Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Take a break and let me show you my garden.



One man's weed is another
persons flower. I cultivate poke
I like the cluster of white flower
the purple stalk and dark purple berry.
by Rod Williams, Sept. 18, 2018 - Fall arrives today and the weather is going to be turning cooler and the leaves turning and flowers with wither and die.  However, unless we have an early frost my Zinnia will be pretty for some weeks yet. They are past their prime but still pretty. I need to deadhead them everyday to prolong their beauty and if we have another dry spell I need to continue to water them.

I have two types of yellow sunflower-type flowers that will continue to show after the Zinnia have all died. They grow tall and are covered in blooms. One is already blooming and the other does not have its first bloom yet. They are very hardy and unless we have a real hard heavy frost they will bloom till thanksgiving.

I love going out and getting the newspaper every morning. I love to hear the trickling of the water in my worn old fountain which has aged gracefully. If there is the slightest breeze I hear the soft tinkling of the wind chime. When I reach the curb and look for the paper its not uncommon to see twenty butterflies flutter about. I do not know the names of them all but I have counted about eight or nine varieties  of  butterflies. There are the Monarch, the Black Swallowtail, and a Yellow Swallowtail, and a little lemon yellow one with a orange dot, which I think is called a Clouded Sulphur. In addition to the showy ones there are several other less showy smaller ones including one solid white one. There are also grasshoppers and bumblebees.

The garden and the moving water of the fountain also attacks birds.  I also keep a bird feeder full for the birds. The Golden Finch is too shy to come to the bird feeder but they love the Zinnia. If you watch closely you can see them pull petals off one by one and drop them. I guess they get to the nourishment at the base of the petal.

In addition to flowers I grow some herbs and vegetables but I have given up on growing tomatoes.  About the time a tomato is ready to start tuning red, I will find it on the ground with one bite taken out. After trying for several years, the squirrels won so I don't grow tomatoes.

Anytime I am feeling stressed or starting to get upset about something, spending time in the garden improves my attitude and lifts my spirits. Working in the yard, trimming hedges, pulling weeds and digging in the dirt I find very therapeutic. When I am pulling weeds I think about nothing but the task at hand. And, it feels good to get sweaty and dirty and muscle sore.

Sometime after thanksgiving the last of the sunflowers will die. Our winters are not long however. The first warm day in February my flowering quince will bloom but then those blooms will be killed by another frost. It never fails, but then it will bloom again when it warms back up. I look forward to that first flowering of the quince. Following the quince, will be the Daffodils, Primrose and Redbud and then I can start digging in the dirt again.

There are just not that many people who garden anymore. I wonder why. It seems like gardening used to be much more popular.  As I drive around, I see lots of landscaping but not much gardening. My mother gave me a deep appreciation for flower gardens and always had beautiful flowers in bloom.  I had to work in the vegetable garden with my dad and while I didn't like it, I found it rewarding to watch things grow.  If you have never tried gardening, you may like it. Start small by just growing a few Zinnia. They are easy to grow and showy.

Passion flower
Some of these pictures were taken this week and some about a month ago.

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