Forsythia Hedge

When we moved here in 2001, there was a small hedge of forsythia behind the fence.  It grew and grew and became a monster 60 feet long, up to 15 feet high, and 20 feet deep.  Intertwined were vines of bittersweet, grapevine, and Virginia Creeper.  We mostly ignored the “hedge” because we didn’t have to gaze at it very often, but once the porch was finished, we knew we had to tackle the monstrosity or be swallowed up.  Here it is back in October.

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Starting to cut it back:

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Making progress:

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We found the groundhog burrow:

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Almost done:

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There’s a bit more trimming to do and we created a pretty big burn pile to take care of in January, but come spring it should be a vast improvement.

 

 

 

Frost on the dragonfly

Boo and Happy Halloween.  It was a very frosty start to the day here, 22 degrees. I hurried outside to photograph before the sun warmed everything up.

Rusty dragonfly

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Frost on the garden fairy

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Sedum Autumn Joy

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Amsonia

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Lambs Ears

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Yarrow

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Sun coming through the woods

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Porch view

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The sun rose higher and we took a walk in the woods

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Back in the garden

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These little faces peered out from the birdhouse

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And this little guy was having Halloween treats in a nearby crabapple

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Hope you had a great day

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BOO!

 

 

 

 

Mid-October

It has a been a balmy autumn in these parts but that is about to end.  We had a hint of frost the last couple of nights but the real thing is coming this week.  Sigh.  We have been scurrying about trying to finish up the exterior painting on some steps we rebuilt, putting wood preservative on the new porch and finishing up some landscaping.  Landscaping around here has a domino effect. Let’s see: if I move that plant over there , then this plant can go in that spot and then I can move that other plant…. it goes on for awhile.  Here are a some photos of the declining garden, pre-freeze.  There is lots of color even on a gray day.

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Dahlia photo is a bit washed out – but the true color shows in a vase

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Since we have a new view from the porch we thinned the lilacs and are beginning to hack away the forsythia – it will be a long project

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All that stuff to the far left has got to go

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Improved view from the porch

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Lastly, one of my daylilies rebloomed … a first for me.

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“Hoick” it out

Every once in awhile you just have to come to terms with a big overgrown area of your garden.  I read about this somewhere and the reference was regarding Vita Sackville-West  – she made the garden at Sissinghurt in England.  She said, “Gardening is largely a question of mixing one sort of plant with another and of seeing how they marry happily together; and if you see that they don’t marry happily, then you must hoick one of them out and be quite ruthless about it.”  There was a gorgeous pink hued fragrant lilac in my garden when we moved in 17 years ago.

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I tried keeping it under control but it kept sending out shoots, and it was taking over other areas of the garden.  You can see it out on the right near the end of the fence.  It was invading the daylilies.

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Finally, I decided it had to go.  I dug many of the shoots and planted some near the new porch.  Many more were given to friends.  That was the easy part.

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Next I had to get the stump(s) out of the ground.  Hubby helped and we dug and lifted and pried. We even got out the saws-all and cut massive roots. Finally,  we “hoicked it out” and we were “ruthless”.

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Here’s what the space looks like now.

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I wish I had done this years ago.  Now what should I plant there?   Hmmmmmm….. dahlias come to mind.  Stay tuned.

 

Labor Day

Well, there went summer.  I finally caught up with the weeds since we had a break in the heat and humidity, and I actually felt like gardening for a change.  I should have taken a photo of the piles and piles of crabgrass, hogweed, etc.   Yuck.  There have been a few bright spots the last few weeks despite the groundhogs and rabbits ruining some of my planned color combos.

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Kim’s daylily and the bottle tree

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The new porch is looking spiffy  – need to thin those lilacs

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Yarrow and Faith’s phlox – with an interloper to be removed

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The Brugmansia bloomed – I think this is year 8

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The humidity has brought out lots of cool mushrooms

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I grew a heart shaped tomato

 

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 This funky dragonfly showed up

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And these guys returned…..

That’s it for now.  I’m looking forward to cooler days and better gardening weather.  We still need to landscape around the new porch, thin out the lilacs, prune back the forsythia hedge, transplant stuff, etc. etc. etc.

 

 

July and August

Summer is speeding by!  The garden has taken a back seat this year due to travel, the porch project, family visits and our new grandbaby.  Plus it was hot, and then the monsoons came.  Things are growing but due to neglect, weather, and varmints this has  been a challenging summer.

In July, we traveled to the Canadian Rockies and the Bugaboo Mountains for some hiking.  I saw lots of wildflowers. The scenery wasn’t too shabby either.

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When we returned home, we found the daylilies were in full bloom …

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We finished the porch…

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In August, we had visits from this mama and her babies

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And the groundhog was back.. see him just to the right of the birches?  Grrrrr

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He hasn’t gotten the tomatoes yet…

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Today I finally did some weeding – here’s before

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And after…

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The rains are returning… maybe I’ll tackle the back garden tomorrow…or not. Summertime…..

 

 

 

A new blossom in the garden…..

Here it is the end of June and I have had little time to blog or anything else.  But its June, you say,  there are flowers busting out all over!  The reason for the inactivity is that a new granddaughter was born on June 15th, and I have been spending a lot of time away helping the new little one and her mom, dad and big brother get back on their feet.

The garden (and weeds) continued to grow in my absence, the woodchucks climbed over the fence and got into the the veggie garden.  Rabbits and chipmunks helped the woodchucks munch lots of stuff  in the perennial beds… no rest for the weary gardener.

In honor of my new granddaughter, here are some of the pink flowers that are blooming now.  I didn’t realize I had so many.

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Iris Ensata ‘Hanakaido Pink’ – its a bit washed out from today’s rain

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Penstemon ‘Husker Red’

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Gaura

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Mexican Primrose

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Perennial geranium

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Another perennial geranium

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Coral bells

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Dwarf coral bells

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‘Wild Pinks’

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Talinum

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Anemonella

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And a lovely shrub rose

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Welcome to the world, new little child.  May you grow and blossom.