Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Un-lazy Days of Spring and my Country Cottage Garden

Several people have been asking me what I've been doing lately and why they haven't heard from me. I've told them I've been pulling weeds and working on my flower gardens. They look at me like, "Okay, and what have you been doing the other 23 hours of your day?" Maybe these pix will help. Our yard is just under an acre, much of which is my flower gardens. My largest garden is a little over 400 square feet. This is what I call the "main" entrance. Two days ago I decided to add a little paved pathway, thus the bricks. I started working on the pathway late yesterday afternoon. Then the rains came! (We really needed the rain, by the way!) Yes, I know the door is crooked. That's the nice thing about a cottage garden. Nothing is truly a mistake. :-) This pic below was taken from inside the garden, just on the other side of the entrance. The mailbox holds small garden tools, gloves, tissues, etc. The dark rectangle next to it is a duplex birdhouse. It's shaded by the sagging overhead trellis (yes, there was a time that it was actually straight). House wrens didn't take long to move in - less than 48 hours after it was hung! Here are some more shots inside the large garden: white dianthus Several snapdragons for added spots of color! My favorite color - yellow! Annual volunteers always surprise me. Behind the little bench is my makeshift grape arbor. Looks like we'll have grapes this year! The trellis directly behind the bench will soon be filled with sweet peas. I picked up an old baby crib at an auction. It was missing pieces but I decided the short ends would make a cute partial fence and the longer sides would serve as great handrails for this hillside (did you notice all this is on a hill?) garden. A white basket of red hot lantana is hanging from the "fence". Notice all the large paver type blocks? I'm enlarging a little seating area in my shade garden. You'll see it later. The pic to the left was taken from the back of the garden looking inward. Some of the plants you are seeing include Oriental poppies, lillies, irises, gladiolas, large hibiscus, and a lot of zinnia seedlings. My husband found a large broken fountain while dumpster diving last year. Bless his heart, he lugged the heavy thing home and this year I decided the large bottom would make a dandy community bird bath. River rocks added to the water will help prevent our feathered friends from drowning. Other pieces of the fountain are being used throughout our property. In the distance is an old bird cage added for visual interest. Behind it is a large concrete garden angel overlooking day lillies and iris that my mother-in-law gave me about a year before she died. They are heirloom plants that came from her mother's garden. Finally, a rickety old bed was made into what is now a rickety old bench. It will later be reenforced and straightened. This garden is usually much more green and colorful but a late frost killed many buds (including most of our apple and peach crops) and water from a hose just is no substitute for good nutritious spring rains. Below is proof that I truly have been pulling weeds! (Why do they flourish while the plants we want to survive are stiff and brown??) This pile is about three feet deep and five feet wide. It represents only a fraction of what I've done so far this year; much has already been picked up by the trash collector as a burn ban is in existence for our county. Okay, so much for the large garden. I have several smaller gardens scattered throughout the property. The photograph shows a corner of our rear patio garden. Look closely and you'll see a sleeping cherub being serenaded by a harp playing angel. If you want to see more pix of the large garden and of the smaller gardens, click here: http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow.jsp?&mode=fromsite&collid=55195301210.586930313110.1181132715642&conn_speed=1

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