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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Other Things

We did have other things happening here this summer besides a pumpkin patch. Sunflowers came up under the bird feeder again as usual, and mingled with the pumpkins.
The beautiful pumpkins began to have powdery mildew on the foliage.

We have already given away a few.

We had visitors.

Jerusalem artichokes bloomed. I didn't want them to go to seed, so the flowers were gathered into a fragrant bouquet which soon shattered all over the table.


My young white-bud tree, of which I was so proud, died! But, outside the kitchen window the mallow bloomed prettily, and I decided the cone flower and tall pink Agastache were a good pair.




The young weeping willow (Salix babylonica)
I had spent much time a few years ago researching the exact species I wanted: the large beautiful kind, and one sure to be non-invasive. It was planted in the lowest spot on the place, at the back of the Woodland Garden. But, it died. I suspect there was too much shade. Another bitter disappointment.

But, the Wing Stem (Verbesina alternifolia) is blooming down in the Woodland Garden.

And, Garlic Chives is blooming brightly alongside the driveway.
Onion though it is, the wasps, bees...
and bumblebees seem to find it delicious. There should be many seeds this year.

And of course the Larkspur was abundant and lovely this summer.



The Yucca bloomed... and didn't fall over!

And, the Spider Lily had multiplied, producing the most blooms ever.




Thyme took over the little raised bed,

choking out the tiny Fame Flowers which need to be rescued.

Local grandchildren hauled over more surplus gravel from their parents' landscaping project. It is wet in this photo.
When it is dry it will look like this.
I have an idea for another project where I can use it, but we cannot start until spring after we see where the spring bulbs come up, can't tell where they are right now. Until then the piles will have to sit on the driveway.

We did get the pile of compost/mulch and the sand pile off the driveway this summer, so that was progress, and encouraging.

The bed to the left of the gravel path in photo above has gone through a transformation. But, that's another story, for another time.

Most of the plants in these pots died while I had my bout with the shingles/chicken pox virus for a few weeks.

But plenty of rain kept the lawns green, and that little workhorse of gardens, Thread-leaf Coreopsis, put on its usual bright show, while several Mullein Plants decided all on their on to come up nicely spaced and in an attractive location. I so enjoyed their strong verticality contrasting with the arching Solomon's Seal growing around the verges. I was anticipating the Lycoris, that grows in that area, to join in and fill out the party.



Then one day I noticed there was nothing left of the Solomon's Seal, but 4 to 5 inches of stubs of almost every plant. Groundhog!!!

The Lycoris did emerge and bloomed the prettiest, and most abundant, that we had ever seen. I almost didn't miss the S. Seal... almost.

In my mind's eye it all danced together, and, it was beautiful: smooth leaves on arching branches of Solomon's Seal provided a backdrop for the spears of huge-soft-felt-like-leaved mullein, spears which were topped with yellow and fronted with yellow coreopsis, while pink lilies mingled among them all! (Because of you, wretched animal, no one else could see it!)








(Lycoris squamigera)


All in all, it was a pretty good summer!



13 comments:

our friend Ben said...

Barbee', what a beautiful walk through yoru gorgeous property! There was so much to see, it was hard to pick favorites, but I especially loved the cats, garlic chives, and larkspurs. And of course I loved your pumpkins and sunflowers. So cheerful! I planted (gulp) Jerusalem artichokes for the first time this year, but they didn't flower. I had no idea the flowers were fragrant! I'll be looking forward to that next year. But oh, your poor Solomon's seals! I have huge stands of green and variegated Solomon's seal and false Solomon's seal, and suddenly I feel a little nervous...

Meadowview Thymes said...

Love it.."all in all it was a pretty good summer." Sums up how I feel Barbee. Can you believe it is over. Time certainly marches on. I sure would like to walk down that path and sit in the green chair. How peaceful that would be.

Barbee' said...

Hello Ben, thank you very much! And, thank you for traveling through the ups and downs of my summer. Now, about those Jerusalem artichokes. They were here when we moved here and every year we think we have gotten all of the roots dug and are finally rid of the pests, but every spring here they come back. They traveled from their bed into two others and in the paths between! Hope yours are in an area where they are easier contained than mine. I think the fragrance of the flowers is similar to vanilla. I don't know why these bloom. A woman in Southampton, England, said hers do not flower. I thought it was due to the different climate. But if yours do not, either, maybe not. Let's see what yours do next year. Solomon's Seal: I have never had the variegated, but I like it and may purchase some someday. Used to have some of the false, but the green S.Seal was much more vigorous and choked it out. We never had problems with critters eating it, but there is a new groundhog in the garden, along with several new rabbits, and obviously someone thinks it's a treat. No trouble till now, so I wouldn't worry about yours.

Barbee' said...

Hi Meadowview Thymes, it surely had its ups and downs, didn't it. You lost your most valuable tree. I lost a couple of favorites. I wonder if the problem of these two goes back to last summer's drought in Kentucky. I know you had a dry one this year. Glad to learn some relief has arrived. I would like to sit in that chair, too, but you know how it goes if we sit it is more like a brief perch before we see something that needs "fixing".

henbogle said...

Oooh, sorry to hear about the shingles, ouch! And the groundhog, argh, I'd gladly loan you my trap were we closer!

Thanks for sharing your WONDERFUL gardens! The Lycoris is gorgeous, I will have to check and see if I can grow it in Maine.
Ali

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Such variety of plants shown in your garden, I can imagine how passionate you are with this lovely garden. I enjoy the walk through .... ~bangchik

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Love the pumpkin patch and the lovely tour of your garden.

Balisha said...

Hi Barbee..
I enjoyed my tour through your gardens. That larkspur is beautiful. I'll come back..when I can sit in the green chair and visit with you. :)
Balisha

Barbee' said...

Hello henbogle, thank you for coming by. Ouch is right! It was not fun. But, I did get to read more blogs while I stayed in. And, thank you for the positive feedback! I don't know if Lycoris will grow in Maine, if not, you probably have something that is just as nice that I cannot grow here. I cannot grow lupines :( I think they must need acidic soil, whereas, our soil is just the opposite.

Bangchik, I thought I saw you out there walking through the garden. I enjoy the garden more every year, however, my abilities are beginning to fail. That is the dilemma. Come back for a walk any time.

Debbi, I think those pumpkins' days are numbered. Glad you could pop over for a quick look around.

Balisha, thank you for visiting. I am glad you like the larkspur, and I will put a Reserved sign on the green chair. It does get a good bit of use, and we move it around some days. Late summer, we were working in that are.

inadvertent farmer said...

What an enchanting garden you have...thanks so much for giving us a tour!!! Kim

Barbee' said...

Thank you, Kim, but it is a little boring compared to yours... no children, no interesting animals..., although, yesterday I saw the next door neighbor's large cat stalking close behind a possum as large or larger than it was. That was pretty interesting. That cat stays in our yard more than its own.

Msrobin said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your painful bout of shingles! Ouch! But your garden sure looks good.

Barbee' said...

Msrobin, thank you! I feel that I am way behind with my part. Hope to get back in the swing of it soon. When it gets cooler, I will perk up.