A Neighbor’s Rose

a neighbor's rose

Our neighbor has some beautiful roses growing along his fence. They all receive tender loving care and are an absolute pleasure to see as we walk past his house. We have plans for a fence around our property, and I have dreams of planting some beautiful roses along that fence for all to enjoy.

 

Advertisements

Around our Town: Spring Colors

Going for walks around our neighborhood in the Spring is a joy! There are so many beautiful spring flowers and trees in blossom. As we walked past one corner house yesterday with a beautiful Weeping Cherry tree in full bloom, I stopped a moment and talked with a little girl who was playing in the yard. I told her she had a beautiful tree, and her response was delightful. She said, “We’re growing flowers on it!

Another October Flower

Fall blooming rhododendron

Here’s a photo of another flower blooming in the garden today. I don’t know if this rhododendron is confused, or if the warmer weather we’ve had here for two years now has encouraged an extra bloom time, but it is a repeat bloomer this year (and was last year, too!).

These rhododendrons are planted all around the house and are very pretty for about one week in the Spring, but they fade quickly after blooming. They’ve also struggled terribly with the lack of rain and our unusually hot summers, so the last two years have been very hard on them. But we’ve had cooler temperatures and some nice rain this week, and so here they are in bloom again!

Click on the informational links below to read about fall blooming rhododendrons:

The Flowers Ring Their Changes

I love what happens to my hydrangeas in the Fall! This part of that “long cycle” is so beautiful, and I know that Spring will bring the return of these lovely flowers.

…the flowers ring their changes through a long cycle, a cycle that will be renewed. That is what the gardener often forgets. To the flowers we never have to say good-by forever. We grow older every year, but not the garden; it is reborn every spring.

~ May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep

Goodbye to the Sunflower Garden

sunflower heads

This week we said goodbye to our sunflower garden. In June, we planted Sunspot Sunflowers in the sunny patch of ground on the other side of our little garage and along the alleyway and sidewalk.  Inspired by the photographs of sunflower fields in France, (we watch the Tour de France every summer, and those shots of bicycles and sunflower fields were my inspiration) we planted masses of seeds. The next door neighbor cautioned us that we were planting them too close together and that the plants would compete for nutrients, but we massed them together anyway and our Sunflower Garden was glorious. Neighbors walking by stopped to take photographs or to ask questions about what kind of sunflowers we had planted. The garden brought us many compliments and many pleasant conversations with neighbors we hadn’t met before.

But this week it was time to prepare that garden for winter. The flowers were spent, with heads bent over in woe, “mourning the end of summer”, as my friend described them. Time to clear them out. I cut off the heads and put them in paper bags to dry for the winter and then started pulling sunflowers. I didn’t count how many were growing in our mini-field, but it took me three days to complete the job.

Next, we will till the ground and plant a winter cover crop like we did last winter, only this time we will plant Austrian Winter Peas to enrich the soil. When Spring comes, we will build and plant our Butterfly Garden there. My dream is to create a butterfly garden that can be an official certified wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.

This summer of sunflowers was a wonderful gardening experience!

 

Back to the Garden

Mom and me sitting on Dad's memorial bench.

Mom and me sitting on Dad’s memorial bench.

Red Butte Garden, in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a place of pilgrimage for my family. It is a beautiful botanical garden located on the mountainside near the University of Utah. In 1994, it was a very young garden, and when my father died in May of that year our family decided to place a memorial bench there. Dad was a professor at the University of Utah for many years, and he loved gardens, so it seemed a perfect way and place to remember him.

So, almost every time we return to Salt Lake City, my family goes to the Garden. It’s a lovely visit, no matter what time of year, and a happy place to spend time soaking up the surrounding beauty and remembering a very wise and gentle man.

Last week, while all together, we made our pilgrimage again and enjoyed the sunshine and warmth, the beautiful roses and fall-flowering plants. We sat on my Dad’s memorial bench and talked and laughed and reminisced. He would have loved sitting on that bench in the rose garden and sharing that beautiful day with his family.

 

 

Hardy Pansies in a Half-Barrel

09.30.2014

September 30, 2014

Last September, I planted some pansies and some ornamental kale and cabbage in a wooden tub next to a post with a birdhouse/feeder on it. We can see the tub from our kitchen window, and I hoped that the plantings would give us some winter color. The kale and cabbage didn’t last through the winter, but the pansies have been amazing! Yes, they gave us a bit of winter color, and then they really took off in the spring, were glorious in the early summer, and have lasted (although looking very tired and haggard now) through the heat of summer to reach Fall again.

I’m going to replace those hardy pansies in the next few days. We’ve got some other plans for that tub this winter. But it’s been a delightful year watching those pansies, and the birds, cats, and squirrels that also enjoy that tub outside the kitchen window!