Tag Archives: Daylily

I’d Like to Show Off the Garden…

Standard

Image

This is not my garden.

This is the front of my house, showing the snowball, serviceberry and lilac bushes, the seven sisters rose climbing the trellis, and one of my ceramic sculptures with a gazing ball on it.

I’d love to show off the garden…but it’s not ready, yet, for the photo.

Last year about this time, I showed off my garden plan. It was hand drawn on graph paper with extensive notes of what was going where.

Pretty impressive.

It never got much beyond the planning stages, though.

Oh, I cleared out a lot of weeds. I gave away daylilies, raspberries and strawberries. I put in tomato plants and planted radishes and salad greens. I even started framing in my raised beds with cedar boards.

Then, as fast as that, summer was underway, with all the flurry of activity that comes with it.

The strawberries continued to send out runners. The raspberries spread into the paths by way of their strong roots. The sod persisted in moving in from the fields to the south and east, and from the lawn to the north. My pathways were becoming so dense with unwanted growth, I couldn’t even get a shovel through!

An hour a day was not enough to make any headway, yet that was all the time I had to give it.

Though I harvested rhubarb and berries, greens and tomatoes, mostly I was just frustrated with my garden.

When friends came over for a tour in July, I was embarrassed by the lack of order. “A work in progress,” my guests offered, and I kept that thought for the rest of the season.

Snow was a relief, when it came, as it marked an end to the battle.

This year, a fresh start.

This year, new battles.

Spring was uncommonly cold and windy through the month of May.

Everything that had a toe-hold last year settled in even more seriously.

The man I hired to take out three wild cherry trees dropped the last one right through the garden fence, over the rhubarb patch and onto the raspberries. I don’t know if he’s ever coming back. The tree he dropped in the front yard had prevented me from mowing lawn the last time I had an opportunity to do that.

Mosquitoes were threatening to carry us away!

This weekend, with two days off, I faced what seemed like an insurmountable challenge.

Though I usually double-dig my beds employing only shovel, wheelbarrow, hoe and a lot of stamina, I had some help this year. My cousin, Bob, brought his rototiller over yesterday! He earned my undying gratitude by turning that overgrown garden patch under for me.

It seems like something I may be able to manage now!

I still have lots yet to do, but that bit of help was just the boost that I needed.

I’m not yet ready to show the end results, but in the last two days, I’ve got quite a list of accomplishments:

  • Moved more than three dozen logs out of my front yard
  • Mowed the lawn
  • Trimmed around the trees and stonework
  • Divided and replanted chives, lemon balm and sage, and bordered the herb garden with rocks
  • Transplanted four peonies into their new bed, and bordered it with rocks
  • Transplanted two dozen daylilies from the fence line to the central bed I’d prepared for them
  • Raked the newly tilled garden area and hauled away two wheelbarrows full of roots and weeds
  • Weeded the iris bed
  • Dug strawberries for a container garden and to give away

I have tomato and pepper plants still in their pots, ready to be planted very soon. It’s late – but not too late here on Beaver Island – for the things I start from seed.

I may have a photo to show before long!

Meanwhile, I could use a rest!

Image

Winding Down

Standard

Image

Autumn.

The wind is shaking leaves from the trees so steadily it sometimes sounds like rain.

There’s a chill in the air. Nights have gotten downright cold! I’m not yet ready to turn on the propane, but I’ve conceded to having the electric heater on a low setting, just to take the chill off.

I’ve cut back the iris into little fans just above ground level and pulled the daylily stalks. I dug up and moved the last of the daylilies from the border. I’ve pulled up all of my tomato plants, stored their wire cages and turned over the soil. I cut out all the dead raspberry canes and pruned and thinned the rest. I cleared and prepared a bed for the rest of the strawberry plants.

I dug the last of the potatoes and brought in five small winter squash. I have a bag of mixed peppers in the refrigerator that I’ll dice and freeze tomorrow. I have beans, summer squash and plenty of berries in the freezer already. My aunt (bless her heart) canned tomatoes for me: twelve perfect quarts.

I moved my T-shirts and sleeveless shirts to the small dresser upstairs, and brought down my long sleeves and sweaters.

I bought yeast, though I haven’t had time or inclination to make a batch of bread yet. Home-made soup and warm, fresh bread is a weekly ritual in the months of cold weather.

The little gallery I worked at is now closed for the season. The restaurant at the Lodge served it’s last dinner of the season last Friday. I am now down to one job, at the Shamrock Restaurant and Pub downtown. Until next marking period, when I’ll teach two art classes at the school as well. Business is still steady, but it’s an easier pace than it was even two weeks ago.

I think I’m done with Jonathan Kellerman! His books were good summer reading, with characters that became familiar and story lines that were not overly strenuous. I’ve been looking over my bookshelf, and am ready for something quite different. I’ve already started The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker, and am thoroughly enjoying her beautiful prose. I’m looking forward to Sacre’ Bleu by Christopher Moore, his take on the Impressionist artists. I love his irreverent humor and imagination! Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, Revelation in the Cave by Nancy Flinchbaugh and Yonnondio by Tillie Olsen are also on my stack.

I’ve been doing some rearranging and organizing in the studio. I have a few paintings underway that I’m anxious to finish, now that I have time for making art. I want to get the printing press adjusted and ready, too, as I plan to do some collagraph print-making this winter.

Autumn was always my mother’s favorite season. I didn’t understand it when I was younger. I liked Spring, with its new growth and fresh starts and Summer’s heat and busy-ness.

Now, I understand!