May 17: fertilized, sowed seeds, and got a new bird bath

The weather this weekend was glorious, and I celebrated in the garden. I hate fertilizing, so I did that first to get it out of the way. Then I played with plants. I divided black eyed Susans that were encroaching on other plants, and I moved the divided clumps to the back bed where they can spread as much as they want. I sowed zinnia, cosmos, and blanketflower seeds, and I finished filling our raised bed. When I was finished with all of that, I tied on a handmade mask my friend Pam made, drove over to our local nursery during a time of day I thought it wouldn’t be crowded, and picked out a new bird bath.

I’m happy for winter to be over.

Front yard

Front bed with new bird bath

Back yard

The back bed starting to grow; I sowed seeds on the far right. It’s shaded in the morning, but hopefully gets enough afternoon sun for the full-sun seeds I sowed. The tree inside our yard, to the right of my chair, is the tree in the closeup below.
This tree was in our back yard when we moved in and has grown quickly. I think it might be a black cherry. The flowers smell sweet like candy. It is heavenly to sit under and inhale deeply.
They’re hard to see, but this is supposed to be a photo of goldfinches at the feeder. One is perched on the strap holding the feeder.
Our raised bed! I put four tomatoes and an habañero plant in today, plus some green onions I’ve been keeping in a glass of water to encourage roots. We’ll see if they do anything next year.

May 15: lilac, salvia, and working from the garden

It was warm enough today that I was able to take my laptop outside and work from the garden. Before I settled down with my afternoon coffee and the rest of the day’s work, I took a walk around the garden to check on what’s coming in and what’s blooming.

Dwarf lilac in bloom. It only has this one flower cluster this year.
The yarrow is almost there. Any day now and its flowers will be yellow as buttercups.
Salvia so fresh and pretty 😍
Volunteer dill coming up out back. I’m always happy to see dill come back. I love it with salmon. The swallowtails love it, too.

May 3: buds and butterflies

The sun shone bright today and the temperature reached 80℉. I saw multiple butterflies skitter through the garden: a swallowtail, a monarch, a cabbage butterfly, and an American Painted Lady that actually stopped for a drink.

American Painted Lady on salvia

The salvia and a couple of other herbs are blooming now — rosemary and thyme — while everything else begins to bud. This is always an exciting time that makes me walk the garden and check on everything’s progress every day.

Rosemary in bloom
Thyme in bloom
Yarrow buds
Sage buds
Dianthus in bloom
Scabiosa bud
Volunteer milkweed
Mexican feather grasses (foreground) are my favorite 😍. I hope these to fill in more.

Apr 26: bunnies in the garden

Bunnies in the back bed

I spent yesterday watching five rabbits run and play in our neighbor’s yard. The previous owners of the house had a raised bed above their pool’s retaining wall that had corn in it one year, and has tulips and daffodils every March and April.

After the tulips come and go, the neighbor’s bed is overgrown for the rest of the year until it dies back again in winter. Right now it’s filled with dandelions and other high weedy plants perfect for hiding bunnies. They jumped and chased and sped through the grass and between fence slats, never stopping to nibble on anything.

Then, this morning, two of them calmly nibbled their way through my echinacea. It’s fine, the echinacea is established and will come back. If they eat it down too much before it’s able to grow tough bitter leaves they don’t want, I’ll put some fencing up. I feed the caterpillars and the birds, why not the bunnies too? They’re fun to watch.

April 18: Spring beginnings

This is the time of year where I walk the garden every day to see what shoots are emerging from the ground, what’s about to blossom, and what’s already in bloom. I also like to admire the garden overall with all it’s tidy mulch I spent a week spreading.

The dogwood flowers finally opened
Tulips the deer didn’t get
Sage buds
Salvia buds
Nepeta in bloom
Snapdragons for the flower baskets
Rose bed
My front garden perch
Front of house
Back perch

March 21: back hill is ready for mulch

My garden vacation begins in less than a week. On Friday we will have two trucks of mulch delivered. Today was gorgeous: blue sky, sunshine, and enough warmth that I could garden and turn the compost.

I finally cut back the remaining ornamental grasses and perennials today. I moved a bunch of stuff around — echinacea, sedums, rue, little bluestem grasses, bee balm — and planted about 20 liatris bulbs. I moved stuff around to group them better. The middle bed is predominantly echinacea and sedum now, it’s going to be so pretty in late summer.

I sat in the sun with a cup of coffee and my journal after I watered the compost. As I sat under white puffy clouds in a blue sky, sun warm on my skin and air fresh in my nose, it was hard to believe a pandemic is raging. It is a beautiful day. I sipped my coffee and listened to a lawnmower buzz, a woodpecker chock-chock-chock, neighbor voices carry on the air, and birds too-whit too-whit and twee-twee-twee-twee-twee.

Other than some seeds I’ll sow later, the back bed is ready for mulch. I’ve got a lot to do out front: cut back the grasses and perennials, prune the rose bushes, figure out how I want to arrange everything. I hope I can all get it done on my garden vacation! I can’t wait to put all that mulch down, and see the garden transform into a rich, thriving space. I can’t wait to watch the garden grow.

July 27: flower beds in bloom, big butterflies arrive

I’m not seeing a lot of caterpillars (zero, actually), but the big swallowtails and the monarchs are finally here. I see hummingbirds every day, as well, though I’m never able to photograph them.

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Tiger swallowtail on Miss Ruby butterfly bush

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Tiger swallowtail on zinnia

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Monarch on milkweed

The wildflowers are finally hitting their stride. The blue forget-me-nots, pink cleome, and yellow calendula came up from seeds dropped last year by their predecessors.

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Volunteer cleome (spider plant) and forget-me-nots

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I like the way this little wildflower bed is turning out

I wanted to get some pictures of the full beds rather than just closeups, too, so that in winter and spring when I can’t remember what it all looked like, I’ll have something to remember the garden by.

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Back butterfly / hummingbird bed from top of hill

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Back beds from deck, where I eat lunch or drink cocktails and watch the garden

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The remainder of the back butterfly and hummingbird garden