It’s a little chilly this evening as the sun slips away, but the days have been a little warmer this week, so it seems like the seasons are turning as they are meant to. Every year’s a little different and this spring, I guess we’ll get some more use of our flannels and hoodies.
This evening was about getting the deck garden a little organized and tidied. As the days get longer and warmer, much of the jungle here at the Nest – a few draceana, lots of asparagus ferns, the canna lilies, a hibiscus and a few others – goes outside, creating green walls on my small second story deck.
I swept the deck clear of the last corner refuges of bits of leaves and twine and all the other debris of winter, and removed all the dead foliage from the pots, revealing whatever green there might be beneath. Mostly it’s just moss growing in pots that hosted annuals of one kind or another last year. Some of that I’ll keep, since I do love the mosses, but some will get turned into the soil as organic material as I plant other things. I also installed some cup hooks under the deck railing, so I could run my warm-white LED light strings along there for some subtle light on summer evenings. Maintenance stuff.
I accumulated a bucket of old/dead plant matter and took it out to the pile of such things that accumulates in one corner of our scrap of woods. Who knows what nests in there. Anyway, on the back I poked around the yard a little, noting that there are as yet no bird nests on the underside of the deck. Of course I wandered around to the rest of the garden. I find I see the garden differently when I’m actively working in it. Sometimes, it’s nice to just look.
The main heliotrope plant – once a massive towering planting – is recovering nicely from having been rescued by some choking shasta daisy and will hopefully bloom as our temps continue to rise. All friendly and bright, is Daisy, when everyone’s admiring her at midsummer, but the rest of the year, she’s pretty pushy and she overwhelmed quite a few things in the small bed I first planted. I only recently was reminded there had been tulips the second year I lived here. The giant purple alliums look like they’re bouncing back, too.
How can it be that I planted that bed eight years ago in September? That overflowing garden bed (pictured above) a clear indication of the years passed. At the risk of jinxing myself, it’s kind of cool to realize that I’ve lived somewhere long enough for my garden to have put down roots. Naturally, I’ve moved way beyond that first bed, slowly colonizing a little more here and there.
The new bed is a large one, established over the last two summers. The front of the bed is edged in bricks and lined with two year old plantings of dianthus and dusty millers, and a recently added rainbow army of pansies and hyacinths. There’s room enough here for some shastas and siberian irises at the back, where they can happily work security by fighting against the ivy that wants to move in from that direction.
Plants which survived longer than they ought to have in containers on the deck (assorted irises, daylilies, asters, agastache, cranesbill and evening primrose, to name a few) have room to spread their roots out there as well. Most of those found their way into the ground last summer, so this is the first spring they’ll emerge from their spot in the yard. I love to watch how they present themselves. They are where I planted them, but some have grown underground in one direction or another (or all of them) or have scattered seed for new plants showing up here and there. I can see whatever design I was intending, but I also welcome whatever actually happens.
There also plenty of “weeds” and grasses. Eventually, they’ll go – in a week or two, when I’m ready to get the soaker hose into the bed. But for now, I’m waiting and watching the middle portion of the bed. It’s been heavily seeded with assorted coneflowers, foxglove and milkweed and I don’t want to work the soil soon and interrupt their process.
At the sunniest end of the bed, where the roses grow, there’s a seedling from the original heliotrope in that first bed. It was transplanted there just last week and while it looks a little stark and surprised to be in a new place, it’s also added a new set of leaves, so I think it’ll be quite happy.
Anybody who really thinks they are in control of the Garden is not doing it right.