Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday Garden Tour

The flowers are really blooming in the garden these days. Everything is awash with lush, colourful blooms, although the blast of Mediterranean heat we had last week almost exhausted my poppies. Instead of popping over a period of weeks they popped all in the same week (I tell my kids that this is why they are called poppies). This is the Princess Victoria Louise poppy. It's so delicate and feathery and beautiful that I thrill to see it every spring. And no, contrary to what Richard might say, I am NOT being a little on the melodramatic side. I really do thrill to it. I love salmon coloured flowers.

This is a Himalayan blue poppy. I've tried before to grow these things, even going so far as to buy those horribly expensive Seeds of Change packets from the store, but nothing ever came from them. They didn't even languish: they expired before they could languish. Finally I gave up. Well, until this spring, when I saw the plant itself at the place where I buy eggs. I couldn't see many disasters befalling an actual plant, so I bought it. And lo and behold but the darn thing actually bloomed.

This is a bed I built (with my own two hands, gosh, how clever is that?) with some bricks a friend of mine gave me when we first moved here. I saved these bricks for a garden path, which I never seemed to get around to, so they sat in the carport for well over a year until Richard was finally compelled to comment on them (he's a patient man, is Richard).

"Did you forget that you had a lot of bricks Out There?" he said. (he's also rather taciturn)

"No, of course I didn't," I said, rather testily. How could I forget, I thought. Honestly, does he think I'm a dingbat or something?

Better not answer that. In the interests of marital harmony and all...

Anyhow, the area in the photograph here used to be a bit of a swamp in the winter. I don't think the drainage is all that it could be, and some days the water swam over the concrete tiles. There was even some algae there. Slimy algae. Icky slimy algae. My poor perennial fuchsias were not happy. They came back last year, but I could sense their pain. So I raised their living quarters a bit, using those bricks. The fuchsias burst out of the ground this spring like, well, springs (gosh, do I have a way with words or what). And to give that little brick bed some je ne sais quoi, I planted some Baby Tears in between some of the bricks. I'd seen them spilling most artistically from an urn in a garden magazine and I wanted that Artistic Spilling happening in my own garden. But I lacked an urn. Well, an urn and the blue wall behind the urn. Oh, and the fountain they all sat in. No fountain. But I did, as Richard liked to remind me, have some bricks. Bricks sitting around doing absolutely nothing (oh the horror of it). I took one plant, ripped it into 6 pieces, and wedged a piece into six different areas. It was a good thing I started this bed in April because it took me three weeks of careful watering to nurture these little buggers bits along. We had a lot of iffy moments, we did. But now they are beginning to Spill. Artistically.


Suji said...

The home we are waiting to move into has one of those low maintenance manicured yards but I so want a bed and am pretty unambitious when it comes to destroying manicured yards to build a professional looking bed. So is this something I can just build onto an existing grassy area Sheila? Can I just plop some bricks and build a bed and hope they'll end up looking like yours? Any tips or tricks I should be aware of? :) Trying to get free tutorials here LOL.

sheila said...

Oh for sure, Suji. Lay down some layers of newspaper and then sod or soil and let it sit over the winter. Come spring you should be able to plant in it.

I'll walk you through your gardening efforts via email, anytime, you know. Are you getting excited?

Suji said...

sheila, you are lovely! Thank you as always :) Yes, we are *very* excited!

Rebecca said...

So... where do you buy your eggs?

I have blue poppy seeds in the fridge that I still haven't tried to start... but I was successful starting these from seed at another point in my life - B.C. (before child).

I think I'd just like to buy the plants. :)

sheila said...

Firbank. She happened to have a few stands of perennials then (early May). I don't know why they wouldn't work for me; it really felt like a jinx!