21 May 2008

Gardens in Mid-May

Special note: I prepared this post the night before my mom passed away unexpectedly. Earlier in the week, Mom and I had toured my little flower beds and looked at all of my plants. As it turns out, that was the last time we saw her before she passed away.

That evening, I divided an aster and gave part of it to her. Sadly, she never had the opportunity to plant it, so over the weekend, my dad, aunt, and I planted it in the spot she had planned for it.

I know in my heart that I'll be reminded of her when I see my gardens in mid-May.


After 24 bags of mulch and lots of garden maintenance -- moving, dividing, and adding perennials and annuals -- I have finally finished working on several of the flower beds around the house. Two major areas remain, but those call for professional consultation since trees and large bushes are involved!

Midway through last summer, I took stock of my perennial beds and tried to figure out what was wrong with them. Some plants were crowded, some weren't doing well, and there were large bare areas between plants that hadn't grown to their expected size. I went back through last year's photos and over the past week, I've tried to correct most of these problems. Only time will tell if this effort will pay off with better looking gardens. I will say that a fresh coat of mulch covers a multitude of sins. If only I could mulch over other things in my life...

Photos, beginning at top left:

* Distance view of side perennial garden
* New coral bell - Peach Melba, I think.
* Jacob's Ladder - a shade plant I added last year which is doing well; added a second one this week.
* Mixed planter
* Pasque Flower - love this! I got it in a box of perennials a few years back as a thank you gift for my public television membership. It's the first plant to bloom in the spring. I dug out a chunk of it and added a second plant this year.
* This is a Geum, and it was in that same box of perennials. I moved it this year to a spot where I can see it from the window and it's doing great.
* Tiger lilies -- from my grandma's house.
* Wild columbine (honeysuckle) -- one of my favorite woodland flowers; lots of volunteer plants are coming up this year!
* Mixed planter
* Coral bells -- second of three kinds I have. Drawing a blank on the name of this one...
* Beardstongue -- this is a beautiful plant that will have tall white flowers later this spring. I divided and moved it last year and it's doing great.
* Angelonia in a hanging basket.
* Vinca groundcover -- we've had mixed results with this. It prefers shade and is very pretty when in bloom.
* Lupines! (remember the Monty Python episode?) -- Lupines don't like to be moved, but I had to move this one last year and it's doing well. I added a second lupine this year. This one has peach blooms and the new one is white.
* Zinnias -- I put in a few plants and lots of seeds, which should be sprouting soon.
* Corner view of one perennial garden


Sandra Collins said...

your garden is beautiful - what a special thing planting the flower you had given your mom. I am so sorry to hear of your loss - your family is in my prayers.

Stella said...

WOW! I wish that I had enough patience to garden. Beautiful! My prayers are with you.

Lynn said...

Janet, your garden is just wonderful! Again, I don't like to garden, but do enjoy looking at others. Love the tiger lilys. I think they are one of my fav's.

Cheri said...

This is lovely! I too really like the pasque flowers we have. My gardening expert/friend set me on to them (btw, if anyone in the Ames/Des Moines area needs a new source for plants, this friend just bought an existing nursery...let me know!)

I think it's very special that your garden is your link to the last time you saw your mother...you will cherish that memory forever.


emily said...

What a memory to hold on to...I believe that gardens, flowers and trees carry on the spirit of people who loved them. We have some of my Grammy's lilac trees and they remind me of her and my visits to her house as a kid every time I see them. Sending thoughts your way....

Darcey said...

Beautiful gardens. That is really great that you planted the flower.

denali said...

Ahhh, your photo collages always make me happy, and this is no exception :)

Myself, I couldn't grow a blade of grass to save my life, so I appreciate those that can do such wonderful things all the more for it!

toners said...

These are absolutely beautiful...and what a nice way to honor your mom :) I hope you and your family are doing OK (((hugs)))

Theresa said...

Just wanted to say how sorry I am that you've lost your Mom. I just popped on to your blog today and saw the post, my heart breaks for you. I know, all too well, how horrible it feels. Prayers sent.