A Summer Garden

Weather wise, spring is slow to arrive this year.  Many days we still have rain and wind and plenty of gloom. Nevertheless, many flowering trees are in bloom as are the daffodils and early tulips.  The riotously bold forsythia is everywhere. This is the time of year I always regret having too small of a yard to do any real gardening. Until a few years ago, I had a large property that I maintained by myself for many years. I was able to manage the mowing and general upkeep but the numerous gardens I had planted gradually became overrun by weeds. I was unable to get them back under control as the weeds well outnumbered me and were far more determined . My undoing was my arch nemesis;  the spring mulching. Every year I would order 3 cubic yards of mulch which would be dumped into a massive pile in my driveway. I would work away at it for weeks hauling and spreading wheelbarrow load after wheelbarrow load. I would end every day sweaty, dirt covered and utterly exhausted. While I was busy mulching the weeds took the opportunity to stage a full blown invasion. Feeling utterly overwhelmed, I eventually decided to sell the property.

 And yet...I feel the stirrings for a garden again. What madness is this?!!  It likes childbirth- after a while you forget the pain. If you have ever planted or maintained a garden you may well understand.  Despite the hard and often grueling work, there is the incredible reward of a fully blooming rose bed or freshly picked strawberries bursting with sweetness. 

Today, I only have a tiny yard.  It has a deteriorating flagstone walk that is hazardous and rarely used. Plans are in the making to soon put in a brick sidewalk lined with Belgian block. I have a few rose bushes and boxwood in a surrounding bed which I would like to expand into a small cottage garden.

I will rummage through my old garden photos to share. In the meanwhile, I am reminiscing with some photos I found from my parents garden. For years we lived as neighbors on adjoining properties where we exchanged many propagated plants over the garden fence. The focal point of their glorious garden was a gazebo overlooking a pond that abutted both properties. Many happy hours were spent there while enjoying a morning cup of coffee or evening glass of wine. My father was head laborer and my mother assumed mainly a supervisory position in addition to being a master weeder.  Today, my parents live in a townhouse and their gardening is confined to a few potted palms and annuals.  They are content to reminisce and recall with fondness their beautiful perennial gardens.

The gazebo- gardening headquarters and evening cocktail lounge.

Spectacular bearded iris's in spring.

Early summer daylilies wave to Canadian geese. The adjoining property beyond the dock is my old house. You can just glimpse the roof line through the weeping willows.

More daylilies and yarrow.

Full summer bloom with astilbe and coreopsis.

Campanula and coral bells.

Loosestrife and lavender.

Climbing clematis.

Echinacea, lilies and liatris.

My mom with her ever present handful of weeds!