What better place to spend Mother’s Day than Mom’s garden
May 10, 2010
One of my first blog posts was called Where it all begin. In it I talked about *my* first garden. But honestly, where my love of gardening and gardening experiences began were in the gardens of my Mom and my Grandma.
At the same time there’s bits and pieces of my influence- the corydalis lutea given to me by an on-line friend and shared with mom; the daylilies from an order I placed one winter as my life was about to change. I’d used Mom’s garden as a nursery bed during that time of upheaval in my life. Splits of these daylilies are spread around her yard, found homes in my subsequent garden but still have a home in this “temporary bed” by Mom’s vegetable garden 12 years later. Unfortunately, over time the plant tags for the daylilies have disappeared- hoping later this season I will recognize them – or at least be able to make notes of bloom time, height, and color, so I can divide and move pieces into my new garden.
On this trip I did dig up a few clumps of corydalis, and several of Mom’s ferns (including this one which had made it’s way out of the border), and was fascinated by the fiddleheads in the process.
I’ll take lessons from the side of the house where Mom says she doesn’t mess with – letting the plants spread as they may. Lesson one – I found the green white color scheme soothing, calming. It is one I will use in my own garden. Lesson two – skip the Snow in the Mountain, which is probably the influence behind the let the plants go attitude.
Left Mom’s with the car loaded to the brim with the spoils of our Mother’s Day adventures, two garden centers (Gurnee Garden Center and Jamaican Gardens), a stop by Wadsworth Feed and Saddlery for alfalfa pellets and cocoa hulls, a bucket of ferns in the back seat and Mom’s Corydalis tucked in the right corner.
When I arrived home, planted the ferns and potted up the smaller divisions. Made me smile this morning as I left for work to see these pieces of “home” waiting for their new spot in my current home.
Mother Nature’s Garden
April 26, 2010
If I consider my knowledge of shade plants to be lacking, my knowledge of wildflowers and natives is even worse. My last two gardens have been around new construction. New construction in both cases on land that had been farm fields. No trees means no shade. And years of row crop cultivation means no native plants (and in the case of the last garden, thanks to the developer, no topsoil, but that’s an entirely different story).
I found a couple of patches of another little darling. But have no clue to it’s identity.
And of course, the May Apples (Podophyllum peltatum ). Lots and lots of May Apples.
I’ve always been fond of May Apples. Even from afar they reminded me of little umbrellas for fairies. This is the first year I’ve been able to view them up close. They first emerge as a tight little mass, and then slowly unfurl.
The flags through the May Apples mark the boundaries of the pet “fence” which keeps my cat and dog in the yard. This of course, does not prevent other animals from entering the yard. We have an opossum which frequents under our deck. Last week as I left for a pre-dawn plane flight, the cat snuck out. My husband and son were awoken by a growling scream to discover a large red fox had cornered the cat (who has lost her out side in the dark priviledges). But the best was the deer last summer that seemed to love tormenting the dog by calming eating foliage just outside of invisible fence line. Excuse the picture clarity – all I had was my phone, and couldn’t get close because I didn’t want to scare the deer. As if that is possible, here in the wild, wild woods of suburbia!
Making the Bed(lines)
April 25, 2010
My serious garden project of the season is re-doing the beds along the front of the house. When we first bought the house two summers ago, this area was solid yews. To say that I am not a fan of yews, would be a gross understatement. I detest them.
This was the view in July of 2008.
April 20, 2010
Still not time to plant, but there’s plenty to do in the meantime. Trying to work my way around the house cleaning up the existing beds. All of which appear to have been ignored for years.
This weekend I decided to focus on cleaning up the south side of the house. This is the sloped area with the retaining wall and planted primarily in hostas with a touch of pachysandra, lamium and lily of the valley. In summer this area is in full shade.
As of Friday it was also full of Garlic Mustard. Inspiring me to do some research and even write a post about it. Spent most of Saturday attacking the weeds.
I spy with my little eye….
April 14, 2010
Have a new resolution to try and get out of the office for a fast-paced walk over lunch on most days. Not sure why in two years of working from this office I never did that. Is a good little habit I’m bringing back from my Chicago office days.
This week as I was trotting along Martin Drive, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a pretty little Henry Lauder’s Walking stick (Corylus avellana “Contorta”). The intricacy of the twisted branches slowed my pace a bit, the plant tag and fresh mulch slowed it a bit further. But what stopped me dead in my tracks was the garden I noticed behind the bush, well, behind the low hedge behind the bush.
A charming little urban oasis. Paved seating area up front. Pretty iron arbor with some sort of climber – curious to see that that is when it leaves out. Stone path through what appears to be a herb garden. Lots of garden art, both on the wall and throughout the space. Another seating area in the back with a small statue centered at the rear. Obviously well tended. Someone or someones pride and joy. In a sliver of land between an apartment building and a parking lot. Somewhat a fringe neighborhood, abutting the semi-industrial area of Milwaukee where the Harley Davidson headquarters and Miller Brewery are located.
I’ve driven by the spot probably hundreds of times on the way to and from work. And have never noticed this garden. Now I can’t wait to watch it through the seasons. Funny what slowing down and paying attention to the world around you can bring…………….