Saturday, June 03, 2006

Gardening Hurts My Head!

One of my students lives in a typical village home, a cute little two story that sits only a few feet from the sidewalk on a narrow lot. Early in the spring it was an overgrown mess. One afternoon as I pulled up I noticed an amazing difference. Most of it had been weeded and there was a huge boulder now revealed. You could now see that the garden wraps around the side of the house. I told my student to be sure to compliment his mom on how great it was looking. With a baby in the house I don't know how she got so much done in such a short time!

Over the next few days the weeding was finished and I stared to watch and see what would come up. Before our five day weekend the only plant I recognized was columbine. Very little was blooming but there was lots of green. On Wednesday when I pulled up there were several huge purple spires on what appears to be a single large plant. I asked my student to ask his mom for the name of the plant. She met the next morning to tell me that she wasn't sure what it was called and thanked me for my compliments.

Now I have spent hours and hours researching plants for my butterfly garden and one of the plants that I picked was lupine. I searched for pictures and decided that it would be a good plant for in front of my blackeyed susans. It appeared to be a one plant - one spire deal. I suspect that the plant I admired in town is lupine, the flowers certainly look right, in which case the greenery will be way too tall and bushy for where I seeded it so now I have to decide whether or not to rip out the seedlings as they come up and plant it somewhere else or let it grow and see what happens two years from now?!?!?!? If I plant it somewhere else what do I plant to replace it?

BJ had a plant last year that when I looked at it I instantly thought hollyhock. They didn't like it so on Friday John and I went over and dug what I think is the plant I saw last year along with three much smaller ones. I planted hollyhock seeds along the garage that have germinated but I don't expect flowers until next year so I figured this would be perfect. Except that I planted hollyhocks because they get tall and the plant we brought home is only about 2' and is already getting flower buds. I think the foliage is right but we may have just transplanted weeds. They had a long tap root so they may not take.

My sister has promised me some of her oswego tea (red monarda) which I love. Now I can't decide where to put it. The butterfly bushes are just twigs now but I'm trying to plan for their future growth. I'd also like to be able to see it from the bedroom window. I think that the tickseed and salvia are going to get moved again!

When shopping for plants I picked up two shasta daisies knowing that I planned to seed a patch of them and figured they'd give me a years head start on blooms. What I didn't realize is that there are several varieties of shasta daisy and that the plants I bought will only be half as tall as the plants from my seed!

It rained almost all day today but John helped me get another section weeded. I think he got tired of listening to me whine about how much more still had to be done. I've resigned myself to a mostly green garden. I'm hoping that the daylilies and blackeyed susans recover enough from transplant shock to bloom. The peony that I moved isn't gping to bloom this year. No sign of the snapdragon vine or delphiniums yet. Hopefully it's not too late to get some color from annual seeds if I get them in this week.

Hopefully I'll get some pictures taken tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. That's a neat photo of your grandparents.
    You've been busy! I can relate to the aching back. My neck aches too!
    I'll post a photo of my lupins soon. Sounds like you're right with that identification. They'll seed themselves and can be moved fairly easily when they're small, even though they have a tap root. Depending on the variety (height) of your black-eyed susans the lupins shouldn't be too tall. My gloriosa daisies (blk-eyed susans) are about the same height, maybe a little taller.
    Your mystery plant sure looks like a holly hock. I'll be curious to know if it is.
    I'm looking forward to the summer vacation! Can you believe this miserable weather is back?? It's putting us way behind with the outside work.