Garden Update: Pre and Post Parental Visit

My parents visited us this past Sunday through Wednesday, giving David and me a firm deadline for various long-term yard projects. For the first time since Easter, we have no daunting pile of mulch to spread! It’s all pitchforked away on top of landscape cloth and/or cardboard, awaiting next year’s inspiration. In the meantime, the flowers decided to come out to play:

My new friend Kimber gave me two lovely campion rose bushes, which flank some of the pink echinacea.

My new friend Kimber gave me two lovely campion rose bushes, which flank some of the pink echinacea.

The sunflowers and bee-friendly wildflower mix up front are growing like crazy!

The sunflowers and bee-friendly wildflower mix up front are growing like crazy!

I brought the garden inside with a Farmer's Market bouquet that has thrived all week.

I brought the garden inside with a Farmer’s Market bouquet that has thrived all week.

My dad packed up the little wooden houses that Grandma Van used to display on her large southern windowsill. We now have sixteen Victorian style houses in two tiers on our front porch, along with an antique Spanish model train from David’s dad, and a little copper faery bicycle that David picked up at a gardening store. Funny thing about those houses: the faeries moved in fast! I would have thought they’d prefer life outside, but within fifteen minutes of me moving some of the houses to the second tier, every house was filled. My dad doesn’t subscribe to my faery chatter, but even he noticed the energy shift on the porch. It’s very difficult to take an indoor photo with the sun outside, but here’s a peek:

Wooden houses and a miniature train and bicycle, with Alfred the Red and Roger the Blue (our gnomes)

Wooden houses and a miniature train and bicycle, with Alfred the Red and Roger the Blue (our gnomes)

My parents loved the gardens, which continue in their lush state:

Our black cherry tomato plant has taken up residence away from the rest of the InstaBed, kindly giving sunshine to the calendula and marigolds it was formerly shading. I love when plants play nice!

Our black cherry tomato plant has taken up residence away from the rest of the InstaBed, kindly giving sunshine to the calendula and marigolds it was formerly shading. I love when plants play nice!

InstaBed and part of the "Bed Bed"

InstaBed and part of the “Bed Bed”

Other side of the "Bed Bed" with another lush InstaBed

Other side of the “Bed Bed” with another lush InstaBed

Cucumbers and grapes beginning to trellis

Cucumbers and grapes beginning to trellis

Today’s project was putting up our new trellises for squash and cantaloupe, as well as planting some free plant stragglers David got from Whole Foods. Our acorn squash isn’t doing the best, because I had planted two plants per crate. Today, I asked which ones wanted to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, and we now have happier plants, one per crate, with most of the dying leaves picked off. I learned this earlier on with the Boston Marrow squash in crates (one per crate works; any more than one and both plants droop). I just had hoped the acorn squash could handle the crowding due to smaller fruits, but it seems not. I told them they have this great new trellis, so plenty of reason to recover! At the very least, the Amish Paste tomatoes look happier than in their massively root bound little pots. πŸ™‚

Acorn Squash in crates with Amish Paste tomatoes in between

Acorn Squash in crates with Amish Paste tomatoes in between

Pride of Wisconsin cantaloupe with an heirloom tomatillo "rescue" from Whole Foods.

Pride of Wisconsin cantaloupe with an heirloom tomatillo “rescue” from Whole Foods.

Boston Marrow squash with the new trellis and a Yellow German tomato "rescue" from Whole Foods. You can see the cantaloupe to the right and the lone Jubilee watermelon crate to the left, plus the main gardens out back.

Boston Marrow squash with the new trellis and a Yellow German tomato “rescue” from Whole Foods. You can see the cantaloupe to the right and the lone Jubilee watermelon crate to the left, plus the main gardens out back.

The front herb garden is flourishing, too, but I’ll save those photos for another day. This weekend involves planting several more blackberry and raspberry bushes out back, too. That back corner is quite the “Halt! Who goes there?!” spot: poison ivy, thorny blackberries and raspberries, and nettles. I suspect we won’t have too many people cutting through the opening in the fence. πŸ˜‰

On the south side of the house, we’ve finally got some morning glories winding up the fence and our butterfly window trellises. No blooms yet, but when those purple blossoms show themselves, we’ll have a little reminder of Madison. Last Fall, I saved the seeds from our glorious side step display just so we could have them here.

Happy Summer!

6 responses to this post.

  1. PS: the satellite dish is our neighbors and will soon relocate to a pole near their house, as that maple tree is also diseased. I’m looking forward to planting trees to replace all the ones that got cut down last year. First things first, though … that’s a Fall and Spring project. πŸ™‚

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  2. Posted by Cheryl on July 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    L.o.v.e. my garden is growing out of all control. I have planted too much for the space – never envisioning they would grow so fast and so big. Alas, this is a learning year – I will be better prepared next go round!! XO

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  3. Grow vertically! Up is the way to go for small spaces or if you hate weeding. πŸ™‚

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  4. Dear Laura, What a paradise you have created! Thank you for sharing! A beautiful outward expression of who you truly are!. Love and Blessings I AM Lisa Elaine

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  5. Thanks so much, Lisa Elaine! Love and Blessings to you, too πŸ™‚

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