Posts Tagged ‘Flowers in the Garden’

Lunaria and Fancy Tulips

This Lunaria comes all the way from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland! Well, the seeds did. I got them from Colette a few years ago, and the Lunaria has finally found its favorite spot at Faery Hof:

IMG_0984

The perennial tulips I fell in love with two years ago at Tulip Fest in Holland, Michigan have begun their show: Continue reading

Still Blooming!

It was minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit here last week, but on this afternoon’s walk through the yard, I noticed these little beauties still blooming strong:

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Faery magic is alive and well in this yard! What’s really weird is that the hot pink hat, flower pin and scarf I felt oddly inspired to wear today match the primrose. Someone’s having a Midwinter giggle, scattering beauty across the frozen ground.

Late Summer in the Garden

The days are getting shorter, and the light has softened, dipping slightly lower in the sky. The blooms of summer have subtly shifted into more of an autumn palette — still bright and yet somehow tinged with more golds, reds and brownish pinks. Here are some photos from today and yesterday.

Zinnias begin to come into their glory as we move into Autumn:

zinnias

The first of several green striped cushaw squash made an appearance, alongside some marigolds and at least two more winter squash buddies. These cushaw squash grow to the size of toddlers with almost zero effort:

Green striped cushaw

Garlic chives bloom at this time of year instead of in spring like their purple cousins. Here you can see this popular insect spot, alongside purple leaf shiso (great in a hazelnut pesto!), eggplant, tomatoes, parsley, bush basil, zinnias, and cosmos.

garlic chives and shiso

The sweet potatoes in the Haus Am See trough are getting ready to bloom alongside lettuce, purple cabbage and zinnias, and some of the perennials are finally starting to take root. The trough further back currently has another white scallop squash plant, lettuce, cosmos and calendula, but I recently seeded it with cold hardy Lucullus chard and giant winter spinach. Once those come in, the squash might go. I can’t keep up with the single one I have growing out back — not sure why I planted a second! The sunflowers all over the yard continue to attract dozens of goldfinches, bees, and silly squirrels and chipmunks who climb the stems.

blue house troughs

Blackeyed Susan’s really shine at this time of year:

black eyed Susan's

… and sedum has begun its shift from white to pink to deep reddish brown:

misty sedum

I will leave you with yesterday’s bouquet speedily put together between thunderstorms and carefully delivered to David’s mom. As I stretch the seasons of bloom, I believe she’s up to about 35 weekly bouquets per year — not bad for a former wasteland in zone 5b, but I am determined to do even better!

late August bouquet

Blessed Be … and be the blessing.

Spring Bulbs!

Ahhhh, the long awaited, much anticipated spring bulbs are blooming. Hyacinths and early daffodils have been out for awhile, but the tulips have begun their show, along with the later blooming white daffodils. Some pics from today:

red tulips

It’s beginning to look a lot like Beltane! Those red tulips have been here longer than we have, and they normally bloom on May 1, right along with the dandelion and wild violet show out back. We’re over ten days ahead of schedule this year. For years I have told David that if I could just get enough intentional plants in the ground, then the wild edibles would look charming. Indeed, they finally do, echoing the daffodils and hyacinths sprinkled around the yard in shades of yellow and purple:

dandelions and violets

 

Because it went from very cold to 80’s in less than one week, we’ve got early and mid season tulips all bursting forth in rapid succession. These double tulips began white and then darkened to pink as they opened like peonies:

double tulips

And I love these peaches and cream looking ones hanging out by the yarrow, blueberry bushes and our driveway:

peachy tulips

Another regular showstopper from before we moved in — we’ve got two huge clumps of white daffodils that greet me first thing in the morning when I lift the blinds. I have no idea if squirrels or a human planted these and the random red tulips around the yard, but they’ve become old, familiar friends in a continually evolving neighborhood of plants:

white daffodils

And yes, the gradual creep of intentional beauty continues, as I’ve begun mulching and planting the very edges of the second yard. I really am taking over the neighborhood one bulb, fruit tree and perennial at a time. OK, maybe a thousand bulbs, dozens of fruit trees and hundreds of perennials at a time …

but it’s happening!

Garden Update from Summer Solstice

I spent the morning of Summer Solstice finally — after nearly a year — putting pots of gifted black raspberry bushes into the ground. Those guys are spiky, and I just couldn’t for the life of me decide where to locate them, since I really want to add three serviceberry trees and two Nanking cherry bushes along the side fence where it would have made sense to grow them as a thorny hedge. Anyway, they went into the ground on Solstice, where they await installation of a small trellis and my next load of wood mulch. It’s sad that it took an Earth holy day for me to get them in the ground, but it also felt like a great way to honor the day:

black raspberries

I’m starting to get the hang of succession planting and harvesting, so last Fall’s garlic came out, in order to make room for bush beans and the Brussels sprouts taking over the “Guarden” Bed. I harvested several more bulbs after this, and holy, moly does our basement smell like garlic! Wowzers, that’s potent stuff before it dries!

garlic

I took the rest of these photos in the afternoon on Solstice before David and I went out for a little celebratory dinner. We’ve had so much rain since then that everything has noticeably grown, but guess what? It’s raining again now, so these photos go up. Meanwhile, the trend continues of me amending the soil with rock dust and compost and then an unscheduled rain shower washing it all in. Thank you, faeries and Nature spirits! 🙂

Front beds from driveway, looking North

Front beds from driveway, looking North

Our butterfly garden continues to grow on the far North side of the front yard. Milkweed, zinnias, liatris, dill, yarrow, sunflowers, dianthus and more continue to grow in preparation for Monarch season.

Our butterfly garden continues to grow on the far North side of the front yard. Milkweed, zinnias, liatris, dill, yarrow, sunflowers, dianthus and more continue to grow in preparation for Monarch season.

Some Fairy Tale Pumpkins have finally taken, and they're growing well. The fava bean bushes came out yesterday, because rain finished them off.

Some Fairy Tale Pumpkins have finally taken, and they’re growing well. The fava bean bushes came out yesterday, because rain finished them off, making room for pink okra.

Our cantaloupe have reached across the aisles.

Our cantaloupe have reached across the aisles.

If you look closely, you can even see some watermelon already growing.

If you look closely, you can even see some watermelon already growing.

I love the afternoon light in the backyard! (And yes, that busted out garage roof has inspired much of my vertical gardening. Little do the neighbors know, but they will soon be getting paw paw trees, too, if I have anything to do with it. There's more than one way to hide an eyesore!)

I love the afternoon light in the backyard! (And yes, that busted out garage roof has inspired much of my vertical gardening. Little do the neighbors know, but they will soon be getting paw paw trees, too, if I have anything to do with it. There’s more than one way to hide an eyesore!)

Lots of areas ready for more wood mulch, but overall, the gardens themselves are growing well.

Lots of areas ready for more wood mulch, but overall, the gardens themselves are growing well.

Garden Tower June 21st

I spoke to one of our neighbors in the blue house today, and he’s very excited for the soon to be arriving compost bin I bought them last night. Apparently, they throw away “tons” of food scraps, and they’re excited to contribute to the constant need for compost. I love how our yard has become a community hang out for the neighbors and their friends. Not only have they planted zinnias by their front porch, but the kids also planted some sunflowers in the backyard. They’ve had a very late start, but they are growing. It’s great to see the kids having friends over and really noticeable how they now hang out near the front gardens with all the flowers. Before I started gardening, this yard was such an eyesore that we never really saw them hanging out much here.

Flowers! They really make a difference, even in the ugliest environment — beautifying not just landscapes, but lives.

Many blessings!

The Tipping Point of Gardens

In looking for David’s parents’ extra hoses, I stumbled upon a small cache of garden pots and bird houses, right after David’s sister and I took a serendipitous trip to Goodwill, where I also found some almost free pots and flower vases. Suddenly having extra pots after just seeing what my friend Leah had done with her front yard tree stump brought a splash of creativity to our yard. Until now, I’ve focused primarily on edible ornamentals and/or bee/butterfly habitats. I hadn’t deemed the shady, wild backyard worthy of too much concentration, because, frankly, it seemed overwhelming. I cannot believe what a difference a few pots, birdhouses, Tibetan flags and shade plants make!

stumps

stumpy

birdhouse

Tibetan flags

We have another birdhouse to hang on the back fence, but I need to get an S-hook for that. Meanwhile, as David’s sister advised me on semi-shade plants for the backyard, we also found some semi-shade plants for the north side of the house:

foxglove

coleus

larkspur

We’re having a very windy day here, today, sending delicate flowers into riots of fun. Our Alaskan peas nearly took flight, except for the grape vine tendrils keeping their tomato cage support quasi-anchored:

flying peas

Way up front, the lavender dances with yarrow and lemon balm:

lavender

For some reason, just those small additions in the back and on the side made everything else come that much more alive. Later this week, I begin an informal apprenticeship with a florist who grows her own flowers. She grew up on an organic farm and has loads and loads of flowers in her yard. I want. Since she has more work than one person can handle at the moment, I volunteered to help her in exchange for knowledge and any plants in need of thinning. She gratefully accepted this trade. I am so very, very excited. I knew my soul had been craving beauty and whimsy since moving to Goshen, and finally, with all the efforts outside and inside our home, I feel like we’ve balanced on the side of more beauty than not.

We have reached …

The Tipping Point. 🙂

The Garden of Your Mind

“In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.”
– Abram L. Urban

Homegrown zinnas and a cup of home-dug, home-roasted and home-brewed dandelion root tea. Ahhh!

Homegrown zinnas and a cup of home-dug, home-roasted and home-brewed dandelion root tea. Ahhh!

Another nearby bouquet of fall asters, feverfew, yarrow, rosemary and zinnias

Another nearby bouquet of fall asters, feverfew, yarrow, rosemary and zinnias

Have a virtual hug from Mister Rogers … a nostalgic blast from the past when “programming” meant growing your imagination and self-esteem: