Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Hazards of Gardening...

I was chatting with a coworker the other day and she said that she doesn’t have anything that blooms in her yard because she is allergic to bee stings.  Wow… what a bummer!  I had never thought of that before.  That may be worse than a food allergy!!  Two of my greatest treats: flowers and food!

I find the front of my home to be boring and lacking in personality and color; simply because I have not yet come up with a plan for the landscaping.  Sure, it has shrubs: Boxwood, Manhattans, Nandina, etc.  But nothing that pops with personality and color.  Our Manhattans suffered a disease a few years ago that got my hopes up for new landscaping… sadly, they survived!

I would dearly love to have all of the shrubbery removed… the soil leveled and new landscaping put along the front sidewalk and porch.  Not only do we have to plant things that are shade tolerant… but we’ve got to battle the deer and select items that they don’t favor as well; because let me tell you... they see it as their personal smorgasbord.   It's a fairly large area though and would be a major undertaking, especially if done all at once.  Perhaps that is the key... I can make it a 10-step program!
The back yard is another story entirely and is really coming together - mostly because it’s where we spend all of our time.  Our biggest fear there is the danger of getting West Nile from the hundreds of mosquitoes that have recently hatched!  They are horrid!  Hopefully they’ll only be a real nuisance for a couple weeks and then retreat to the woods like good, self-respecting mosquitoes should!  Until then, we’ll bathe ourselves in DEET and perform our ceremonial dance around the citronella candle with our arms flailing and thrashing around our bodies as we try to ward off those evil buggers!
Don’t be shy…grab your favorite can of personal pesticide and join in!

Recently planted Black-Eyed Susan from a friend/coworker.  It seems to have really taken root. 
I can hardly wait to see it in full bloom!

Stella de Ora Daylilies and Purple Salvia from our neighbors.

I can't believe they are this beautiful their first year... 
Lord knows they were put through some major stress!

Yellow-Belly Woodpecker stopping by for a quick bite.

Mandevilla, "Sunny" Knock-Out Roses and Wisteria vine in the background.

Friday, May 17, 2013

That's what gardening is all about...

I love sharing things about gardening.  What I have yet do is share more than words and photos of my garden.  I dearly love it when someone cuts a cluster of various flowers from their yard, drops them into water and sets them on a coworker’s desk.  There’s just something so beautiful about this simple gesture; its like warm chicken soup lovingly made from scratch.  Just comforting!  It doesn’t matter if it’s in a mason jar or a fancy vase…store bought flowers, arranged by a professional just don’t have the same appeal.  Not once have I gathered a cluster of blooms to share in this fashion.  This troubles me.  I see it as a major character flaw that must be corrected A.S.A.P! 

Just last week a coworker brought in a simple clear glass vase with a couple branches of deep pink azalea and purple iris with a light and airy, shimmery golden bow tied around the neck of the vase.  A more beautiful bouquet has never existed.  It was breathtaking in its simplicity.  This week a bowl full of fragrant white peony graced a table for her meeting.  A couple years ago a lady brought me a very thin vase that stood about 18 inches tall with one singular pale pink, barely opened rose bud from her garden.  Attached to it at the neck was a long, sheer, flowing ribbon tied at its neck that blew back like an angel's wings as she handed it toward me.  Again… simple – yet gorgeous!

My own neighbors, as I wrote a few posts back, graced us with clumps of daylilies and salvia from their yard.  I can say that I have given away lots of potted plants that I’ve purchased with the intent of giving to a specific person… and given away shovels full of Wandering Jew or Lilies of the Valley, and tons of tips, advice and suggestions for newer gardeners... but not once have I gathered a bouquet of blooms to share.  But I am a “fix your flaws” kind of girl and I vow to make this happen!  Coming soon to a desk near you…