Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me & The Garden, 2011

The garden is 4, and I'm 35. It's also my parents' 39th wedding anniversary (my 4th anniversary was a week ago). Oh, and it's also the birthday of my little cousins who turn 12.

As one gift to myself, my book of garden essays--Sleep, Creep, Leap: The First Three Years of a Nebraska Garden--should be on Kindle any second, and the paperback out by August. In a few weeks, it'll also be on the iPad, Nook, and Sony Reader.

Another gift is trying to start a native plant garden consulting / coaching business in the wake of losing my teaching job: Monarch Gardens.

Below is a cavalcade of garden pics, my one continual present to myself (or shrine). To see the garden last year at this time link here--it should look familiar. We're almost at the time when the garden begins to look ragged. And fall is coming--I just stopped pinching back the many asters and goldenrods. (And yet, it's 100 with a 110 heat index.)



Indian Grass is filling out nicely

Assorted coneflowers, burnet, monarda, goldenrod,
liatris, bluestem, milkweed, wild quinine.

Yellow Pollen Coneflower




















I love coneflowers--every stage, from opening
to winter seed heads--are incredible.















Rudbeckia maxima -- Giant Coneflower





















Garden entrance













Wild Senna -- I try to push this
unique-leaved, long-blooming,
way-cool-sead-head
perennial whenever I can.






















Folks always ask me what the neat-leaved burnet
(Sanguisorba) looks like in bloom. Here you go.

Winecup through the bench














See you next year. Lord willing with a tenure track job in English, my latest poetry collection released, a book contract for any of my memoirs (with the Oklahoma one fully drafted), an acreage, and an Audi A5. And less grey hair.

21 comments:

Green Bean said...

I'm dying over the Rudebeckia coneflower!! SO cool. Wonder if that will grow in California. Garden looks great. Happy birthday!

Benjamin Vogt said...

GB--It's zone 4-9, like moist soil, and mine is currently 6-7' tall. It should work! I have a video of it coming up in the next few days here, as part of a book trailer for my gardening memoir.

Elephant's Eye said...

Happy anniversary, happy birthday! And judging by your own garden - I hope and wish LOTS of clients for your garden designs.

Jim Groble said...

Happy Birthday. Your garden is beyond cool. I could sit in it all day. jim

Les said...

May all your birthday wishes come true, or at least the one you need the most.

Anonymous said...

Just bought the book on the kindle app on my ipad, looks great!

Benjamin Vogt said...

D--Placing some ads next month, so hope to get some business. Scary, exciting, whoa.
Jim--You couldn't sit in it today. 100 degrees, 115 heat index, 77 dewpoint, and buckets of skeeters.
Les--Hmmm, I think I need all of them. Why settle? Shoot for the stars so you at least make it to the moon, I say.
Anon--Thank you!! I'm not very pleased with the format on Kindle, but I hear pretty much no one likes their ebooks--the technology just isn't there to make it look right (and the pics are way too small--the paperback will have larger pics and more of them).

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Happy birthday to both you and your blog! :)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

(I meant garden, not blog. Darn it. 2am typing is probably never good... even for an insomniac like me.)

scottweberpdx said...

Happy B-Day! Your garden still looks great to me! I agree about the Senna...wish I had room for one...they are lovely. Is the Indian Grass you mentioned Sorghastrum? I've been trying to find some, but to no avail...looks like I'll have to buy some online (there are a few varieties to choose from now). Funny how I moved away from the prairie, and am now longing for those grasses again :-)

Benjamin Vogt said...

Kim--Hey, my blog is pretty much 4 years old, too. Occasionally, cool people like yourself stop by and honor me. You know.
Scott--Yes, that indian grass is the straight species. I first tried miscanthus there, but it died (too dry in summer?). Then switchgrass. Slowly died. Then indian grass. The stuff just exploded the year after I planted it. And I LOVE the seed heads. And I don't have room for senna either--I have to control it with twine--but I love it's unique looks.

Phillip said...

Your garden is beautiful. I love the urn fountain. What is the little tree (or shrub) with the light yellow colored leaves right above the urn?

Benjamin Vogt said...

Phillip--You must mean the Tiger Eyes sumac. It's a cutleaf sumac. Gets very orange and red in fall, provided the summer humidity hasn't defoliated it by then (I'm nervous again this year with dewpoints in the 70s for weeks straight--happened last year and it lost most of its leaves in July / August and made me cry rivers).

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I always enjoy visits to your garden. Larry has the Kindle app on his ipad, and he bought your book a few minutes ago. I enjoyed the first few pages, but need to do some other things before getting back to it. I hope you get some new gardens to create for your business soon.

It sounds like you had a good birthday and anniversary.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Sue--Hope you find the ebook tolerable, and by that I mean first the format (not thrilled) and then the content (ok with that). If the mood strikes you, and you feel it worthwhile, I wouldn't mind a plug. I'll have a paperback out soon (much nicer looking and with better / more pics), if the cover proof goes ok this week.

Laurrie said...

I love seeing the evolution of this new garden. What a transformation in just a few years! Just when you think it's always going to be puny and stunted, you turn around and it it beautifully lush and pleasingly designed (I like the narrow paths, the creek bed, the way you can wander in it even though it's a small space.) I am going to steal some ideas here.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Laurrie--I like to touch and smell my plants as I walk by them, and so the narrow paths. The bad thing about that is I have to do some path staking and get the occasional sting from a nectaring insect. It always seems a miracle when after that March perennial cutdown, the garden leaps two, three, six feet in May and June (and on to 12 feet, in the case of one ironweed). God, I'm so in love when I go out there. I wish I could, one time before I die, explain it in a good metaphor, in one sentence....

Joe said...

Your garden is beautiful! I love all the prairie plants. I will definitely have to visit the prairies one of these days. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Benjamin Vogt said...

Joe--Thank you!! The first two years I was outside 6-8 hours a day. Not so anymore, I just like to lean back and enjoy! If you want to see more prairie for cheap, link to my series of blog posts about my trip to Oklahoma for research on a book I'm writing: http://deepmiddle.blogspot.com/2011/06/oklahoma-part-3-corn-custer-cheyenne.html At the end are links to the other posts in the series. Cheers!

James said...

Benjamin, so sorry about the job thing, but I see you're taking it as an opportunity. I can't you imagine you leaving the Deep Middle for a teaching job in a climate so totally unlike yours. I'm probably overgeneralizing but itinerant job-hopping academia seems to foster ways of living that don't value place. Your garden looks stunning this time of year--what a great excuse to try to set down roots.

Benjamin Vogt said...

James--You aren't overgeneralizing. If I move for a teaching job, and I do want to teach again, I want it to be the last move, to a place I can root in for a long time. I have many friends who job hop because they have to, I've been fortunate in that, so far, I haven't had to.