Mary, Mary, quite contrary

June 29, 2008 | Nature, Original NSS

How does my garden grow? With hydrangea and spirea and lupine and zinnias and lamb’s ear all in a row. So the flower garden above is a new addition since Our Lady of Guadalupe arrived on the scene here a month or so ago. I worked really hard one weekend to dig it out and plant it. Pay no attention to the bare spot in front of the garden. By next year at this time, that will be a stone walkway. One thing at a time…

Things are really blooming here with all the rain and warm weather. Below you can see my slightly overgrown back bed, which will not get a trim until the spirea are finished flowering. I’ve got lady’s mantel and a sand cherry and lilacs that have yet to bloom in three years and lots of yellow lilies. There’s a delphinium back there, but the bloom is spent and I hear these plants are very temperamental, so I’m not expecting much next year in this sandy soil.


I’ve got lots of hydrangeas around my yard. They love it here, especially the annabelle type that I plant. Problem is, once the next big thunderstorm comes along — like any minute now — the hydrangea will all bow their big flower heads to the ground from the weight of the water and go flat for the rest of the summer. I will stand at the window, watching helplessly. Before the rain does a number on things, here’s how the yard looks. This is our front yard. That little clay figure to the left is St. Francis of Assisi, standing watch over the perennial bed:



Here’s the new backyard perennial garden from a different angle. (Again, ignore the dirt spot.) I’ve got more hydrangea, spirea, yarrow, salvia, purple coneflowers, lupines and zinnias (an annual, I know):


Here’s the Our Lady of Guadalupe section, which right now has buds ready to bloom on the tiger lilies and hostas, as well as bright red feathery tips coming up from the astilbes that I split from the batch in the front yard.


My herbs, which are in containers on my back deck, are growing like wildfire too. In fact, I’ve got so much cilantro that I’d need to throw a Cinco de Mayo festival to use it all. I’ve also got tons of basil for the pesto I make in big batches to see us through winter (my version of “canning”), as well as parsley, sage, rosemary and….oregano. Don’t ask me why I didn’t go all Simon & Garfunkel and just do thyme. Guess it goes back to that contrary thing.


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