Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pics of Last 5 Weeks in Drugged-Up Garden

My plants have been using HGH overtime (or PGH I guess). Steroids. Steroids. Technically, this is pretty much year 2 or 3 for the majority of these perennials, so if the sleep, creep, then leap theory holds water, we have liftoff (had plenty of rain this spring, and on March 1 the switch flipped from 2' of snow and way cold, to 50 and way sunny). I don't use inorganic fertilizer, just compost and lots of clay soil with tons of worms. Clearly, in my garden, whatever the plant tag says, add 1-2 feet in each direction. It's only May!

APRIL 16, 2010

APRIL 24, 2010

MAY 23, 2010

That fountain is 3 feet tall, by the way.

I enjoy the way the sunset lights up the foliage and petals of this ninebark (above). Plus the butterflies adore it--as do the black aphids.

Speaking of which, first monarch butterfly spotted yesterday on some 'globemaster' allium, struggling in the 40mph winds. Usually don't see monarchs until July. Surprising, especially since their winter roosts in Mexico were annihilated and will likely never recover.

A small filipendula (above) whose cultivar name I forget, but which, after 3 years, is finally growing for me. The bloom smells very sweet on this dainty stem that shoots up red buds, then opens white 12-18" atop short basal foliage.

(For my own reminders and record keeping: sumac can be cut back hard and returns with a vengeance regardless, the weeping bald cypress died back 50% and I cut it down accordingly and now it's putting out fresh growth so what's going on there is anyone's guess, don't know why some milkweed and liatris didn't come back while other milkweed and liatris came up very early and vigorous, and bronze fennel ain't hardy for some reason.)

Well, I hear neighbor #4 of the day is mowing, so I have to go put in ear plugs. 8am this morning the mowers began. But hey, it's 90 degrees with a 69 dewpoint, so who can enjoy the garden anyway. Peace be with ye. In the name of the compost, the filipendula, and the monarch.


Sheila said...

Isn't nature wonderful?

wiseacre said...

Looks good, the garden has filled in nicely from the first time I saw it.

Must be all that bull you spread :)

Unknown said...

Wow... steroids, indeed! Or maybe gas fumes from all that mowing that seems to happen in your neighborhood... (*sigh*)

Your ninebark is absolutely gorgeous. Mine just started blooming, too, a thousand or so miles away. Unfortunately, I had to cut mine back when I moved it last fall... so it will be a while before I get a show even close to yours. So please keep the pics coming!

Carol said...

Your garden is beautiful and I have been enjoying the photos of its progress. Why not invite some of your ever-mowing neighbors over to see it? You never know - you might get some 'converts' after they see the alternatives to endless grass.

Diana Studer said...

Our garden is at that slightly creepy, disconcerting time of year - when I look at a plant and think, I'm sure you were HALF that size yesterday! Almost, growing taller, as I watch ..

Diana Studer said...

Oh, and the bronze fennel reseeds itself. So look out for the babies.a

Benjamin Vogt said...

Sheila--That's an understatement!
WA--You know I truck in my bull by the Sidump'r full.
Kim--I love that one ninebark. I have four now, but this is the most mature. Started as a 1 gallon mail order shrub in 2007! Now it's 6' tall and almost as wide! So many butterflies on it.
Carol--In my "won't happen" dreams, I've thought of just punking a sign out fron on the weekend that says 'open garden.' Sigh. Always preaching to the choir.
EE--Slightly creepy? Spooky. My bronze fennel isn't showing any evidence of having seeded, yet. But this year I'll snip of the blooms, since it attracts predatory wasps just above the swallowtail butterfly larvae.

Adrian Ayres Fisher said...

You must enjoy walking along the garden path...

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Wow, what a difference a month makes! I love how you have your plants, art, and furniture arranged throughout your yard. Now that we've had warm temps and rain, I imagine your beds are even fuller. I know I've seen amazing growth in the last few days.

Jennifer said...

I love the look of your garden and I love the evolution! I'm currently in the midst of such a grand scheme myself. I wanted to know... the laying down of mulch everywhere... would do again or not? I'm wondering about the best way to keep the area free of weeds down the side of my house and a full layer of mulch with the plants popping out and a few stepping stones seem like the best answer.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Sue--The growth this spring has been insane, and though it is now June, I still am shocked to see things flower. I de-bloomed and de-budded some coneflowers, in the hopes of gettign them to blom at the normal time, not 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. But maybe I'm just shootig myself in the foot and did this too late.
Jenn--I am amazed, after three years, how good the top 2-3" of soil has become because of mulch decomposition, so for that, I'm all about mulch. Weed are hit and miss. In my clay I has to spread the mulch a bit thinner in places to keep it less mucky, and that's where the weed come. But 3" of mulch works for weeds!