Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Summer of "I Didn't"

Having beautiful days and I am doing OK.

I usually spend nine months out of the year working on my gardens.  I start planning in February, order seeds in March, search through catalogs for new plants in April, and start my summer garden in May.  This year my enthusiasm lasted till June and died in July.  Everything got planted, but I was unhappy with how I put them together. Flowers didn't bloom well, bulbs did not produce as they had in the past and I didn't even like the mulch we ordered.  I can't blame the state of my gardens on the weather as we had plenty of sun and a sufficient amount of rain. 

Yes, I just lost that lovin' feeling.  That expression on the fish in my header kind of says it all.

As the summer went by, I was out there every week cutting down my bushes that seemed to grow a foot a day.  I did pull weeds, and I did move plants around, but I just didn't care that things weren't as perfect as what I had to have in the past.  Now though, it is almost fall and flowers that used to bloom till late October are leggy and/or have very little color.  I should not be surprised as the Miracle Gro fertilizer that we usually apply three times a season (and truly is a miracle grow) is still in its unopened box.  I looked things over on Saturday and decided that everything had to go. So with a burst of energy (that was short-lived) I pulled up some of those spent flowers to my hearts content.  It was a liberating experience.  I did replace some with fall flowers and now things are looking dandy, just dandy. I still have many more pots to empty and plantings (100+) to rip out of the ground but this spirit of demolition has gotten a hold of me and I am giddy with excitement (sort of).   However, next week when it is all done and most summer color gone, I may cry.

Here though, are some of the brighter sides of my gardening efforts this year.


 Delphiniums take little effort and grow from May till October here.




The Crape Myrtles added beautiful color along the side.



There is no work involved with the Cone Flowers and little with Geraniums.


The fan flowers (Scaevola) were smaller than other years, but still pretty.


My flower balls did not meet expectations.


But I love, love, love the Hyacinths Bean vines.  Years ago someone gave us seeds from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and these plants are about the 7th generation from that original pack.


Resembles orchids

That turn into to this

Mixed in with other vines, they are very showy.

In the evening, when the sun goes down, the gardens and woods are lit up with the new solar lights that hubby has been installing for the past few years.  The old electric ones kept tripping our breaker and these are so much nicer and environmentally friendly.   



I enjoyed my gardens so much more at night as I could not see all my mistakes and the up lighting really added to the ambiance.

Au revoir to my 2012 gardens. Some of the plants just did not work, some of my usual ones (like Impatiens) were disappointing,  and some of my bones were feeling their age.  To be honest, there were other things that I didn't do this summer for one reason or another, maybe it is just Father Time catching up with me. However, I will just turn the page on this season and try to think ahead.  I have started making plans for winter and there is a wedding in my family next year to think about also.  The future looks bright and hopeful, yes-siree!

41 comments:

  1. When I first began reading, my first response was me too. I will, however, lay blame on my garden's state on the soaring heat that struck early in June and the lack of rain. We just had three beautiful days of rain and everyone is already complaining. Today was a gorgeous mild sunny day. I hope to get out, clean up and reevaluate the gardens this weekend. I can't continue to keep replanting if the summers we have experience the past two years are to continue.

    I think your flowers are lovely. Get out the Miracle Gro and give everything a late summer feeding.

    I love planning weddings!!! Have fun!

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  2. And your willow is the most lovely of all. Such a stately tree to anchor your work. Next year is a new year.

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  3. You managed to catch a lot of beauty in your photos! Puts my neglected gardens to shame! I love the Hyacinths Bean vines.

    Next year, right??

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  4. I have to say in my opinion your garden looks great.

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  5. If these pictures show a bad year, I think I need to take lessons from you. These are beautiful!
    I had to laugh at your fish face though. That's a great picture :)

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    1. You can get some great shots in an aquarium. Took the picture in Monterrey, Ca

      Maybe I should have shown some of my mistakes.

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  6. They may not have been up to your standard, but they were still beautiful. There's always next year! (that's what I'm telling myself about my garden this year)

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    1. Next year I will plan better and learn from my mistakes. Hopefully, the plants will be healthier.

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  7. Spectacular horticultural effects! My compliments and admiration.

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  8. When I clicked onto your blog and saw that big fish looking at me, it kinda caught me by surprise. And made me smile. So did your post. The hyacinth bean vine is gorgeous. I've never seen them before. In fact, all your plants look gorgeous to me. You must set a very high bar for yourself.

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    1. The fish was a little different from the landscape/flower pictures that I usually post and I needed a little inspiration. I took it at the Monterey Bay Acquarium a year ago and it spoke to me (Pick me, pick me!) as I looked through my Picasa file. Glad you like him/her.

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  9. wow..your gardens are beautiful! so full of color!! the impatiens this year are all bad! I thought it was just mine b/c i bought them at a cheap market but at the expensive market the women told me all impatients had some kind of fungus this year...and yours look great!!

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    1. The large sun impatiens were wonderful, but the other types were terrible.

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  10. I'm afraid that any flowering plant I put in, has to be a perennial. I'm useless at flowers; but I do love my vegs.

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    1. If I remember correctly, you did have a gernanium.

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    2. and I've just taken some cuttings; there's hope for me yet!

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  11. Hello Arleen:
    We are so sorry that your garden did not 'work' for you this year and very much hope that you will regain your usual enthusiasm for next. For over twenty-five years we seriously gardened in Britain with our garden open to the public on five afternoons a week from Easter until the end of September. We enjoyed it hugely at the time, and met so many interesting people, but are now so glad that we no longer have the responsibility. Possibly, for you, a new, different approach is required for your garden where you 'manage' it rather less than before whist still having pleasure from it.

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    1. I did cut down on the njumber of plantings this year and tried some new color arrangements. I am OK with less plants, but my choices were not to my liking. I guess I should stick with what I know, but oh, those catalogs are so persuasive.

      What a wonderful experience that must have been to have beautiful gardens open to the public. What a feeling of satisfaction that must have brought you two.

      I have had people knocking on my door asking for a tour, and people stopping by to comment. However, the pressure of having it all perfect (in my mind) is getting to me.

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  12. The Hyacinth Bean vine is incredible. I will have to find out whether we can get them here. Gardening becomes an obsession but I have found it does take its toll. Of energy, of aging bodies and of bank balances. Next year is soon enough. Or the year after. A garden is there to be enjoyed. By you.

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    1. I have seen the bean seeds in Burpee Catalogs and in gardening stores. They are very inexpensive. Look on the Internet also. Once you buy your initial seeds, you will be able to propagate the seeds from the pods (wait till the pods dry up) for years to come.

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  13. I would be in heaven to sit in a garden like yours! It looks gorgeous. Though it has been a little bit of a strange summer for some reason. Feel like I haven't enjoyed nature enough.

    Love that fish! Aaah.

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    1. It was a strange summer. Other people complained to me about their gardens also.

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  14. Well I think your gardens are just beautiful! But, I've been feeling the same this summer..I'm through. But, I'm amazed at flowers that are usually over now are reblooming.That's kinda fun. Still having sunshine and no rain.

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  15. Ah yes, a lovely garden, an oasis, a sanctuary for the soul.
    Or the soil, even.
    Such wondrous, magical photos and a reminder that once the flowers doth bloom and the solar lamps worked.
    With the worst summer on record in Britain, I lost my usual enthusiasm for my garden. Thus, thank you for the vibrant photos. A therapeutic reminder of what might of been, in my forlorn garden.
    Thank you, my friend.
    Gary

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  16. I agree with everyone that these photos from your garden are absolutely lovely! You'll have to take before and after photos next time. Julie

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  17. Dear Arleen, in Stillwater, Minnesota, I had several perennial and rock gardens as well as a vegetable gardens and I was involved with them a little bit each day. But here in Missouri all I have thus far is a shrub garden that is growing nicely despite the drought we have had. (I've been doing deep watering every week much of the summer.) But I know that the enthusiasm and energy I had up in Minnesota has fled and I simply don't have the knees anymore for daily gardening. So I'm not surprised that this year wasn't as wonderful in the garden for you as past years have been. But then I think with every aspect of life, some years are better than other. And already you are preparing for next year. I admire your fortitude. Peace.

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  18. Your new header startled and amused me. And then I read your post that tied it all together. I think there are seasons that I don't want to dig in and grow. Rest is important.

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  19. I'm like Linda - I think your garden looks beautiful too.

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  20. Okay. Perspective here. I think your garden looks fantastic! Here, I managed to grow a few marigolds, a geranium and a few impatiens and begonias. Yep. You are my new gardening guru! And thank you for stopping by! It's so nice to have new friends!!!

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  21. nice post thanks for sharing...blessings

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  22. Oh dear, what happened this year to make you lose interest so early? My enthusiasm usually lasts well into July, by the end of August I may start to flag a bit. Your garden looks lovely, whatever the feeling!
    Try a few more perennials if your climate allows them to last from year to year. Pots can become too much of a good thing, there's too much labour in them.

    I shall not be cutting back until next month and some of the spent flowers and shrubs have such attractive seedheads and autumn colours that I will leave them well into winter.

    Hope your enthusiasm returns soon.

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    Replies
    1. makes my garden look like a right sh*t hole!

      your mojo will be back soon!

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  23. My goodness Arleen- your flower photos are amazing. That bean vine is gorgeous.,I need to look for some of those seeds!
    Beautiful photos!!
    Vicki

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