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A Window On My World

This is not a daily blog.
Posts will be published on occasion and irregularly as I am able.
Some of these posts are from my web site The Garden At Crocker Croft.
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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Stroll the Estate

When I tell my Husband/Best Friend/Chief Photographer that I am going out to stroll the estate, he knows exactly what I mean. That is: I am not going out to work; I am just going to walk leisurely everywhere at a slow pace and look. I will not work. I will just look.

Of course, as you gardeners know, I will end up picking up sticks, pulling a weed, and making mental notes. By the time I return, I am in a mental and emotional frenzy because I saw so much that needs to be done. It is like housework: I see only that which needs to be done.

But, today, let us, you and I, stroll the estate and chat a bit. I am tired from a super busy yesterday that involved keeping a restless, energetic, thirteen year old grandson happy enough until his parents returned from work. (This is the same grandchild who years ago said with a grin, "Come on, Bobbie, get in the water. It is more fun being a kid than being an old granny!")

Yesterday, all I had to do was drive the car, walk a lot, listen a lot, talk a little, and eat lunch where he wanted: at the bar of a nice restaurant. Sitting at the bar was something different, and he wanted to do that; I said OK. He was surprised. He also knew he could order anything he wanted on the menu. What fun for a kid, to be out with a pampering grandparent.

So, there we were, sitting at the bar, having fun, laughing, eating and watching the Florida and Louisiana women's softball teams battling it out on TV. But memories kept floating to the surface of my mind. I was thinking: He is almost fourteen. There will not be many more days like this one, just the two of us, having fun. He will grow away from me. I remembered all those diapers, and toy cars and trains, and.... I better stop this right here or I will get maudlin. Anyway, I am tired, so a stroll will be just the thing for today. Remember you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

You will notice different treatments for edging. Mary used old brick and some of that is still here.
These three photos are from the E-Beds.

Yes, that is potatoes growing in the can - but that's another story.

I especially enjoy the old bricks in late winter and early spring when they have had months of cool moisture, and moss grows and blooms on them.

I added man-made concrete pavers along the Island Bed.

I was trying for a mowing strip that the wheel of the mower could run on with hopes of not having to do so much trimming. It helps, but it still does not keep grass roots from running under them into the bed, and we still have to do some trimming. I like the look, though.

Another edging material I have used is the long rolls of recycled rubber tires material. I have used yards and yards of that for long expanses. Sometimes a weed comes up through it (but not often) which surprised me. It, too, does not stop all the grass and weed roots from going into the beds and borders, but it helps. The visiting cats prefer to walk on it, and it is soft to kneel on.

I was afraid I would hate the dark black, intrusive, artificial appearance, but it isn't as bad as I feared it would be. The lawn mower covers it with cut grass and dirt lands on it to the point its appearance became muted.

The flowers you see blooming here are Hyacinthoides non-scripta, common (English) bluebells. I preferred the lovely old name, Scilla, but knowledge marches on; they were taken out of that group, now they are Hyacinthoides. (Try saying that quickly three times.) We have white, blue, and pink. Their foliage is strap form. The fuzzy foliage with them is Nigella (Love-in-a-mist) which blooms soon after the bluebells. This Nigella is blue. There are also pink and white forms, but I do not have those.

The large Leatherleaf Viburnum is pretty this year. It is located at the edge of The Terrace.

Another Viburnum blooming now is the one I call Snowball Viburnum. When I was a child I heard the adults refer to them as Snowball bushes.

We have two more varieties of Viburnum:

American Highbush Cranberry Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum a.k.a. Viburnum opulus L. var. americanum Aiton) I do not have a good photo of it, but here is a link to good ones. Scroll down their page to see the various parts. The full length shrub photo is near the bottom. Cranberry Viburnum

The other is Arrow-Wood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) here is a link to this one: Arrow-Wood

The lilac is young and in its third year of bloom. I need many more lilacs! This one is Syringa 'Krasavitsa Moskvy' with pink pearls in bud, opening to pure white. The combination of buds and flowers is beautiful.

One of the earliest peonies to bloom is 'Coral Charm'. It is coral in color and receives many comments from visitors.

While 'Coral Charm' is in full bloom, the round ball-shaped buds can be seen on the other peonies that are getting ready to open soon.

This small round bed used to have a small slender Shad Tree in the center. Fire Blight killed the tree and the perennials have completely filled in. It is filled with spring bulbs and Hostas interplanted.

In early spring it is a round bed of Narcissuses and jonquils, and then later the Hostas emerge. In these two photos the old bulb foliage is still visible. It will soon yellow and die away as the Hostas spread larger and bloom.

Spanish Bluebells (Wood Hyacinths) pop up in several locations. I believe these and the English ones cross and produce hybrids, because there are some I can't tell if they are the Spanish or the English. I guess it does not matter here, I should not be such a purist.

Here we see the Bluebells with (from the top down): native (red and yellow) columbine; old Narcissus foliage; on the left is a young Larkspur; and the pale-green is an annual poppy that will bloom later. They are located at the front corner of the garage.

This colony is right beside the Garden Door back of the garage. I also see some Fleabane, buds of perennial Oriental Poppies, and in center front is Eranthis turning yellow and going dormant.

Here is a closer look at the poppy buds. They are fuzzy. When they open they are large and red-orange.

One problem with the poppies is the same as with Daffodils: they face the sun (South in this hemisphere). So, they face away from the house. These are in the Back Border and they are facing down the hill toward The Dell.

I do enjoy the red-orange with the purple of the Rocket.

Now before some of you jump on me with the subject of invasive plants let me tell you about Rocket in this garden.

Hesperis matronalis (Dame's Rocket, a.k.a. Sweet Rocket) is listed in some states or areas as an invasive plant. I am sure it is. However, in this garden and in this neighborhood we have to take care of it to keep it going. Some of my neighbors want it, but it is not so easy to get it started here. Therefore, I do not feel guilty for growing it.

In the Woodland Garden there are early spring flowers such as the Wood Poppy, a.k.a. Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), a native plant, which is visible here in the Far-Back Border growing near the fence in that bare looking area. The one up high is growing on an upturned tree root ball. After the early plants flower, and are gone by, the Rocket shoots up tall and blooms away with flowers that perfume the late afternoon air.

Our Rocket is several colors from white to dark violet/purple...

with tints in between, such as this mauve.

Rocket looks very much like Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox). They grow to about the same height, but in this area the Rocket blooms earlier and the Phlox later. There is some Garden Phlox here and it extends the season for the butterflies after Rocket goes to seed. As you can see, Rocket has four petals. Phlox has five.

Goldfinches like the seeds of Rocket and will strip the seed pods to shreds.

This Rhododendron brings us to the back door steps.
I am ready for a cool drink, how about you?
You can't stay longer? Then until next time, "Goodbye".


Daphne said...

I had to laugh a little as you said you were going out "not to work". I do that all the time and end up weeding or cutting something back. Is it possible to do nothing while in the garden?

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is possible to "not to work" while out in our gardens.

Thank you for the lovely stroll through your gardens. I always love seeing the different flowers that grow in different parts of the country.

Esther Montgomery said...

Wow! That was pleasant.

I had to go round twice though because, first time, I got fixated on edges and edging (even when you'd moved on to talk of other things!).

And aren't the poppies fun? It may be sort of annoying that they are looking in the wrong direction - but it gives them a specially jaunty character.


Barbee' said...

Daphne: Isn't it the truth! Not possible. I knew gardeners would laugh ;)

Sam: It is interesting seeing different areas and what grows there. Example: Your red "Rajin Cajun" Wild Petunia Ruellia is lovely. Our "wild petunias" are blue, and the blooms last for only one day. They seed around and come up everywhere. Once there, they are not easy to be rid of. Yours are prettier, and showier. With a name like that, I am assuming they are a cultivated variety with more vigor. I think the ones here are just little wild flowers. Hmmm, I wonder if these are natives or introduced. I should check that out. Thank you for visiting.

Esther: Ooops! My rambling had you going in circles :) Yes, I love the poppies. I had never had any before moving here. They are big, and bold and easy to see. I like your description: "jaunty". That's it exactly.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbee'! I'm still not getting you on my Blotanical picks, but have come to visit you anyway. I love your 'Coral Charm' peony! I too grow hesperis and celandine poppy, though I have to keep an eye on the celandine since it's such a reseeder. Both give great color echoes, though, especially of iris! As for your grandson, don't despair. I worshiped my grandparents all the time I had with them, and I think of them with great love every day. Don't assume your little guy will grow away from you once he's "really" a teen!

Anna said...

Don't get down on yourself about how much you have to do---think of it as how much you get to do. You have so much more than me right now. I've got a long way to go before I'm as blessed. We wish we had your problem. I keep moving too much.

I don't have grand kids yet either and I'm already worried about them growing up too fast. I know my kids did.

Barbee' said...

OFB: Thank you for your soothing words about grandparenting.

So, we have some plants in common. I think of Pennsylvania as an area of lovely gardens and farms. We visited the Organic Gardening Rodale farm years ago.

"Color echoes" = lovely thought.

Thank you for making the effort to track me down; I feel honored. Esther and I have had communications about the pick list problem. I have spent a lot of time trying to make mine work, but no luck so far. If you are curious, and want to read those messages they are on her blog: Esther In the Garden

Cinj said...

What a lovely walk! I just love a garden full of blooms. I don't have enough yet, but I'm sure I'll never have enough. LOL.

Blotanical "says" it's reading your blog for my favorites, but it didn't show up on my picks page. I sent you an email about how I feed my blog. Let me know if you need more help! I'll check out your link you listed in "ben's" reply.

Barbee' said...

Thank you, Cinj, at the rate you are going, you will soon have a full garden!

I did receive your e-mail message, thank you. I made the switch to FeedBurner. I think now, I should just be patient for a few days and see what happens.

Kerri said...

Barbee, what a wonderful stroll through your garden. I'd love to do it in person :)
Dame's Rocket has seeded itself prettily between our woodpile and veggie garden, and this spring I see it's in a couple of my flower gardens. I love it, but will have to watch that it doesn't get carried away.
I was just photographing it while walking over by the river today.
I also saw a deer looking at me from the woods, but I wasn't quick enough with my camera to capture a picture of it. It sure was a pretty sight.
I'm glad you had some fun (but tiring) time with your grandson. I'll bet he'll always want to spend time with his sweet "Granny Bobbie" :)
Your peonies are a delight, as is your entire garden.
I don't think it's possible to go out to the garden and not pull a weed or two..or three...or four..or
well, you know how that is :)
I hope the fibromyalgia doesn't keep you from your garden too much.
Thanks for the visit. It's always lovely to hear from you :)

Amy said...

There is nothing in the world like a loving grandparent! I'm very blessed to have my parents just ten houses up the street, and my grandmother a block away. My children have it good :) and so do I.

Such a lovely walk around your estate! Since I'm on crutches I am forced to stop working and just enjoy the fruits of my labour. I can't get into the back, but I've hobbled around the front yard a few times, enjoying what is in bloom.

Barbee' said...

Kerri: Thank you for coming over. I recently enjoyed a long visit at your place, too. I wish I had a river through this garden, even a spring (as Anna has), or bog would be good. As I mentioned, I think your photo of your river is so pretty.

Amy! You did yourself serious injury! Isn't it amazing how quickly an accident can happen! And, it is always when we have so much to do and are trying to get a lot done. I hope you will heal quickly, and it will not be delayed by irritation of doing too much, too soon.

Balisha said...

Hi Barbee,
What fun for me on a rainy day in Illinois...taking a tour of your beautiful gardens. Thanks,

Frances, said...

Hi Barbee, I am not getting you on the picks list either, but came from Kerri's, I think, I forget. I have stopped using blotanical as the way to visit blogs, and go from comments on other's blogs, or my own sidebar, which has many links. It took a few days from my changing the feed to feedburner on blogger for blotanical to list it in the picks. It still isn't right, my post is in the top ten, but it doesn't list my blog name. Oh well, you garden looks lovely and I think the rocket is a great plant. Many plants could be considered invasive, like the nigellas, but you just pull them up where they aren't wanted. I love plants like the hostas too that will cover the bulb foliage so you don't have to worry about it. Another good plant for that is astilbe. Thanks for 'not working'.

Frances at Faire Garden

Kate in NJ said...

Gorgeous! I love your garden, but your garbage can filled with potatoes is gorgeous! ;-) I had one all ready
to use, and my DH won't let me have it. I have to go buy one now.

Anna said...

Barbee---I'm not getting my post up either at blotanical. I just thought I'd let you know. I've tried everything I know to do also. I'm depending on my blogroll to visit people. I feel like Stuart is working on it but doesn't have an answer cause I don't think feedburner of google have an answer either. It's all a big mess.

garden girl said...

I can so relate - it's not possible to simply stroll!

Your garden looks absolutely lovely. So many beautiful things are blooming!

Barbee' said...

Anna: You are going to make a great grandmother one of these days!

Balisha: What a lovely thought. Thank You!

Frances: Thank you for coming by (I know how busy you are.) and for the kind words. I would love to have some astilbe. See my news about the picks problem below.

Kate: I will be posting further news about the potato in the can project and if it works or not.

Anna: Oh, no! And, you are using TypePad (not Blogger). Sorry to hear that. But, see my update below.

Garden Girl: Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed your visit. Come back anytime ;)

Now HEADS UP EVERYONE Update on the Blogger VS. Blotanical match: I have a message from Stuart about the problem. "Barbee, still working on this perplexing issue. We are getting closer though - we know what doesn't work!!! Lol. Stay tuned. Cheers, Stuart"

Becky said...

What a great tour of your garden; it's all beautiful! Have you posted before about what looks like a wide path with plants among the stones? I would love to learn more about that area.

Barbee' said...

Hi Becky, Thank you very much! Yes, I have posted about that area. What you had a glimpse of was what I call The Terrace, which sits on top of an outcropping of stone that I call The Rockery. The post is rather long for it tells about the construction and all the materials that were worked into the soil.

I will give you that link, but first let me share this with you. If you notice at the top of my pages just below my heading there is a note explaining that these posts are from my web site. This blog is the chatty counterpart to that web site which is pretty complex and does not have comments enabled in every category section. So, if you do read the long "Terrace + Rockery" article, at the bottom you will find two more links. If you follow those, you will find yourself in the web site. Just thought I would explain that in case you wondered "what happened - where am I".

Thank you for stopping by to visit. Here is your link:
Terrace + Rockery

HappyMouffetard said...

What a wonderful stroll through your estate - SomeBeans and I like to 'walk the estate (read stroll slowly round tiny garden), just looking. Well, as you say, I start looknig, and finish by weeding, pruning, squashing lily beetles, etc.

The peonies are beautiful, as is the lilac (of which I am inordinately fond).

Barbee' said...

happymouffetard: LOL I know exactly what you mean.

Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed seeing the Coral Charm peony. Ah, lilacs, I too, am extremely fond of them. I don't know what it is about white lilacs and white wisteria that throws me into ecstasy.

kkazland said...

Wow! Looks like you have a lot of room for gardening. Thanks for taking us on a "stroll" with you! Also, thanks for visiting my blog earlier. You asked where I garden, and it is in CT, zone 6b. Nice blog!

Jo said...

I found you blog after you left me a message at Blotanical. your garden i simply stunning!

Barbee' said...

kkazland: Oh, that is such a pretty area and you are so close to the water. Lovely! I like your idea of growing vines up the dead tree snag. My husband once said, "Your solution for everything is a plant!" Glad you enjoyed my blog; thank you for visiting.

Jo: Hi, Welcome. Thank you for your kind words. The garden is a Lot of work; I'm not sure how much longer I will be able to do it.

Shirl said...

Thanks so much for sharing your lovely walk through your gardens.
I can just imagine all the glorious smells ... :0)

joey said...

A heartfelt visual and colorful tour 'As good as it gets', Barbee!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Barbee
Lovely garden you have going there. Lovely blog too.

I love Peonies, and Coral Charm is such a great performer.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I have just joined Blotanical, and it seems to help people find their way to like-minded souls.



Sal said...

Your garden is amazing!It was lovely to stroll with you.Sal;-)

Barbee' said...

Shirl: You are welcome. Thank you for visiting. Yes, it smells wonderful; today it is the fragrance of Magnolia grandiflora, the "Southern Magnolia" that grows so large.

Joey: Thank you for the encouragement!

Denis: I am so glad you came over to take a look. Thank you from my garden, and my blog.

Sal: How nice of you to visit and leave a comment. I thought the same of your blog.

DP Nguyen said...

Your garden is so beautiful. I'd love to take a stroll down that little path and see all the pretty flowers. I love the edging too. Beautifully landscaped!

Barbee' said...

dp nguyen: Thank you, dp. I am glad you came over to visit. As you know gardens are ever changing, so come over any time.

Cathy said...

Thank you for the stroll through your beautiful gardens. I love the idea of potatoes in a container and have added that to my list of things for next spring. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Hope you don't mind that I have added you as a link.


Mary Ann Archibald said...

What a lovely stroll and moment at the bar with you and your grandson.

Barbee' said...

Cathy: I am glad you enjoyed the stroll. Regarding potatoes in the container: I hope to do a follow-up post to see if it was successful or not. Regarding link to mine: I consider that an enormous compliment! Thank you.

Mary Ann: I am so glad you came over for a visit. Thank you for the positive feedback. So... that woman at the other end of the bar was you! Sorry, didn't recognize you, or I would have spoken ;)