The Good Will of a Garden

The good Will of a flower
The Man who would possess
Must first present
Of minted Holiness

Emily Dickinson #869, 1864

Weather: 60 and cloudy–a bit of sprinkling–hoping for more rain for the grass and new plantings.

Of Interest:

Spokane is in Hardiness Zone 6–and Emily’s Amherst is also in Zone 6. Coincidence?

Also, we will be having an Emily Dickinson and Teleflora Flower Bouquet Give-away! Check out the site: Teleflora. I’m thinking it will be each comment equals an entry into the drawing. The Deadline will be May 4th so you can get it by Mother’s Day. Check out their blog–it’s full of information on flowers! Oh, and to be fair, I’ll have someone else pick the name and I’ll take photos! 🙂

What’s happening in the garden?

I haven’t blogged in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working. Quite the contrary. I have now spent about $1,000 in plants, flowers, peat, soil, and fertilizer (this is without the expense of the hay).

My splurges were the Magnolia (79.95)–which, by the way, has elicited the most attention as it buds profusely–Royal Frost Birch (79.95–picture below), Japanese Maple (129.95), and Rhododendron (49.95). There were others in the 29.95 range, like some of the shrubs–St. John’s Wort and the climbing Hydrangea (pictured below).

My philosophy with the trees and shrubs is to go as big as I can afford. Some of these are very slow growing, so if I’m going to enjoy them, I need to get a head start.

Here is the climbing Hydrangea–I’m MOST excited about this beautiful plant. I didn’t know they existed, and when I saw it, I fell in love. They are slow growing and take partial sun.


I can’t remember the name of this ground cover, but it is shade-loving and has a bloom much like honeysuckle. My husband was planting those as I planted the Hostas, and I didn’t realize he’d removed the tags. I’ll dig through the trash and see if I can find them.


Hostas–Albo Marginata–We planted these under our deck. Apparently, Hostas do not need total shade, but that’s what they’ll get here. Hopefully, they’ll do well. They can also tolerate a bit of drought–so I planted them near the ferns and plan to put them on a misting system.

Question–Was Emily referring to the Hosta when sometimes she said “Daylily”? Marta McDowell thinks so. “Daylily in bloom in mid-August? The ones I know are completely spent by late summer. In the mid-nineteenth centry, the common name “day-lily” was the moniker for two plants: what we call ‘hosta’ and what we call ‘daylily,’..” (p. 90)


I found this tree (Royal Frost Birch) while shopping at the nursery, and went home to look it up. It gets a purple foliage and in Fall turns a brilliant red and orange. It is supposed to be a very hardy Birch which grows to about 30 or 40 feet. When they dug it up, they didn’t get a big root ball–which worries me. We’ve staked it for support, and now we’ll just see what happens. It looks like it’s about 13′ planted.


Here’s a picture of the Hyacinth in bloom. I see why Emily loved them so well. They remind me of lilacs–lots of purfume.


This is the Japanese Maple. It was the most expensive addition, and I felt like I got a bargain for the size and maturity. It will give us a feeling of privacy on the patio, but not obstruct the view of the Mountain.


This is Creeping Myrtle (Fertile Myrtle?!?), the ground cover which will grow under the Maple.


I’m always amazed at how so much dirt seems like so little! This is our new top soil–isn’t it gorgeous?!? Dark, rich, 60/40 mix–yummy. It ran us $23/yard–24 yards (pictured is 12)–and $75 for delivery. We’ll rake it around the yard then till it for our grass.



How are your gardens progressing?

14 responses to “The Good Will of a Garden

  1. emilydickinsonsgarden

    There are many more flowers and plants I added–I’ll include more pictures in the days ahead. One I regret is the Asiatic Lily–I don’t really like it’s upright growth. I prefer Daylilies. Oh, that reminds me, I need to add something in the post about Daylilies…

  2. We haven’t done any planting yet, we usually get into full swing in May. Just a little yard cleanup, and turning over the mulch. It’s been really cold too until the past few days. Went walking last week still wearing a winter jacket and gloves! Spring is slow in coming, but on its way.

    Love your plantings, especially the Japanese Maple. They’re such pretty trees, and don’t grow too big.

  3. emilydickinsonsgarden

    Hi Joanne–so, it’s cold up your way? It has been here, too, until this week. I wouldn’t have planted these if we were going to get any freezing nights–they’ve been in a green house and wouldn’t have handled it well.

    The nursery puts them in the greenhouse to get them to bud early–which helps sell them.

    I haven’t lost any of my bulbs–but they’re all early spring blooming types. 🙂

  4. You mentioned Daylilies. I think each flower last for one day (24 hours) and then it’s gone. I don’t know if these are what Emily had in her garden or not. I can’t see the connection between hostas and daylilies, since the name speaks for itself, but back then they may have called hostas, daylilies. It would be an interesting research project.

    • emilydickinsonsgarden

      Well, that makes sense–“day” Lilies. Never really thought about that. I’ve always assumed the daylily blooms lasted longer. Hmmm…another interesting thing to ponder.

  5. Oh, yes…I forgot to mention that your dad and I have ordered six dahlia tubers in various colors to plant as soon as the weather warms up a bit. We are also in zone 6, which is a little too cold for them, so we’ll have to cut them back, dig them up and store in burlap over the winter and then replant each spring. Their blooms will be (hopefully) as large as dinner plates and just gorgeous. I may even enter them in the county fair if all goes well.

  6. emilydickinsonsgarden

    Holy Cow!! You have to dig them up every year?!? That’s cool!! I want some!

    You know, Manito Park has Dahlias–I wonder if they dig them up and take them to the Conservatory? Or maybe, they cover them, or do something above ground to preserve them? Hmmmm…or they let them die?

    I’m curious.

  7. Wow! I wonder about Manito, too. Let’s ask them when we go there.

  8. Wow, you’re just growing away, Linda! I love spring, when all the bulbs begin popping out of the ground. Too bad City Boy went a little weed whacker crazy here; I think there’s nothing left in my front yard. How do you kill a bulb with a weed whacker, anyway?

    • emilydickinsonsgarden

      Good question! Let’s hope you can’t (kill them with weedwhackers), and they’ll grow up again next year! 🙂 I’m definitely growing away over here–but all we had was dirt to begin with. Looking at dirt for two years has made us CRAZY about anything green and living that isn’t weeds!!!

  9. Linda, I have a separate blog JUST for my desert garden. Here’s the link:
    My parents had a magnolia tree and I used to climb in it as a kid. They also had a BEAUTIFUL Japanese maple. I think you are on the right track! It sounds like you are getting some beautiful specimens.

  10. emilydickinsonsgarden

    Cheryl–I’ll check it out. That’s interesting about the Magnolia tree–what a good memory. The one I have wasn’t very tall–but it was so, so sweet looking–I felt it well worth the price. It has good energy. I’m looking forward to growing old with it.

  11. emilydickinsonsgarden

    Oh, and, of course, maybe having some of my own grandkids climbing in its branches one day.

  12. I just turned over my flower bed and added some cow poo to them. This comming week I hope I can till the vegtable plot. Much to early to plant any plants. I can however plant potatoes son.

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