Truth in Gardening

ctlavluvrAugust 11, 2008

We've all admitted to cropping scenes to exclude the undeadheaded, dying, not thriving, weed ridden, bare dirt parts of the garden. My grandmother swore that there was no such thing as a perfect garden and trying to get "there" was a futile waste of energy. Isn't kind of a relief to agree??

I've had some lurkers who know me say that to see our pics is sometimes a total discouragement, since "my garden could never look like the pictures." Can we give these folks some comfort, and our fellow Idyllers some comfort, by posting less than perfect pics just for fun?

I'll start -- what is supposed to be the Moon Garden phase of the major side garden looks something like a huge pity pile. I can't blame not deadheading 4' tall plants nor cleaning the birdbath on my recovery LOL.

Martie

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dodgerdudette

Martie, you are too much ! The Chaise has apparently bee very inspirational for you..lol.

My pics are WAY worse !

One of my least successful container groupings.

I always forget to water this area-The variegated Pieris is at least 5 years old.

The Corner of Doom

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 8:44PM
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saucydog(z5MA)

I opened this thread and......GASP! Just kidding :)

LOL, Martie! I spent a considerable amount of enjoyable time looking through pictures to find what you're looking for.....seems I've already posted them all....so.....just for you, I will do a walk about with the camera today....but I'm deleting them right after :)

Saucy

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 7:02AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Funny Martie, I was going to suggest this type of thread at one time and then I forgot. I think it can be intimidating sometimes to a new gardener especially, but also to each other, if we start thinking that everyone's garden is perfect except ours. I have areas of the garden that are 'not ready for prime time' and always have some job that we are always behind in.

Here are my contributions to truth in gardening....lol. But just so you know...the truth hurts. :-)

Last year, three attempts to grow sunflowers. Groundhogs ate every seedling. This was my last try to save them, which didn't work either. There is bird netting stretched across the whole area, seedlings under the milk crates. No sunflowers last year and didn't even try them this year. That area would have looked really nice with great big Sunflowers growing.

This one, was mid June of last year. You see all that growth behind the pots...doesn't look too bad, does it? Weeds. That was an experiment in trying a raised cement bed, that didn't work out well. I never got around to weeding or planting it that spring. In the fall we dismantled it and it is no longer there, new project still working on there.

My Echinaceas last year...groundhogs again....

Gee...I actually could find lots of photos to post, but that's it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 12:15PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I guess I could take a photo of my 5 foot giant ragweed.
ROFL!

Jerri

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 12:22PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Those of us with...err... less than perfect gardens thank you. ;)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 12:28PM
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ctlavluvr

Okay, Saucy. This one's just for you. Two weeks ago it was lovely. Now, not so much. LOL

I just hired a girlfriend's daughter to weed for me on Friday. One can ask just so much from volunteers.....

Martie

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 1:10PM
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denisez10(SoCal)

I'm not sure what kind of "truth" these photos will show...but you can see our house sandwiched in among many and the semi-squalid area where the barbecue resides (below the "no fishing" sign). Last night Marty left work and headed directly to my folks to address a minor plumbing problem. Finished at my folks' house, I hear him drive into the driveway after 7:00, go around to greet him, and he's already lugging a ladder into position on some mysterious mission. He's brought home a compass from work, and he's gotta check if our weathervane cockerel on the garage roof is doing a proper job. After a 14-hr day. While up there, he decides to grease it. I stood duty at the ladder, since the only broken bones in this family have involved a ladder, then shouted at Mitch to grab a camera.

Turns out, the cockerel had to be corrected slightly by the compass. Mariners have to get these things exact. The last picture shows the time, a quizzical corker at the gate, compass on the table, grease pot on the roof, trash cans, yellow plastic cat box, garden shed, and triumphant, compass-correct Tevye/Marty strutting in the twilight. There's gotta be some truth in there somewhere. (Don't ever let this man know you're pointing a camera at him...)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 3:23PM
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lmcilhargie

Well none of your truths look that bad to me :) Love that last one of Marty, Denise! Reminds me of exactly what Brad would be doing with a camera pointed on him. I love your weathervane too!

Ok here's a couple of mine. The first is that area I've been working on, still in the looking worse before it will hopefully look much better phase and the second pic is one of Bella's messes. Those are pretty easy for me to overlook though and easy to clean up if need be. We do always seem to have a pile of toys spread out somewhere in the garden these days :)

Eden

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 3:53PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Denise....that Marty, what a guy! I am shaking my head that after a 14 hr day, that was the first thing on his mind when he got home....to make sure the weathervane was pointing in the right direction. lol What kind of Palm tree is that to the left of Marty in the 1st photo? Seems unusual looking. You have a clock that can stay out doors? I love that pine cabinet, is that for tools? That's about the size I need too.

Gee Eden...your truths don't look bad in the least. Toys and sandboxes aren't considered messes to me, either. Nice paving and always enjoy how many vertical supports you have. More clematis?

Martie...Parts of my garden are not looking their best right now either. I don't enjoy the Shasta daisies when they are gone by. I am only imagining what you will be doing in the garden when the doctor gives you the go ahead. Remember that old commercial about the cleaning product that was like a 'white tornado'? That will be you. :-)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:58PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

"A fiddler on the roof, a most unlikely sight
It might not mean a thing, but then again it might!"

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 2:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OY...I could really add to this thread...but am leaving for the day. Lucky you!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 11:30AM
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chelone

Silly, silly Eden! how could the "tools" of a bright, curious, industrious child ever be termed "a mess"! (you know I hate kids and dogs, of course). The beauty of a thread like this is that we know everyone is fully capable of closing their eyes and visualizing the "finished" product.

I am killing time until the "hiccup" on Picturetrail passes and I can upload some shots. I have some really good ones, too! good enough to make all the self-conscious lurkers feel better about themselves... .

Stay tuned.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 10:38AM
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chelone

The "hiccup" tuned into full blown respiratory arrest! As promised:

You can see how great the exposure to the road really is; the area between the two telephone poles is the area of focus right now:

The area along the barn will be defined by a low wall that raise the planting area, giving some interest to a very flat area. The white arc is the wall site:

There will be a curved path (6' wide) that will follow the line of the wall and will curve around the barn to link up with a similar path on the west side of the building, Between the path and the shrub border will be an arc of lawn; grass is very easy for us:

Here you are looking northeast. Cleverly hidden amongst the weeds are a Picea omorika (left) and a Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (right). The concept is to add moist soil lovers behind them to block the road. Magnolia virginiana is a possibility. In the foreground is a Stewartia and behind it is Cornus kousa. We planted them "high" to add some more contour to the area:

Barely visible to the right of the Cornus are the two transplanted Vaccinium coryumbosum. We have another (b&b) that we will add to the "grove" in the next few days:

You are now looking southeast and there are 3 Arborvitae that have been planted farther apart to allow for a looser growth pattern. This will enable a softer silhouette, good cover for resident birds, and greater ability to withstand snow and snowplow "blowby". I have added Miscanthus sinensis and Arctostyphos behind them and in front of the wall:

So, my friends, there you have it. And it underscores the necessity of careful planning and organization. And that's only 1/3 of the entire project, though the remaining third shouldn't be nearly as daunting.

I hope!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 7:26AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Enjoying Chelone's thoughtful, well planned, progress! In my case the trees were planted too closely because I was "new" to working with shrubs and trees. This means our view of the gravel pit beyond is densely hidden.

This morning, sunny and clear, I was looking out my study window. (Also known as Sue's window!) I have to laugh at last night's foolishness. I was in such a rush to tidy up the lawn and mow that I worked at it until after 9PM. I'm sure you all realize that it is quite dark at that time these days, and so I couldn't really see what I was doing. The grass is also becoming soggy at that hour. I now see that there will be lots of raking on today's agenda...burdock removal...and more weeding etc. Catching up after a holiday is WORK. Groceries, mail, bills, etc...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 8:01AM
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dodgerdudette

You must admit Chelone, the garage/salon edifice looks imposing as viewn from the road. I like your design plan- It will look splendid when done-if any landscape plan can ever claim to be done of course!

Thus far I beleive I have the worst looking photos, with a possible nod to PM's buckets and crates. Is there a prize involved ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 10:47PM
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ctlavluvr

Your plan is great, Chelone! I can see it right along with you and really like the idea of wide paths.

No prize, Kathy, just the knowledge that we've made someone else feel a bit better. LOL

Mart

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:20AM
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denisez10(SoCal)

Exciting to see the beginnings of Chelone's shrub border. What a wealth of material to choose from.

More truthiness ;) These creatures are currently king of the garden's air space:

Anyone else growing Persicaria amplexicaulis? Maybe it's too rambunctious for those with summer rainfall. This one is a gold-leafed form, growing in a pot, but when grown in the ground they're well mannered here too. They kind of ease the pain of failing to get sanguisorba to grow.

I've been looking at this Agastache 'Purple Haze' all summer. Nice to have the eucomis pop up to change the scene a bit. More truth in gardening: None of the eucomis were red-leaved, as advertised. The foreground Salvia 'Christine Yeo' should bloom in a few wks. I think it was David that recommended this particular agastache last year, and it's a winner with me and the bees, even without the color blast from orange crocosmia.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 6:13PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone...what an impressive building that is! I guess I was not around when you started planning it, but when you have the time I would love to hear more about it. Did you decide to build it for a home based business? It looks like an unusual design and wonder if you came up with the ideas yourself or built what a contractor offered to do, or used plans. Looks like you are right on track and the landscape ideas seem right on the mark to me.

But as far as photos go, I have to say I think my buckets photo can't be topped. lol

Denise...that is one scary looking spider! I would have a hard time gardening knowing that one was wandering around in the foliage somewhere. How large do you suppose it is? Smart, looks like you took the photo with the zoom. [g]

I really like that Purple Haze Agastache. Someone on the Discussions side was just saying they liked this one the best and they have all the different varieties. What is that silver behind it?

pm2

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:29AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I forgot to ask Denise...does that Purple Haze reseed the way the other agastaches do?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:58AM
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michelle_zone4

Chelone, I love seeing the long view of the salon. Your plans sound well thought out. It will be fun to watch it develop.

Denise, I have found that bees really love salvias, that is a pretty one. I have persicaria 'Firetail'and I believe several other Idylls grow it. I only planted it last year so its well behaved so far and in my opinion a great fall bloomer.

I don't really have pictures to add to this thread as I usually don't photograph the icky areas ;o)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:55AM
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denisez10(SoCal)

PM, are you telling me you don't get the end-of-summer crop of gigantic spiders?! This is my first summer with the Purple Haze agastache so I have no idea as to its reseeding capabilities. Directly behind it, maybe the silver you're referring to since the camera catches it that way, is a lanky, almost vine-like variegated shrub, coronilla, supposedly amazingly fragrant late winterish for this zone. Hoping it blooms this year.

Michelle, I love this persicaria since it's one of the rare perennials that's reliable here w/o winter chill. There's supposedly some amazing new varieties coming out, including a short one called 'Pink Elephant' with very wavy spikes of flwrs.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 3:39PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Denise...I do get a few larger spiders, but not THAT big! And nothing with hairy legs. Maybe I am just used to my spiders? Yours definitely look scarier and bigger than any I have seen in my garden. lol

Yes...the coronilla is what I was looking at...I love the texture and the color and the airiness of it. Looks great with the Agastache.

pm2

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 4:31PM
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michelle_zone4

A little different twist on things but I found this picture the other day and thought it was encouraging to know how quickly things change in just 3 years.

2005

2008

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 11:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, that is so great to see. That should encourage the lurkers!!!

Waiting is so hard when you are a beginning gardener and don't know what to expect. People I know were nervous about weeding because they couldn't distinguish a plant from a weed. For me it was difficult because I didn't realize that things resurfaced at different times in the spring so I thought plants had died and disappeared when in fact, all was well.

Today I am amazed that, seemingly overnight, the caryopteris, butterfly bush, vitex, kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate and other wonders are blooming. Another great time of year exists, lurkers, and that is FALL. Spring is not the only fun time in your garden.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 12:59PM
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ctlavluvr

Clean up time!! The Clethra was placed to scent the house through the windows just above the pic, and it does. As you can see, though, the overwhelming amount of rain breaches the gutters so everything is really bent over.

The Hydrangea (one of the macrophylla "Tokyo" series that has yet to bloom after three years) will be moved in Spring for more light and to give the Clethra room.

Aren't the pots exquisite??? LOL Late season radishes and scallions out of rabbits' reach.

Martie

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 12:03PM
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dodgerdudette

Denise, I love that Persicaria, and will put it on my list-Idylls have raised my radar on Persicarias , and it is a new 'must have' along with Celosia spicata.

Looks like Marite has some UV issues with those plastic pots!

Michelle-wonderful progression shot ! I have one too...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:49PM
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chelone

Michelle's "before" picture appeared as the dreaded X in a box the first few times I opened this thread. But it's there now. What a lovely tranformation you've achieved! (Kathy, too).

Sometimes it's hard to believe that things will grow and fill in when you first put them in the ground. And I'd wager a bet we've all made the mistake of not paying attention to spacing things properly as a result of it.

I am not saying ANYTHING about everyone else's less that successful plantings. I'm very sensitive about the weed-choked shots of the Compound. ;)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 6:31AM
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michelle_zone4

Kathy what a great transformation! Our front yard looks just like your before picture right now, sidewalk and dirt. Somehow that intimidates me.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 10:09AM
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dodgerdudette

Fear not Michelle, there are less that two years between those photos..thank goodness for annuals sometimes! Can I assume your lovely rock wall was 'harnested' from the farm ? I think it looks fabulous.

Maybe I need to take some weed photos today to make Chelone feel better...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:52AM
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ctlavluvr

Ahhhhhhhhhhh.... before and after. Good Idea, Michelle!

2005 (mid-season second year)

Few week's back..

Also found some printed way-befores from the week we moved in. Imagine 8 overgrown, buggy, mildewy, all the same evergreens lined up line soldiers.

Martie

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 12:48PM
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chelone

Pictures below show a lot of very hard work (all told 5/6 days of solid labor). The area had been overgrown pasture before it was cleared for the barn. The soil is very moist and VERY rocky. And the area is about 24" below road level.

Some of the rocks that had to be dislodged to permit weeding. Note the "casualty".

Looking south to the vegetable garden on what will be the "lawn":

Looking south, standing along the remnants of the stonewall that runs along the road. The stakes are the sites for the Viburnum seiboldii "Seneca":

Looking north, standing on the "lawn". Stewartia to your right, Kousa and Vaccinium corymbosums are hidden to the far right:

Kousa, and a newly planted Vaccinium corymbosum. You're looking north:

Vaccinium corymbosum "grove", note the new growth at the base of the one on the left. We plan to add another to flesh out the grouping. The Viburnum will be added behind the new blueberry:

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 7:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I love this stage Chelone: the planning, the choosing, the placement, even the digging. There's even satisfaction in rock removal, though my neighbor the farmer says that is his least favorite task. He's been known to offer a party to the kids at church in exchange for rock collecting! I'm sure you realize that rocks are a crop and re-appear every year.

Sorry about the fork. I actually got a free new replacement shovel one time because it wasn't supposed to die that way.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:15AM
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ctlavluvr

What a HUGE amount of work!!!! I am loving the plan and know how great it'll feel for you to WALAT next season!

Martie

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:38AM
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saucydog(z5MA)

Oh wow! I like this stage, too, Chelone. Where it says "looking south to the vegetable garden...." do you mean "toward" the veggie garden? I don't see the fenced area (am I remembering correctly?).....can you hear the concern in my voice that helpmeet is losing his veggie garden? Can you tell I was very impressed with his veggie garden (but don't tell him, because I know I wasn't supposed to pass through the gate :)

Great pictures and explanation! I totally "get" what you're talking about, now! That's gonna be a great screen.....

Saucy

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:42AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sears Craftsman tools are guaranteed for the life of them. We buy pitchforks, shovels, wheelbarrels, and when they break, we bring them back and they hand us a new one. Lots of work there Chelone! Love your plant choices. In a couple of years, you will be posting 'after' photos. :-)

pm2

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:52AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I keep meaning to say...Kathy, Michelle and Martie...I really enjoy Before and After photos. What a difference! I hope you are all enjoying the fruits of your labor. I think your plans and efforts have worked out really well!

pm2

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:55AM
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lmcilhargie

Michelle, Kathy and Martie what amazing before and afters!

Denise, no bad truths in those pics. They're beautiful. I do have persicaria firetail. Mine doesn't get enough water where I have it sited though and struggles along. Yours is wonderful.

Chelone, I loved seeing what you have done and hearing what you have planned. You have chosen some very nice plant material to work with and I can't wait to see your after picture in a couple of years. Lots of hard work you've done there. Oh and stewartia is one of my all time favs!

Eden

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 7:16PM
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dodgerdudette

Chelone, it's been so fun to see the work in progress- I love the curvature of the beds and paths, and my only complaint is that we still have not gotten the sneakily snapped photo of the mysterious veggie garden kingdom of the Helpmeet. Now I'm jealous that Saucy has seen it 'in person'.

Think we may need some pics of Michelle front yard project ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:52PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Okay, you asked for it, lol! I've been missing from Idyll chat, because I'm up to my EYEBALLS in crabgrass. Perhaps too much Princess and skydiving fun??

This area has been mostly unplanted for a couple of years, waiting on DH to deal with the porch roof. As we all know, open ground will fill with something!

I shall return!
Brenda

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 10:45AM
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chelone

LOL, Brenda, I know exactly what you mean about crabgrass. Please look at the first series of photos I posted.

It's really an amazing plant when you really think about it. Following that train of thought... maybe it's the new groundcover? Something Proven Winners may market to us in 15-20 yrs.?

I'm finally feeling sort of hopeful about that netherland that is easterly of the baHn. You will get there, too, Brenda. But I warn you... , it will likely get worse before it gets better. Hang on tight.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 11:03AM
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dodgerdudette

Here is my stunning Brugmansia, complete with the Sungold cherry tom. that lives in it's pot.Took this pic this AM after removal of the yellow leaves. One flower, thats all I ask !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 2:04PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, just to make you feel better....here is mine:


It looks better in the pic than in real life ! This is it's 3rd year, and nary a bloom. :-(

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 4:31PM
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chelone

And you guys wonder why I don't bother to comment on Deanne's plants... lol.

Power to you guys who are "into" annuals and the "maintenance schedule". I'm in awe, but to be honest... my own schedule precludes fussing over annual plants. So I'm more than happy to enjoy your success(es).

Rock on and continue to dazzle me, you guys!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 4:50PM
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dodgerdudette

Marian, you are the soul of kindness-misery loves company, right ? I can't help but note the chewed leaves, the only malady that mine does not seem to have, lol ! At least the 'friends' you have it planted with look good !

Chelone, if this plant was a annual in my climate at least I'd have an excuse !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 5:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

And Kathy, Marian told us this was a good year for her plants too!

I'll try to take a few ugly pictures tomorrow...Shouldn't be hard!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 10:32PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh gee....Kathy and Marian, you've inspired me to search for a photo of the brug I had last year...or maybe it was the year before. It was also pretty pathetic and I left it outside all winter, deliberately hoping I would kill it, which I did. [g] A photo of the dead Brug sticks in the pot would have been nice, but I find I am averse to taking the ugly photos and didn't find one. How else would I spend the winter imagining I have the perfect garden? Hide the evidence, that is the key! [g]

I am thinking of Deanne's containers and the contrast. I don't think she has a photo to post on this thread...lol I say, she should have at least one annual container that is dedicated to being the ugliest pot of the season. One that she has to ignore and not water or fertilize or deadhead, just to see if she can stand it. She could put it out of the way somewhere. :-)

Brenda...beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In that first photo, move the wheelbarrel and the grill and the hose out of the photo and stick a few marigolds in the pot on the right, close the door to the building and I would see a beautiful meadow! :-) And the second photo is a beautiful scene to me. Move the plastic pots on the porch and it would be perfect! Look at that gorgeous view of the corn field! You have some things I wish I had, a 'borrowed view', the horizon, space and a rainbarrel, all connected! Exquisite, bucolic scenes!!

And are those pink and white flowers phlox that are not being cared for? That would be something, I would have to get me some phlox. Great color.

pm2

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 5:46AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

OK you guys... When it comes to sickly tomatoes or starving brugs, I'M the champ here! :-)

Cherry tomatoes with severe late blight - but they still produce way more tomatoes than we can keep up with so I don't care!:

And here are the starving brugs... The one on the left has no flower buds; the other is bigger and has flowered (as you can see by the spent flowers that need cleaning off the driveway!) but has no more buds as it has lost most of its leaves! I really object to the amount of water and fertilizer these things need (and which I don't deliver...) so, once again, this fall I will be seriously debating letting them die off! They really don't fit my benign neglect approach to gardening...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 11:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'll show only several discouraging areas. There are many more....

The violas are no more...there are quite a few such containers on our front porch.

The tomato seedlings never made it into the vegetable garden...What to do? Leave them around until they die I suppose.

So much time was spent weeding the vegetable garden paths this year. I weeded them at least 4 times and never managed to get the actual beds tidied up. Sigh...

Many of the clematis are brown, mildewed or just plain ugly. What to do?

The flagstone paths need attention too. There have been ant hills and weeds in spite of thyme and other creeping plants between the stones.

The steps to the "flats" garden are buried in mess.

All the gardens need edging and weeding!

The sedums did not all get their June Pruning back and I'm paying for it now:

The twitch grass has been removed 4-5 times and still returns. :(

By the patio I have burdock specimens overtaking even the hostas!

The beds surrounding the garage are dense with weeds. They too have been tended to many times this season, but...

And next to the house, weeds as well.

I haven't shown the barn gardens, the island beds, the rose area by the bridge, the creekside garden and much more. I can't imagine what it would look like if I actually neglected it for a season!

Now you know!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 11:31AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ahhh Marie...:-)

all of my flower beds look like what you pictured. I am not too upset by it. When I am gone, what differance is it going to make ? I may still do some weeding when the cooler weather comes, and the chiggers are in hibernation ( or whatever they do).

As for my Brug. I cut it way back last fall, and set the pot in the wellhouse, with the expectation of it not being alive this spring. When I got the pot out to plant, I decided to leave the stump in the pot. Lo and behold, it started growing! If the same thing happens this winter, I MAY manage to fertilize it regularly...:-)...but no promises. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 1:36PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Woody....I have had those sickly tomatoes some years. Seems to me, no matter how well you take care of them, some years, that is what you get. I need to get a photo of the two measly little tomato plants we have this year. Foliage looks great, but they are about 2 feet tall with a hand ful of tomatoes each. I will have to do better next year and hope for more sun, less rain. As I think I already mentioned, the brugs didn't work out for my benign neglect style either. [g]

Gardenbug....amazing that you have such a large garden but weeds look the same in your garden beds as they do in our garden, just more of them I guess. I don't have that burdock, I don't think. Has that got a taproot? You must have some great soil to grow weeds that well. :-) What you call twitch grass doesn't look like the perennial grass weed we had. We had a grass with long white roots, that the more you pulled it, the more of it you got. Every little bit of broken root you left in the soil would be a new plant. One year we made the mistake of rototilling to get rid of it, before we realized we couldn't have done anything worse. The only thing that stopped that grass weed, was smothering it for a year.

I was actually getting ready to ask on the forums what people's experience has been with flagstone paths with thyme and other creeping plants. I love that look when it is weed-free and I don't want to create a big job for myself. One of my problems with that approach is that I have clay soil and thymes don't like me unless it is in a raised bed. I had the idea that the only way to really have that work is if you place all the plants like 3 inches apart through out the entire walk so they will grow in quickly and suppress the weeds. If you have a long walkway, that would be a lot of plants. Expensive. Also, not sure how it works in the shade, in clay. Not a lot of plants that can grow in those conditions between pavers.

With the clematis, my one clematis, doesn't look that great after it finishes blooming either but it is in an out of the way area that I am not always looking at. Any chance you could cut the foliage back to the ground after blooming and still get flowers the next year, and a fresh crop of foliage for this year? I thought there was at least one group of clematis that grow and bloom on new wood. I suppose that is giving yourself another job though.

I will try to take a photo of our veggie garden pathways that have the fabric on them and see what you think. I've done that some years with the veggie starts never making it into the beds. Very sad. :-( But life is full of twists and turns and the best laid plans of mice and men....

Well...I hope you can come up with a few things to change for next year over the winter, that will make you feel you are able to keep up more. Other than inviting all the Idylls up to get things ship shape...I can't think of more ideas. lol IU6? [g] Hey, we could all take a turn. :-)

[Kathy...looking over the photos...I was wondering how did you plot the curve in your front walk, hose? It came out really nice. :-)

pm2

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 10:17AM
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dodgerdudette

Wow, I feel much better seeing a few yukky looking Clems from bug ! All is not lost ..mine look like that too.

PM, these pics will explain how I came up with the path-it was really very simple. In the first pic you can barely see the string on the lawn, Doobie and Ted were helping me by moving the string around , or chewing on it. I decided to line the arbor up with the chimney, so the exterior of the house dictated the beginning of the path, and in pic two you can see that I curved it to end at the existing sidewalk. After the lawn was removed I marked out the path with string and stakes.

Kathy in Napa

u5wMQ"> From Remodel From Garden Sept 08

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 8:59PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy...such a great idea and it worked out perfectly. I have used 'landmarks' in the yard also to determine where to put something. It makes it a whole lot less confusing. Lining up with the chimney was brilliant and I love the curve it created. Thanks for sharing the before and after photos...quite a difference!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 7:39AM
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saucydog(z5MA)

Here's my contribution:

Sure, it's got flowers on it, but I wasn't exactly sure where it was going to bloom, so I didn't remove the scraggly branches, lol....and then I tipped it while moving it and that's the mess you see waiting to be picked up behind it.

Kathy, that's fun to see the transformation! Great vision! I'm really enjoying this thread :) It makes me feel better....

Saucy

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 7:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Denise, I do grow Persicaria amplexicaulis near our creek. Mine was supposed to be red, but turned out to be an anemic pink. So yesterday I found another one that I really like: P.Blackfield.

I also grow Sanguisorba Menziesii. It needs to be cut back right after its first bloom and also seeds about. Lovely foliage though.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 9:44AM
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