Tag Archives: bleeding heart

Catching Up After A Five Year Hiatus

Notifications kept coming in, but I was remiss in updating my blog.  I hope to remedy that today.  So much has changed in five years.  I’m still alive–yay!  All of my landscaping has matured–yay!  And, I’m in a position to labor in my gardens again–yay!

I want to keep this post somewhat simple and let the photos speak for themselves.  I will just say that as I planted and tended my garden through the years, some things thrived and others did not.  I did create a “poetic space” that was / is very meaningful and inspirational to me, and that I’ve featured in much of my poetry at my blog bitsofpoetry.com.

Like Emily, I’ve cursed my cats for destroying the beautiful birds and, in fact, I made an outdoor/indoor cat enclosure for them this year to save my garden birds.  There were also the years, where like Emily, I focused my attention on recording the wild flora–attending botany walks and always packing along identification books and camera–the modern day version of her herbarium.  I think of her often in what I do.

Here are some comparison photos from around the house.

Back when there was no grass, trees, or flowers and I still had my sweet dog, Elsa.

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Now.

front of house 2018

Originally, we planted a flowering plum in front, but it died.  Aspen are native to our area, so we replaced many of our trees with aspen, like this one in front.  They all flourish here, as do lilacs–but more on those below.

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The roses on the front fence, looking out to the barn last night.

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Also along the front fence, my white tulips.

Here is the before of the front (left) space before the railing was removed.  The railing was purely decorative, and served no functional purpose, so we removed it and opened it up.

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Today, we plant new things every year, but some of it has volunteered itself or remained.  The lilac tree grows in an old metal tub a friend dropped by my house, and which I intend to paint white.  The thyme jumped out of its container and started to grow in the bricks.

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lilac front of house

The center rock planter was completely redone. Here is the before picture.

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I’m going to weed it this week and add red bark, but I’ll show you a few of the flowers that grow around it. (That is another aspen in the center)

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Honeysuckle loves it under the aspen and has crowded out the original clematis.

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Two varieties of peonies also grow very well there.  They were started from bulbs.  You can read about my bulb dreams in this post.  Many of my bulbs survived.

Here are the pictures and an excerpt from that original post so long ago:

The promise of a bulb holds the same hope as a new pet, new love, new career, even a new baby. We project ourselves into the future each time we plant one. It’s hard to foresee what circumstances may thwart our plans: a too-cold winter, a colony of voles, the tractor that scoops up the earth and the bulbs hidden deep beneath; like life, it’s hard to predict what will happen after we plant our dreams.

Yet, some, if not most, make it. The tulip bulb that was accidentally dug up and thrown in the pit and, I thought, gone forever, bursts forth in a clump of compost. The bulbs planted in soil that was too hard, spring up from the ground later than the others, when the April rains have finally softened a space for them to poke through.

There are some that don’t make it, it’s true, but the joy for the ones that survived—returned to you, in a way—rewards our original hope. We just had to wait, have patience, and believe that our loyal labor of love would be rewarded.

Like my snowflakes.  They survived and thrived.  Here they are in spring 2019.

This bleeding heart comes back every year.  It’s lovely.  2019.

bleeding heart

Besides these plants, there are daylilies, daffodils, tiger lilies, lavender, and many other little surprise, some of which I can’t even remember planting.  Unfortunately, all of my crocus were crowded out.  I’ll have to replant some in fall.

This little front planter has gone through various transformations, but this spring I went all out for day lilies, daisies, and geraniums.

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They need a little more growing time to really pop.

The side of the house was monstrously bare. My dream was forsythia and purple sand cherry.  Well, that came true very quickly and the side of the house is now a jungle of yellow forsythia in spring.  The electric company did cut a little of it back, but it’s growing back fast. I love to cut branches of it in the spring for flower arrangements.

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The back planter. Where you see concrete, it is now a sun room with a deck over the top and roof.  I’ll show a variety of those pictures so you can see the transformation.

Here is the front driveway after we’d planted flowering plum.

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And here they are this spring.

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So many changes.  Of the trees we planted, the flowering plum, weeping willow, aspen and lilacs, thrived.  We used lilacs to create a fence barrier between our property and our neighbors, and also growing up over the deck.  The breeze carries their perfume to us during the spring.

lilac back of house

There is a lot to catch up on after five years, and I hope to do a few posts on individual flowers and planters very soon.

Happy gardening!

I’ll leave you with a poem by Emily Dickinson about the lovely lilac.

The Lilac is an ancient shrub
But ancienter than that
The Firmamental Lilac
Upon the Hill tonight —
The Sun subsiding on his Course
Bequeaths this final Plant
To Contemplation — not to Touch —
The Flower of Occident.
Of one Corolla is the West —
The Calyx is the Earth —
The Capsules burnished Seeds the Stars
The Scientist of Faith
His research has but just begun —
Above his synthesis
The Flora unimpeachable
To Time’s Analysis —
“Eye hath not seen” may possibly
Be current with the Blind
But let not Revelation
By theses be detained —

Mid-Summer Garden & Hydroseed

A bird came down the Walk–
He did not know I saw–
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,….

Emily Dickinson

I was working with my daughter out in the new garden–putting down fabric–and there was a robin next to us–just a touch away–with a big fat worm in his mouth. He stood there, then walked around a bit, but wasn’t afraid of us. It was quite marvelous.

I told my daughter, if we weren’t out here gardening, we would have missed this experience.

I think I said in a previous post that I wasn’t feeling the poetry–as I waited for the sprinkler system to start working and the grass to be planted–I think I’m starting to feel it now.

Here is a picture of the backyard planter. My hope is that it will one day grow up and fill every inch. I asked my husband to put in a spray system that waters over the top of the flowers–he insisted on a drip system–now he’s going to switch it to the spray system. As McDowell teaches us in her book–some flowers, like geraniums, need to be misted to keep the bugs off. And, I believe, flowers are designed to accept rain in their leaves and distribute in these natural tunnel systems to the parts of the root system that need it most. Therefore, water must come down over the top. Trees and shrubs can be on drips.

hydroseed and back planter

We finally got the hydroseed done. Let me tell you a bit about it. In our area, hydroseeding runs at 8 cents per foot. We had 15,000 feet and we found someone to do it for 7.5 cents per foot. The total came to $1,100.

Hydroseed has the fertilizer, mulch and seed together–also it has something that makes it tacky so that it sticks to the ground rather than blowing away.

Apparently, you can hydroseed anytime of year–even in mid-summer like now. We do have to keep the water on it though, so a sprinkler system at this time of year is almost a must.

garden

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I decided on a simple shrub for the side of the house where all the ugly stuff is mounted–satellite dish, air conditioner, and propane tank. The purple sandcherry was my choice. It grows 8-10′ tall and 8′ wide. Perfect for this area.

purple sandcherry

There has been some question in my mind about whether or not my Royal Star Magnolia would make it. Here it is today. It’s doing awesome!

Magnolia in July

Here is a new addition I just couldn’t pass up. This beautiful, mature Hydrangea was only 45.00 at a local nursery. I adopted it.

hydrangea july 09

hydrangea

The Forsythia are finally starting to look healthy there among the Dahlias. They grow as a backdrop for the Manolia. Next Spring–they will bloom yellow–the Magnolia a magnificent white.

florsythia july 09

dahlia July 09

Here’s an updated picture on the Hostas I planted under the deck. They’re thriving–as are the ferns.

hosta day lily

In other garden news–my Bleeding Heart came back with a vengeance. It’s doing great. The Geraniums I lost to frost, also surivived and are now blooming among the Alysum.

Today I’m going shopping for Yellow Daylilies, Brown-eyed Susans, and Hummingbird Vine that I saw at my parent’s home. For some reason, yellow daylilies have been impossible for me to find–as have Brown-eyed Susans. So, wish me luck!

Is there any particular flower you’d like to add to your garden as we hit mid-summer? How about Fall flowers? Are you thinking about those yet? Mums? Astors? How are your gardens growing?

Death of a Flower

It bloomed and dropt, a Single Noon-
The Flower-distinct and Red- (or pink my case)
I, passing, thought another Noon
Another in its stead

Will equal glow, and thought no More
But came another Day
To find the Species disappeared-
The Same Locality-

The Sun in place-no other fraud
On Nature’s perfect Sum-
Had I but lingered Yesterday-
Was my retrieveless blame-

Much Flowers of this and further Zones
Have perished in my Hands
For seeking its Resemblance-
But unapproached it stands-

The single Flower of the Earth
That I, in passing by
Unconscious was-Great Nature’s Face
Passed infinite by Me-

Emily Dickinson, 978, year 1864

Good-bye Bleeding Heart–though I did not know you long, I loved you well.

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And, I don’t know if my Geraniums are actually dead or not.

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I was told yesterday that here in Spokane, Zone 6, the rule of thumb is–Don’t plant until after Mother’s Day or when the snow on Mt. Spokane has melted.

My first loss. Have you ever had a particularly painful garden loss? The most painful for me would probably if I lost my Magnolia tree.