Bzzzz May 18th, 2011

There have been springs when we have been deluged with rain. There have been years when I was already hauling hoses in May. But this year we’ve been fortunate to have just the right amount of rain—not too much and not too little. I think the purple stuff here likes it too. Maybe we have been having purple rain.

The side fence wisteria is blooming, as are some of the peonies. (Why don’t I have more peonies?)

The baptisia I had to move from the front flower bed into the potager was threatening to die last year. I don’t think baptisia likes to be disturbed, but it has rallied and making a rather nice purple show now.

The irises are blooming, as are the foxgloves. Everything that isn’t green is purple.

I still have so much spring work to do and seem to be forever behind. I still have containers to fill and annuals to plant. There is the truckload of stone dust I need to buy and haul into the woodland garden. And this is the year—I hope—that I will finally install some kind of edging to separate the border beds from the paths in the potager.

For some reason making decisions about what to plant this year has been more difficult. Part of the reason is that I just haven’t had much time because work has been keeping me running. But I’m also weary of the same old, same old annuals I see at the local nursery. I am sick to death of petunias and marigolds and the like. It’s like getting up and wearing the same dress every single day. I need something new and exciting to break through my annual ennui!

Perhaps something purple.

(Click on the photo to see a larger version.)


Posted In: Flowers, Gardening

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Bzzzz November 20th, 2009

I recently ordered a copy of Ken Druse’s Making More Plants. I wasn’t 10 pages into reading this beautiful book when I experienced serious pains. It was gardener’s guilt.

How many years have I gardened and failed to over-winter plants, start new plants from the ones I have, save seeds or pass along plant cuttings to my gardening friends? Druse makes it all seem so…so…natural. And worthwhile. And beautiful.

scarlet runner beans and pods

So this week during my fall garden cleanup, I made a particular effort to make a deposit into my ever-growing seed vault.

This is a scarlet runner bean, beautiful as much for its lovely vines and flowers as for its long bean pods. In fact, truth be told, I never ate the first bean because they became intricately intertwined with the malabar spinach that re-seeded itself and grows like kudzu in my garden.

But I did save the pods and now have seeds for next year. I easily have four times as many seeds as there were in the stingy seed packed I purchased last year. My plan is to try growing the vines up the clothesline poles and perhaps on a section of my white picket garden fence.


With all the news stories on Americans saving more, I must ask: Are you saving your seeds?

Posted In: Gardening

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