Tuesday, June 16, 2015
When the house was finished the plan was to leave half the backyard in the woods - and leave that wild and 'natural.' The other portion along the back of the house would be grass with room near the house for landscaping. Then just beyond the grass and a little dip for drainage and next to the wooded area, the thought was to have two raised gardens - one a little English type flower garden and another garden area for veggies. These were made with a slightly raised mound of 'better' soil in sort of a 'bean' shape beyond the drainage and up the slight hill. Several little perennials and shrubs were also added around the edges of the yard beyond the two raised garden spots. The bird bath was also placed out there along with the bee hive. Because of the slight hill and the drainage dip along the mid section of the yard, there is a marked groove in the garden where the rain, when it rains HARD comes flowing down, making a rut or groove. It has been raining hard rains all spring. At times the rain was flowing down like a creek! Now the plan is to put a sort of river stone/walking path for the water to flow down and still provide a walking path without loosing dirt in a wash out. When the garden takes more shape, I would like to put additional stepping stones all around both raised areas and provide a nice place to walk through all the flowers.
Anyway, by week's end, the first action toward the walking path will be done, and I wanted to take pictures of the garden BEFORE the path was constructed. It is just a baby garden and only the fledgling beginnings, but here are some photos that I took this afternoon.
Almost all of the 'English' garden is herbs and perennials flowers, with the exception of snapdragons, one of my favorite annuals. In the past I have been fortunate to have some of the snapdragons actually reseed themselves and appear the following summer, but I am aware that is not always the case here in central Indiana. I am hoping they can reseed in this garden too, but next year we will see! Also threw in a slew of marigold seeds, which are just now beginning to grow. The first planting of the marigolds never came up, and I don't know if I sewed them too soon and it was not warm enough or what. I also stuck (literally poked) some nasturtium seeds in the ground between the perennials. They are growing well. the white blob in the first photo is a little cement bunny curled up as if he is sleeping!
The veggie garden is smaller, but being very productive already! Lettuce has been harvested, and there are bunches that must be picked soon! Kale is doing well, as are the tomatoes and some broccoli. Two basil plants are thriving behind the raised section, and Knitting Daughter had a friend who gave us some blackberry starts. They are also doing well. I don't know if you can see in the top photo below (left toward the top), but nine cantaloupe seeds sprouted - which are the results of a silly experiment when I just kind of tossed the seeds from the inside of a particularly delicious cantaloupe into the dirt. I remembered spitting watermelon seeds as a child and being amazed that they grew, so I kind of wondered if that would work today, since there are so many weird things going on with genetically modified seeds and plants these days! Did the same thing with the seeds from a red sweet pepper that I had purchased at the farmer's market from an Amish booth ... whallaaah they are also sprouting. YAY! The tip of the roof of the bee hive appears in the bottom right of the photo also.
I planted Sweet Alyssum all around the border as it is supposed to attract 'good' insects, and because it is such a lovely little flower!!!
I told my neighbor to be patient and see in a couple years how much improved this garden will be. The muddy areas will be hopefully filled in with healthy plants, the fence will be hidden with flowering shrubs and possibly a nice evergreen tree with some hydrangeas in front of it. Perhaps the farm behind will fix that falling down black fence too!
Wanted to share with you the beginnings of the garden ... and kind of make a little 'blog record' so I can check back in a few years and (if all goes well) smile at the improvement and the growth of this little fledgling beginning of an English Garden in Indiana!!!!
Monday, June 1, 2015
Warm days ... cool nights .... sunset at almost 9:00 p.m. Birds singing, children laughing and squealing, green plants peeking up through the dirt .... fresh air coming flowing through the house .... porch furniture washed off and cushions fluffed and put in place. Wonderful time of year.
A friend from church gave me a tiny geranium, just the right size for the porch. What is it about geraniums that makes me feel so homey and happy and makes me think of picket fences and pretty houses?
Sandy spends hours on the porch looking at the birds and basking in the sun or sleeping and dreaming on a porch chair. I swear he tried out every single chair on the porch ... slept on every cushion! Enjoys every minute. Curls up next to me when I go out there to read; we breathe in the fresh air and stare together at the huge trees swaying and the hummingbirds flitting around the feeder.
Eating on the porch ... nothing like it. A screened-in porch is one of the best things ever invented, and I don't think I'd ever want to be without one ever again!
And - the best gift of all was a visit from my niece and her husband from Texas .... and who should they bring with them but their PRECIOUS six-month-old baby boy. He had us all totally in love with him the moment he came in the door and smiled at us! Look at the little fluff of hair and his friendly smile. He was a delight.
What a nice way to begin the summer!