I got sunburned. But I also got this whipped into shape for the summer, and the sunburn was worth it. No, not Murphy – I’ll never get Murphy “whipped into shape. He was just doing a trot by when I took a photo of the island. Handsome guy, Murphy, but it’s the flower bed I am proud of. It’s just about the last of the existing flower beds to get weeded and trimmed before I start on the new flower beds. It is also where I was working when I conveniently forgot that sunblock exists. OOPS.
There’s a story behind this corner. We have a brown rat that has taken up residence under the house. I hate rats. Brown rats are somewhat less obnoxious than Norway rats (in that brown rats are a native species), but they are still a pestilence. This particular rat had an escape hole dug into the corner of the yard here. I buried it today. We’ll see how long before the rat digs itself out. Next weekend, I buy hardware cloth and bury it in the corner.
I dug up my (fuschia vulcanica?)(rubra grandiflora?) trumpet fuschia. I can’t kill it, so why not? I’ve grown to hate it. The hummingbirds love it. If it survives this location, it can stay. It grows 3-4′ in height, is very woody, dies back every winter. I have to dead-head all the old wood stems. It takes up a minimum space of 3-4′ wide. We will see who wins: me or the bush.
I just had to take his portrait. He comes to the bird feeder by himself every evening. One lone, lonely, band-tailed pigeon.
My husband bought the squirrel feeder for me two years ago. I figured out how to hang it to the tree this year (I took apart an old hanging planter, used cup hooks on the feeder and the chain from the planter, plus an existing nail in our dying pine tree. Squirrel (and jays) love it.
I redid the black-cap border with a bamboo trellis. This year’s berries will be on the vines pointing eastward (the green). I will train this year’s vines to grow onto the bamboo & next year’s berries will be harvested there. Black-caps are native berries and my go-to favorite for standing and eating by the hands-full. I will be a little piggy if the blossoms all turn to berries. YUM!
This just amazes me. This year, I purchased seeds and will expand the small spring patch of “poached-egg” flowers. Sadly, they are a spring-only plant and even the green dies back after the blooms fade. But: oh-my-gosh when they are blooming! Love, love, love! limnanthes douglasii
Starflower. Trientalis borealis. It came as a surprise bonus plant with a maple my husband procured from the wild. This is the first year that it has bloomed in such profusion. I love native flowers.
When my mother died, my father dug up all of her irises. He had relegated them to a gravelled spot in the shade behind his motor home. He hated irises; my mother loved them. I inherited them via the US Mail. This is my favorite.
This is a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor. I can’t have a horse, but I still have my WARNING! sign. I paid a pretty penny for that sign. It guards my Russian sage. The chair provides a support for the sage (of sorts – the sage usually outgrows the chair by summer’s end. I have a love/hate relationship with the sage, but the bees love it and it isn’t too invasive. Like the fuschia, it dies completely back every year and I have to cut all the woody stems back completely before the new growth comes on.
Can you say WOW? These are my two favorite rhododendrons. The fuschia one is a bush I have another love/hate relationship with: it’s placed directly in front of our front door & the steps. It is too large for the location and covers up the house number. I end up hacking it back every 5 years or so. It is a relatively new rhodie, maybe 20-25 years old? Just very poorly placed, but a stunner when in bloom.
This rohododendron is as old as the house, I think. It’s 20′ tall, thick, healthy. The bumblebees – all of them, but especially the great big ones – love it. You can stand next to it when it is in bloom and all you can hear is the buzzing of bees. I hated rhodies in general until I met this bush/tree. This one changed my mind and heart.
My baby hostas! I planted them … four years ago? Five? This year, I placed the mushrooms strategically: I can put slug bait under the homemade mushrooms (two flower pots) and not worry about poisoning birds and other critters. The slugs buy into it and leave my hostas alone (mostly).
11 years ago, I planted a few day lilies in the grass out front. It’s city right-of-way, but not in danger of ever being paved. If you have a spot that you can’t really maintain but you need some color in… Daylilies. They are weeds. We keep these in line with the lawn mower. In return, they give us several weeks of summer blooms and a lot of low maintenance green.
If you read my last blog post, you know about my crow that thinks he’s a raccoon. We have named him “Bones.” Bones brings a chicken bone by nearly every day and drops it into the front birdbath. It soaks most of the day until it softens enough for Bones to break into it and peck out the marrow. In the evening, I wash everything out of the birdbath so other birds can use it. Bones apparently thinks the birdbath is his own self-serve diner.
Four years of neglect and my husband finally cleared the veggie garden space. We are going to have a garden again! He put a lot of sweat into this: blackberries and crabgrass had taken over. I’m surprised my rhubarb (center) survived! Very excited to have fresh veggies again.
So this is my next project. I have all the flower beds in shape & only need to do a touch-up weeding project in them over the summer. This bramble pile, haven of the brown rat, and scourge of our landscaping – this goes. That’s a pile of Himalayan blackberries, noxious nightshade, and invasive English ivy. There’s also a variegated holly stump under there. Maybe a rat nest. I don’t care: the welding gloves will come on and I hope to reduce this to a new flower bed by summer’s end.
Wish me luck. I’m getting old for this kind of radical gardening. I’m starting on it the next nice day we have.