I just LOVE this hydrangea. Just posting a pop of color to make you smile!
I just LOVE this hydrangea. Just posting a pop of color to make you smile!
Well isn’t it nice of me to pop in to blog-land for a visit? I was beginning to wonder what was going on … But here we are now, ready to share some pictures and a gardening story.
I made a gardening goal for myself as part of my New Year resolutions. It was to finally clean up this bed. REALLY clean it up. I figured without making it a top priority then it just wasn’t going to happen.
This is my “messy garden bed”. The above picture is from late summer when the poppies were in full bloom. I love the color that poppies provide, but I’m weary of the mess of them.
Part of the problem is that the border around the bed hasn’t worked. I originally had a small stone wall around the bed but we couldn’t keep it neat. I have two flower beds which have boxwood for a border. There is a third bed (between the first two) which will also have boxwood. I love the shape and neatness that the boxwood gives.
So I’ve removed the stones and we will eventually plant boxwood. I’m going to make sure to have enough space on the outside of the boxwood to allow the mower’s wheels to fit! We just don’t have time to ‘strim’ around the garden. I’d like to have more time enjoying the garden, and not all of my time spent working in the garden. That balance needs a little tweaking for me.
We’ve had quite a time figuring out this center garden bed. It can get *really* wet and the soil was anything but well-drained. It has taken time and lots of compost to get the soil in a fairly decent state. We’ve lost many a plant in this bed (nick-named the plant graveyard)! Some plants I have managed to save just by moving them to a different part of the yard.
So with the help of my son and husband we’ve been working on giving this bed a proper shape and getting rid of the grass, weeds and wildflowers. I just have to clear away this mess! It simply bothers me.
It has been a lot of work. I go out for an hour at a time to turn the soil, pull out the grass, pull out the weeds, turn the soil again… arduous! But I think it is so worth it. I want to be able to really enjoy the plants that are in the garden, which this year I think I will be able to. These guys are tough, and have proved to me that they can survive this soil!
If I can manage it, I’ll pull the oval out just a tiny bit more. I’d like to get it right before planting the border. But I’m really happy with how it has evolved. I like the different shapes within the bed, and the different heights. I’m looking forward to seeing how the colors look this summer.
And that is what has been keeping me busy this last while! I hope you’ve managed to keep some of your resolutions!
I.Love.Flowers. I do. Over the past 6 years I have created quite a few flower beds (10 beds, actually!) because like Claude Monte I need flowers every day. 🙂
I am still learning and deciding which styles I like for beds, and how to display the flowers in the beds; i.e. in groups or dispersed throughout, one color / color theme or a mix of colors. I also like the idea of a ‘cutting flower’ bed, where the flowers are purpose grown specifically for cutting.
This particular bed (photo at top) was created with the intention of using it for planting squash. I wanted to grow squash on a trellis. Maybe you’ve seen pictures on Pinterest of how lovely that can look? So I killed the grass with newspapers (that is shorthand for explaining how to kill grass without chemicals: cover with newspapers for minimum 3 months), dug up the soil, added compost, let it sit for a season and then it was all set for planting. The only problem was that we weren’t set for building a trellis (yet).
The squash lost out, because I decided that I was going to fill the bed with the 40 Gladiolus which I had bought the previous year. Of all 40 bulbs, not a single one bloomed in the containers I had planted them in. I was hoping that maybe in some nice compost and enough room they might be happier and I’d get a few flowers.
What a turn-around those bulbs had after I planted them in the bed. They have been blooming since mid-July and it is now mid-August and they still looking all showy.
About the colors… I like purple in the garden, and the picture on the package is purple and burgundy and nothing at all like the purple and red colors which have bloomed in my garden. It reminds me too much of Christmas! But never the less, I love them.
Can you guess which way the winds blow at our house? The poor stems were fighting a loosing battle. I’m not sure how much help our supports are for them either, since they are still leaning forward! But they continue to bloom and they are simply stunning.
I have indeed cut stems and put them in a vase a few different times. The stems are so long that after the lower flowers die I can cut the stem a second time and continue with all new blooms at the top of the stem.
I really like how they stand out across the garden. Unusual colors for my garden, but I can make them work.
Purpose driven gardening, I like that. 🙂
Are you like me and constantly on the go? I mean I am constantly on a schedule. There is just so much to plan and do and enjoy…
But every once in a while, usually dictated by my body shouting that it has had enough, it is necessary to recharge.
Today was that day for me. Life has been pretty full for us lately, all good, but it has me rather run down. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to rest today, and really enjoy my garden (after a few chores, of course!).
What I really wanted today was a nap; but between the sunshine, and the neighbouring farmer working his field, that was just not happening. So I did a few jobs that have been on my list:
After those jobs were done, then I sat in the grass and watched, and listened, and simply enjoyed the garden.
Wow, what a feeling that was. It was kinda strange because I really and truly have a hard time sitting and relaxing. The weather was definitely a huge help. We have had very sunny, warm and simply perfect days.
I hope that you are able to take some time out to enjoy all that is around you, too.
Life is too short so Plant flowers? Pardon me? Here is where I’m coming from: I know of way too many cases of terminal illnesses, or extremely serious illnesses, or instances of hardship. It is heartbreaking, and can really get me down.
Are flowers the answer to all of that heartache? No, they aren’t. But they can be a peaceful and beautiful diversion.
I think it is important to do things that make us happy, bring us joy, or simply make us smile.
Why not do something simple that brings such nice returns? You’d be surprised how just seeing flowers can improve your mood. Last year I posted on my facebook page some pictures of flowers which my neighbor grows in her “roadside garden”.
They are so lovely to see. It seems I am always in a hurry and have too much on my mind yet when I see those flowers I just “stop” and enjoy that moment of beauty.
For all of those people who are suffering in any way, I pray for you to find peace. May we all find ways to help those around us who might need that extra bit of kindness.
I think I’ll do my part in planting more flowers, too, to hopefully bring more beauty in the world.
With warm regards,
Working in the garden is not something that my kids would consider a “fun” past time, (or even my husband, ahem…) despite my best efforts to convince them it is! But yesterday, Easter Monday, we were all outside and at one point we were all working in one garden bed when my older daughter laughed and said “isn’t this nice?”!
YES, yes it was! What I call the “Center Garden” is where we were all working. Over the past few years I’d had a wild-flower garden here, but it went terribly wrong with more grass this year than garden. I’ve spent quite a bit of time turning the soil/grass/sod. Yesterday we were able to shake the sod and get rid of the grass while leaving the soil. What a painstaking process! It was so wonderful to get the family’s help!
A bit of a side note from our working in the garden, but I’ve taken a real liking to Hellebores in the garden. They can add color all through the winter. These (above) are a dark pink color, and although they love to get black spot, after I cut off their leaves they look really pretty. They look like pink bells to me!
Another big job the family helped me with is clearing a second section of the ditch-wall. It was all brambles, ivy and nettles!
What a job that has been! The wall is in very poor shape. I’m trying to be careful to keep it as much in tact as possible. I’m focusing on the bottom section now that the stones are cleared. Believe it or not, I am hopeful that I’ll be able to plant here this summer. That is my motivation! I still have a lot to do to pull up those ivy roots. If only my good plants were so strong!
Just a few yards up from the new clearing my “original” ditch-wall garden is showing lots of color! I planted some aubretia last year and it is just starting to bloom. The daffodils are also just starting to add their color.
The key expression around here is … all in good time!
I hope that you and your family get to enjoy time together in the garden, even if not for pulling weeds!
My husband and I work for two different entities that are both located at Dublin City University. We walk around the same grounds and, technically, we see the same things. It turns out though, that we see completely differently what is right in front of both of us. Funny how that is. 🙂
I tend to look at the trees, shrubs, flowers, and whether the environment feels inviting. It’s no secret that those things bring me joy, so I seek them out. My husband, not so much.
This whole conversation came about when I asked my husband if he liked how the crocus were planted among the daffodils, as we walked past them. Maybe you can guess his response: “What crocus?” followed by “and what daffodils?”. These flowers are in front of the Nurses building where we often meet for lunch. I love the combination! How did he not *see* them?
I love the tall structure of the evergreens along the pathway.
I really like the grounds at DCU. I love seeing flowers. I think they create an inviting atmosphere no matter where they are.
If there is “sun” in the weather forecast I throw my camera in my bag, because you just never know what you might see on your lunch-time walk.
Take this ornamental cabbage, for example! What a pleasant surprise to see this in the park. I must try growing these at some stage because it is wonderful to have some color in the garden at this time of year.
The loop around the park is a wonderful walk during lunch break. It is peaceful and beautiful.
But if you look closely underneath the trees, you will see these lovely crocus:
The tete-a-tete were just starting to bloom when I took these pictures last week.
I call the above picture “anticipation”! So much bloomin’ potential!
I hope you enjoyed “seeing what I see” while walking around DCU.
I love flower arranging. My husband knows this and he very kindly bought bunches of bright cheerful colored roses for me to “play” with. Isn’t he sweet? 🙂
I started with the orange roses. I trimmed a bit off of the bottom and then took most of the leaves off (just my personal preference). The orange color is really pretty.
The yellow roses were the largest roses and I really like them. I only trimmed the tiniest amount off of the stems to keep them nice and tall.
I prefer not to have all of the flowers the same height in order to give the arrangement some depth. So I cut some pink roses quite short and have them throughout the middle and the outside of the vase.
The colors all went so well together. To me, it is quite cheerful!
What a lovely “pick me up”! And so easy to do. The vase is a very plain large opening glass vase, which was perfect for the amount of roses.
It might be St. Valentine’s Day tomorrow, but really, why not have flowers in our lives everyday?
Happy “Flowers Every Day” to you!