Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sunshine & Purple- What Could Be Nicer?

This is the late day sunshine coming through one of my Purple Palace Heucherea yesterday afternoon. From across the yard I could see it hitting the leaves just right- like a beacon calling me in to admire them. I have five of these plants but this is the last one to be struggling along. The deer come in and nibble them back to their roots every fall. They make a valiant effort every summer to rebound, only to be kicked while they are down in October. I have resigned myself to enjoying this beauty in nurseries or friend's gardens. Sigh.....

This is a purple sorrel house plant. It is likewise glowing from being back lit by late afternoon sunshine. I normally consider house plants to be weeds, but this one doubles as a garden ornament. I move it to the front garden for a spot of color when all danger of frost is gone- which it is not. They predicted one final frost (I hope) this past Thursday. It still dips into the 30's at night which makes le boyfriend worry about his peas. Today is May 30 so I am going to throw caution to the wind and deliver the window boxes to the local library this morning so people can start to enjoy them.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Things Are Blooming!

Just to show you what a weird year this has been- I still have daffodils blooming and my rhubarb around it is ready to be harvested.

The creeping phlox is looking lovely surrounding my Gary Haven Smith sculpture. The pinks beside it are getting ready to burst.

My Giant Solomon's Seal is gorgeous. I have always coveted it and I finally have a patch of my own. I just planted it last July and it looks pretty settled already.

The rhubarb's big heads are about to burst too ... they add some drama to the border garden.

The dainty Heuchera buds are getting ready to add their two cents soon.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I am pleased with how the planter came out using perennials. Although, there is a certain sameness about it because I am using things from my garden.... lambs ear, dragons blood sedum, hens & chicks. I suppose it is a different combination.

The real test will be to see if I can get it to last over the winter. Tips from anyone?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It's a Dirty Job....

.... but someone has to do it. I edged two of my gardens today which involves going around the edges with an edger ...... stating the obvious. The encroaching grass and black eyed Susans (which are weeds in my neck of the woods) need to be beaten back yearly as they vie for real estate with my beloved plants. After going along the edge with the aforementioned tool, all the clumps of nicked off grass/black eyed Susans/weeds need to be shaken to death to get off all the precious soil from the tangle of roots. Sunny days are best for baking the offending clumps to turn the soil into bone dry dust. This photo shows all the clumps drying in the sun along the border garden.

While dirty and hard, physical labor, it can be a very rewarding job. The garden looks extra tidy. Being mildly compulsive, I walk back and forth after the job is done to admire my handiwork.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Day in the Life of My Garden May 25, 2008

My garden is finally looking interesting. Plants are getting big and lush. Things always look better after the lawn is mowed too. A little contrast for all the big floppy plants.

This is a nice closeup of the Husker Red and the Taurus Cerastium. I wish it would creep a little faster but my dry soil and the wind keeps things from getting too lush, too fast.

Here is a closeup of my purple ajuga. The electric blue flowers and dark purple foliage is mmm, mmm good.

Today is the local libraries book and plant sale. I picked up some more lambs ear (like I need any more of that) and some hens & chicks. I am thinking about doing a large planter with drought tolerant perennials instead of annuals.... which every year get beaten up by the intense sun on my back porch. It certainly is no more expensive than buying annuals and might be a money saver if I can winter it over in my garage.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Studio Portrait of Henry

This was taken on Mother's Day this past weekend, by my mother, of all things. Henry isn't usually photogenic. He always seems to look as if he has done something wrong when you snap a picture of him. This image is a classic good portrait. The subject is unaware that the photo is being taken and is completely natural, even thinking of something other than having his portrait done. I might even venture to say he is thinking how tasty that three day old dead frog laying in the road up yonder might be rolling around in his mouth. It shows his winsome good looks and soulful eyes that had me from the get go.

BTW- who knew how controversial Husker Red Penstemon would be? I'd like to be on the record as saying that their flowers are definitely disappointing..... other than the way they are held aloft those long, black stems like the daintiest of butterflies on a string. I use to think that Starlings were the ugliest bird imaginable until someone described their backs as containing as many stars as the night sky. How could you hate anything that conjures up that sort of imagery?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

You Ain't Livin' Till You Got Some Husker Red

Doing a little yard work today... actually doing a lot of yard work today. I was sweeping in front of our property.... getting rid of sand, leaves, broken up pavement, pine needles, sticks and on and on. Finally got a chance to relax in the main show, my garden. And I came to the conclusion that you don't have a garden till you have some Husker Red Penstemon. Mine is just showing its color. That is a beautiful Tim Rowan piece in the background.
I am so crazy about Husker that I have two major patches and a small one. Here it is with Ruby Glow Sedum in the foreground and Moonshine Yarrow in the background.

You can alwasy console yourself with some Dragon's Blood Sedum, but it is less dramatic.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Day In The Life of My Garden May 10, 2008

Things have really started leaping, jumping, climbing, growing. While it doesn't really look like it from these photos.....just compare it "A Day In The Life" of a week ago. There is a little more color and some distinct roundy moundy green or yellow forms. This shows our horse barn come garage and the Casino - the old rec hall for the Inn across the street. The properties got separated by a bankruptcy back in the late 60's.

This is my main garden looking towards the river. I LOVE that blue spruce. Still looking a little barren.... but wait a few more weeks. As early as it is I still had to mercilessly squish with my bare hands a few lily beetles. They are the devil incarnate.
This a beautiful garden orb by NH potter Jane Kaufmann. Her quirky drawing style adds wit and whimsy to any garden....... even us serious gardeners. I think it looks so perfect nestled into the purple ajuga..... and such a charming backdrop of concrete foundation! (not)

Henry modeling next to some of the ubiquitous peony rings used to prop up everything from catmint and veronica to well, peonies.

Summer Whiffle Cut



Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Color of Skin

I got thinking a little bit after describing my dog to somebody that he tends to be described by his looks. To the outside world Henry is definitely a terrier mix. That is how he was described to me when I adopted him. While his looks are cuddle-riffic, I think Henry would be more accurately described as a beagle/hound mix. His personality is thoroughly Beagle, it is undeniable. He has that devil-may-care attitude about everything, and if he catches the scent of something.... fugetaboutit. He is gone.

It makes me think about my friend, Debbie , who moved in next door when I was 5 years old. Her father was black and her mother was white. She would be described as black (or mixed race) if you went by her looks. The laughable thing is that she is definitely French Canadian. It is an ethnic group that is easily recognized here in the Northeast. Her speaking cadence, her values, her way of dress. Despite her coffee colored skin I know what she truly is.

Wouldn't it be nice if people recognized that which is on the inside....and more authentically the person we are?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Root Canal- Blech.

I had to have a root canal on one of my back teeth this past week. They cost huge amounts of money, require large amounts of Novocaine to anesthetize you from your scalp to collar bone, leave you with chapped lips from drooling all over yourself for three hours and require that you are okay with listening to a grown professional sing, in its entirety, Killing Me Softly and other oldies hits while they work.

The most amusing thing though is that I learned that the highest praise that can be given to a dentist by another dentist is to be called "conservative." Apparently these guys are loath to be considered a cowboy, a risk taker, a living on the razor's edge kinda' guy.

My regular dentist recommended a specialist to do my root canal with the words..."he is a great guy, really conservative." Knowing my dentist's politics I figured I would be in the hands of a very competent Republican. Later in the week I asked a good client, also a dentist, for the reputation of my root canal specialist (Endodontics for those of you in the know). He concurred with my original dentist...."he is very good, very conservative."

I always wondered how words get shanghaied by professions and become code for something that the rest of us don't always understand.