Sprouting, Growing, Blooming, Fruiting: My Garden in Photos

My garden claims that I did not give an accurate representation of it last time, because I focused too much on the work and not enough on the abundant growth. I’m making up for that insult today, in part by admitting that I not only talk to my plants and listen to them, but also … on demand … even sing to them. Oh, yes, they like that, and they like sharing their beauty with strangers. πŸ™‚

Yesterday, we had some new friends over to our home and yard — some gardening and permaculture folks who helped us identify some of the volunteer plants we didn’t know whether to pull or celebrate. It turns out that my magical calling of plants continues! We now have a grape vine located in precisely the spot I asked it to appear, and a couple days ago, I noticed volunteer German chamomile had appeared the day after my request for more than my two starts from Whole Foods. We also have some kind of invasive rose species, so I need to tweak my asking and make it more specific. Oops! Not just any roses! I would please like “Wine and Roses” as well as “Faery Roses.” We’ll see how that goes.

I also had a funny indoor gardening experience the other night. I had been chanting to Krishna Das’ “Pilgrim Heart” when my ivy on a cherub pedestal suddenly requested that I sing to it. Well, request is a polite term. Ivy’s kind of assertive. It kept reaching out its tendrils and catching my flowy shirt until I finally sang a horridly off-key rendition of “The Holly and the Ivy,’ in honor of the fact that some holly trees apparently want to join the fun outside. Well! The ivy cutting in our downstairs bathroom, a cutting that has refused to grow roots for months, materialized some two inch long roots the very next day! Holly and ivy like to hang out together — masculine and feminine, the yin and the yang. I have my magick wand (“Freya’s Dawn,” who is made from a holly branch wrapped in silver cord with a prehnite tip) hidden in plain view on top of the bookcase/altar.

June 1 Ivy

Yesterday marked a day of immense gratitude for our yard in all its wild, unruly fertility. Not only did I serve our guests the Dandelion Goji Red Lentil Curry (dandelions and cilantro courtesy of our yard and garden), but I also spontaneously gathered ingredients for a wild and herb salad — lambsquarters, wild violets, watercress, oregano, chives, green onion, arugula, and sorrel — as well as a delicious after dinner mint tea made from lemon balm, peppermint and chocolate mint. Our friends totally “got” what I’ve been doing with the yard and were intrigued by all the wood mulch and various mad scientist gardener experiments. I swear the yard beamed with pride to hear all the admiration heaped upon it by new visitors. After this morning’s early rain, the yard and garden asked me to take photos. They’ve been so good about providing me with food and pretty delights that I’ve obliged. Here are today’s images:

June 1 Rhododendrons

Above you can see the rhododendron that bloomed on my birthday, just like all our rhododendrons did when I was a child growing up on Forrest Avenue! Indeed, this was the first plant I called to our home. I had wished for a rhododendron, and our landlord planted it in October right before we brought our first load here.

June 1 Sage

The photo doesn’t do this garden sage justice. This was the first plant I planted here, also in October, because it had outgrown its pot. We didn’t think it would survive the Winter, but this week it erupted in glorious purple blooms. Truth be told, the sage requested the photo presentation and all the rest of the plants just followed suit. πŸ˜‰

First bloom of yarrow

First bloom of yarrow

Intentionally planted German chamomile in the herb garden

Intentionally planted German chamomile in the herb garden

Volunteer chamomile that answered my call the next morning

Volunteer chamomile that answered my call the next morning

Hyssop just starting to grow stronger

Hyssop just starting to grow stronger

Dwarf Jewel Nasturtium that fought its way through the mulch after I had given up on it

Dwarf Jewel Nasturtium that fought its way through the mulch after I had given up on it

Lemon Queen Sunflowers sprouted last night in the flower bed out front.

Lemon Queen Sunflowers sprouted last night in the flower bed out front.

Volunteer ferns (also requested) on the North side of the house

Volunteer ferns (also requested) on the North side of the house

Kale, parsley, Turkish rocket (a perennial), oregano, and Ruby Red Chard, zinnia and calendula sprouts in one of the InstaBeds.

Kale, parsley, Turkish rocket (a perennial), oregano, and Ruby Red Chard, zinnia and calendula sprouts in one of the InstaBeds.

Tree collards (another perennial), tomato, two kinds of basil, arugula and peppermint in another InstaBed (with compost bin in back)

Tree collards (another perennial), tomato, two kinds of basil, arugula and peppermint in another InstaBed (with compost bin in back)

Sea kale (another perennial) finally adapting to the raised bed setting

Sea kale (another perennial) finally adapting to the raised bed setting

Watercress and chives going gangbusters!

Watercress and chives going gangbusters!

Volunteer grape vine right behind the garden, perfect for trellising

Volunteer grape vine right behind the garden, perfect for trellising

Early Girl tomatoes already on the vine

Early Girl tomatoes already on the vine

The plants are much happier with this post, but if you want to see all the nearly backbreaking labor of love involved in taming this completely wild yard into something beautiful, productive and harmonious, you can click on “Mad Scientist Gardening” and “Yes, We Have a Cash Crop! And Other Blessings in Disguise.” Oh, those plants! They really do have character, preferences and not a little vanity. Blessings for your weekend … I’m off to procure some nettle plants from “Farmer Jon.” πŸ˜‰

6 responses to this post.

  1. yay! looks great! so exciting. all your efforts are taking form beautifully. btw, our new lime and peach trees are bearing fruit already too! xoox!

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  2. Lovely! I learned how to grow peach trees from peach pits and was all set to do it, but the peach I ate gave me canker sores, so that’s clearly not the right peach! LOL! Maybe if you come to visit you can smuggle me one of your peaches and limes and I can grow them here, too! xoxo

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  3. Posted by Cheryl on June 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    So fun to see the fruits of your labor and to hear the plants tell their tales… XO

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  4. Thanks, Cheryl! xo

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  5. Posted by Aiga on June 5, 2013 at 9:05 am

    It all looks so wonderful! And the story is just too cute!!
    I also talk to my plants. I really don’t know much about gardening so with my balcony plants it’s always ‘I don’t know if it will grow and how good’. But my orchids are blossoming all the time! In general the process how a tiny seed turns into (a bigger and bigger) plant seems to me as a miracle.

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  6. Oh, yes! It is such a miracle. Enjoy your balcony garden. We had just a little strip of land when we lived in Madison, only two feet deep and maybe eight feet long and we hung plants from our stairwell. Gardening in small spaces is quite magical and way less overwhelming than on this bigger scale. πŸ™‚

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