Friday, November 8, 2013

Mighty Fine

Dishes lay jumbled in the sink and unread newspapers clutter the table. A pile of bagged bulbs lean against the wall, slack and loose, like drunks on a curb. Fat dogs snore in their beds as music plays and I dance a small step, hips swaying to the beat.

My list of garden chores grows shorter and my plants slowly surrender to winter sleep, tucked into earthen beds under a blanket of leaves. Cool spring rains filled my garden with lush growth that hid black spot and acthracnose. Summer downpours left a pile of rotting plants that would have thrived in our August drought. I ignore the clutter and continue to dance. Happiness settles deep and I can't help but smile. My garden, like my life, isn't perfect but it's mighty fine and that's enough for me.

These are a few of my favorite summer pictures.


My Peggy Martin rose mostly escaped the black spot plague that devastated my other roses.


The Peggy Martin rose is also known as "The Rose That Survived Hurricane Katrina". 


'Etoille Violet' clematis and a gourd birdhouse form a local artist


'Baltyk' clematis clambering over my mosaic pot


Lucy in the dog run that circles one of the shade gardens. 


Southeastern native, spigelia marylandica


Shasta daisies and self seeded verbena bonariensis


The new front butterfly garden that I always forgot to photograph


The Sunny Side


 'Schwellenberg' yarrow by the rain garden.
I doubled the size of the rain garden this fall and ended up moving this yarrow to a drier spot.


Lilies, monarda, and coneflowers in the dogwood garden


Part of the container garden


Bumblebee on the sedum


Words to live by  :o)

40 comments:

  1. All those photos are wonderful and show your garden at its best. That Peggy Martin rose is eye candy. I have some shasta daisies that don't seem to expand in size. Do your shasta daisies self seed or do you add more plants to the group?

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  2. My daisies actually grew into a huge circle that I had to divide. Mine grow in dry, well drained soil in partial shade. But I don't think they self seed.

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  3. Mighty fine indeed! Love that combination of Monarda, Lilies, and Purple Coneflower. Is that Monarda Wild Bergamot? How are you liking Monarda 'Purple Rooster'?

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    1. Thanks! I don't have 'Purple Rooster' but that is either 'Dark Ponticum' or 'Peter's Purple'. I think it's 'Peter's Purple'. I love it but ended up moving it to a different spot once our weather dried up. It needed more moisture than this spot offered. However, while it was raining, it was very happy! This spot has tons of root competition from the dogwood.

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  4. I like your attitude about not caring that your garden is not perfect. It reminds me of Montaigne (Shakespeare's contemporary who invented the essay form) who wrote - "I hope when death does turn up, it finds me busy in the garden planting my cabbages. I also hope I won't be too concerned that my turn has come and that I have not even had time to finish my garden". That is exactly what I would wish for myself.

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    1. Me, too, since it will come for us all. Perfection is a myth. I think it's better to seek beauty in the art that is our imperfect lives. I'd rather have a glass of wine with friends in a messy kitchen than sit alone in a spotless house.

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  5. Your garden was beautiful this summer and all the work you accomplished recently will set the stage beautifully for next year. Go ahead and dance, you've earned it!

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    1. Thanks! I'm just glad no one video tapes me dancing. :o)

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  6. Words to live by indeed! All signs are that you do.

    Your summer garden photo compilation is wonderful. What kind of lilies are those? I'm looking for some new ones to try.

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    1. The lilies are just plain white trumpet lilies bought on the cheap as bulbs at a small garden center. But they get really tall in moist, rich soil and have a strong fragrance, especially when it's humid out. I think it's easy to underestimate how important it is to be truly happy. For me, life is a choice. I choose happy. As for all the things in my life that don't make me happy, I either change them or learn to deal with them.

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  7. I love that mosaic pot! I remember when you wrote a post about how you made it. It looks great with Clematis spilling out of it. Looks like you had a wonderful growing season in your garden. Cheers!

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    1. It was a good summer, for sure, even when we swung from tons of rain to a drought. It was a cool summer, which was wonderful. We had many days we didn't even run the air conditioning. I love that pot, too. I love knowing that I made it. It's such a good feeling. :o)

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  8. I enjoyed the look back to summer. Your gardens are really beautiful, especially the butterfly garden and dogwood garden. I like the softness of each.

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    1. Thanks. :o) I like having the butterfly garden in the front because it gives the house a more casual feel than just a row of foundation shrubs. I let the orange milkweed go to seed so I'm hoping to have even more next summer.

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  9. You have so many lovely plants, and extra touches like the gourd bird house.

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    1. Thanks. I really like adding functional as well as purely decorative art to the garden. It gives it a unique vibe.

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  10. I like your white lilies and clematis, so stunning. Your mozaik pot really beautiful. Over all your garden is so fascinating

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    1. Thanks! I made the mosaic pot with broken china dishes and concrete. It was time consuming but easy.

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  11. Lovely to look back at summertime. I envy your Peggy Martin rose, such a beauty!

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    1. What I love about the Peggy Martin rose, besides its toughness and beauty, is its back story of survival against all odds. I love a feisty plant. :o)

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  12. You picked some beautiful shots to represent your summer garden.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Thanks! Looking at past photos is a great motivator to finish all the intensive garden chores because they remind me of how wonderful everything has the potential to look.

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  13. I'm envious of your Shasta Daisies, which I grew up with in southern California, but often don't survive a Portland winter even though we rarely get a hard frost. They are always so happy and really brighten up a darker corner of the garden. LOVE the bumblebee on the Sedum. Is it Autumn's Joy? So satisfying to review the summer garden...

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    1. The sedum is a big purple one, maybe 'Purple Emperor' but maybe not. I bought it locally so it's nothing exotic. That's weird that the daisies don't survive in Portland. They must be too wet. They like really well drained soil. I also grew them when I lived near the Canadian border in upstate NY. Try them again in a drier spot and they might surprise you. :o)

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  14. Love the, 'like drunks on the curb' line, or as we would say, drunks on the kerb. Viva la difference. Fantastic post.

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    1. Thanks! I thought the bulbs looked a bit slouchy. All they were missing was an empty martini glass. :o)

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  15. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Your shasta daisies are fabulous, and I just love The Sunny Side!

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  16. Hey, are you sure you aren't dancing around MY house? The description sure sounds like what waits for my downstairs.
    Love the summer photos. What an enchanting garden! That bumblebee on the sedum is an especially lovely and summery image.
    And I couldn't agree more about Jen's "Muddy Boots" blog. Thanks for sharing it with others who haven't "met" her yet.
    Keep on dancing, my friend.

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    1. I'm a big believer in dancing, even if it's done badly. :o) My dogs think I'm fabulously talented.

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  17. Loved your photos. It brings me joy, as I'm sure it does to you, to look over photos of favorite summer blooms. And then to hope and dream about what beautiful blooms next summer will bring.

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    1. When my garden is a giant brown blob of blah, summer pictures can be very reassuring. :o)

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  18. Gorgeous memories that will be sweet dreams to keep you until spring arrives again.

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    1. My garden is definitely a summer garden. Looking at favorite pictures helps winter pass a lot quicker.

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  19. Holy goodness here friend! Your words are so beautiful in this post! And your garden shots are amazing! That butterfly garden gorgeous...I can't believe you forgot to show us that!!! And can you tell me a bit more about verbena bonariensis?? Very cool plant! Thanks for the inspiration and beauty! A very happy week to you!

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    1. Verbena bonariensis is an absurdly easy to grow plant that self seeds and attracts tons of pollinators. It likes full sun and well drained, average soil. It's a tough plant. It's also called verbena on a stick. Some gardeners don't like it because it self seeds so much, but I think that's a bonus. I always have seedlings to give away or add to other parts of the garden. If you threw out seeds in your garden now, you'd have seedlings in the spring. Swallowtail Garden Seeds and Botanical Interests both sell seeds. It should be easily available as a plant at most garden centers.

      I love my new butterfly garden and need to take more pictures. I usually focus on the garden in the back but have a lot going on in the front, too. :)

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  20. I think winter and fall are great seasons for us to rest up, and actually enjoy the garden. Something that there never seems to be time to do in summer, and spring. Yours is lovely...and that rose...sigh.

    Jen

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  21. Ah ! That feels better ! A stroll round a summer garden ! Forget about soggy leaves, bare earth and bare branches. Lots of lurveleee plants but especially gorgeous is your Peggy Martin rose.

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  22. I love to set up a garden too looks really like this. It feels good to see flowers everywhere. ♥ the Peggy one!

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  23. One of the reasons I like having a blog is that I have proof of how the garden looked at its peak, instead of just remembering the garden at its low points, which I would be likely to do. Your pictures from this summer are gorgeous! You have such marvelous plant choices.

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