Gotta Garden

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Coming Full Circle

Some time ago, maybe even a few years, I read an interview/article with Peter Strauss (the actor, Rich Man Poor Man, Miracle Grow products, etc.) in a gardening magazine. Not really surprising, he is an avid gardener. Mr. Strauss talked about the series of phases a gardener goes through...I really wish I could remember them all...but it was something like the first one is where you're just excited about it all, plant things found in the garden know, mostly common things. Then, you move into the I-have-to-have-one-of-everything phase. From there, it's the collector's phase and a disdain for the common plants. Last, you're back to the tried and true, the faithful plants, and the plants which make your heart sing...whether they're common or not.

Okay, now I might have missed a stage or two or not expressed them exactly right, but you get the idea. Before reading this, I hadn't really thought about gardening in stages or the gardener growing through stages. However, as time has passed, I have felt that I have moved through stages, maybe even these stages.

For example, I'm definitely through the I-need-one-of-everything stage. For years, I enjoyed going on my plant expeditions, as I have liked to call them, searching out new plants, different plants, unusual plants, etc. I have a new appreciation for others growing these their gardens, in public gardens, or just on a fortunate garden visit. No longer do I feel the compulsion to source one out for myself and grow it in my own humble test gardens. I'm happy to take a picture of it or even just admire it.

So, where I am I? Between two stages, right now, I think. Still the collector in that I am daylily silly, although I sense the grand collecting in that area is cooling a bit (space, you know, is at a premium...and I'm eager and excited to work with seedlings). I also have a greater appreciation for plants that are easy to please, the workhorses that give and give.

Recently, I dug out four Rose of Sharons (harder than I thought it would be!), three butterfly bushes and two Fairy roses...and that's just to start. The barberries, the nandinas, the rhododendron that started this blog, a lilac, a witch hazel, and two snowball virburnums are also on the hit list. Some to clear space for my daylilies but some just because my infatuation with them has waned.

Fall is here now as I write this, finally finishing it up, and with this change in seasons, I am enjoying the changes in the gardener, too.

Friday, August 04, 2006

How's Your Parsley (or why you plant more than you need)?

No, these are not "Parsley Bugs"! Lol! I heard that at a Butterfly Gardening lecture I attended (which reminds me....I didn't post about that, did I? Something else for the 'to do' list.). If you are interested in butterflies, these little guys are signs of success. In fact, if you look above the bottom one, you'll see parsley totally eaten. They gotta eat, you know.

These will turn into, hopefully, beautiful swallowtail butterflies. I don't really garden for butterflies, but I've always found if you plant parsely...they will come! Which is one reason I have lots of parsley....plenty for sharing. Parsley seems to reseed pretty easily. Right now I have scores of it in with my iris (that's where this one is, actually). I probably need to eliminate some of it...but when I saw these guys, I didn't have the heart.

While I'm on the subject, I really grow parsley for the beneficial insects it brings to my garden (and to eat, natch). I let it go to seed because those tiny flowers bring out the garden warriors...they fight the bad bug battles so I don't have to. You should try it!

Iris 'Immortalilty'

Just when I've having serious thoughts of taking out bunches of the iris (for daylilies, of course)....look what I see today:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden

This is such a lovely garden. Located in Washington, D.C., it truly is a national treasure. It has everything...except maybe daylilies (hehehe)....and I don't really want to clutter it up with words. Just have a look. (Special thanks to DH for suggesting it and then taking me there!)

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden 5

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden 4

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden 3

National Cathedral Bishop's Garden 2

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Feast for the Eyes

In a effort to just show how big Look Here Mary is, I've gone a bit wild and picked a number of blooms. Look Here Mary is in the top photo, left front...big yellow!

Look Here Mary....

I've just come in from outside, wanting to catch the early blooms before this amazing heat sets in...and look what I saw! This is Look Here Mary's first flower open and it is a wowser! I love big daylilies anyway...just to give you some perspective, those are oriental lilies peeking from behind...and they're not small.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Taking the Heat

These three photos were taken today around 6:00 p.m., after a day in which temps reached into the triple digits. These daylilies look pretty terrific, don't you think? Let me tell you a bit about them:

From the bottom: Orchid Corsage, just blooms and blooms. Excuse the spent blossom, but I have been attempting some pods. We'll see. In the middle: Glorious Appearing, one of three Bell beauties I have this year...all have been winners. The top: Victorian Lace, a Stamile daylily that really seems to live up to the hipe. Talk is it will win a Stout medal and from its performance here (first year), it's been one of the best. My only complaint is that it's not an EMO (early morning opener).
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