Mittwoch, 1. Juni 2016

Virtual Garden Tour, The Good Parts

My garden is not much to look at, really.  Mostly utility, so many weeds...  But the nice thing about a camera is that I can just show the best parts.  I can "edit" out the vast swaths of neglect and just show you the delicious details that I am feasting my eyes on daily.  And these flowers are even more of a feast after such a long winter and minimal spring.  

I have planted many, many things that simply disappear because they just can't hack the harshness of life.  Delicate plants need not apply for a position in my yard.  I've have learned the hard way what not to bother with.  There is a reason that the midwestern staples are always lilacs, daylillies, peonies and irises.

One thing that has continally surprised me, however, is this pink weigela that I put in six years or so ago. It never complains, never asks for more that a little pruning, and it puts on a riot of blossoms, beloved of the hummingbirds and honeybees.

I have this damask stencil that I have used for various projects and several years ago I used it to stencil on my garden gates.  I like the contrast of a fancy stencil on the weathered wood of an old packing crate made into a gate.  The red currant bush beside it is huge this year and starting to hinder the opening of the gate.  Time for a trim, methinks.  

I do have plenty of irises.  I think I have about six colors, and I hope to collect more. 

This fluffy white one was a surprise this morning as I took photos.  This is the first time it has bloomed (I think it is anyway... Maybe it did last year and I don't remember?)  I have a frilly peach one that I moved last year and is not blooming, so I'm hoping to see it next year.

This purple and white is one of my favorites.  I got it from my Mom years ago.

Last summer when we visited family in Oregon and Washington, I was so inspired by my Mom's container plantings.  It seems like an expensive indulgence, but I decided to do my best to step up my planter game this year.  I didn't buy ceramic planters, but rather I re-purposed some other containers. My sweet husband found me these great tall galvanized buckets.

I'm looking forward to this variegated sweet potato vine trailing down the side of the tallest one.

This container is an old coal bucket I found at a yard sale.  Near it I have a big old washtub planted with some perennials.  I'll have to get a picture of that some other time.

This calibrachoa was an impulse buy... such sweet little blooms, I couldn't resist!  I had thought it was a type of petunia, but on doing some research I learned that it is a different species.  No wonder I like it (since I'm not a big fan of petunias).

And here we have my once favorite cooking pot... it's an enameled cast iron dutch oven (and red!!) in which I cooked many meals and loved so much.  Suddenly one day the enamel on the inside started to chip and it soon flaked off, rendering the pot useless for cooking.  I sent it out to the trash.  Recently I found it still hanging around in the barn (bless my husband!) and filled with with the sedum I dug up when my husband installed patio block for the new back porch.

In the interest of keeping it real, take a closer look at the little brown spot on the side of that red pot.  Yes, that is what you think it is.  No, not a spider.  A tick.  Yep.  I didn't notice it until I got the photo off my camera.  The ticks are prolific around here, and so gross.  I always wonder why God made them, and then that silly children's song goes through my head, "Every living thing gonna shine, shine, every living thing gonna shine along..."

On the positive side, it makes my photo very traditionally Dutch, don't you think?

This is the table on the kitchen porch where I keep the seedlings waiting to go in the garden.  I start most of them myself, and buy a few at the Amish greenhouse a mile down from my house.  There are fewer now then there were a week ago, and soon they'll all be planted.  Our soil is such heavy clay that I long ago abandoned direct-seeding.  I only plant seedlings and my garden's "infant mortality rate" has decreased significantly.  Infancy is the most dangerous time...

Here endeth the tour of the "good parts" of my little slice of paradise.  I'll have to show more photos later in the summer when my containers fill out.


  1. Ah! I loved this! Your chicken coop is so adorable though with the stencils that it deserves a photo spot too.

    I'm glad so much is coming to maturity in your garden now. I didn't realize you had a weigela. It's beautiful and may rebloom later in the season. I now have three colors of them.

    I loved the performance of the calibrachoa so much last year that it is now my Go To annual. I planted lots of red ones (so many great colors to choose from!) in the new walled bed and am looking forward to how they will color up that area later in the summer.

    Your containers are fabulous! I'm so glad you are doing that. It is the perfect way to have abundant summer flowers with pretty much NO weeding! (I'm sure Sarah will agree since she has quite the outdoor container gardens in summer). They take a lot of water but even little girls who love water can help with that. ;-) I'll look forward to photos of them filled out.

  2. I now have a computer! And a teacher! I am presently writing on the small pad, and am about to leave for foreign ports, but when I return, I should be an,e to communicate. So, I have now seen and savor end your post, Katie. Love it! I am in a huge hurry but I do compliment your Dutch still life and your stenciled gate and your creative pots. I do have many pots - this year only pots - because of slugs, a purely practical measure here. I hope I can remember and do all the new things I have learned, so I can post from Italy. Contest results will come - patience please as I finish packing and a huge To Do list. A later tour of your garden, Katie, would be much appreciated this summer.

    1. Thanks! With lots of pots, you must spend half the day every day watering...

      Hope you have a great trip and I hope we get to see lots of photos!

    2. I'm surprised if the slug problem is that big that they don't invade the pots also. Slugs like to be underneath them and go through the drain holes or up the sides. Do you know about beer traps? A shallow pan of beer they can't resist; they get tipsy, fall in and drown. :-)

  3. Actually it Has beenl raining a lot. I am trying
    to learn this machine as fast as I can to be able to send photos. And to Keep the Language English....

  4. Thanks for sharing these photos, Katie! They're very inspiring. It's wonderful that lilacs, peonies and irises are your staple flowers.
    I'm trying hard to get some flowers growing around my chalet too, but the slugs are terrible. I pick a handful every time I go out but there are always more. And winter lasted so long I haven't had a single tulip yet.

  5. So lovely! Thanks for sharing! :)