Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gertrude Jekyll I'm not

But the garden is growing nicely anyway, thank you very much, despite a harsh start: The Good Friday freeze killed all the chrysanthemums, wiped out all the tiger lilies and caused the iris to decline to bloom.

The holes left by that disaster have been filled in and what's come along since seems to be flourishing, thanks in large part to lots of rain.

This is not a large garden, limited to beds alonside the house. I don't have time to plow up the back 40, which probably is just as well. Also, what's here has to be sturdy because I'm not around all week to coddle delicate flowering things --- a once-a-week watering, if needed, is all I can promise.

Everything is planted too close together for some tastes, but I was raised in the no-bare-earth school of gardening and with a disdain for mulch --- spots of green in a sea of shredded bark.

I'm also too fond of purple cone flowers (Echinacea purpurea) and goldenrod, evident in what I call the prairie bed along the peculiar-looking south side of the house. Something I wish I had more of is a miniature variety of cone flower (shown here with butterfly) about the size of a large daisy --- but none were to be found at the nurseries this year.

I'm thinking of adding St. Francis to this bed, but must finish G.K. Chesterton's little biography of him and decide for sure if this is the best use of my Earl May Garden Center July fun money before committing myself to a touch of holy zeal.

However you look at it, a week in June was a good time to spend uninterrupted hours with the plants --- digging, planting, sitting and looking or walking in circles around the house to make sure nothing had escaped my attention.

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