Saturday, 14 July 2012

Garden Dreams

Well, today was a very nice day. Even though it was hot (in the 90s) Spousal Unit D. (henceforth known as The Chessinator) and I spent a long hard day in the garden making things look nicer.

Not too long ago I managed to drop by one of our temporary plant sale places on its last day.  (For those not familiar with Midwestern Greenhouse behavior - unlike in the South where there are  year long growing seasons and Green House Plant Sellers tend to be permanent, up here because we have 4-6 month growing seasons we have a lot of temporary vendors. They set up a green house and fenced in plant area in a grocery store or Shop-mart parking lot in May and close down by the end of June.  )  I managed to show up on the day before they "struck the set" as they say in the Drama business, so I got a mammoth deal on the leftovers. For 35$ I managed to get a haul of some 20 4 packs of annuals and some 15 perennials (some small and some in gallon containers. When you think about it, that is 95 plants at about 37 cents per plant!)  Here is a picture of my haul.

Here is a shot from the side. The flats are sitting in front of my little circular garden in the front yard. (This garden was redone this year because they had to drive bulldozers across this garden to install the geothermal field. For  along time I was just going to let it return to grass - and then one day I decided to shore up the few plants that had remained - and I'm glad I did. That day lily is quite striking there (especially when the white lily is blooming (and I can see this bed from the front window - so that is a nice touch.)
 (Sorry about the bag of manure in the picture - but at least you know it is a real picture and not anything I photo-shopped together to impress you with!)


So... I had been planting annuals here and there - tucking things in in bare spaces, but I hadn't made much of a dent in my trove. I did put marigolds and white petunias along the drive to try and break up all those upward reaching spires of day lilies and hostas. The white and yellow at lower levels really does help divert the eye and make the driveway garden look a little bit less wild.

It's hard to tell, but the little white petunia at the bottom really does help balance the bed.

 Okay, so today we decided we had to get serious. We had been promised rain for the last week and every single day dark clouds rolled overhead and then somehow seemed to part like the waters of the red sea to preserve us from getting our feet (or anything else) wet.  By yesterday the plants were desperate for water, so we rolled up our sleeves and the Chess Guy began the thankless task of watering our three hundred (more or less - well, okay, a lot fewer - but believe me it felt like 300 in the 90 degree and very humid weather we had been dealt.)

I set to work to plant some of those new plants. I had already begun to reorganize the garden with the new Japanese lantern. I pulled some hostas from various places int he yard, transplanted some variegated grass and pulled some ferns from the woods into the front left of the bed.  I also pruned the sumac in the back to represent the upward and sideward (middle height) that is necessary along with the lowest level in a Japanese garden. These three levels represent Heaven, Earth and Humans. 

Today I transplanted a peony and a few Siberian iris to give the eye something a bit taller to look at. And then... (I couldn't help myself) I bought some teeny tiny little conifers that only grow 1-2 inches per year to give it winter interest (in about 20 years when they get larger than 4 inches tall. (I'm serious - here they are! The cola can is there for scale.)

Okay, so here are some before and after pictures: Before - (Nothing much there and an unpruned sumac in back.)

After-  well, it will look better when the plants grow in a bit, but you can see the iris to the right of the lantern and the big hosta on the right certainly makes the garden more interesting (there are two tinier hostas near the big one, but you can't really tell.) There is also a hosta in front of the lantern (to its right as well as ferns to the left of the  second hosta).

Also behind the big hosta on the right is one of my tiny conifers (in its pot - not yet planted) and the other one is to the left of the lantern. I think I'd like a mugo pine behind the cherry (to the left of the big hosta in back) along with an azalea (farther back to the  right.)

You can see the peony behind the lantern to the left in the second shot and might be able to see that the Sumac has been pruned to make it simpler and more interesting.

So after doing all this I was dreaming of putting up a little tea house. Wouldn't that be a great place to go out and write - or meditate - or even drink tea! Well, I started thinking about it and had dissolved into a reverie until I checked out this guy's web site.  Holy Kwan Yin!  I got exhausted just looking at all the stuff he did! That took the wind completely out of my sails.  (And he has a garden too - with Welsh slate and boulders and copper gutter on his tea house and, and, and...) Okay - so stepping stones would be a good idea - I think I can handle a couple of those!

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