02 May 2010

Green stuff in my yard

So Spring came on as a bit of an ambush this year... it went from below freezing and grey to above 80 and humid in a matter of just a few weeks. I am waaaaaaaaaaaaay behind in my garden routine, but it doesn't look that bad. That's the nice thing about green growing things-- you can forget about them and they will forgive you for it (except the most spiteful fussy plants, but I tend to avoid those anyway).

It was the Harry Lauder Walking Stick plant's first winter here, and I was worried about him, since he looks so fragile. He had grown in Mum's backyard, and where Mum lives is much more mild than here. Here, he'd be buried under drifts of snow and frozen solid. I bundled him under burlap, but I was still afraid he wouldn't make it.... but I was wrong. I know it's a terrible photo, but check out all those green shoots!

In the big garden, there are daffodils in the middle, and behind them you can see pinks, creeping phlox and lots of hollyhocks-- all babies, but they are growing quickly. In the front there, I planted some rosebud impatiens today (I've never grown those before so who knows what will happen).

Here's the right side of the big garden-- the daffodils are in the middle, and the big mound of hollyhocks (which will be pink) in the back, and an entire bush of chives in the front. There's a tiny bit of thyme over there on the right border, but that's slowly being choked out by aggressively invasive weeds. I need to fix up the edges of this garden or else the grass and the creeping weeds will strangle everything in sight.

I haven't decided what to put in the middle there-- maybe more herbs or something.

Last week I bought some tulips for Ellen and Kate and I kept some for myself. I plunked them in this container by the end of the driveway. Plants that grow by bulb seem so foreign to me-- I know that's so silly, but they do. To me, plants are either bought from the nursery already growing or you can start them from seed. "Weird" methods of growing plants-- like bulbs and cuttings-- scare me somehow. However, since I love daffodils, I was able to get over my bulb paranoia a little bit. Tulips, though... well, they're an experiment. I have no idea if they will come up next year at all. They're pretty, though.

In the little raised bed the irises are taking over (which is great!!) and the daffodils are just bursting. In the middle there, you can see a little mound of what will be dahlias (freshly planted). On the left, you can see some sad little tulips that I planted last year.

Sad (but still triumphant) little tulip close-up:

In the front garden, we have (going clockwise, starting with that poky prickly plant in the corner): The incredibly cold-tolerant yucca, then four hollyhock plants (which will bloom this year, but they are a mystery color), six pink plants, then a row of tulips in the front.

Nestled in between some of the tulips are some pansies and johnny-jump-ups...

The circle garden in the front is the garden I give the least attention to. It really is a mess. There is a mass confusion of jacob's ladders, hostas and sweet williams that I planted that sort of just clump together. The people who lived here before I did planted mint here, and by the end of the summer the entire garden is completely taken over by the stupid mint plants. Once the garden decides that it only wants to be a mint garden it looks relatively pretty, but until then it looks like a weedy sprawly disaster.

The one thing that grows there, and does well, is the clematis. I've read that clematis is a really fussy plant, with all the pruning and special care that it needs, but I haven't done a thing to it except encourage it to grow along the poles. It's really happy where it is, and soon it will burst into its pretty powder blue flowers... and I am always happy when that happens. The tendrils wll eventually run out of room on the poles, and I'm hoping to train them to grow on the tree branch (you can just barely see it on the left there) and have the vines and tendrils and flowers spill over to the other side of the tree, which faces the street.

So even though it's still early, and there's lots to do, the garden is already looking great! :)

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