Category Archives: Hosta

PUTTERING AROUND

You can tell that spring is winding down.

The temperature is rising slightly.

There are fewer rainy days.

And the big garden jobs are done.

The few pots I have are planted.

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Tulips have been pulled.

And the plants I couldn’t resist

Have nestled into their new home.

Now comes the weekend

When there is time

To putter.

You know

Doing the little things

That you’ve been walking past

And ignoring

Till the time was right.

Digging and thinning the Iris.

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Hanging the sticky traps for those nasty thrip.

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Spreading the crushed egg shells around the Hosta

Hoping to discourage the slugs and snails.

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Planting the first Zinnias in the bare spots.

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Staking, trimming and caging the tomatoes.

It’s going to be a good tomato year

Since I’m all ready seeing blooms and tomatoes

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And finding time to see the world

Through my macro lens

Discovering a pollen laden bee

Inside a Hollyhock bloom.

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I so enjoy puttering.

Gail

P.S.  In my last blog I said that there was not a farmer in my generation.

I stand corrected and apologize.

My sister Ann took delivery on her new tractor this week.

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She’ll use it as she tends her 40 acre pecan grove.

Planted by our father.

Which she inherited

And is improving.

So she can pass it on

To the next generation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bees, Generations, hollyhocks, Hosta, Nature, spring, Tomato, Uncategorized, Zinnia

ROOTS

I woke up this morning

Thinking about roots

A word that has a double meaning in my life

Since I have deep roots in the prairie

Being the fourth generation to

Live on these plains.

I come from a long line of farmers

My father

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Both grandfathers.

The great grandfathers

Whose story I know

And likely those whose stories I don’t know.

And my mother

Grandmothers

And great grandmothers

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Who farmed along side

Their fathers and husbands.

So I’m genetically connected

To the land.

It’s interesting to me

To see how this genetic predisposition

Translates from generation

To generation.

My great grandfathers

And grandfathers farmed to survive

On the plains .

During the Dust Bowl.

To provide for their large families

Who helped them work the land.

My father’s generation

Would have to be more creative

To continue to farm.

Many taking non farm jobs

To help make the farm work.

Then came my generation.

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No farmers among us.

But in me farming morphed into gardening

Serious gardening.

Rooted in a love of watching things grow.

Knowing that the weather can be

Your greatest friend

Or foe

Now comes Elliott’s generation

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In the span of a few weeks

His graceful old Redbud tree was

Frozen while in full bloom.

His beautiful Hostas were

Shredded by a 20 minute hail storm.

Only to be snowed upon the next week.

Gardening is tough

Even if or especially if you are an urban gardener.

I believe that because gardening is tough

It makes people

Tough

Resilient

Patient

Hopeful

So I’ll go to my garden

To replant dahlias

That didn’t survive the

Frigid blast of early December.

I’ll rejoice in the two purple Poppies

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That will multiply in coming years,

And I’ll thank God

For the deep roots

Of my garden

And my life.

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Farmers, Generations, Gratitude, Hosta, Poppy, Redbud Trees, Uncategorized

Marry a Carpenter

I think I’ve written before

About the great match of

A carpenter married to a gardener.

Over the years John has built

Fences and gates and arbors and potting benches

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And much more

Basically he’s handy – very handy.

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A few years back he built this screen

To help hide the back of the garden.

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You know

That place where you store things

Old broken pots

Millions of flats and plastic pots

That you haven’t gotten around to recycling.

Old hoses

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And whatever else you haven’t found a permanent home for.

This “hidey hole” has another side.

It’s where I park my double bin compost tumbler.

I literally wore one out last fall.

It’s taken us this long to get it replaced.

And John decided this time it needed a screen

So he built it.

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Nothing much has ever grown in the space

Opposite the compost tumbler.

So we talked about repeating

The plants that have done well

In the shade of the cedar tree

On the other side of the garden

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John planted Yews that will spread to create a backdrop

More Oak Leaf Hydrangea

And a passalong Hosta.

The largest I’ve ever seen

Which John divided into four large Hosta.

Who knows how big they will get.

 

I’ve also added two “Incrediball Hydrangea”.

They are pretty sad right now,

But since they are related to

Those wonderful Annabelle hydrangea

I’m hoping they’ll thrive like their cousins.

 

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All of this joined existing Hellebores and Ferns.

This fall

I’ll extend the brick path

And sprinkle in a few spring flowering perennials

To complete the space.

Thank you John for hours of hard work

In this hotter than usual summer.

This all started with the death of the old compost tumbler.

I was sad to lose my rusted out old friend.

You just never know what will grow

Out of loss.

Enjoy the week,

Gail

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Filed under Compost, Garden Planning, Gardening, Hellebores, Hosta, Hydrangea, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Uncategorized

The Many Sides of Rain

Spring rain

Has always been a blessing

To gardens

To the soul.

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After decades of gardening

And listening to thunderstorms

Move through the countryside

Just this morning

I realized

Another side of spring rain.

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It rained last night.

Most of the night I think.

So we woke up

To an emerald green world

On a cloudy Sunday morning.

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Any good gardener knows

After a good rain

It’s important when you walk through

Your garden.

To stay on the path

To keep from compacting the soggy soil.

Rain also means

That you won’t get to do much digging

For a day or two.

The result is that

Rain slows me down.

It focuses me on the beauty of the garden.

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Not the “to do” list

In my head.

Rain washes away the clutter

In my mind

So I can see.

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Really see.

Enjoy!

Gail

 

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Filed under Chive Blossom, Columbine, Grape Hyacinths, Hosta, Rain, spring, Uncategorized

EMERGING HOPE

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The last  few weeks I’ve spent removing the blanket of leaves from my garden.

It’s a tedious but necessary task.

Last fall John mowed up the leaves from the yard

And dumped them on my garden.

It’s a natural way to protect the garden from winter.

I’m grateful he took the time to chop and distribute all those leaves.

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But once spring begins.

It’s time to remove the blanket

And let the sunshine in.

This is not a quick haphazard job.

It needs to be done carefully

To protect the tender shoots

Emerging from their winter’s sleep.

The new life that is sprouting forth.

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As a result I spend hours on the ground

At eye level

Observing miracle after miracle.

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Nurturing the garden

And my soul.

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Each spring I am in awe of this process.

What may look like a garden of dirt one week

Will quickly begin to unfurl

With hope.

And hope does not disappoint us.

Gail

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Filed under Ferns, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Hosta, Peonies, spring, Spring Clean Up, Timing, Winter Garden

PASS ALONG PLANTS

One of the things I love about gardeners

Is there willingness to share.

I’ve mentioned this before.

Sharing is so prevalent

It’s even  been given a name.

Pass Along Plants.

Sally's Pass Along Larkspur

Sally’s Pass Along Larkspur

Most well-kept gardens

Produce babies.

Lots of them. 

And there’s a need to find them each a good home.

At least that was true when I first started gardening.

After all I had been given plants by my friend Sally to start my garden.

I should certainly pay it forward

When the time came.

The truth is it’s impossible to find each seedling a new little bit of heaven.

But I still try.

Twice this season I’ve had the chance to share lots of plants.

First my friend Mary wanted to fill in some empty spaces in her flower beds.

She moved a few of her things around.

Divided some hostas

And dug from my garden.

Ferns, Gloriosas, Purple Coneflowers, Larkspur.

And a Rosebush which had a Helianthus growing up the middle.

Then last weekend Megan came.

Megan & her trunk full of plants

Megan & her trunk full of plants

She got here as I was finishing up the big dahlia dig.

So she got a bit of this and a bit of that.

Ferns, Stella d’ Ora Daylilies, a mystery Day lily,

Two pieces that fell off one the Blushing Bride Hydrangeas.

They are real babies, but patience will reward her.

More Gloriosa Daisies, Purple Coneflowers, tall garden Phlox and Larkspur.

A Butterfly Bush

Dahlia tubers

Tiger lily bulbs that appeared in the mail without being ordered.

And volunteer Hellebores – which I’ve never had to offer before.

Then we hit the leftover seeds for more goodies.

We dug

And visited

And laughed

And remembered our “professional” gardening days together.

During her Junior High and High School days.

It gives new meaning to sharing.

Sharing gardens

Sharing lives.

The timing was perfect

Just as the Larkspur was hitting full stride.

Larkspur & Friend

Larkspur & Friend

The Larkspur growing from seeds given to me by Sally

Who got it from her mother.

Generations of plants ago.

Life is good.

Gardening makes it even better!

Gail

 

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Filed under Dahlias, Ferns, Gardening, Gloriosa Daisy, HELIANTHUS, Hellebores, Hosta, Purple Coneflower - Echinacea, Seeds, Tall Garden Phlox, Uncategorized

Good Night Garden

We’ve come to the end of the season.

True, I’ll likely find a way to spend some hours puttering away over the next few months.

But for the most part gardening season is over.

There are a few end of the year tasks that create the ritual I call

“Putting the garden to bed.”

In the perfect garden universe

I would have time to do a complete weeding sweep through the garden.

Ha!

Next would come a car load of manure

15 or 20 bags.

I’d cover the crown of each and every rose bush.

Providing winter warmth and slow release fertilizer.

The reward is new spring growth from the roots.

Hydrangea, Hosta and Hardy Hibiscus all get a good dose as well.

Next comes a “blanket” of leaves.

Remember the leaf rule.

Never…never…never put them on the curb.

Instead of raking them up

Mow them up.

This chops them into a perfect winter mulch for

Everything!

John did this for me this fall as he mowed his fescue.

Makes sense

Fescue is a shade grass so the leaves fall …on the fescue.

What a gift this was.

Thank you John.

Cassidy & William helped too!

It’s also a good time for review.

I often make notes of what did and didn’t work.

What I’ve learned

How I’ll do it differently next time.

But this year the review feels more like

“What I learned during my 1st season of blogging.”

Technically, I’ve learned a lot – though I’ve got miles to go.

I think most of what I’ve learned is about myself.

For instance over Memorial Day I wrote of garden mentors.

About the “gumption”  my mother gave me for gardening and for life.

What an incredible gift.

Courage to try everything.

She never read the instructions to anything.

I’m guilty of the same.

Just jump in and see where it takes you.

I’ve also learned that I have a low threshold for “weather whining”.

I know

This is an historically bad weather year in about 9 different categories.

But really, folks.

Get over it.

I couldn’t end this first season without thanking many people.

So many of you have been encouraging with your compliments.

I love life in a small town.

It suits me.

Running into you around town

Sharing stories of our gardens

And our lives.

It warms my soul.

You may recall that I began blogging at the suggestion of a friend.

Amy grew up next door.

I’ve known her almost her entire life.

Recently, she came to lunch.

No longer the child I’ve watched grow.

She is a woman…wife…mother.

We have much in common as women.

We had lunch in the garden house.

Sharing stories of our current lives

And memories of her mother, Patti.

Thanks Amy, for the idea

And the encouragement.

And the friendship.

So…this will wrap up the first season of “In My Garden…tales from deep in my soil.”

I’ll be back in late winter.

Till then know that I’ve all ready seen the hope of spring.

Larkspur is sprouting everywhere!

Take care,

Gail

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Filed under Compost, Garden House, Garden Planning, Gardening, Gardening Mentors, Hardy Hibiscus, Hosta, Hydrangea, Larkspur, roses, spring, Uncategorized