For the garden is the stage on which the gardener exults and agonizes out every crest and chasm of the heart.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Butterfly Garden

The perennial garden really starts up at the garden bench in a formal (by my standards) area and becomes more natural and free-flowing as it tumbles down toward the lake. This jumble of wildflowers falls down the slope to the gravel lane by the lake. I think it has finally grown past the watchful eyes of THE CITY and what they perceive as "weed" control measures. (People seem to be slowly becoming more aware of the need for "wild places" even in cities.) Due to continued seeding, by next Spring this it will be double in size and should fill nicely in two years, heavy in Milkweed species - probably even a bit larger than the formal garden. Next summer I will hack a mulch-paved path, dead through the heart of it, to unpainted rough wooden steps down to the gravel lake lane. Two years. Stay tuned.




Monday, July 6, 2015

Sweet Right Now

Sometimes it all works and the colors come together almost perfectly. Yeah, I know you big red flower people think it needs more of a color pop, but pfft! it's my garden and my pallet.



Since your last visit I lifted the rather wobbly brick steps at the end of the main brick axis and replaced them with more stable fake slate concrete pavers. They look okay and won't break your ankle.





This is where the bricks migrated to over the weekend, replacing the previous gravel step treads. There was a couple of housefuls of family for three days, wonderful laughing toddlers running through the garden as I worked. :-) Besides the brickwork, I lifted and divided enough plants to fill a garden for Addy and Kate. By the time the weekend was over I was tired. I'm still playing around with the rock placing around the steps and planting plants in the cracks. 

I'm not certain the two dwarf daylilies work and probably be replaced with small ferns.

Below is a view of the lake through the in-process butterfly garden below the main garden.


Be well, keep moving,
Gunnar

Monday, June 29, 2015

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.

Photographing the garden makes me aware of its weaknesses. These are some reminders for myself:

My propensity to pick up a plant or two every time I'm at garden center results in a garden with lots of little blobs of color rather than continuity. I have way too many plants and way too many varieties. In all things, simplify, simplify, simplify. 

What next? The two low lemon-yellow Hostas by the bird bath don't work. They don't like the sun; worse the color doesn't work - they are just two blobs of yellow-green laying dead on the bricks. They'll bring some much needed light back in the shadows behind the bench where they belong. 

The rose-pink lily is too tall for its forward location. After it's done flowering I will move it back away from the intersection. Probably the iris too. 

The peony by the archway is a big plant in the wrong place. A great plant, but where? Maybe the entry garden? Do I really want to expand north across the entry path?

There are tall sedums, asters and yarrows that really should live down the hillside in the developing butterfly/native garden. The asters and yarrow for certain.



Colors work except for the blob hosta. 

This works. It's green and hard to screw up.








Stop by, I'll give you a plant or two, Gunnar

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Reasons To Keep On Going

The early summer garden is filling in nicely as we move into the serious weed season. The first flush of roses is pretty much over, but it should be really colorful in about a week with the beginning of the Daylilies and Asiatic hybrids. I really should do some deadheading and remove the Hosta flowers, but the Hummingbirds seem to like them.... even if I find them a little distracting.

My friend Jane Ann has three Hostas that have been in pots for ten years. She covers them in her unheated garage over the winter. I liked the look so I bought a couple of glazed pots and dug up a Krossa Regal Hosta, divided it and potted them up. They look a little sparse this year, but they should fill out by next year. Should look terrific in ten years (if I make it that long). "Excuse me, I can't die right now; I am too busy, I have Hostas to check on and plants to divide. And the weeds!"

I want to thank Larry and Linda for the bricks they have given me over the years as they have redone their landscape. The old power chimney tower bricks didn't work for them, but they really define and make my humble garden just a bit special.






Keep on keeping on, Gunnar


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Foliage Color and Texture

As the garden(er) continues to mature there are fewer flowers and more foliage. It lasts longer and the colors are more interesting to my old eyes.









Color, and not a flower in sight. What fun.






Entry Garden

I think the entry garden is filling in nicely, in various green tones and values. The Iris have gone by and the Daylilies haven't kicked in yet. No matter, this is primarily a green garden. The colors of perennial flowers tend to be soft and beautiful, most of the annuals are bright and fun, like so much colored hay, but the greens are restful. When I walked around the garden with a camera it struck me that the street view is not much, okay I suppose, but the real view is from our door and windows - a little hard to get a good angle on.