Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A look at my garden with new eyes...

I had cataract surgery last summer, and I am often distressed by what I can see now;  spiderwebs on the ceilings, for instance.

However, I am not distressed by what I am seeing in my garden lately.
I have been working on my pottery for about 3 years.  Learning, learning, learning, and while I am not done learning, I can finally take a time to pay attention to other things.
The first thing I am doing is getting rid of all those little trees that have been flourishing among my treasured plants.  Not little, as in seedlings;  Little trees, as in 5-6', REAL TREES!  The seeds of hackberry, mulberry, Spanish mulberry, pecan, and even oak have happily germinated in the fertile soil of my flowerbeds and are now lush specimens.  I pull what I can, whack what is too large to pull, and dose those stumps with stump killer.  Then Bobby comes along and digs them out if he can, trying to not disturb anything growing close to it.

Two years ago, we had a severe winter (for us), several consecutive days when the temperature held at 17 degrees.  We had the most severe drought ever last summer, months on end of no rain, and soaring temperatures.  I lost a lot of plants in my garden. 

Looking at my records of what was in my garden, and when it was planted, etc., etc., I realize that much of what was lost was what I call 'exotics'.  I love those plants that nobody else has, nobody 'round here has ever seen, and while they can be kept easily enough if you are vigilent, they will decline if left to their own devices.  Neglect is out of the question.  Sadly, my garden has been neglected.

On the bright side....and there is always a bright side...

Everything in my garden now is tough as nails.  I have roses that could be killed, but you would need intent.  They are nicely established, and not going to keel over any time soon.  Lots of iris, day lily, lantana, esperanza, salvia, oleander, orchid trees, gardenia, althea, plumbago, Barbados cherry, fire bush, cestrum,and hibiscus are thriving.  I was weeding (!) last weekend, and pulled some grasses that were just plain ugly, and hidden under them was the prettiest little 'Red Sail' hibiscus that has not seen the sun for a long time.  I was so happy!

Most of my ferns have multiplied many times, including holly fern, river fern, and Ming fern.  I am very pleased that the Ming fern is so hardy.

I still have lots of grasses, and things like confederate rose, and bougainvilla.  My husband would just as soon that bougainvilla was elsewhere, but it is getting bigger and bigger...

Needless to say, I have planted some pots, but I am using plants that are easy to care for, and that do not mind if I am not sitting with them daily.  Coleus, bulbine, vinca, portulaca, and purple fountain grass are growing fast.

AND.....I should confess, I have planted a couple of new things in the garden.  A candlestick plant, Mexican hummingbird plant, Mexican salvia, and a delicious Hawaiian Sunset vine!  Talk about exotic!  But a beauty too, pictures when it blooms!

I still have this ribbon lily.  Bobby found it at the dump and potted it up.  We have divided it many times, and it is one of my favorite plants in the garden.

We still have a lot to do, but it will get done.  We can sandwich it in, with workshops, and making pott-ry, building a shop for Bobby, and remodeling the bathrooms.  Next week, I want to clean the pond and add some new fish!


Anonymous said...

Janie, What a treat to log in to my Google Reader and find a post from you. Welcome back! I laughed at your description of the trees growing in the garden, too. I have that problem, too. I tend to catch the maples and oaks while they are still seedlings, but I somehow miss the conifers that seed themselves on the edges of the flower beds. Sometimes, I just leave them until they get to be 7 or 8 feet tall and then cut them for Christmas trees (although they tend to make pretty scraggly Charlie Brown type Christmas trees :-)).
Making pots seems like such a complementary craft for a gardener to take up. -Jean

janie said...

Well, there are all kinds of pots. Some are flower pots, some are pots for roast and potatoes. But, great fun.
I feel like a real idiot, because they have changed the whole blogger thingie. I am tired of looking at this blog the way it is, so I will have to figure out how to change it.
We have had several Charlie Brown type trees over the years. The kids always loved them, regardless how they looked. LOL

Jean Campbell said...

I want to know the list of what failed to survive. I don't see Purple Heart nor Duranta on your list; surely they were just omitted, not dead. Ruellia 'Katy'?

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Janie, Now, I remember your blog. I had to laugh at the thought of you seeing things you used to miss. That can be a blessing and a curse. LOL

Yes, our plants have had to be tough to get through this summer.

Diana Studer said...

Janie - I do hope you'll come back to blogging regularly. I miss your posts ... (and you still owe me another post on rain gardening, you promised!)

Angel Mar said...

Beautiful pictures and interesting Blog.I invite you to visit and follow my blog of orchids. A greeting.


ancient one said...

Good to see you back Janie.

Yvonne said...

Baby trees! Every year I find the 3 to 6 feet ones where I swear there wasn't one the week before :) Thank you for visiting my blog and telling me about your master gardener adventures or misadventures. I see you have been away from your blog for a while. Welcome back! My younger sister created pottery for years and loved it.

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