July 8th, 2006


(no subject)

To distract myself from the madness that I fear to jinx, it's time for the garden report!

Yesterday, I took out a big swath of plants--I hadn't been sure if they were weeds or not, but they're spread everywhere, and they don't flower, which meets the Ursula Standard, and furthermore, they were home to a bunch of Japanese beetles. Blargh.

Now I need replacements--these were the tallest thing in the garden--so I'm going out later today to the garden center. I'm hoping for Carolina phlox, which they had before, but I'll settle for yarrow happily enough. And maybe more brown-eyed susans. The coreopsis is not doing well, for some reason--too dry? too wet? who can tell?--but the brown-eyed susans are fabulous.

The glads are doing the typical glad thing--they're blooming extravagantly, gloriously, and then falling over, so I've cut a few and brought them in. We have pink ruffly white, and vibrant red. They're pretty spectacular, and they last a good long time in the vase.

The purple coneflower is going loony. It's a kind of triple threat--there was the stuff I bought and the stuff that it turned out the previous owner had planted, and the stuff I liberated from the garden next door, resulting in a seriously echinacea heavy garden. Not that I'm complaining! I love that stuff.

There are also petunias. Why are there petunias? I did not plant petunias. And yet there they are, the pale purple with veiny purple centers, petunias. They're an annual, but perhaps the seeds were dormant for quite a long time. I'm not complaining, I don't mind them, it was just a surprise.

In the backyard, the hostas have long purple spires, the American beautyberry is flowering, and the Rose of Sharon hedge is rose-of-sharoning. The color has not grown on me, but I can't complain. The ferns have exploded. It's like a jungle. The jewelweed has survived nicely, the foxglove has not. Que sera, sera.

Everywhere, pollinators. I am delighted to see them. Although the hummingbird is still a rare visitor, the goldfinches are out every day, and enormous fat bumblebees, and thin, narrow-waisted wasps. It's like a benediction to see them--"You're doing things right. This is how it should be." Even though I know pollinators like plenty of non-natives and are pretty indiscriminate, at least they're there, and alive, and that's something wonderful.

(no subject)

Filled in the bare patches with anise hyssop, a native that grows in nice, spiky columns. The bees love it. Also picked up a butterfly bush--I had wanted one, I had planted one, and it turned out the bloody thing was mis-labeled at the nursery, and it was instead a "bluebeard." It's a nice little shrub, but not what I wanted! I'll pop it into a big pot, maybe, or into a bare patch of the bed, it's got fairly good foliage, and put the butterfly bush in that corner.

It was here for maybe thirty minutes, and I caught a tiger swallowtail on it. I am gleeful.