Re: Re: Happy Birthday
I find it interesting how many of us have gotten "stuck", either too weary
or overwhelmed or depressed to do much in the garden. Sometimes I look at my
garden and despair.
I am very glad that I planted the 100' + perennial border in shrubs and
blueberries, and that I gave away so many of my plants to MGs and new plant
enthusiasts. I am also glad that much of my yard is shady so weeds aren't as
likely to take over. I wish that I had more sun for vegetables, but dread
the thought of removing an old tree to do so. I didn't think the trees would
make it when we moved here 30+ years ago, since they were old then and
drought had taken its toll. I babied them along, and while they're past the
end of their natural life span, I'd hate to see them go.
Most of my active gardening now is in containers out of necessity, and most
of that is tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. I can't get around as well as I
used to do. I can manage to get out in the yard and make lists of things for
my husband or an arborist to do. I can also get out and enjoy the little
surprises. Last week's joy was a large clump of surprise lilies (Lycoris
squamigera) . I planted a single bulb that I brought home from New Orleans
when I was speaking there in '98 or '99 and it's been increasing every year.
The voles don't get it and the leaves are up early before it gets too shady
This morning I looked out past the greenhouse and despite the dark skies,
'Grandpa Ott's' morning glories were blooming their little hearts out,
punctuated here and there by the occasional reverse color form. I planted
them in the front yard more than a decade ago and they self-so and climb up
various plants here and there. Unlike other morning glories, they don't take
over and strangle everything.
I enjoy the birds just as much. The elderberries are nearly gone but
pokeweed berries are ripening. Mockingbirds and catbirds have been enjoying
them. The seed-eaters, like gold finches, are enjoying the Rudbeckia
triloba, another of my reseeding garden friends. I have scatterings of them
here and there and they never fail to make me smile. The butterflies are
enjoying the 'Zowie' Zinnias I planted after receiving a sample packet.
They're pretty amazing.
We're in that lull between heavy spring/summer bloom and fall foliage, but
there are still some sporadic flowers on the Hydrangea macrophyllas. They
really took a hit last winter - including the reblooming types. The oakleaf
is about done and the peegee just cranking up. There are still a few flowers
on our venerable Magnolia grandiflora. M. macrophylla hasn't bloomed, but
after being practically turned inside out during a bad storm this spring,
I'm a little surprised it's still hanging in. It's also in too much shade,
because I planted it expecting one of the clumps of red maple to be long
gone by now.
Has anyone else lost their plant lust? I don't even keep up with new
varieties anymore. I still get a few sample plants every now and then but
have taken myself off of most of the lists for lack of room and energy. I
used to practically jump up and down whenever a box of new plants would
arrive. The last few years I dreaded them. If someone had told me that I
wouldn't much care 30 years ago, I would have thought they were batty. I not
only had plant lust, but serial plant lust where I'd have to investigate
every cultivar of whatever it was, whether trops or Salvia or whatever.
Georgia, north of Atlanta
Man, I miss this. *SO* much. Even talking about our gardens this little
bit makes me want to get back out there and plant again.
I strolled through the yard and looked at things differently tonight.
Where I used to see so much work I saw little flowers peeking out and
plans creeping into my head. Maybe I'll get some gardening done this
The big things in bloom right now here are:
False hydrangea (Deinanthe bifida and D. caerulea)
Clematis viticella 'Betty Corning'
Pink Lemonade honeysuckle
and lots of annuals
How about the rest of you? What's doing well? Is everyone OK with
sending pictures to the list if people want to?
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