Monday, June 05, 2023

Take a break. Let me show you my yard.

by Rod Williams, June 4, 2023- I have enjoyed working in the yard this spring. This year is the most time ever I have had to spend doing so.  Last year for the most part was spend recovering from a couple ailments and I did not have the energy to do much yard work. Before that I was working and also caring for my ill wife. I love working in the yard and gardening. I have been spending about four to five hours a day about five days a week doing so. 

Primrose is past its prime
but it was beautiful.
My yard is not the well-kept manicured lawn that a lot of people prefer. I guess you might call it an English Cottage Garden.  I don't mow. I don't own a lawnmower. I am probably in violation of codes for an overgrown yard. I weed eat a little and what is not flowers is covered in  ground cover, mostly the big variety of Vinca with the small blue flower.  The yard has a wild unkept look. You have to work hard to make a yard look this unkept.

I cultivate some plants that most people would consider weeds.  My view of flowers is, if you like it is a flower; if not, it is a weed.  I purposely grow Pokeweed. I like the large green leaves, the white flower, the purple stems and the dark berries in the fall. 

I also don't cut down Fleabane. Lots of people do, but I like it. It is a pretty little flower and blooms a long time. If you are not familiar with it, the bloom is like a small daisy on a long steam. In clusters, I find it attractive. If it is in the path of where I weed eat, I relocate it or weed eat around it.  To each his own. 

I find nothing more therapeutic than gardening. When I am hot and sweaty pulling weeds, all I am thinking about is pulling the weeds. And, to hear the bees buzzing and birds chirping and see a new flower burst forth, brings me joy. My yard is different day by day. Working in it, you see the changes. Some flowers only last a few days, like some of the delicate wildflowers like Virginia Blue Bells and if you are not looking at the flowers everyday you miss them. 

These water features also
serve as water for mosquito
The first thing to bloom, as early as December, is the Lenten Rose, then Flowering Quince followed by Daffodils and then Primrose.  The Primrose is very showy. I still have some, but it starting to die out. It is hardy and it will spread rapidly, if you don't mow it down. In the early spring, gone by now, I have a lot of a flower covered in blue blooms called Blue Phacelia. The bees love it. I go out in the morning and the yard just buzzes with the sound of bees. 

Queen Anne's lace
Soon I will have more domestic Lilies, and Gladiolas and then things like Zinnia will bloom. I have two variety of small sunflower type plants that bloom late. The blooms on each are similar. One is called Jeruslem Artichoke and the other is Swamp Sunflower. Unfortunately, the foliage is not very pretty and they grow about six feet tall, so I have to be careful in where I plant them, and they can be too prolific and self-seed or grow from Tubers but I enjoy the late season bright yellow color when everything else as gone drab. They bloom late and will withstand a hard frost. I try to have something blooming all of the time from early spring until late fall. Even in winter I have Pansies. 

 The veggie garden
While I have not grown much in the way of vegetables before this year, this year I have planted a vegetable garden. Last year I planted some vegies like carrots and lettuce and as soon as they would appear a rabbit or a groundhog would eat them.  I like having wildlife, and in fact I purposely have a brush pile to serve as a wildlife habitat, but rabbits and other wildlife will eat your tender young greens. This year I build a fence. We will see if it keeps out the wildlife and if the garden produces. So far, it looks good. I have planted a big variety of vegetables this year: peas, onions, lettuce, kale, Bok choy, squash, zucchini, cucumber, basil, cilantro, parsley and more. I am hoping for a good harvest. I have so far enjoyed some good salads out of the garden. 
 My dear friend Lydia Hubbell found and gave me this
 gate. I think it adds a lot of character to the garden.
This is one of my favorite spots. After 
working in the yard, I love to grab a beer, my pipe 
and a magazine and relax in the hammock.


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1 comment:

  1. I really like your garden rod. For the past almost 2 years I’ve been laid up for three surgeries when I was unable to work in my yard but I’m like you I love a garden I love flowers I love working in my yard. More power to you brother