Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blog's Fifth Anniversary

The other day, I was remembering that I started blogging in an October, and when I checked, saw that it was October 1, 2008.  I've been blogging for 5 years!  I've slowed down quite a bit, now that I'm spending so much time on Facebook, but at this point, have no plans to give it up.  I do hope to budget my time better so I can visit more blogs than I have been.

I went back and found some photos from August to October of 2008, and then took some from similar views today.  I didn't get them close enough to put them next to each other as before and after photos, though. 

This may have been the second season for the newest planting area at the time.  I had originally wanted it for annuals, and there were still plenty of them here at this point.

The silver maple tree was still on the west side of the front yard in 2008.  I'm thinking this part of the curb was just dug up to plant in 2007.

A number of the plants in this area are still there, but not all of them.  This bed was put in the year after the one across the sidewalk, which is pictured in the next two photos.

The New England asters, Winter savory, and Knautia are still in the area.

I've mentioned this bed was dug when the neighbors across the street had to have their water main replaced.  Larry and I had different ideas on the size of it, and he kind of won at the time.  I had wanted to go ahead and take it all the way across, or at least bigger than this.

I've mentioned that whenever I saw a butterfly on a plant tag, I would purchase those plants.  I don't remember where I first got the Verbena bonariensis plants, but they seed themselves each year, and I haven't had to plant any more of them.  Here's a Painted lady butterfly from 2008.

I've enjoyed having Monarchs around each year, too.

I was thinking I had grown Blue mist flower before, and I'm pretty sure that's what this is.  I don't remember whether I pulled it out or if it died out on its own.  A few weeks ago, I planted a clump of it in an area where there are some grasses and other plants that could keep its spread in check.  It's struggling a little, but hopefully, it will be OK.

Most of these plants are still in the area to the east of the house.  I did take out the Lamb's ears.

I included this photo, looking the other direction to show the Amsonia hubrichtii, one of my favorite native plants.  While I was looking for the butterflies on the tags, I was also choosing plants when the tag said they were native to our area.  I liked the idea of those before learning more of the benefits of growing them to the environment.

 Speaking of native plants, here is a Rigid, or Stiff goldenrod in the back yard.  It is still there and doing well.  I'm thinking I must have discovered the plant sales at the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum by 2008.  I either got this there, or at B&B Nursery, which I'm sad to hear is up for sale.

I'm still enjoying the Short toothed mountain mint.

The Virginia mountain mint spread farther than I was comfortable with, so I moved it to another spot, then found out that it calms down after the first several years.  That's OK, because it didn't stay dug, and came back a little farther back from here, where I don't mind it.

These are the photos I took today.  There have been lots of changes to these areas.

We had about 1.5 inches of rain last night, so I didn't try to garden today, like I was really hoping to.  It was good to be able to take some photos.

I took out the daylilies that were in the curb area this spring, and planted some sedges, Purple poppy mallow, Liatris, which stayed small all summer, and added another Butterfly milkweed.  The volunteer salvias of some kind came back, too.  I also kept the perennial geraniums that were there.

I added some Sideoats gamma and other grasses to the area.  I don't remember whether I planted the red salvia, or if it's a volunteer.

Herbs like Winter savory and Lavender grow near native and non native plants, including Common milkweed and Ironweed in this area.

I'm thankful Larry gave in and let me take the planting area across the curb.  I've posted about the tree coming down, and how again, I was able to expand the planting areas.  I took a number of daylilies out of the curb area, and when the ones left bloomed this year, I picked some more to take out to make more room for natives.  I've mentioned, though, that while I feel it is essential for the survival of beneficial insects for us to grow the native plants that provide nectar and food for the caterpillars, I do not have plans to replace every single non-native plant.  I'm sad that it is the cause of some strife between gardeners. 

 While I was taking photos at the curb, I noticed a Monarch on the Riddell's goldenrod.  It's not native to Southeast Nebraska, but when I went to look again to see where it is native, the USDA Plant Database was down because of the government shut down.

Here are some views from the porch of the area where the tree used to be.

I know I've posted these recently, but I sure am enjoying the area, and am tickled at all of the butterflies, bees, and such that visit.

The three peonies in the area were planted by my mother-in-law when she lived here.  I am probably going to take the Painter's palette out because the strawberries under the bench are spreading into the area.

I don't show this view often.  The area on the right is what's in front of the fence that borders the area where the tree used to be.  There is more dirt showing than I like.  Hopefully, the plants will fill out more next year.

We're back to the east side of the front yard.  I planted a number of grasses and some native plants that are also in the area across the sidewalk so it will be more like one big bed with the sidewalk to the front porch as a path. 

One of the most frequent ways people find my blog is by doing a search about whether they should trim or deadhead their butterfly bushes.  Now that they are finding that butterfly bushes are causing problems when their seeds get into the water systems and grow down the way, choking out native plants that are needed by whatever wildlife is that way, I have been trying to decide whether to keep it or not.  It has never seeded itself here.  I do deadhead it, but can't imagine I get every seed.  It is actually growing larger and larger every summer, so I had already been thinking about taking it out.  I am undecided, but Larry isn't ready to see it go.  The butterflies do like it.

Here are the latest clippings I cut off yesterday.

Like I said, the east side of the house looks a lot like it did 5 years ago.  I hadn't realized how many asters had seeded themselves, but am glad they are adding their purple to all of the yellow.  The big yellow blooms are 'Wichita Mountains' goldenrod, which the insects are enjoying about as much as the asters.  It's been fun seeing lots of the butterflies and bees on the blooms.

I didn't show photos of the back yard or the vegetable garden this time.  That's the back yard behind the fence.

The vegetable garden is across the driveway, behind the tubs and lattice.

I am thankful for all of the nice people I have met through garden blogging, many of which I met at Blotanical, which I haven't visited for awhile.  I am thankful to Stuart for starting it.  I don't know what the future holds for blogging.  Sometimes I feel like I am posting "reruns" because, even though I change things out from time to time, there aren't that many changes.  Still, it seems like new people come along who haven't seen it, and maybe they will get some ideas for their gardens, or reinforcement for something they are doing.  Also, I really miss visiting the number of blogs I used to.   I know I am missing out.

I hope fall is going well for you, and that winter doesn't come too soon.  Take care!   


  1. It's always nice to look back through old photos and see the changes that have come about. I love your asters--I'm planting more. The color is always welcome in the fall.

  2. Happy 5th Bloggiversary. I had mine last month.

    I always enjoy seeing your gardens, you have such a wonderful variety of plants that I can't grow down here in the sub tropics.

    Happy Fall gardening ~ FlowerLady

  3. Your garden always looks great Sue, and it is always worthwhile to look back and see where you are now. You know you are a gardener when you are always moving plants, can't remember if you planted it or it arrived on its own, and have become particular in your reasons for choosing certain plants. Happy 5th !!

  4. Sue, I always like your yard reviews showing all the different plants that can be growing together in harmony. Blogs are a kind of journal that keeps a history not only for others to read but to review past years like you just did. I am hoping that someday my great grand kids might want to know what old grand pop did way back in the early 21st century and they will be able to read about it. Of course I might be just wishful thinking.

    My blog was started about the same time as yours and has about 25 to 30 entries a year. I'm not a super active blogger but a couple times a month will keep folks up to date without overwhelming them.

    Have a great reviewing your garden blog day.

  5. Congratulations on your blogaversary, Sue! I always enjoy seeing how gardens have changed over the years, and this is an excellent record of how your garden has evolved. I don't remember just when I started reading your blog, but it must have been early on, since I started just a few months before you. I think the biggest change I've noticed is your journey into becoming such a supporter of native plants. Being in a similar climate as you, I know I'll always find some great advice and new ideas for adding more natives. You've inspired many of us to think about gardening for wildlife!

    P.S. Always nice to see Heidi in the garden--I can see she approves:)

  6. I read your blog regularly and thoroughly enjoy it. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share your gardening experience.

  7. Five years! Congratulations!
    I never get tired of looking at your lovely garden.
    Lea's Menagerie

  8. Congratulations on your 5th! Your yard is lovely.

  9. Congratulations on 5 years Sue. Keep up the posts, there will always be new people just finding your blog like I have this last year. And I swear, when I find some time when I am not in my own garden, or writing my own blog, I will be back to rifle through your archives.

  10. Greetings from New Zealand! I found your blog through a search for "Larkspur" and I thought I must explore your site further. Looking forward to doing so; every good wish for your gardening this Autumn - we are in mid-Spring here.

  11. What a great review and history of your garden. Congratulations on your 5th blogoversary! I have been enjoying your garden for most of those years. Thank you.

  12. Thanks for the nice comments! I have visited the blogs of those who have one here. New Zealand, thanks for letting me know you found the blog doing a search for Larkspur. I hope you find some to grow.

  13. Congratulations on your 5th Blogversary! I get inspired looking at your use of native wildflowers. The problem I have is that the Eastern US is much more abundant in wildflowers than the West, kind of like the Verizon maps of coverage, so I get plant lust for natives that don't really live out here in the West. A few goldenrods are native here but nothing compared to all the ones that live in the Eastern US. But I planted 6 kinds this year anyway and am enjoying them so far, though I really admire your Witchita Mountains cultivar, since it makes such a great clump and doesn't flop, and have not been able so far to find the plants or seeds. I also started growing some Blue Mist flowers this year, it turned out from seed since the plant I bought didn't make it but tiny seeds sprouted in the pot, and I was surprised to see one actually blooming this year. But these plants are not Western either. I also have a butterfly bush and don't cut it down every year like some do, I hate the knobby knees and like the natural form. I have not seen any seedlings pop up so wonder if they need cross-pollinating to form viable seed. But the Swallowtails and hummers really like it so I will keep it.

  14. Happy blogoversary! Wow, that is a big one! I think I have the same philosophy about natives/non-natives that you do. I can't imagine ripping out all the non-natives at this point, but when I buy new ones, I tend toward native plants. Also, I don't have Butterfly Bush, but after seeing how much the monarchs love it at the botanical garden the other day, I have to think that it has a place--if kept under control. The botanical garden had several Butterfly Bushes in raised pots with crossed stakes at the top draped with trumpet vine. It's a lovely way to handle it, and perhaps easier to keep under control that way? In addition to the monarchs, there were hummingbirds buzzing around the tops by the trumpet vine. Wow! I have heard that Buttonbush is a good substitute for Butterfly Bush, which doesn't really make sense because Buttonbush likes shade, and Butterfly Bush likes sun. Oh well. Congrats! And your garden is incredible, Sue!

  15. Sue! So glad to have found your blog again. I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of it and I have missed following your garden. I'd love for you to post on the Maple Hill Hop:
    I'm following you now, so I won't lose you again! Your garden is as amazing as ever!

  16. Hi Sue Happy 5th blog anniversary. I love your posts and what you do in your garden. I'm returning to blogging after a long gap. I will visit you again.Love Sarah x


I welcome comments and questions from anyone, including those who do it anonymously. Some people find my posts by doing searches, and I like hearing from them. I guess spammers won't even read this message, but I will delete spam as soon as I see it.