Sunday, July 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me and The Garden -- 2012 Edition

For a few years now I've gone all Walt Whitman and celebrated myself. It's just my wife and cats here, and the garden, so the blog is party central. Yee ha.

And as is customary for the next year, a wish list:

1) 100 acres of prairie with a mid-century modern home, solar panels, wind turbine, off the grid, walled veg garden.
2) To have completed Turkey Red, my Oklahoma memoir, and found a press for it.
2.5) To have found a home for the other memoirs, Morning Glory and Sleep, Creep, Leap, both garden related.
3) To have found a university teaching job (here's my CV). I love teaching. I love learning. I love connecting with students (hopefully over four years and not just one class!). The life of the mind and mad-texting youngins keeps me on my toes.

So, on to the tour. The garden is 5, and I am significantly older and less wiser each year. The biggest problem in the garden this year has been the heat, plants a month ahead of schedule, and watering months earlier than I normally do. But also that I want to redo the garden. I think it looks too hodge podgey, and I wished I'd planted more prairie grasses and less iris. Please come take my iris. Surprisingly, the red monarda that had taken over is being beaten back by natives. Who'd have thought. Hey, did you see that alliteration?

Looking toward the garden gate
The weeping bald cypress is back!
Side garden

Clematis wilt on C. virginiana I guess. Grrr.
Just past the arbor into the main garden
Step to the right

Step to the left
Aster yellows on steroids. Time to remove this coneflower.
I ADORE coneflowers. And not those nasty cultivars, but species.
On the back hill

Culver's root -- #1 insect magnet right now
Love the tall Rudbeckia subtomentosa
Spotted balloon flower
Marsh phlox--the only phlox I allow here
Liatris ligulistylis--aka monarch magnet
Liatris, and where are the monarchs? In Canada.

Thus concludes another year. Please, no gifts (please do send many gifts). I'd love to hear suggestions on my garden (I wouldn't dare if I were you). Insist that you see no gray in my beard hair (please insist that you see no gray in my beard hair).


Les said...

Congratulations on the garden anniversary and happy birthday as well. My gift to you is no suggestions for your garden, you know what you need to do already.

Gail said...

Happy Birthday Benjamin, may all your dreams come true! When you find that Mid-Century modern house please let me visit~I love them! The garden looks fabulous! I miss prairie soil! gail

Desert Dweller said...

"Hope I die before I get old"...the Who.

Ha! You do know what to do in your own garden, so go for it!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Les--Alas I do know what to do, but at 100 each day I can't do it!
Gail--You can visit any time when I find the house. Bring coneflowers.
David--The what? :)

Lona said...

Well Happy Birthday Benjamin! It has been a while since I visited and I cannot get over how your garden has grown. It is just beautiful!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Happy Birthday to you and your garden...may those wishes come true and I would happily bring coneflowers!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Lona--Hey old buddy! Yup, in 5 years I've gone from mulched clay to mulched clay. :)
Donna--Coneflowers! Woohoo! I have many that need replacing this year. Sigh.

Karyl said...

I had to laugh at your weeping baldcypress. I have a nurseryman friend who is enthusiastically growing them and I constantly abuse him about ruining a great tree. Yours looks terrific, but don't tell him I said that. I haven't seen one that size yet.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Karyl--Yeah, and I can see how you'd think that. But mine is so pretty (in the wrong spot for me at its size). I missed staking it this spring to get it taller, now the trunk is too thick to straighten back out. Two winters ago it died 75% back but is now back with a flourish. Very vigorous.