A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Yellow/Orange Garden

When I moved into this house, the neighbor whose yard borders my back fence was infamous in the neighborhood for neglecting his yard. He had allowed the strip that ran along our shared fence to become completely overgrown. Very little sunlight penetrated the weeds and saplings which also grew through the chainlink fence. Twice a year I trimmed everything that was growing through the fence. Amazingly, two Blaze rosebushes and some daylilies were managing to survive on my side of the fence. I tried all kinds of flowers but nothing else would grow there.

Then he decided to run for town council. Down came the dead tree that everyone had been sure was going to fall down and destroy our houses. The brush along the fence magically disappeared. An actual lawn appeared. I was thrilled. In celebration, I planted a lot of bright yellow and orange flowers in what had formerly been a gloomy spot in my yard. The first year they didn't do too well. The neighbor sprayed herbicide to rid his yard of the poison ivy that has plagued me since moving in (I'm very allergic) and all the plants on my side of the fence either died or were stunted. But in the years since I've had great success growing different kinds of flowers in a spot that had been barren for so long.

Along with the usual Bright Lights cosmos, Double Dwarf Jewel nasturtiums and calendulas that I always grow there I am trying some new flowers and retrying some others. Zinnias have always done well for me there. Of all the heirlooms I have tried, I am partial to the Persian Carpet variety. I know, not terribly old, but I still like them. I am trying the Tri-Color Daisies again. This is the third time, third location. If they don't work out again, I swear I will never plant them again. For a few years at least. And I am trying the Chinese Lanterns again. Second time, second location. Besides being heirlooms, I have fond memories of them from my childhood.

New this year are Harlequin marigolds from the 1870's, Blackberry lilies which aren't really lilies but a form of iris and saffron. I can't for the life of me remember why I ordered the saffron. I know I had a reason at the time. Just for fun, I am trying Medusa Ornamental peppers. They are really wild looking. I don't expect much from them because I have the worst luck growing anything remotely edible. Earlier this spring, I threw some Corn poppy seeds into the bed that I got for free and decided to make part of the great poppy experiment. They have germinated and are growing quite happily. My first poppies!

Tomorrow I will be tackling another of my color gardens, the Green garden.


At 6:01 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

My garden was such a mess this spring, I was seriously thinking about giving up on it- yeah, like that would ever really happen.
Now after four days of hard work, it is looking really good. I don't really do theme areas, but I do try to make sure that things look nice together. One of my favorite gardens is my shade garden under a huge white pine. A lot of people say they can't get thing to grow under pines (even white pines) but I even have sedum growing there and doing well.
I can't wait to see more pictures of your gardens. They sound lovely.

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

I just posted a picture of my favorite tulips (they are orange) in my garden. You can see it on my Syllogism blog. I love them!

At 4:45 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Wow! Shade and pine. That's a tough one. I congratulate you on getting anything to grow there. I do theme and color gardens because I have a terrible time deciding where to plant things. It's just easier for me to fit things into a plan.

Great tulips! Mine got eaten this year. Can't be deer, must be squirrels. The Middlesex aquirrels are infamous for being able to eat anything, including stuff like masonry.


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