It’s been several months now that I’ve been participating in Aisling’s Sunday Stroll carnival, and I have to say, not only has it been neat to have a photograph theme to look forward to each week, but it’s been great fun learning about my garden and getting to know other gardeners and photographers through the carnival. Thanks Aisling for hosting Sunday Stroll each and every week!
This week in my garden, I worked hard. Maybe too hard. I know, I know. I’m 33 weeks pregnant and I probably should not be breaking my back and sweating it out among dirt and leaves, but I have to tell you that as much work as it is, I like doing it: my garden is a little piece of happiness and pride for me. This is what I did:
1. Annabelle and I made at least 3 visits to the hardware store to purchase mulch, bricks, and other materials for the garden. Visits to the hardware store, while not necessarily painful, require some planning, entertainment, and patience: have you ever let your 2 year old push a wide garden cart down narrow aisles and around the corners of a store? I have, and let me tell you, it makes you start to think about what the visit could potentially cost you should a display come crashing down (or worse, come crashing down on an unsuspecting patron). A better option? Wait to make trips to the hardware store for when Dad is home and your 2 year old can be gainfully entertained (and you can go in and out of the store in a blink . . . how often does that happen though?)
2. Weeded my liriope. Yikes! The liriope in my yard is lush and growing strong . . . and spreading so fast that I’ve lost track of what is growing among it. My husband, who prefers a tidy garden, will now and again crouch down and pick through the liriope to pull the weeds and wandering sweet woodruff (as much as I love the look and smell of s.w., it will happily move among other plants and claim the dirt as its own territory). In something of a contrast, I don’t mind a wild garden look, but for some reason, and yes, it probably has to do with nesting, I wanted to thin the liriope and remove the wandering woodruff. Rewarding? Yes. Backbreaking. Uh-huh.
3. Dug out 3 plots and replaced clay based dirt with gardening soil. For some reason, and I am now suspecting slugs and other pests, the flowers that grow in the upper 2 plots beside my front door are short lived plants. The only flowers to do well there have been my petunias and hanging baskets. Because the hanging baskets were thriving, I initially suspected the quality of the dirt and so replaced it; then at dinner last night, I told friends how I grieved the unintentional death of a slug (I accidentally killed one and being the animal lover that I am, I naturally cried over the slug’s death in my kitchen sink), and they laughed saying that slugs may indeed be the reason my flowers’ leaves get eaten up and my flowers dry up and die. Anyone else have an explanation for why my flowers are drying up in these plots? For now, I replaced the dirt, remulched, and transplanted the alive but faded zinnia to a lower and sunnier plot. In the new plot, the zinnia have re-opened (within just a day!), so there is definitely something going on in the other 2 plots. I’d love some possible suggestions! Any ideas?
4. We found a turtle. Okay, I realize that finding a turtle is not work (in fact, it’s lots of fun to find different creatures living among my plants), but what is interesting is that I believe this turtle, who was hiding out in the liriope has been living in my garden all summer long. Earlier this summer, we found him in the back garden among my ivy and now he seems to have wandered to the front (this guy just loves ground cover). While I can’t know for sure whether it’s the same turtle, I’m pretty certain it is (looks to be the same orange and grey guy). What’s great about having a garden turtle is that he or she is something of a free pet from the universe that we don’t have to “take care of” because he/she is doing just fine, all on its own, out in the garden.
5. I built small retaining walls with scalloped brick. Reason? I don’t want to lose any more dirt and mulch. With all the rain that’s been dumping all over my garden (which is great in that I don’t have to water the garden so often), the dirt and mulch just wash away . . . and well, the loss adds up (and most certainly affects the plants too, yes?).
Below are 2 photos of the front of my house where I grow many of the flowers I share for Sunday Stroll:
At the bottom of the garden: 2 scalloped brick walls keep the new mulch and dirt inside the lower 2 plots. I planted new orange zinnia and transplanted the old pink zinnia to the lower left side after replacing the dirt there.
Just another shot of the front of our townhouse.
This photo was taken 2 doors down in the English garden maintained by my nature loving neighbor. She is so amazing with her garden and yet so carefree about growing too. I so envy her green thumb, :-) Oh, anyone know what this one is?
These too are from her garden. Remember the unopned Asclepias from last week’s post? Thank you to Tabbie for identifying them. Aren’t they just gorgeous now that they’re open too?
the new zinnia in my bottom garden;
the stonecrop in the lower plot, growing nicely with the zinnia;
opening echinacea in my other neighbor’s desert garden . . . I really do need to “borrow” these from her;
my tomatoes are getting larger everyday . . . I can’t wait for them to ripen! Yum!
pretty yellow cucumber flower;
and last, but certainly not least, a sweet little cucumber that is making its way from my garden to the kitchen table. I can’t wait!
What’s growing on in your garden? To see others who are strolling this week, hop on over to the Quiet Country House.