May has been a roller coaster so far. It has been hot – in the 80’s and tonight we are going to have a freeze. It has been a very active season in the garden. Bluebirds are nesting in their houses, robins in the cedar outside my window, and Carolina wrens in a plant on the porch. The orioles have returned for their grape jelly treats and hummingbirds entertain us all day long. A fox has been hunting daily (she has 5 kits nearby).
There is so much to see in the garden right now. I will try to take more photos and share them soon.
Happy Spring. The tulips and daffodils are blooming, bluebirds are nesting, bloodroots are blossoming and trillium and epimediums are budding. It is an early spring this year. After reading Kenton Seth and Paul Spriggs book “The Crevice Garden” this winter, I decided I needed to build one. A garden club friend had lots of rocks he wanted to get rid of so I went to his house and loaded up the SUV. I had 3 yards of screened topsoil delivered. I went to a local landscaping business and bought chipped stone for the top dressing. The next task was to dig out the plants that were in the space. I had astilbe, perennial mums, siberian iris, thread-leaf coreopsis, dianthus, and betony in the area. All had become overgrown and too large so I dug them, split them and potted them up for my garden club’s plant sale in May.
I need some more plants but it is a start. Stay tuned….
Greetings from the garden and Happy New Year. January has been a topsy turvy weather month in the Northeast. Rain, cold, warm, snow, rain again, snow again. It is either very pretty outside or darn ugly. Let’s go with the pretty pictures shall we?
The garden continues to rest of course. However, the gardener is heading south for a couple of months and will be back in April to begin a new gardening year. I hope these photos provide a pleasant diversion for my many friends who are battling illness this winter.
The days are getting longer! Well that’s what we all say but what it really means is that the amount of daylight will now begin to increase, albeit quite slowly. I like the light and don’t care for a sunset at 4:30 in the evening. I am always happy when the upswing happens. Its all upward from here. The garden is resting of course. The bluebirds and other birds visit constantly. The squirrels keep us entertained, the deer appear from time to time, and we have had a beautiful fox visit as well. We had a bit of snow but that melted, and now we are getting a big rainstorm instead of a snowstorm this week. Then it will get very very cold but dry, so it doesn’t look like we will have a white Christmas this year.
I thought perhaps I would share a bit of decor since there’s nothing in the garden to look at.
This is the front porch
Grapevine tree, tools and a sled
Twig sparkle tree – This goes up before the real tree and provides lots of light this time of year
Table decor with an antique decoy and natural materials.
We had garden visitors of course. We always battle the squirrels, and this one is quite clever.
These ladies were watching my every move
I made this grapevine tree on the porch table years ago. The photo was taken a couple weeks ago when we had a little snow. It looks very Christmasy to me. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I count my many blessings and am grateful for my gardens and my gardening friends. May the New Year bring you joy.
Time flies. Sorry I didn’t get a post done earlier in the month. November was typical – warm one day, cold and frosty the next. There’s always so much work to be done in the garden this time of year. Its not all that enjoyable putting the garden to bed. The plus side is that after its done, I get to rest for awhile.
I cut back the dahlias after a frost, dug them and dried them before putting them to bed for the winter in the basement.
The meadow got its annual haircut.
The never ending battle with the squirrels continues, but they are entertaining and very resourceful.
The Brugmansia put out a late flush of bloom. We dragged it into the garage so it wouldn’t freeze. I need to cut it way back before I can get it into the basement for winter dormancy, but it was so pretty I couldn’t bear to trim it yet. This photo is from a couple weeks ago but a few buds still popped this morning.
This Bradford Pear has been severely leaning since it was hit by a broken maple branch during a windstorm a few years ago. We were afraid it would eventually pull right out of the ground in the winter wind storms and crush everything in its path. We decided to lop the top off and see if we could salvage some of it.
It looks pretty bad right now, but hopefully it will fill out in the spring and still provide a bit of shade for the plants that are growing beneath it.
Frosty mornings are always pretty
Lambs ears with a coating of hoarfrost
And finally, my garden nymph watches over the garden until spring. We have plans for next year of course. I hope to create a crevice garden in the front bed by the driveway using stones from a kind neighbor. Some plants need to be moved to different areas of the garden where they can expand. I plan to expand the dahlia section. Stay tuned
The garden is winding down but the foliage is ablaze. Everyone thought it would be a dull year due to the drought – but it is spectacular! I have started cutting back the iris and the daylilies. Of course, I am moving things around as well – transplanting , thinning, moving plants to new locations. We finally got some rain and the plants are responding to the moisture and perking up before they are gone for the season.
The photo below is from August and shows the view from the screen porch. We decided that the fence section on the left was blocking our view into the rest of the garden so we took it out last week.
Of course now there is a new garden area to plant and maintain, but the view will be great next year
We have had a few light frosts but not enough to kill the annuals and tender plants. We did cover up the Brugmansia and succulents to extend the season a bit, but otherwise we are letting nature take its course. For now we will revel in the beauty of the season and begin the preparations for putting the garden to bed for the winter. always a bittersweet time.
It has been quite a month. We started with drought but finally got a few good rain storms and things are getting green again. The high temperatures are gone and the weather is good for gardening again. Nights are cool, leaves are starting to change and autumn is here.
The colors will change markedly over the next month. The gardening season is winding down. There is much to do to prepare for winter. But there is time to get it done. I have friends and family in Florida facing destruction of their gardens from Hurricane Ian. I have other friends facing life altering medical challenges. My gardens sustain me. As always, it is important to stop and savor the beauty around us as long as we can since it can be gone in a flash. Be well, dear gardeners
There isn’t much to write about this month because of the drought. It was hot, it was humid and it was dry. The thunderstorms mostly missed us. We hauled hoses and watered as much as we could. No lawn watering is allowed but we can hand water gardens. So that’s what we’re doing and hopefully we won’t lose any plants.
July is the season of daylilies in my garden. They provide lots of color, require minimal maintenance and do well in drought. Which we have. July has been very hot and very dry. I spend most of my time hauling hoses around.
Hopefully the drought pattern will change in August. Between the drought, heat and varmints (voles, chipmunks, rabbits, deer and a groundhog) gardening has been a challenge this year.
I have been collecting Japanese Iris (Ensata) for many years now. As you may recall, last year I dug up some of them that had outgrown their spaces and transplanted them into a wet area where an old willow had been taken down due to rot. I had hoped that they would all blend together in June. They came up this spring and buds formed. Finally, they began to bloom. I left some of them in the main garden in case my experiment didn’t work. But it did! So I will transplant some more into the space in the fall.
I am happy with my experiment so far. I hope next year the circle will be full of Ensatas all blooming at about the same time.