Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Day in the Life of My Garden

I am taking a cue from Black Swamp Girl and not holding back on the photos documenting every little thing of interest in my garden- at least to me. This is my bleeding heart, which was a gift from a dear friend of of mine, Madeline Farnsworth, who passed away two years ago at the age of 91. She encouraged me in gardening, among other things, was a fascinating story teller and until her medication prevented it, could toss back the scotch until 2 in the morning. I miss her- and this bleeding heart is a lovely remembrance of an opinionated but refined woman.

This is my lamb's ear....the first time I have gotten it to thrive. In my previous garden it fell victim to my husband's insistence that everything needed to be watered thoroughly everyday. That is fine unless you are a silver leafed beauty such as this. I bought this at my library's plant sale two summers ago from a woman who said "just keep the grass out of it and do nothing else." Well- I can't resist. Last spring I cleaned all the dead leaves out of it, fussed over it and killed about half of the plants. She really meant it when she said "do nothing else."

I remember one woman asking me why her shrubs were all doing so poorly. Never afraid to get dirty- I got on my knees and crawled underneath to find masses of mold growing on every stem juncture. I backed out, stood up and asked her if she watered frequently. She said her husband ran a sprinkler system twice a day. What is it about men and over watering?

I call this little path Succulent Way. It sounds a little sexual, but really, isn't that what gardening is all about? All of these plants primp and fuss and display and call out "yoo-hoo" to all the passing bees in the hopes of passing their genetic material on to some sweet young thing at the other end of the garden.

You can practically see this little sedum applying its lipstick. Isn't it adorable? I just want to pinch it! But I will probably wait until it is 6 inches high (it is a mini, but I forgot the cultivar) and THEN give it a little pinch so it won't be quite so floppy.

This is a path that I put in last year after cutting a hole through the fence that divides the yard and my gardens from le boyfriend's vegetable garden (or one of them anyways.) I bought this cheesy metal arbor for some roses to grow up because I figured in a couple of years you wouldn't be able to see how cheesy it actually was. I am also very proud that these Tiny Rubies pinks made it through the winter. I have never had much luck with them. And to boot I bought them for practically nothing because the nursery was sick of watering them at the end of the season and they had already, clearly, been left unwatered for two or three days. In the back is one of the ubiquitous Egyptian (or Walking) Onions. They are coming up all over my yard. I suppose their crazy hair-do's add a little humor to a garden.


smith kaich jones said...

The "applying their lipstick" line is just INSPIRED! As a wanna-be plant person, I am always quite thrilled to be told to do as little as possible to/for a plant, and truly grateful for every surprise. This morning I found what I believe to be an amaryllis shooting its way up from the planter I'd never emptied - just put it on the back porch, truly meaning to get to it & just forgot. If it blooms, you will hear my feet dancing all the way to your part of the world.

SMC said...

It's the little things that can make me so happy. My friend Michelle hates weeding, but I look at it as a way to communing daily with my little green friends. I also like to laugh myself. If you look at sedum in the spring, its little leaves all puckered up into can you not go to that lipstick place?

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I would SO have loved to meet your friend Madeline! She sounds like a hoot. :)

And I'm still giggling about men and their overwatering. Amen to that! But I can't believe that the man watered so much there was mold growing on the shrubs. (I mean, I do believe it, but it's still pretty unbelievable!)

So does your boyfriend live next door, then? Or is there just that fence separating his veggie garden from your garden? I'm asking because if it's the latter, that's pretty inspired... I need one of those for the things my boyfriend decides he needs to add to my garden!

SMC said...

The house came with a fence, but le boyfriend does frequently eye my "real estate" from his side of it. I don't mind when he slips kale into my gardens as I like to look at it AND eat it. I begrudgingly let him take some of land to transplant some fruit trees because it was a corner I was neglecting and I could use a little shade. So it was a self serving real estate transaction.