A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Monday, May 23, 2005

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

After I had finished all of my planting, I took pictures of my backyard. Imagine you are facing the back of my house and turning counter-clockwise. This is what you would have seen:

At the ten o'clock position is the semi-shady garden. Then comes the Holly Garden so-called because there used to be a big holly on the other side of the fence. It made dense shade on my side of the fence and nothing would grow there. I've talked about the crazy neighbors on one side of me and in back of me. The neighbors in whose yard was the holly are the nicest people. A couple of years ago, they decided to get rid of the holly. Complicating the situation was the fact that there was a Blaze rosebush that had climbed up the holly and was intertwined with the branches. I told the neighbors not to worry about the rosebush. I had plenty of them. They could just cut it down. And then I left to run some errands. When I returned, the holly was gone but the rosebush remained. They had carefully untwined the branches. And they aren't even gardeners! I've been trying to find something that will grow well there. This year I am trying a new marigold, Cottage Red, which as the name implies, are supposed to be red. I also threw in some Baby's Breath that I had packs and packs of for some reason and the mystery poppy (after some research, I discovered that it is not a poppy). So far, only the marigolds have germinated.

After the Holly Garden is the Cosmos Garden. This is another strange spot along the fence. Nothing grows there. Anything I plant dies. Cosmos, for some reason, loves that spot. I have had 6' plants grow there. I transplanted some Ipswich pinks there two years ago and they seem to be doing okay. This year I moved some unidentified pinks from the Purple Garden into an empty spot and they seem to have also taken root and are budded. Last year, I tried growing Bachelor Buttons (Corn Flowers) and Queen Anne's Lace. Both did so-so. I am trying them again this year. The Bachelor Buttons, both seed that I saved and seed that I purchased are germinating as are the cosmos (Sensation).

In the next corner is the shady garden with the birdbath. I am growing ferns there for the the first time this year. Of the six I planted last fall, only two survived the squirrels and the winter. I planted a Japanese Painted Fern in front of the birdbath this spring. It hated it there so I moved it back along the fence and it is much happier. The hosta I got from Rutgers Gardens is much, much larger than I realized. I'm going to have to move it or the iris it is crowding. And, unbelievably, after all of my bitching and moaning about the hellebores, they are growing like mad!

Along the back fence are day lilies, then the Yellow/Orange Garden and then two Blaze rosebushes. I moved a lot of iris out of the Yellow/Orange Garden, so it looks very bare. The roses, on the other hand, look very messy for good reason. Poison Ivy has firmly taken root and is growing all over the roses and the fence. Normally I uses an herbicide to get rid of it, the only time I willingly use a poison. It kills the poison ivy and everything else so I can't use it around the roses.

In the next corner is the old shed that came with the house. In front of it is the circular bed containing both the Purple Garden and the Green Garden. Along the side of the shed is the Medieval Garden. The New World Garden is the long border between my house and the dog-loving neighbors.

The garden containing the rosebushes and iris along the back of my house has not been cleaned out and enlarged yet. I'm taking my time doing it since I am not planning on doing any planting there this year. And lastly, is the lilac bush.

These pictures were taken on May 11. It is amazing how much the gardens have filled in in the short time since then.


At 10:23 PM, Blogger crazygramma said...

Wow you have a huge yard.
I can hardly wait for pictures of these gardens in bloom.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Actually, I have a very tiny yard. For some reason, it always looks huge in pictures. My entire lot is only 50' x 100'.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger snappy said...

you have a lovely looking garden.you like me have different named borders along various parts of it.My border names are really related to which part of the house they run alongside.
The gasmen are still digging and banging outside.Eventually they will finish and i can reclaim the garden.You feel sad they are trampling over it.
I have had stafforshire terriers attack my japenese maple, kids trample getting thier balls from the garden.workmen dig it up!Its natural selection pressure.just wait to they finish and see whats survived!


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