Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cottage Garden in the Morning

Today I took a break from obsessively dithering with working on the vegetable garden and went instead to the front flower bed. I'm going to be putting some medicinal and cosmetic herbs in that bed at some point in time, so I've decided to start calling it the cottage garden. It sounds pretentious, but I'm hoping it will grow on me.

In any case, it's been covered over with leaves and such all winter long and it is past time to get to work on it. The cool snap that is visiting us right now is actually welcome, as it will give me time to get the ground ready for the zinnia seeds. Zinnias like to have warm tootsies, so to speak, so I'll wait until the moon starts waxing to get them in the ground.

In the meantime, I need to clear off the leaves and root out the evil death grass that is taking over. The leaves can't be helped, but the evil death grass is my fault. The patch of ground on which the Cottage Garden sits was once a bizarre little half-oval of ground bordered on one side by the backyard's privacy fence. I thought, since there was a small gate and all, that it would be the perfect place for a flower garden/entrance into the backyard. The only issue was breaking up the dirt, because it was home to a thick growth of some kind of sod. It isn't Bermuda grass, but it's a close relative. In any case, I thought it would look really cool to leave a strip of the sod and set some round pavers in there. Quel Better Homes and Gardens, you know?

In theory, it will look really cool. In practice, there is much cursing and groaning as the evil death grass weaves its way underground and through your daisies and gaura. Argh. Curses.

I spent an hour tugging out the sharp-tipped strands of evil death grass, a chore made even more pleasant by the fear of coming up on the new spider in town, the Brown Widow. (Yeah. Um, thanks, Louisiana. But we got it. You have some fearsome pests. Now, do us a favor and try not to export any more of them, mkay? Mkay.) No brown widows were encountered, and I was able to clear out one half of the bed. I'll try to get back to it tomorrow or this afternoon, children willing.
In the meantime, how about some random flower shots? Good stuff.

First, a couple of the "Joseph's Coat" rose bush. You may remember that I spent a day pruning and tying it back and it has rewarded me by being stunningly beautiful this season. I actually stole this rose from my mother-in-law after giving it to her for Mother's Day one year. She never let it climb and it was killing me to watch her hack it down, so I took it from her. Ruthlessly. These babies start out with butter-yellow, red-tipped buds and open up into creamy yellow, blushing flowers. They grow into a pale pink as they fade. Amazing roses.

I have no idea what this next flower is as I have lost the tag for it. It's an evergreen, sprawling plant that looks almost like a succulent. The tag said (I think) that it would form mounds, but it actually is sort of leggy and sparse. I keep thinking I'll dig it up, but then it blooms out with this blue, and I stop myself. This is a truly bad-quality photo, but it shows the color well.

Gaura is a great plant in a flower garden because it blooms early, takes up a good bit of space, and is absolutely gorgeous along the way. You have to be careful of self-seeding, but I've found the seedlings to be easy to deal with (despite dire warnings of insanely strong taproots) and good to give to friends and neighbors. I think they look a little like orchids.

This shot of my amaryllis is not strictly, I know, good photography. The pale green/white fuzzy thing is actually several leaves from a horse mint and I suppose I should have scrapped it, but I love how the stamens show up, like a little group of worshippers. It's shots like these that make me long for a "real" camera with lenses and filters and things. Because I need another hobby to take up more time.

Another "not quite perfect shot," this time from a bunch of lavendar in the transplant bed. I got this picture with a good deal of cropping. What I wanted to do was get a nice, tight shot of a mature flower bract, but I didn't manage it. This is an immature bract. I think it's pretty, but again, it makes me long for a lens.

Despite my moaning and groaning, I'm really jazzed to see how well everything it coming along this year. I hope I can keep it going when the hot weather settles in.

1 comment:

Selma said...

Everything is growing so well. I think the faeries are visiting your garden regularly.