Sorry, Mom 😬
On my lunch break today, I watched this snake slither out of the forsythia, across the garden and part of the lawn, and then rest in the shade of the oak tree.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I like to keep track of what’s hanging around the garden and when. Here are a few visitors from June 11, 2019.