Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Garden Tour

The roses that I bought in the spring are all flowering madly right now, and even though it shortens their lifespan I can't resist picking them for the house. Thanks to all the trendy overpriced and filled with generally useless things garden stores proliferating around here I've amassed quite a collection of weird looking vases: 1" high glass cylindrical ones, 10" glass tubular ones that lie sideways, little glass napkin holders that hold one solitary flower, and weird glass dishes to float flowers in. Last summer I even found a pansy ring in a second hand store, although it took me a few hours to figure out that it was a pansy ring (I guess that Charm School when I was 11 wasn't such a wash-out, Mum!). So now we have collections of gorgeously smelling flowers all over the place. I've even got the trifle dish in use: filled with water and several roses floating on the surface on the centre of the table.
This first rose is a climber called Westerland. It's scent is rather fruity, the petals are slightly frilled and it glows in the back yard at night. I've got it training up against a trellis, with some cucumber plants for company.
This one is called Tahitian Sunset - I bought it because of two things: it's heavily scented and I like apricot/coral coloured roses. This not the best shot of this rose (this one is a little past its prime) but I was too lazy to go back out and search for a newer bud.

Nasturtiums. It's a good thing these plants grow like weeds because we've been garnishing our salads with them every night. This particular variety grows 10'-12' up a trellis, and if you intertwine them with scarlet runners the effect is pretty wild. They have a slightly peppery taste which can, in FDPG's some mouths, seem HORRIBLY HOT AND SPICY, but is lessened by eating them one petal at a time.

Phew. The drama around this place.

And I've finally been able to really and truly experience what the phrase "Having too many plants of one variety" means. This is The Pumpkin Corner. There are many many pumpkins here. They are overtaking the zucchinis, the tomatoes, and they are currently in Hostile Takeover Negotiations for the artichokes' spot. My money is on the artichokes though, because they have killer spikes.

This is a Compost Corner. Plants include: climbing rose (Madame Alfred Carriere), lysimachia punctata, pink roses (liberated from some of our rental experiences), a fig tree, potatoes (Russian fingerling, Desirée), Tigerella tomatoes, a pear tree with rust (check out the juniper behind it, malevolent with Rust Intent, sob), tiger lilies, and more lysimachia, only this one is the goosenecked variety.

And look who we found in the fennel the other day - a swallowtail caterpillar. He was very small a few weeks ago when I first noticed him (or her?) and I watched for a while as he crawled around, chewing thoughtfully on one particular frond. Then one week he was suddenly three times the size. And I was able to get a photo of him.


Samantha said...

Wow, even your compost area is gorgeous! You motivate me to work on my 'corner of shame', so that I may also have a spectacular compost area. :-)

sheila said...

Come back in January, Samantha. This area is known as the Area of Complete and Utter Tragedy then: watery, bedraggled, and soggy. I don't think the drainage is, err, all it could be.

But I think that the trick is to let the slightly invasive plants go to town. Then even when you hack and pull they still bloom like heck and look wonderful.

Samantha said...

Well, now there is some gardening methods I can manage! I have perfecting my 'wild animal' method of pruning, as it is the only kind of pruning I seem to be able to manage. But I think I can handle 'hack and pull' as well.

By the way, I can see my son and FDPG getting along quite well. He creates the drama around our house ;-)

sheila said...

Wild Animal Pruning? Oh do tell!

As for the Hack and Pull method, well that's my secret. And people think I am this really amazing gardener...if only they knew. It's all window dressing.

Samantha said...

Wild Animal Pruning? It's based on the centuries old secrets of the forest. Plants in the wild receive no pruning except for when the wild animals plow through, bumping and tearing and knocking off branches. So I become the wild animal. letting their power course through my body and lead me to where I should prune and show me what needs to be done.

Another way to look at it, is that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing and I figure plants and trees in the wild get mauled and torn by wild animals all the time. Therefore, I most likely can't completely kill everything and just go for it. No plan, no clue. I am like the elephant (although there probably aren't too many of those wandering through the orchards, but you never know ;-)

But I think I'll incorporate the 'Hack and Pull' method as well. It seems to be working really well for you :-)

sheila said...

We should collaborate on a gardening book. Think of the titles! We could achieve wild success as weird hacks, like the Two Fat Ladies (the cooking show), or Mike Holmes For Goofy People!

People would wonder what continent we lived on, most likely ("Elephants? Crashing through the brush? Huh? Hacking at my prize roses? What are they talking about?").

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