Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ideas Mulling in my Head (My 401st Post!)

As I was walking around the yard, taking over 300 photos, I was getting ideas for some changes in the way I post.  I was thinking I'd like my blog to go back to being a way of keeping track of and sharing what's going on in my gardens.  I was thinking about having a day where I focus on a certain part of the yard, but didn't know if I'd be disciplined enough to do that.  I am a hodge podge sort of gal, and my gardens reflect that.

I was thinking about taking a few photos that fit with the memes I like to participate in, then doing my own thing.  In fact, it being Saturday, I took some photos of some critters while I was out, and even exported them to my desktop, intending to use them, but then, I ended up exporting lots of photos of what I decided to post on today, so decided not to use them.

At this point, I decided to start at a point in the yard, showing whatever I am in the mood and have time to show.  When I get a chance to post next, I'll pick up where I left off.  I'm hoping to connect to some memes in the posts still, but won't try to show every single bloom I haven't shown yet, like I usually do.  I don't think most people do, anyway, but I get obsessed at times.

Since it's Saturday, I decided to start with the side yard.  Maybe I will end up posting the same part of the yard each week, and have a "Side Yard Saturday".  It's fitting to start here, anyway, since my first flower bed was the area between the south (left) side of the house and the barbed wire circle leaning against the house.

I'll start with a side view, which I love to take after walking home from my garden across the street.  When we moved here 12 years ago, there were a couple peony bushes Larry said he didn't want there in the lawn.  I'm sorry now that we got rid of them.  The neighbor I gave them to said she'd give me a start of them.  I need to remember to take her up on that.

I posted some photos of the side yard this spring, but lots more has come up and started blooming since then.  This photo is facing southwest.

The comfrey I moved a few weeks ago is doing well, and getting ready to bloom.  It will get taller and hide more of the meter.

The next series of photos head north.  The ladder and bench Larry made are on the egress window.  I've mentioned the first flower bed was the area where they dug when they put the egress window in. Larry had planned to plant grass over it, but I talked him out of that.  Then, over the years, I talked him out of more and more grass.

Our daughter and a friend snuck out of there one evening when she was in high school, and our son's bedroom was there.  I figured it out because it rained, and I went to her room to see if they'd shut the window, and saw that they'd put pillows and blankets to make it look like they were sleeping.

When I first starting planting, I was going with a blue/purple and yellow theme.  I still choose  those colors a lot, but have included other colors as well.

The little plant on the far left is a purple milkweed, one of the several different kinds I planted this spring, hoping for monarch caterpillars.  The pasque seedheads are looking awesome, the candytuft and sweet woodruff are still blooming nicely, and the daylily has lots of buds.

The plant to the right of the egress window is a baptisia.  It may be a dwarf one, but I don't remember.  The bushy plant in front of it is goldenrod "Wichita Mountains".

The white in the middle is yarrow starting to bloom.  The hyssop to its left and in front of it is not looking good.  It is not the blueish blooming one like I had for a number of years, like the tag said.  Maybe I should go ahead and find something else for that spot.  The bushy plant on the right is catmint that is just starting to bloom.

I think I planted the foxglove after I didn't think the Virginia bluebells from a friend didn't make it.  I decided to leave them this spring, thinking the bluebells would go dormant again, and leave enough room for the foxglove to bloom.  I like the look of the seedheads.  I hope more come up next year.  Then, there's Russian sage to the right, which will need to be trimmed to keep it from overpowering the foxglove.  Black eyed Susans are on the upper left.

Behind the foxglove, is hellebore, 'Silver Lace'.  It would like more water than what it's getting, but I put the hellebores next to the house to keep them away from our grandson since they're poisonous.  I know, some of the other plants I have, such as foxglove, are too, so I need to make sure he doesn't go around those, either.

It's past my bedtime, so I'm going to try to finish up quickly.

I'm enjoying the columbines this year.

This bee on the water spot plant was also on the dwarf comfrey.  (Sandy reminded me to deadhead this Virginia waterleaf, as it spreads aggressively in some places.  I looked it up and found the USDA Plants Database, where they said it's of special concern, but I couldn't find out what that means.  Do you know?)

This is the columbine I moved out of the front bed when it was small.  I should probably deadhead it when the blooms are spent.

Continuing north, the back yard is behind this area.

The amsonia and baptisia are beginning to bloom.

The bare looking area is where I had the Virginia mountain mint.  I dug it out, and planted a small part of it in the bed in front of the veggie garden.  It's hard to see, but I planted a purple milkweed and an amsonia hubrichti there.

This is the shed we had to have repaired because the city wouldn't let us tear it down and build another, because it sticks out farther than the neighbors' houses down the street.  The area to the right of here is where the garbage cans are.

Here's another hellebore, and more woodland phlox.  That's a salvia to the right.

Here, you can see a tiny speck of one of the garbage cans on the right of the photo, which is facing back to the south.

Now, I need to figure out a way to make shorter posts.

Have a great Mother's Day, whether you are a mother or not.


  1. 400 Posts all this while. It is a testimony to gardening enthusiasm. About playing posts around some focus area, is definitely a nice approach. As long as it motivates the gardener and the blogger, i guess it should be fine.

    Cheers, have a great weekend.

  2. Sue ~ You have so many wonderful plants blooming. This was a great little tour of your side garden. Thank you for taking the time to share your haven with us.


  3. Congratulations on sticking with it for 400 posts! Awesome! Thanks for the garden tour, your gardens are looking great. Hope that Virginia waterleaf is better behaved for you in your zone than it is in mine! My word for that plant, is deadhead, deadhead!Happy Mother's Day and keep gardening!

  4. Thanks for the comments. Sandy, thanks for the name of the plant. The friend who gave it to me has a huge yard, and has lots of spreaders I don't have room for. Last year was the first for blooms on the plant. I did deadhead it, because I think I did find out it reseeds. Thanks for the reminder to do that again.

  5. Hey Sandy,
    Do you also go by the name Isadora? I included the link to your blog in the edit of my post to include the correct name of the Virginia waterleaf.

  6. Your garden is so charming. I agree, the Pasqueflower seedheads look fantastic.

  7. Hi Sue, Happy Mother's Day;-) It's tough trying to 'reign in on' a specific area or topic to post on...I have trouble at times, too! Like you aluded to, though, you should 'do your own thing'. If it means keeping a record that will help you in the long-term, that's how you should do it. Sometimes a 'hodge podge' just works better. I think if you put yourself in a box and say 'this is the way I must do it', then you'll feel stuck. At the same time, having a 'plan' does help to narrow things down somewhat. You have SO MANY things to look at right now and I enjoyed seeing them! I have planted THREE asclepias purpuras and can't wait to see them bloom. I planted 4 other varieties, including 'tuberosa', 'exalta' and 'variegata', plus, 4 or 5 of the asclepias incarnatas as well! There are so many things going on in my garden right now, and so many events happening that I've 'done' or 'seen' that I could write several posts every day, but am just posting at my own pace, not trying to overwhelm myself. Anyway, you are going to have a fantastic explosion of blooms coming will be gorgeous.

  8. Hi Sue. Tell Larry I did not actually mean that that one iris was forty years old. I meant they came from the one that was forty years old. LOL! That would have really been an old iris.
    Your columbines are so lovely. Wow, I did not realize you had so many plants. I like all of your added garden goodies and use of planters. I am nuts about stuff like that.
    I have my gas meter about hid. It is a pain in my bed. LOL! But whats a person to do. They came to put in a new meter last week and I was cringing and just knew the man was going to kill my flowers around and in front of it but the poor man stepped in the little holes he found between them. I was so glad and told him he did a great job LOL!
    Have a Happy Mothers Day Sue.

  9. Congratulations on 400 posts. You have an excellent record of your garden here, with so many photos to illustrate it.

    Your columbines are lovely. I especially like the two toned blue one. I looked at, and debated about getting, some blue columbines in a garden centre this weekend.

  10. Wow - 401 posts! That's amazing. Your gardens are beautiful. Eventually, I'd like to have beds all round the house like you have. Right now I have a sea of grass!

  11. Hi Sue, I'm enjoying checking out your blog...VERY nice... That's a good idea to show us your garden in different sections. You have some beautiful flowers.

    Happy Mother's Day to you!!!! I had a wonderful day --spending it with my 'baby' --who is almost 39 now!!!!! Yipes!!!! ha

    We had a fabulous beach trip--but it's nice to be home. I'll post a blog in the morning. We came home to find more Irises blooming and some of our ROSES..


  12. Hi Sue,

    401? Amazing! Congratulations! I love your hodge-podge gardens and posts. xx

    I hope your Mother's Day was wonderful! Mine was great.

    Pam x

  13. I understand your point about concentrating on a bit of your garden at a time but you know, when you are as much of a plantswoman as you are you want to show all sorts of things! And that's what I like about visiting your place, its like poking around is someone's yard to see how individual plants are doing and what's new since the last time! That's my ha'penn'orth!

  14. My baptisia is starting to bloom too. It didn't bloom the last two years so I transplanted it last summer. Seems to like the new location! Your hodge-podge gardens look great. I envy your energy! :-D

  15. Sue, however you decide to post, I know I'm going to enjoy it. It's always a pleasure to visit your blog -- you make us all feel welcome.

    I haven't been around here lately because life keeps getting in the way. Hopefully, that will change soon and I'll have more time for reading blogs.

    Your columbines are lovely. Mine aren't blooming yet. I'm amazed at how many plants you have in your yard. How do you manage to keep up with it all?

    Hope you had a beautiful Mother's Day.


  16. Sue: Your garden is truly alive with a lot of color. It is neat to see what you have done.

  17. Wow! 401 posts! I haven't even hit 100 yet! Congratulations. Your garden is alive and busy. Your comfrey looks so healthy and lovely.

  18. Wow, you yard already looks lively and healthy! I just got a Comfrey plant at a plant swap last weekend, it's not as nice as yours, but I'm hoping to see good things from it. Is there anything special I should know?

    From what I understand, there are three levels USDA uses to indicate plants that are at risk of becoming extinct.

    Endangered is the highest level, threatened is the next level, and special concern is the lowest level, so a plant of special concern is one that is becoming more scarce.

    At least that is the way I understand it.


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