A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Patience Pays Off

My neighborhood is a very typically suburban neighborhood. During the month of May, everyone visits the local nurseries and purchases their annuals which are then planted in the same manner and in the same beds and containers as they were the previous year. Other than mowing and deadheading, they do nothing more to their yards until the fall cleanup. Occasionally someone may try different plants or a different color scheme. Mostly the yards all look exactly the same throughout the summer months.

My yard sticks out like a sore thumb. My lawn is a lawn in name only. It’s green and has some grass in it. I mow it once a week or so. My gardens are a mess by local standards. Their edges are always ragged. Mulch is conspicuous by its absence. I have so much stuff growing that no one is quite sure what I planted and what are weeds. At least until they bloom. Then some of it looks familiar.

And my yard is always changing. From week to week, month to month, year to year. I like it that way. As attractive as they are, my neighbors’ yards bore me. I love the succession of blooms in my gardens throughout the growing season. Every year I try new plants to keep it interesting. Sometimes they are spectacularly successful like the Canterbury Bells. Other times they are a dismal failure. If nothing else, gardening teaches patience.

Patience occasionally pays off. I went crazy for iris one year. I planted all kinds and colors of iris. Some were consumed by the squirrels, some grew and bloomed and some just grew. I have a lot of the latter in the border along the Ugly Green Fence. It’s been so long since I planted the rhizomes that I no longer remember what is what. Which explains my suspense lately when I noticed a bud on one iris clump.

Ah, now I remember. It was a collection of Japanese iris. This must be the purple one:

I like it! I love that the falls are the broad flat type. But wait, what was that flash of white I saw behind the peonies and Canterbury bells?

It (was) the white one! Sorry I missed it. I’m sure that it was very pretty. I’m not going to move either one. Based on the Japanese iris that has been growing in my yard for years, these will eventually get much bigger and stand out rather than be hidden as they are now.

Exciting preview: there are buds on my wintersown Black Prince snapdragons!


At 6:17 PM, Blogger Andrea's Garden said...

I enjoyed reading your post. We have some gardens around here like that, too. You always know what they will look like. One of my neighbors always asks when I come home with more stuff where I will plant it, if I have room. Of course... there is more lawn to be converted. :-) Have a nice weekend. Andrea

At 8:15 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Andrea, I'm hard at work making my lawn disappear.


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