A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Season-long Color in the Garden

Reading other gardening blogs, I'm discovering that I don't plan my gardens like other people do. I don't take the landscape into consideration. I don't plant for "views" or worry about which colors go together or which plants look good next to each other. I am more interested in the flowers themselves. If they have an interesting history, even better. Other than trying to plant the taller ones at the back of the beds and the shorter ones in front, I don't really have other considerations. Except one. I must have something blooming at all times during the growing season.

One of the very few things I like about living in New Jersey is the long growing season. I think I've said that over and over again. I grew up north of here where it is not unheard of to have snow in May and the first killing frost is in September. Here in New Jersey, I start looking for snowdrops to bloom at the end of February and I always have a few flowers still toughing it out at Thanksgiving.

Gardening is becoming more and more popular making my drives through town fun. I love looking at other people's gardens to see what they've planted, what's working and what's not working. When I see flowers that are particularly striking, when I come home and do a little research, I can usually find an heirloom variety to try.

One yard has captivated me all spring. So much so, that I have actually driven out of my way to go by it every few days. The homeowners have done what I would like to do. Their entire front yard is a garden. They had drifts of Dames Rocket, dozens of foxgloves. I couldn't wait to see what they had planted for summer bloom.

Nothing, as it turned out. I have been bitterly disappointed as the spring flowers went to seed and nothing replaced them. Now the once lovely yard looks like an abandoned, weedy lot. I wish I had taken pictures this spring. I wish I had the courage to knock on their door and beg them to throw some seeds in the yard for summer.

I'm so glad that my own garden continues to bloom. I'm glad that I have started to plant lilies and poppies to bridge the gap between the spring flowers and the summer annuals. I'm glad that as each plant finishes blooming, another takes its place. There is always something new going on.

And some surprises. I found a petunia in the New World Garden. I haven't planted petunias for years. This year, I did try some heirloom petunia seeds in the front of the house but none in the back. This one must be courtesy of my feathered friends.


At 8:33 AM, Blogger crazygramma said...

I agree there are many joys of not planning the your garden too much, the surprise flowers are always nice and I too like something to be blooming at all times from spring to fall. Having fun gardening should be the top priorty.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Sandy said...

I don't plan my garden that much besides placing trees. Everything else I move around until it looks good to me. Something diffently has to be blooming all the time. I like lots of color foliage also and my trees have to have good fall color.


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