Tag Archives: daylilies

No Matter

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I didn’t plant a garden this year. No time. I’ve also not had time to weed, water and prune the flower beds and the beds of strawberries, raspberries, asparagus and rhubarb. I’ve complained about it on a regular basis, anticipating the worst.

“I have to plant…” changed to, “If I don’t plant…” which then became, “Since I didn’t plant a garden…” and the sentence always ends, “I’ll be having to watch it grow up in weeds.”

In other circumstances, if I could not plant a garden, I could let it go back to lawn. That’s what my brother has done – shockingly – with the large parcel that my Dad used to turn up every spring. Other than one small, fenced patch of garden, the whole space has gone back to green grass. You’d never know it was once covered with tomato and squash vines!

I plant my garden in raised beds, in rectangles four feet wide and twelve feet long. Some are framed in with cedar boards; others have stakes at the corners only. All, by the addition each year of compost and manure, are raised above the level of the narrow pathways that separate them.In addition, the garden is bordered with deer fence, supported by cedar poles.

I cannot wrestle the lawnmower into the fenced garden area, remove all obstructions of wood, wire or twine, and trim the overgrowth. If I could, and if I did, the raised beds would give the area the look of rows of shallow graves…not the manicured lawn I would hope for.

So, I watch it grow. Occasionally I sigh at the grasses in the pathways and the weeds crowding the berries in their patches. I whine about my lack of time, and how I miss the garden. I complain at every radish or cucumber I have to buy at the market.

Yesterday, coming home from a jaunt to Fox Lake with the dogs, I noticed the climbing roses are opening on the trellis beside the front door. Mint and other wildflowers are blooming under and around the service berry bush. The tall orange daylilies are showing off in the borders and beside the kitchen door. I looked toward the garden, ready to sigh my disapproval. Instead, I smiled.

Brown-Eyed Susans are  at their peak, keeping company with the wild Marguerites. St. John’s Wort shows off yellow flowers next to white Bladder Campion and Yarrow. Magenta Sweet Peas climb into the lilac bush. Milkweed perfumes the air and boasts floppy pink flower heads. One red Hollyhock stands at attention.

In a year when I had no time to give it, the garden gave beautifully back to me!

 

 

 

 

Turning

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A little rain, a little snow…just enough moisture, in combination, to set things in motion this May. This is my favorite time of the year!

In the woods, the trillium are showing off their bright white three-petal blossoms. Wild ramps scent the air with the smell of onion, trout lilies bow their little yellow heads over crowds of their speckled leaves. Tiny yellow pantaloons are showing up among the airy foliage of the Dutchman’s Breeches. Spring Beauties display their little flowers on top of  wispy green stems.  Those who know where to look – and have time to gather – are finding morel mushrooms.

The trees, which will settle in to a fairly regular color of green before the end of the month, are now just unfurling their leaves in a riot of different shades. The serviceberry bush at the front of the house is covered with white blossoms. Lilacs and snowball bush will be next. The forsythia in the side yard offers a bright pop of color in front of the grapevines. By the time it’s done blooming, the spirea will have taken over.

Around and under the bushes, jonquils, daffodils and narcissus are playing a relay to keep their many shades of yellow  as long as possible. When one group is ready to hang their heads, the next one takes over. Among them, clusters of tulips add shades of red and pink. Hundreds of grape hyacinth around the yard and through the flower beds add the perfect contrast with their regal blue.

Looking ahead, iris and peonies are showing their foliage, and will be ready to flower just when the earlier blooms are finished for the season. The stalwart daylilies are getting  ready to take over later, and will last until the first frost in the fall.

Asparagus us coming slowly this year, probably due to the dry weather. I pulled enough rhubarb yesterday to make one pan of rhubarb crisp; if we don’t get rain soon, that may be it for the season. Strawberries are covering their bed with white blossoms that offer the promise of fruit.

This year is like every other: spring comes in, filled with hope, and hints of the good days ahead. Always, I trust in the promises of spring.