Monday, July 21, 2008

The gardens

This is my third year of trying to grow some summer flowers in the yard. The lilac bush in the front yard is one of several in the neighborhood. It is shaded by the large spruce and cottonwood trees behind it, so it doesn't bloom as quickly as its cousins across the street at the neighbors house. But when it does come into flower, the scent permeates the yard and the house.

You can see how the electric utility had dug a long trench through the yard; luckily they were good guys and spared the lilac bush. Part of their contract is to replant the lawn and repair the fence, probably better than it was originally!!! The side of the house has a narrow, foot-wide flower garden, but the dogs have dug up the flowers over the years, so I put up a little white lattice fence. This summer I planted some petunias, and one dahlia. But, being gone so much, I let the chickweed encroach, and this is the result. A tiny petunia poking up through the chickweed. I have since weeded the garden, and wish I still had chickens to feed. Delphiniums from last year regrew this spring. I took one inside, but it hasn't prospered, so I'm leaving it outside this winter and hoping for the best. These beautiful yellow blossoms are currently too high, and the cat just broke one in half, so now I have a flower for the table. The rhubarb is flourishing. I've harvested it for pies: last week I cooked a rhubarb and strawberry pie for company. It was a big hit!!! Last year I froze a ton of the rhubarb and used it during the winter for additional pies. I've not tried jam, but I'm sure it would be great; maybe this winter. Just beyond the rhubarb among the butter and eggs sit about six transplanted chive plants. Not too evident in the photo, but I'm hoping that next summer they will go hog wild so I can harvest them for cooking.
And just right of the chives grows the huge pile of lilies.

They were spectacular this year. A gob of mint is cropping up around and within them. It makes nice tea and mojitos, but I have too much. Need to find more uses or thin it out.

Out in the front yard grow two giant ferns. Along side of them I planted the two geraniums I saved indoors from last year. They had a difficult time adjusting to the out-of-doors this year, but are blooming beautifully now. I bought some pansies and some petunias to add color, but this year wild geraniums and other wild flowers started to spring up. They were so beautiful that I vowed to plant only local plants next year. This fall I'll collect seeds from the roadside and get daisies, lupine, and other wild species to color the landscape, rather than the exotics.

The photos don't do justice to the color of the flowers.


sbt said...

I love reading about your Alaska garden! I wish we were there to share a pie with you.

Catherine said...

I'm glad to read that the wildflowers I planted last year are coming up for you again! I wish I had some of that rhubarb down here - it is way too hot for it now.