Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Week at Home: The Garden (If you can call it that)

Some things look better as a whole. A beautiful vista, for example, where if you look too closely you can see signs of decay, litter, or the less pleasing parts. Others look better up close. My home yard is the latter.


It isn't that things don't grow. I can't seem to kill the hostas, for which I'm grateful, and my trusty hydrangea bush comes up, rain or shine, water or not, on the north side of the house.


It's in the narrow passage to the back yard which gets so overgrown, it is like fighting through the jungle!


The hydrangeas fight for space (and light) with the sunflowers. The sunflowers clearly win the light contest, blocking it out for the hydrangeas.


Sunflowers from the bottom up. Why do we never look beneath? 


In the front I have these happy fellows who seem to do their own thing whether I attend to them or not.


And I have to admit, their happy faces smile when I pull in the driveway. A few years ago the Garden Warrior in his weed pulling frenzy pulled out more than I wish. This year with Covid I did my own weeding and it seems they have come back in greater numbers. 


And nearby, a few coneflowers. There used to be more of these too, but you can imagine what happened!


The dill was super healthy. Again, I don't have to do a thing with this. I've found using the seedheads in floral arrangements with the hydrangeas adds a pretty, airy look to them and takes the bare minimum of time. It smells good too!


I don't know what these are. My neighbor gave me a few shortly after I moved in. Every year I pull them out because of where they are growing. Every year they come back. This year I didn't even try.


The biggest mess plant is my favorite, my sweet pea bush that I call Audrey Two after the man-eating plant in "Little Shop of Horrors." There is a reason why you see this only in close-up. 

 
See what I mean? It grows and spreads and grows some more. There's a bit of a gap in the middle where someone pulled out plants thinking they were weeds and they probably were, at least some of them. Weeds run rampant in that spot. I'd like to drown them all in weed killer of some safe sort but it would kill Audrey and that isn't an option. I love the sweet blossoms and they make the prettiest small arrangements.


Finally, meet my agapanthus. One of our book club members divided her plants and I got three. They are in the biggest, heaviest pots and need to come in for the winter in our Michigan climate. I have tried (intentionally) to kill my three for ages. (I can't seem to throw out a plant until it is totally dead, even if it looks wretched.) I even left them in the garage all winter. This year two of them rewarded me with their beautiful, solitary blooms and they are spectacular.


Now, I know if I stayed home and watered all summer, my garden (if you can call it that) would be much lovelier and well maintained. But there are trade offs and choices in life and I have made mine.

Fortunately, the sunflowers don't seem to care!

50 comments:

Sami said...

I love hydrangeas and had planted 2 or 3 but I think it gets too hot for them here in Perth, so they died.
Love all the flowers Jeanie, they really do put a smile on our faces, specially the sunflowers.
Enjoy the weekend

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Oh. My. God! I love sweet peas and haven't seen them in years. They used to grow wild at the cottage where I spent all the summers of my youth. Still love the scent when I find it in candles and soaps, etc. Thanks for the memory.

Red Rose Alley said...

Gardening can be a very therapeutic for us. Pulling weeds and cleaning the brush can surprisingly bring us a sense of calm. I love those Pink coneflowers, and I would see them often when I lived up north. Clearing out and watering and grooming your garden must bring you a sense of accomplishment, Jeanie. It's looking good.

~Sheri

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Jeanie

Your garden and flowers are beautiful. I love the hydrangea, sunflowers and the sweet pea blooms. The Agapanthus is a beautiful plant. Take care, enjoy your day! Have a great weekend!

Susie said...

Jeanie, You truly have some beautiful flowers growing. I hope my weeds just kind of blend in . I do try pulling a few here and there. But gee, they are plentiful at times. Blessings to you, stay safe, xoxo, Susie

Divers and Sundry said...

What lovely flowers! It's a joy to see them, as my ability to have many flowers is limited by my north-facing patio *sigh* I do have a wild sunflower that looks similar to yours, but mine is fall-blooming.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Your flowers are doing wonderfully!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Your garden---whether seen close up, as you prefer, or far away---is magnificent. Your flowers are brilliant and lively and healthy. That is fabulous.

I've never grown flowers, never even tried. We now take a morning walk each day. When I see a yard with flowers, I immediately feel happier.

You are probably bringing happiness to many people and you don't even know it!

anno said...

Where there are flowers, there is a garden.

At least that's my theory.

The last flowers I ever see in mine are the peonies that bloom in early June. I love them, but after they die back, I am left with a host of brownish leaves (peonies, lily of the valley, bleeding hearts, geraniums, etc.) and nothing but plantain grasses, various broadleaf weeds, and other noxious pests to take their place.

You'd think that something like blackeyed susans or echinacea would be a reasonable replacement, but so far, none of these plantings have survived.

Sigh.

And, honestly, by the time the temperatures hit the mid-80s, I'm not thinking too much about anything out of doors anyway. A good argument for me to be living in a condo, with nothing more than a porch container to worry about.

Anyway, nice to see the blooms showing up around your house. Enjoy!

Linda Sue said...

Absolutely beautiful shots! You could make a lovely calendar out of those flower shots! And there you go, Christmas gifts taken care of!!

bobbie said...

Delightful!!

Sandi said...

The Earth blooms, whether humanity is doing its normal things or not!

Evi Erlinda said...

It is a beautiful and colorful garden!
Seems hydrangea got enough sunlight, they look gorgeous!

Valerie-Jael said...

Your garden is looking good, I like gardens to be a bit wild and mixed. Those sweet peas are growing all over the meadows in our little park here, I took photos this morning. Have a great afternoon. It's bed time here so I'm heading for bath and bed! Hugs, Valerie

DUTA said...

Sunflowers re a 'must have' in the garden as they are associated with good luck and loyalty (loyal to the sun, following it daily from east to west).

gretchenjoanna said...

You are smart to grow the things that thrive on benign neglect! Thank you for all these close-ups. I love the sweet peas especially. Agapanthus grow way too easily around here and become absolutely huge. I've had them in my gardens before and am happy not to in this season of my life.

Jenny Woolf said...

That is a beautiful unexpected way to photograph the sunflower. I have thought a lot about managing gardens, and one of the best answers to maintenance problems that I have seen is a semi wild garden. So many of the gardens at garden shows here are now semi wild and there are some fantastic so called "weeds" (and wild sweet peas are among the most gorgeous, in Greece we were blown away by blazing displays in pink and purple). A garden like that probably needs cutting back two or three times a year but ones that I have seen create their own beautiful harmony in time, with different bits coming to the fore at different times of year. Those little yellow daisy things are just lovely, I have one in a pot, they don't grow freely here (at least not for me) but the brilliant colour cheers me up every time I look at it. And we have quite a few sunflowers, sprouting up from birdseed put out for the birds. They are big gnarly things compared with the pretty ones you have!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jeanie, you are too hard on yourself about your lovely flowers! I enjoyed seeing them very much. So much beauty around your home.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Lots of lovely colour, Jeanie! I was trying to imagine you lying on your back taking a picture of the back of the Black Eyed Susan! -Jenn

Joyful said...

Your garden has one well despite you being away. That's the kind of garden I like. No fuss and it still grows. I don't really have that, lol. But mine likes close ups better than long shots too ;-)

Pamela said...

You have such pretty flowers! We have many hydrangea here in May when it is cooler. They are called ajisai.

Iris Flavia said...

I´d love a jungle! Oh, your shots are so beautiful!!!
Audrey Two ๐Ÿงก
You sure have a very green thumb, mine seems to be black, nothing grows/blooms this year... (but we had weird weather, is that an excuse?)...

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I have that same type of autumn growing sunflowers, but they didn't bloom this year. It may be too early, but I thought they would show their pretty faces about this time. Looks like I'll have to simply appreciate yours instead.

Somehow, all my Echinacea/coneflowers have disappeared. They always reseeded in the past, but this is the first year I've had none.

My dill doesn't overwinter and I'm surprised yours does. I love how you don't even grow it in pots like I'm forced to. You have a beautiful garden, even when I look up close.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

Hahaha now you know the secret of my garden: better in close up than the bits in between! Lovely photos, and even if we have our messes in between, the flowering bits don't seem to mind, maybe they feel better juxtaposed next to the messes!

Deb in Wales

Anca said...

Your post scared me. I have some similar flowers in my garden, in raised beds, but now I'm wondering if they will take over other plants. I will cut flowers from them next season, even more often that this year, and hopefully that will be enough to keep them in check.

I love how many different flowers you have and they all look lovely.

Rita C at Panoply said...

What lovely blooms, and just goes to show you how powerful nature is, regardless of our attention in trying to encourage or discourage it!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Your garden has a distinctive charm, Jeanie. Do you prefer a woman (or a man for that matter) who is always perfectly coiffed, always coordinated, with fake smile, uttering bon mots, or a woman with hair blowing askew, happy in her jeans, genuinely smiling at the robin at her feet, willing to pitch in and sweep the porch, or shuck the corn? I think I know your answer. And just as I am not fond of cutout people, I am not especially fond of rectilinear, trimmed gardens. Your garden matches you, Jeanie, natural, ebullient, overflowing with vitality, with joy to share with everyone. How could it be any other way?

Anonymous said...

Lovely flowers Jeanie! Agapanthus grows in garden beds here, but the seeds are invasive do the best ones to plant are the infertile hybrids. We have hydrangeas too. Love Cath in Aus xo

La Table De Nana said...

LOL I have tried to kill them for years..Oh Jeanie♥

Joanne Huffman said...

I appreciate other people's gardens; but not enough to garden myself. I inherited a lovely garden with my new home and I pay someone to weed and upkeep. My knowledge of horticulture can be summed up by Dorothy Parker, "you can lead a whore to culture; but you can't make her think."

Pam said...

Your flowers look amazing. I love the blue purple flower, whatever it is that is right before the last pic. Beautiful.

Mae Travels said...

Sad to tell the rabbits killed our big hosta. They seem to love the new shoots as well as the leaves. Makes you understand Elmer Fudd: Wascally Wabbit!

Nice photos. I like to shoot from underneath the flower with the sky behind it -- I have a camera that works especially well for that shot, but these days I use the iPhone more so I don't do it as much.

be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Lynne said...

Love your color, flowers and the free flow . . .
My gardens have some of that too.
I don’t have your color though!
And oh my the Sweet Peas . . . Love Love.

Annabelle’s save me . . . and you . . .
Reminds me, I have to freshen my bouquet .
Time to dry some of the blooms!

Yes indeed . . . cottage/cabin time being a priority
let’s the “home front” have the free flow!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I'm so envious of your beautiful hydrangea

Sandra Cox said...

What a lovely garden. My black-eyed Susans are going great guns too and I just recently picked up a pink coneflower.
Enjoy your day. Stay safe.

Arti said...

Love your garden! If that's what you get from going away the whole summer, it's truly a blessing. No need to cultivate and trim the 'mess', they look natural and beautiful. BTW, your neighbors, the Coopers, look very friendly and keep to themselves I suppose. That's a wonder! I've to tread the wild to see folks like them. :)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

It was very nice touring the flowers in your yard, Jeanie, and it seems that many didn't miss you in your time away. Black eyed Susies, sunflowers and coneflowers seem to survive no matter what the conditions and maintenance or lack of and that is a very good thing for you and the flowers.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, I left a comment this morning but it did not go through. It gave me a strange message. Your flowers are beautiful...hydrangea, Black-eyed Susans, agapanthus. It doesn’t appear that your flowers have been harmed in your absence!

Lowcarb team member said...

Flowers are always so lovely to see and I certainly enjoyed seeing yours.
They are so cheering aren't they, the colours, the scents just wonderful.

All the best Jan

My name is Erika. said...

Oh those flowers are looking nice. You must have had rain this summer. (Not us, we are in a drought and everything is dying off early). You have color and those black eyed Susan's are perfect August flowers. So are the others. Thanks for sharing. Hus-Erika

Karen said...

But YOU are far happier at the lake this year aren't you my friend?
the plants will come back.

crackercrumblife said...

Beautiful garden! Everything is so huge and lush this time of year. My neighbors have a hydrangea that the previous tenants planted - they are two young guys renting it now and they don't care if I pick blooms to bring in. :) And I love black eyed susans and coneflowers and sunflowers, such happy little flowers. :) Enjoy your blooms and your lake Jeanie!

The French Hutch said...

Jeanie, I loved seeing the flowers in your garden up close, I feel like you have given me a tour of your gardens. They are lovely! Like you I have a and on't do away with plants if they have life left. But, Jim doesn't mind tossing if it is looking bad so I have to watch what he does !!!! Thanks for the tour, love all your flowers........

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Lake time > watering flowers! I am glad you have beauty in your yard despite not being around a lot to tend to it. I want to make changes to our landscaping but I need to take baby steps! Next spring I want to put a hydrangea tree on the left side of our porch to match the one on the right. I don’t care for much of what is planted in our yard but need to make changes in phases so it’s not too overwhelming! Hydrangeas are my fave!!!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

If your garden looks that nice while you have been away for the summer, I think you are a smart gardener. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Polly said...

Beautiful flowers Jeanie, and from what you have shown us your garden looks lovely. My back garden looked lovely this year but now plants are starting to exhaust themselves and I don't have enough autumn colour, I feel a trip to my local nursery coming on:-)

Jams said...

What a fun post. Loved seeing all your flowers. Hydrangeas are one of my favorites and I love sunflowers. They are so cheerful. That photo from beneath the sunflower with the blue sky and white clods is great.

Bella Rum said...

Okay, I'm not crazy. I keep posting comments on my phone... or trying to. I don't know if they go through or not so I came in here to post again on my computer. Please disregard any extras and consider them fan man. You do know that fan stands for fanatic, don't you?

Marilyn Miller said...

Your garden tour just made me smile so much. Thank you!

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Another beautiful part of your beautiful life!

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