Tag Archives: coreopsis

Flowers for Fun

It’s happening! It’s been so long since I’ve had a gardening vision take physical shape and I can’t believe it’s really happening. I’ve been floating on clouds (sinking in mud?) all week, every time I look out the window.

To start, here’s what I was working with:

Before photoThe long explanation is that I’m tired of planting foundation plants and watching them get eaten by deer, burnt by sun, lashed by wind, situated in poor locations then put in proper locations where they look even punier, and worse. This year I gave up (not completely: fertilizing is done, I’ve been researching when to prune, and I am trying to pay closer to attention to where the plants want to be. Just not focusing all of my energy here). I decided I wanted pure fun, a place to grow my Montana wildflowers and where my roses could shine. I decided on this particular spot because it gets great sun, I have a wonderful view of it from the nursery and I am sick of doing 100 little circles trying to get this area mowed – now it’s just one big circle to work around.

Chris and I started the garden last week by creating an outline with a hose to establish our borders and agree on the general size of what we wanted. Next, we¬† took spade to dirt and began clearing out the grass and loosening up the soil as we worked. We slapped a wide-brimmed gardening hat on our little Rose, but after the first minor leaf-eating-vomiting incident, we invited her grandmother to come visit and keep her giggling while we worked. So as of yesterday, voila, here’s what we have:

Rose's GardenMy goal was to have a sitting area where I could enjoy the pond, kids at play, the smell of flowers, the shade of the dogwood. In the background several new India Hawthorne were added to expand on the ones I already have (those dead-looking but not dead-acting plants on the right. Deer-resistant does not mean deer-proof, clearly, and I’ll be dealing with that this winter). Behind the bench is my potted rose, which it turns out has sent tendrils of root well beyond the pot. On either side is mounding artemesia, which I chose because it is incredibly soft and adds a fun dimension to the garden. In the foreground are my incredible fall daisies.

Pond ViewThere’s still a lot of empty space, but that’s another factor I was aiming for. My goal is to ultimately have color in this garden from at least March to November, from the first crocus to the last pansy. I’m going to try to control myself and add a little more each month until I have a complete firework, from initial spark to the big bursting bang and the last awe-inspiring fizzle. On the list: butterfly-attracting lantana for the height of summer, as well as sunshiny coreopsis and coneflowers, asters for fall, .

Sitting SpotThe one thing I am going to rush out to buy is a fun staked drink holder … and a couple yards of mulch.

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Return of the Dirt People

I know, I haven’t posted in quite a while. Well, I haven’t gardened in quite a while either. Perhaps you remember my pitifully short garden to do list from last year? I do. It haunts me. Daily. And in my mind it has grown exponentially.

But I’ve been a tad bit busy. Since my little Rose (what else?) was born in July, I have managed to get into the garden roughly four times. You see, there are many (surprisingly many) things one can do with an infant tied strategically to one’s chest but if gardening is one of those things, well I haven’t figured out how. But the little Rose did sit in her bouncy chair in September for a few minutes while I pulled weeds (until I realized I was pulling with a tad too much enthusiasm and the little one had a head full of dirt). Then in October I spent half an hour doing my winter pruning in a mad effort to take down the roses; in November I finally moved the daisies; and in December I emptied three of the five bags of mulch sitting in my driveway. Ta-da.

By New Year’s Eve I had drawn multiple plans for next year’s garden and had a head full of dreams.

Some of those dreams involve a tiny trowel and pail for my little helper. Others involve the daisies.

I was very excited for this particular transplant.

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The daisies had been growing radically taller than the juniper and Japanese maple bordering them, embarrassing my little tree and shrubs in their white-petaled exuberance. Finally I decided on a spot to move these hardy flowers: just outside the tidy borders of the mulch that surrounds the pond. Right now the remains of the daisies look like little renegades, just toeing the line of mulch. But to my way of thinking, this was the first step to what will be a glorious cut-flower bed later this summer. I’m mentally picking out mass plantings in such a way that I’m hoping to ultimately have blooms from the first yellow daffodils and tulips in March and April to the last pansies of December. Lantana. Coreopsis. Black-eyed Susans. Thick lamb’s ear around the feet of a little white bench… ahhh. Just saying the names is a mantra more relaxing than any yoga class (as if I had time for that either).

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Will it work out? Who knows. But on days when the clouds are hanging so low that even the dog will only hang half her body outside her little door, this girl’s gotta dream about the garden.