, Mr. Sunshine.
I have a few small pieces of him stuck in castoff pots on the back porch now. They look like they mean business. I’ll leave them over the summer and let them get their bearings.
So far, the gardens look good. Onward! 2 weeks ago
in back is in terrific shape, while the front looks terrible. Apparently most of the zoysia grass that’s been growing in front for years and years died in last year’s drought, and now the dandelions, chickweed and others are taking over. Am going to try to break up the ground there and plant fescue, though it’s probably too late in the season for that. 3 weeks ago
A late cold snap is making me relieved I haven’t done much of anything in the garden this year except remove dead drought-stricken evergreen shrubs and of course renew my yearly attack on the honeysuckle vines, which still have designs on taking over my whole garden bed in back. 1 month ago
Today, almost a year later, the garden is happy, but now it expects anything. Under a crust of new snow and ice lie good green things, waiting to burst forth. “We are triumphant,” shout the flowers, mingling just above the soil, “And you should be, too!”
For my part, I have things ready: trowels, fertiliser, all manner of pots, urns, niceties. I promise to take tea out there with the blooms once the weather is decent and no-one is huddling.
Gardens and gardening are an important part of this year’s goal of RECLAMATION. Cringeless gardening! And a surprise: I learned I can grow KEY and KAFFIR LIMES here in the Banana Belt!
I can’t be a shade gardener, though, now that a neighbour’s tree was taken down. There is dappled sunlight waiting for the emerging daffodils.
“What’s that – you’re not SHADY?” ask the daffs.
“Nah. New year and all,” I say. “But it’s always good to keep on your toes.” 1 month ago
has finally arrived, and there’s a ton of work to be done, including sawing the big branches that came down in a late season rain and snow storm. 1 month ago
a total of twenty inches of snow in under a week, an unheard of amount for Kansas City. It mostly came in two big storms. The second produced a heavy wet snow, which brought down powerlines (no power for us for two days) and brought our shrubs to either bend way over or just break.
Most bent. It’s supposed to be in the 40s again today, so most of the snow will likely be gone by day’s end, leaving a muddy mess. We loved watching the heavy snow fall. Was fun while it lasted, despite the many inconveniences. 2 months ago
an early spring are out there. Lots of projects and plans for this yeaer:
grind down the two stumps in back
transplant some of the roses of sharon shrubs to create privacy in back
transplant the lone arborvitae that’s survived the drought to backyard
reseed areas where lawn is thin
tear out the encroaching honeysuckle vines 3 months ago
brought me outside to look around the yard and pick up after the dogs.
Noticed the daffodils have already broken the surface. Watered the young maple and dogwood trees. Washed out the birdbath. It’s supposed to be 69 degrees today, so more spring plants are likely to think it’s time to get going. However, at the end of the week, temps are supposed to drop back into the teens. That should make them think twice. 3 months ago
about selling our house this year and moving to a smaller spot, maybe a townhouse. So if that works out, this may be the last year I garden much. Hope to really have a spectacular spring. 4 months ago
continue to die from the drought. Now that the temps have cooled, I thought the dying would stop, especially if I gave the shrubs a little water now and then, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In front, I have just one survivor from what was a line of six. My wife tells me the one looks ridiculous by itself. If it survives the winter, I’ll try transplanting it to the backyard in the spring.
Have managed to grow some grass. Heavy frequent watering has been essential for this up til now. With the cold (it’s dropping below freezing most nights now) I’m ready to stop watering and will hope that the grass is well enough established to survive on its own.
The garden is without blooms save for some mums my wife and I planted a couple years ago. They’re burnt orange and faded red and look good, but just about done for the year.
Despite the drought, we had some good fall color for a short time. Especially good were the ornamental pear trees, which turned these beautiful shades of red, yellow, orange and purple. 6 months ago
are coming in strong. They survived the intense summer heat nicely. Grass is growing sparsely. Fall weeds, however, could not be more plentiful. Apparently they like the grass fertilizer I used. 7 months ago
five big holes where aborvitae formerly stood about six feet high. Am thinking of moving our peonies into these spots, where at least they could count on some spring sunlight. Grass seeds are starting to come up. Big relief there—last time I think I had some dead seeds and got almost nothing. 7 months ago
prepping the yard for reseeding, and I’ve been removing dead shrubs & flowers. Am tired of looking at all these dead things! Out they come. 8 months ago
came our way last week. The storm left nearly 7 inches of rain in my gage. That deluge wasn’t enough to cause flooding in our parched soil, but it has greened up everything that is still living in my yard. Unfortunately, our row of arborvitae are not among the survivors. I got the first one out of the ground Saturday and cut up and ready for the yard waste truck to haul. I’m going to try to have one ready every week for the next two months.
Also, our grass is about 85 percent dead, which means it’s time to reseed the whole thing and verticut if I want to start anew this fall. 8 months ago
officially now, with no end in sight. The corn crop in most places is failing, and if it keeps up the soybeans won’t be far behind. I don’t care much about my grass, and now I’m thinking it’s time to give up on most of my flowers. The adjacent suburb to ours has already restricted watering to three days a week, and it’s only a matter of time before ours follows suit. Maybe things will turn around in a month or two.. 10 months ago
the temps have exceeded 95 degrees for the better part of two weeks, climbing above the 100 degree mark about every other day. I gave up on the lawn when I heard this heat was coming. Have tried to preserve the flowers though, watering them every morning or evening. Some can’t take it, no matter how much water they get. Even the zinnias and marigolds, sun-lovers both, get damaged in this weather. We’re thoroughly sick of it. 10 months ago
There are changes afoot.
Under the lilacs grow lofty hollyhocks, each a slightly different shade of dark red.
Some of the old roses have been under a strain lately. Evelyn has bent right over. But new, straight, happy canes are springing forth along her back. She still pushes forth a few blooms, too.
There is one hydrangea who turns from green to apple blossom to blue to purple and back again. She holds her breath to do this. She is not lush or blowsy, like Epic’s hydrangea. She bears a dainty three blossoms, heads held high. “Like my owner,” she says, not haughtily. I will have to check her vision.
The Japanese maple seedling disappeared after a heavy rain, and a small octopus is growing in the pot there now. I have more decisions to make once I clean off the debris from the rainstorm.
OK then: first things first!
1. Clean off debris – broken branches, leaf detritus, et cetera.
2. Pick flowers for night-table, including Anthony Waterer, who is blooming profusely.
3. Tie up tomato vines.
4. Weed out the clover.
5. Figure out what to do about the octopus. 11 months ago
has come early to the Central Plains. We’re expectiving heat indices above 100 for the next few days, with no chance of rain. The humidity is here, but apparently we’re missing some low pressure that is usually present this time of year and we’ve fallen about 5 inches behind where we are usually in June. Well, this is really hard on the garden. I’ve pretty much given up on the lawn. I’ll just leave it uncut until there’s rain so that it won’t die outright. 11 months ago
Our garden tends to contain a small number of many different flowers. My wife tells me it would look more beautiful to have fewer varieties of flower in greater numbers. No doubt she’s right. 11 months ago
is in pretty good shape, though it’s been awfully dry. My wife and I haven’t really tried anything new, except I’ve started to add annuals in pots in back for a little more color. Here’s what we have in the yard:
black-eyed susans, which are thriving, of course (they love it here)
pink coneflowers (just starting to bloom)
holly hocks, dark purple and pink blooms
russian sage (thriving)
butterfly bush (needs more sun but blooming)
false indigo (blooms gone, putting out many seed pods now)
shasta daisies (about to bloom)
anemones (a month away)
oak leaf hydrangea (thriving)
annabelle hydrangea (almost full bloom)
roses of sharon (blooming way early)
tiger lilies (also way early blooms
zinneas (way way early but blooming)
petunias in pots in full bloom
geraniums, one potful
johnny jump-ups (holding on barely)
pansies, a big pot, still blooming but past prime
three light red rose shrubs, all but done blooming till September
milkweed, being suffocated by the false indigo
lamb’s ears, thriving
tick seed, being suffocated by the lamb’s ears
orange cosmos (volunteers from last year)
climatis (done blooming sadly)
morning glories (just starting to grow in a few spots)
day lilies, happy returns variety, mostly done blooming
irisis, blooms long gone, sadly
lilac shrub (blooms & their wonderful scent long gone)
honeysuckle vine (invasive species I can’t seem to keep in place)
sweet pea (love this vine)
marigolds (darned grackles keep biting off blooms) 11 months ago
I do not design three-dimensionally and I am impatient. I also have a Red Bull instead of a tiger in m’tank, and am out with felco #6 to GIVE THE SHRUBS LEGS.
I took away a plethora of dead unVirgolike wood and watersprouts on the lilacs, dogwood and Bluebeard spirea. Anthony Waterer was a mess. I lopped off half of him so he can breathe better.
I like shrubs to have elegant legs. So much the better, I dare say, for them to dance later.
There was a tiny baby peewee Japanese Maple growing underneath the front-yard roses. She’s neighbour Alice’s tree’s daughter. I found her when I was on hands and knees, weeding. I put her in a McCoy pot and invited her into the back garden to grow. A cutie!
I waved at Alice’s maple. Mazel Tov!12 months ago
We searched everywhere for her. The closest thing to finding Cecile was the vague promise of a twig in Hamilton. I let go of my longing.
I found a New Dawn at a Mother’s Day sale. Two of her sisters grow here in the front yard over an iron arch and along an eccentric fence (not “electric fence”). I looked at the sport White Dawn, but she won’t grow as vigourously. I saw Coral Dawn, another sport, but she is also of shorter stature, unfragrant and not very winter-hardy.
This third New Dawn will slip into her home today, by the back gate and along a tasteful but dull bleached-wood fence.
She promises to grow 12 feet high with “an arching habit”, and be prolific with her pale pink, fragrant – almost spicy – flowers.
Go Dawn! 12 months ago