Gardening Goals: Got this one



Well isn’t it nice of me to pop in to blog-land for a visit?  I was beginning to wonder what was going on … But here we are now, ready to share some pictures and a gardening story.

I made a gardening goal for myself as part of my New Year resolutions.  It was to finally clean up this bed.  REALLY clean it up.  I figured without making it a top priority then it just wasn’t going to happen.

This is my “messy garden bed”.  The above picture is from late summer when the poppies were in full bloom.  I love the color that poppies provide, but I’m weary of the mess of them.

Part of the problem is that the border around the bed hasn’t worked.  I originally had a small stone wall around the bed but we couldn’t keep it neat.  I have two flower beds which have boxwood for a border.  There is a third bed (between the first two) which will also have boxwood.  I love the shape and neatness that the boxwood gives.

boxwood around the first rose bed

boxwood around the first rose bed

a small stone wall at the front of the ditch wall garden

we’ve managed to keep this low stone wall at the front of the ditch wall garden looking somewhat neat

So I’ve removed the stones and we will eventually plant boxwood.  I’m going to make sure to have enough space on the outside of the boxwood to allow the mower’s wheels to fit!  We just don’t have time to ‘strim’ around the garden.  I’d like to have more time enjoying the garden, and not all of my time spent working in the garden. That balance needs a little tweaking for me.

in full bloom in July with Philadelphus (Mock Orange), Globe Artichokes, Deutzia (scabra), peony, bergenia, potentilla, and various wild flowers

in full bloom in July with Philadelphus (Mock Orange) on the left, Globe Artichokes in the middle, Deutzia (scabra) on the right, peony on the right, bergenia, potentilla, and various wild flowers

We’ve had quite a time figuring out this center garden bed.  It can get *really* wet and the soil was anything but well-drained.  It has taken time and lots of compost to get the soil in a fairly decent state.  We’ve lost many a plant in this bed (nick-named the plant graveyard)!  Some plants I have managed to save just by moving them to a different part of the yard.

what a mess

what a mess

So with the help of my son and husband we’ve been working on giving this bed a proper shape and getting rid of the grass, weeds and wildflowers.  I just have to clear away this mess! It simply bothers me.

mostly cleared

(mostly cleared) on the left is a Buddleia BUZZ (butterfly bush) and on the right is a potentilla

It has been a lot of work.  I go out for an hour at a time to turn the soil, pull out the grass, pull out the weeds, turn the soil again…  arduous! But I think it is so worth it.  I want to be able to really enjoy the plants that are in the garden, which this year I think I will be able to.  These guys are tough, and have proved to me that they can survive this soil!

digging out a shape

digging out a shape.  The newest addition to the garden is a Cornus (florida) what I would call a Dogwood tree which is near the middle of the bed.

If I can manage it, I’ll pull the oval out just a tiny bit more.  I’d like to get it right before planting the border.  But I’m really happy with how it has evolved.  I like the different shapes within the bed, and the different heights.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the colors look this summer.



And that is what has been keeping me busy this last while!  I hope you’ve managed to keep some of your resolutions!

In peace,

a frosty view of the garden in February

a frosty and foggy view of the garden in February

In a Vase on Monday: A splash of orange to brighten your day!

California poppies (and hidden cornflowers)

California poppies (and hidden cornflowers)

Oh wow do I love those colors!  I’m usually quite a pink kinda girl, but these California poppies are the most friendly and happy shade of orange ever!

cornflowers just peeking through

cornflowers just peeking through

I have one flower bed that is a bit of a wild garden (that might be an understatement).

on the wild side...

on the wild side…

This wouldn’t be something that I would typically like.  I try to keep things neat and tidy, pretending that I have some control.  But the wild flower seeds were planted last year when I wasn’t sure what to plant and thought I’d just try it for a season.  Ha! Wild flowers re-seed themselves 🙂

California poppies and cornflowers in the wild garden

California poppies and cornflowers in the wild garden (poppies closed up in the evening)

So up everything came again this year.  I’m really not sure what is going to happen to this garden next year, as I’ve planted some things that might not go so well with the wild ones…

A yellow Potentilla with the poppies and cornflowers in the background

A yellow Potentilla with the poppies and cornflowers in the background

I’ve enjoyed the two colors of orange and blue together all summer.  Don’t they look pretty behind my potentilla?

Simply two colors together

A simple combination

So together they went into the vase.


Oh, and the vase?  Did you maybe guess?  It is from my mother.  She just finds the quirkiest things sometimes.  This is the first time I’ve used it.  Perfect fit.

In a Vase on Monday

In a Vase on Monday

In the evening the poppies close up (even when cut)

In the evening the poppies close up (even after being cut)

I thought it was interesting to learn that the poppy flowers would close up at night even after they were cut.  They sure give a different look to the arrangement!

Enjoying the flowers inside!

Enjoying the flowers inside

I am so enjoying putting together a vase of flowers for Cathy’s meme “In a Vase on Monday”.  You can enjoy other lovely arrangements through Cathy’s blog:  If you are a blogger and would like to join in on the fun, just mention Cathy’s blog in your post and you can then put a link to your blog on her page.  It is a fun way to meet other bloggers, too.

cornflower up close

cornflower up close

Have a good week!