Sunday, July 6, 2008

Show & Tell--July 6, 2008

For today's Show & Tell, I'm showing off one of my other obsessions.

I have something of a plant fixation, so the gardens are constantly a work in progress. I am always trying new things, in part because there is always some plant on my wish list, and in part because not everything survives the winter. I have to contend with heavy clay in parts of the yard, so things sometimes don't come back the following year through the tough soil. I also seem to have a powdery mildew problem, even when I buy mildew-resistant varieties, so that has killed off things like bee balm and anise hyssop. I love both of those plants, because even when not heavily in bloom, the plants themselves smell so good when you bring cuttings inside. Alas, they are not meant to be in my yard. Happily, plenty of other things DO survive.

I am constantly mulling over new plans for the garden. Currently, there is a new bush sitting in a bed, still in the pot. I will have to go outside and consider it again today, but I think it's not the right spot for it. I think I need to put a couple of giant echinacea there, instead, because the butterfly bush next door is likely to grow too large, and take up the empty space that I'm trying to fill. If I put the new bush there, it will also grow large, and there won't be enough space for both it and the butterfly bush. Plus, the bush has white flowers that will eventually turn pink, and the butterfly bush is purple. I don't love a purple next to a white--too boring. Although pink and purple are lovely together, especially with an orange or a yellow, like the one planted in front of it. I don't really have another spot for the bush right now, either. Such a dilemma I have.

I have several beds that I completely started over with this year, and I can't wait to see how they'll turn out. I decided I wanted beds that were all red and orange and yellow. So, I bought nine different kids of seeds and scattered them all together. By the end of the summer, with a little luck, they should be magnificent. They're mostly perennials, too, so they should be fabulous next spring, too. I have an all blue bed in the works, too, with a bit of white and chartreuse green. See? Obsessed. It's another form of therapy, though, so I can justify all of the money I spend on it.

However, I am generally very busy, so I've created a few "rules" for myself. First, as I'm sure you can tell, I prefer the messy English cottage garden look, i.e., lots of stuff jumbled together. Second, I don't weed. If you are fanatical about weeds, look away. Mostly, they aren't too much of a problem, due to the clay. Third, I'm all for "volunteers." If a plant goes to seed and sprouts up in some other part of my garden, I let it grow where it is. Fourth, I only plant perennials. I don't really see the point in annuals in the garden, and my yard is bereft of them, except for the pot or two that graces my front stoop and back porch, and a couple of hanging pots. Finally, I'm all organic, all the time. My one big vexation is the lack of an organic nursery selling organic perennials. I try to buy as many as I can at the farmer's market, but the options there are limited.

I love coming home and seeing what has finally bloomed during the day. It will be even more exciting once the tomatoes come into season--my favorite garden food! It is so relaxing to walk around in the evening, and see what progress the plants have made since the day before. It's one of the few aspects of my life where I can see tangible progress in a short amount of time. And hey, it's fertile!

15 comments:

Wishing 4 One said...

LOL, we so do what you do. Look at our plants progress each day. Its a new hobby for us, we love it and find it super relaxing. And you're right...at least our plants are fertile! Love it!

Yours are beautiful, love the colors.

JamieD said...

I love your garden!! I prefer the English cottage garden look, too. Last year, I planted a bunch of stuff to attract butterflies because I thought it would be nice. Didn't think about the cats. Now our backyard is a butterfly slaughterhouse. I feel so bad.

MamaSoon said...

Oh wow. I dream of a garden like yours. My backyard is so small... I am limited in my creativity. Can I come for tea? :-)

Manda said...

Oh my lord, woman... That garden is beautiful! I need you to come to my house and tell me what to plant. I have had a naked flower bed by my front door since I moved into this house some 3 years ago... You should be ashamed to call me your friend.

Joanna said...

Very beautiful. I have always wanted a beautiful garden because I find them so calming....but I dont have a green thumb at all. We plant a few flowers around our flagpole....and move on for the year!

Sam said...

what a lovely garden, I don't have much of a green thumb myself, but keep thinking about what I could possibly do with the garden! (small that it is!)

Melzie said...

I lvoe "messy" gardens also! My hubby, not so much. I try sorta, but this is our 2nd year in our house, and it's a slow process, but I sure love to look at flowers- and make lists of what I would like!!! :)

My S&T

Io said...

I love the English garden look - it's so lush and happy. Too manicured is just boring.

Kimberley said...

It looks as though you have a lovely garden. What a great show and tell! Kim

Nit said...

I love your "messy" garden! :)

I have just started trying to grow flowers...so far so good! It makes me smile to go outside & see all of the pretty colors! :)

annacyclopedia said...

Beautiful! Sounds like we have similar gardening sensibilities, although I do weed a bit, while things are getting established. But I only plant perennials too - I love how the garden changes throughout the summer.

Heather said...

Love the garden pics! I need to spend more time in my garden. I used to love to garden a long time ago. I prefer the English cottage garden look too.

Deborah said...

Beautiful garden and I love your color ideas. I tried it, but don't have the patience. If it grows, I'll stick it anywhere.

ginnygrl said...

Your plants are so lovely! Will you come and find my house and help give the smallish 4x1

sadnessoreuphoria said...

I'm with you -- love the messy meadow look rather than a formal garden with rows and no weeds. And I HATE annuals, why plant something you just have to take out and repalce in no time? Happily here in FLorida many plants that are annuals elsewhere will grow here for several seasons. But still...