Sunday, August 5, 2007

Good, Bad and Ugly

I was going to title this Dissatisfaction this morning but then I went out and worked in the garden instead. After about two hours I realized that I truly like the way my garden is coming along. I've made some mistakes, there are plenty of gaps that need to be filled in, many plants need to be moved and weeds by the bucket full to need to be dealt with. After all of the perfect gardens last weekend I really had to remind myself that my garden is only on it's second year, is in the country and by design attracts wildlife. I'm sitting in the screen house enjoying what I have accomplished and it seems a good time for a good, bad & ugly post.

First the Good!

The butterfly garden on the house side of the walkway is looking lush and full right now except for one little strip at the front of the house.

This is my view from the screen house. The orange with the pink isn't great but it really doesn't bother me all that much and I will move some things in the fall. The pink butterfly bush surpassed all my expectations! The datura did well again this year and bloomed a month earlier than last year so I will hopefully get some seeds.

How is this good? I started with a dirt patch here in the spring. The soil was so bad that not even grass would grow. The kerosene tank was rust red and the propane tank battleship grey. I have only put in a few plants but I added lots of composted manure to the soil and I'm quite pleased for this year to have the back of the house look clean. I can work on a plan over the winter.

The Bad:
This is the view from the street. UGH! When you get up close the plants are really filling in and looking ok. I need shade plants that will get tall enough to hide the ugly block skirt. Some really tall plants for interest. And I would like more color. Because of what happens when you get 200" of snow on a metal roof all of the plants in front have to die back each year so woody shrubs are not an option. I'd love to have suggestions!

The other side of the back steps. I moved blanket flower to the new bed on the other side of the steps. What is left is on hold for friends and the next garden club plant exchange. Again a a place to think on during the winter. Ideas welcome!

This is the garage side of the butterfly garden that I was so happy with last month. Everything at the near end is done blooming. I have never seen a butterfly use the "puddle". I know I want to make changes in the spring.

One more view of the garage side of the butterfly garden. The hollyhocks were mostly white and didn't show up well against the white wall. They lost all of their leaves early. I want them to go to seed so I haven't cut them down.

The willow bed. This was to be a pink, blue, lavender garden. Instead it is just a mess. The weeds have taken over and I've pretty much thrown in the towel until it cools off. I can't see the bed from the inside of the house or from most of the back yard. The only reason for having a bed here is because of all of the old willow tree roots that jump out of the ground whenever we try to mow. I am certain that a garden is more economical (and safer!) than having John riding the mower down the road for service.


  1. Right now most of my gardens are looking rather ugly. I need some more mid to late summer bloomers. Got any ideas?

  2. Apple,
    The last time I saw your garden, you had lots of white "mulch" still lying around!
    I think it looks so good and green!
    I don't have any good ideas to hide the block skirt, maybe those big ferns?
    Happy Summer!!

  3. Well, Apple, the good part is that your plants have been making growth and bulking up, even if you don't like their current location!

    You can think about them over the winter and then make those flowers play musical chairs as soon as the ground can be dug next spring - it will be like a whole new garden by summer.

    As to the front of your house, Sissy's fern idea sounds pretty good! Just off the top of my head -if your house has enough of an overhang to tuck in a full-length trellis on either end, they'd make your house look like a gardener lives there even in winter ;-]

    You said it's shady up in front, and not too many vines bloom in shade, but you could go the other way - a pretty hanging basket on each end filled with something like sweet potato vine could travel down the trellis, instead of up - giving you much faster coverage and green effect in summer.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose