Sunday, September 2, 2012

Help! 314 Days and Counting...

(What the garden needed more than anything else this summer was moisture.)

Next July 13 (2013), I am going to be a basket case. I know it. A couple Mondays ago, the county Master Gardeners (well,not all of them, a committee of them) "toured" my yard. Someone had dropped a bug in their ear about my tiny home garden. I don't suppose they said anything about how TINY it is, or that I have A DOG, or, WEEDS! Someone who typically sees my front yard, where I make a much bigger effort to keep up "appearances".

Irregardless of its (MY) shortcomings, their committee at large met and discussed among themselves and had their secretary or sunshine lady or whatever, maybe the "garden chairperson" send me a cute little note and thank you. Because I have so many unusual plants, fruits, tree, etc., "...our guests will enjoy learning of them," she wrote. "More info to come..."


Time to put up, or shut up. I critiqued a lot of area gardens this summer, and didn't spend a lot of time in mine. Now the veggie garden, that's a thing of beauty.

My home garden?

I figure I need the whole 10 1/2 months to get this garden walk thing done.


Yes, REALLY!!!

You see I just don't accessorize. There are a dozen projects unfinished. My fence, I have been working on staining it for THREE years.
(No that's not where I have decided to plant the 'Golden Shadows' dogwood. It is just sitting there in its pot!)

It is only 120 feet long. AND the weeds!

This last spring for Handsome Son's graduation party, I simply mulched HEAVY. And then it rained for three days and pretty much everyone was inside anyway. That was nearly the last time it rained. So this year, because of the endless stretch of days over 95 and no rain, I stood with a hose and going around the yard with an automatic sprinkler.

I certainly didn't weed. I didn't even trim a lot of the shrubs back because I didn't want to stress them (ME) out.

And as I walk around the yard, I notice it is 102 on my outdoor thermometer. Still. Okay, granted it is on the south side of my house, and it is no where near as humid as it has been this summer; it is still hot.

Frankly, I have spent a lot of time at the family vegetable garden and with Baby Gardener and the Twins, teaching summer school, and getting Handsome Son ready for college this summer.

About two weeks ago,I actually walked around the yard thinking if all the summers to come are more like this, how do I dryscape this? Yes, I had green grass, but I also acquired a small patch of creeping Charlie, and even the gravel scree garden was having a hard time in the heat. The Annabelle hydrangeas on the east side of the house actually roasted out and burnt, regardless that I kept them watered.

Several patches of plantain and turkey foot and pigeon grass would like to crowd out the fescue.

Okay. I didn't like the federal park dark green I painted all my metal chairs right before graduation and have opted to do two over in this nice green apple.

And I do have a couple nice pots like this and an unusual planter (which I have never actually planted).

So all of you garden walking people, what do you like to see (or don't like to see) when you visit a garden featured on a garden walk?

You artsy folk out there, what are some of nicer and cleverer (cheap) ways to accessorize a garden?

I'd also like to incorporate a solar-powered water feature, too; nothing grand, just the calming sound and splash of gurgling water.

I'm taking suggestions on everything garden walk-related for the next 300 days or so, and unfortunately you are all going to be exposed to my garden angst as I throw out small sections of my garden for your critique.

Have at it!


  1. What I like to see are plants. Either new and interesting plants or plants I'm familiar with used in nice combinations or in other interesting ways. Accessories are nice, but for me not that big a deal. And I'd much rather see a garden with weeds and other imperfections that reflects the love and personality of the gardener, rather than more examples of pocketbook gardeners.

    1. Encouraging words, Jason! Thanks. Unusual plants I've got, some aren't even named or have number codes instead (I have three daylilies Dr. Darrel Apps tagged in 2011 for possible introduction and then in 2012 decide not, in addition to some prety ones hybridized by my son.). Of course, people only see whatever is in bloom on any particular day when touring the yard, I have noticed, anyway.

  2. Your yard reminds me of mine - looks neat and tidy from the street but the backyard is one big experiment. One thing I have found lacking on most garden tours is plant identification. Even if the gardener is present, s/he can't talk to everyone. The more unusual the specimens, the more important the identification.

    1. Yes, Abby! The Master Gardeners already mentioned this as they, as a group, could not ID even 30% of my plant material. I think I have literally hundreds of plants you can't walk into garden centers and find, many ow which I have either collected or grown from seed. So labeling will maybe come to be the biggest ordeal. I have been looking at some of the labeling methods used on the nearly nationally famous City of Buffalo garden walks and one idea I like is taking a picture and numbering and labeling and putting it on a placard holder. Another for areas where there is only a plant of two which is unfamiliar is using a paint pen on a 2" white tile and hang on a piece of wire. This might be okay in the hosta garden, too where I have something like 65+ different cultivars planted in a 24'x12' space.

  3. Love the apple green colour you painted the chair- just perfect...and those pots are gorgeous!