Gail from Clay and Limestone had her Garden of Benign Neglect (which she rehabbed), but I think my mess is a bit more embarrassing. At least hers looked like it was a mass of wildflower wonder instead of a grassy meadow surrounded by worn railroad ties.
It’s a shame that I don’t love this garden as I should. Every year, in the spring, I clear out the oak leaves, and I have the best intentions, but . . . .
Once again, I’ve let it go.
I can present no defense to the Court of Garden Bloggers except this: the garden is too far from the house, facing the street, and I never see it unless I’m coming or going down the driveway. I cruise through the gate, see it, sigh and then cover my peripheral vision with my left hand as I run indoors. Once inside, I promptly forget all about it. If I do stay outdoors, I am lured by the siren song of the more beautiful garden out back. Maybe, someday, when the children no long need their play set (and we are rapidly approaching that day), I can attach the two gardens with meandering paths.
Or, maybe not.
One of the plants being covered by grass is the sweetly scented Hemerocallis ‘Hyperion’, an antique registered in 1924. For more information and photos of ‘Hyperion’, please see this post at Tulip in the Woods. While HH and I were riding the motorcycle the other night, we saw a beautiful garden way out in the country near Stillwater. The woman had used ‘Hyperion’ throughout, and it was magical, its lemon yellow flowers swaying in the breeze. She was outside, and we talked about the beauty of lemon yellow and how elusive it was because most yellow flowers have a golden cast. She did not like gold and had removed all of her Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’. Although that will never happen here, seeing her garden made me want to divide ‘Hyperion’ this fall and use it elsewhere, along with H. ‘Spider Miracle’ another lemony yellow.
Obviously I don’t even want to write about the ugly garden.
Unfortunately, this is the garden my neighbors see on their way to and fro. Today, when I drove in from the hospital (where my mother is still in ICU and doing fair), I, once again, heaved a sigh.
Enough was enough.
I pulled on my rattiest t-shirt, slipped into my garden clogs and placed my large garden hat on my head. With my toughest tools, the Felco pruners and my triangular hand hoe, I got to work.
Bear came outside with me and shot fireworks nearby in a show of solidarity. (Not really. She is required to have adult supervision when she plays with fire.) She let me know before each one popped, but I still jumped. She agreed that they seemed louder than on the 4th of July. We pondered this for a bit while I drank some iced green tea I’d made.
Then, back to work.
After a couple of hours of hard labor, the garden looks better. I will finish the last bit and mulch it. In the meantime, here it is partially rehabilitated.
At least, you can see St. Francis again.
The surprising thing was, I didn’t lose many plants to the grass, but I reasoned that is because most of them are prairie plants used to grassy neighbors. I think I’ll dig some of the Echinacea and Rudbeckia from the border on the east side of the house and add their songs to the prairie melody. I might also head to TLC to see what they’ve got at the end of the season. Perhaps, a new Echinacea in another color. It depends on whether they’re having a sale.
When it is mulched and pretty again, I promise to update you. On the left side of the garden and above in closeup, you can see my tawny daylilies, H. fulva (a/k/a ditch lilies), which are so common in the United States that they are often considered a wildflower. They aren’t. They are an import from across the pond, and have become invasive in the Mid-Atlantic states. This is because, unlike most daylilies, H. fulva spread underground by stolons. At present, they are not invasive in Oklahoma, but that could change. H. fulva ‘Kwanzo’, which is a triploid that looks like a double ditch lily is a thug in the daylily garden. It often travels with other passalong daylilies. It hides, and then you have a problem. In fact, I have it quite accidentally in my main garden. I dig it out every year, and a piece of it that I can’t see remains.
See, everyone has a garden she wishes no one saw. I’ve now shared mine.