Thursday, May 24

A Morning of Puttering

I am officially on vacation today and tomorrow! With Monday being a holiday, it will be nice to spend 5 days away from job #1. (I still have to go to job #2, but since that involves working with plants it's a lot easier to go to most days.) Plans for today included getting up early to putter about in the garden, going to the Cleveland Botanical Garden Flower Show, and meeting another garden blogger, Kylee from Our Little Acre, while I was at the CBG.

Unfortunately, my assistant gardener started acting a little odd last night... you don't need to speak the same language to know when your dog isn't feeling so hot. So instead I'm waiting for the vet to call me back and let me know whether he will be able to see her today. I have gotten to putter, at least, so I'll share a few pictures from the garden while I sit here and watch the phone:

Two pictures of my 'Diabolo' (aka 'Diablo,' aka 'Mondo') ninebark, physocarpus opulifolius. I love where this shrub is placed in my garden. Every morning, I open the curtains in the dining room so that my houseplants can enjoy the morning light. When the sun is shining, my ninebark greet me with a jewel-like glow.

First bloom EVER on my sea kale! I would grow crambe maritima just for its foliage alone, but these little flowers are cute, too. There are more buds on this one, but its two neighbors show no signs of flower stalks yet. The two non-flowering ones are a bit more shaded, and that's probably why.

YIKES! I usually feel sorry for these treelawn-planted trees anyway. Their roots are all hemmed in, they're oversized for the area where they are planted, and so forth. But half of this one didn't even leaf out this year... wonder if I should start planting more sun-lovers in my front garden?

Many days, I am amazed at what people throw out with the garbage. I've snagged metal trellises, a grandfather clock, an old sewing table with great carved wood and a cast iron base, and on and on. The above picture shows my latest acquisition, a large black milk can. Normally I'm not a black-milk-can-in-the-garden kind of girl, but it looks appropriate in the backyard of my 1919-built home.

A larger view of the Japanese rock garden area. The peony bush that currently hides most of the area behind the right hand side needs to be moved--I can't believe it's already waist-high! The monster on the left at the end of the rock garden is reason #1,254 that I need to get that fence in. The blackberry should really be trained against a sturdy fence rather than that puny trellis.

That's all for now... more pictures to come this weekend as I get more things weeded and presentable!


meresy_g said...

The ninebark is stunning. And I love the milk can. Why would somebody throw that away? I hope your puppy feels better very soon.

Anonymous said...

The Crambe maritima is also very interesting.

As for the tree... yikes... I lost two this year (I gather)... when it comes down it will change everything!

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Kim,

This comment will have to putter around your garden, too:
The ninebark does have a great color - it looks so right in your garden.
I'm sorry that Coco isn't feeling well and hope she's okay soon. And sorry you didn't get to join Kylee.
The prices they want for those old milk cans down here are astounding. Good find!
The tree does look pretty bad - so it's probably time for sun plants, with maybe a small ornamental tree planted as a 'Parasol' for the existing shade lovers?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Unknown said...

The puppy is doing better already. Her ear has been bothering her and I haven't been able to get ahead of it this time. I am now armed with a spray and a cream that should do the trick.

You guys aren't kidding that the tree coming down will change everything! I'm thinking that the whole front bed will get about 2 more hours of sun each day, and late day at that. The only two things I'm worried about, though, are the Japanese maple and the tiarellas. The rest of the stuff (heucheras, grasses, foxgloves, etc.) are more sun tolerant.

meresy_g, I have no idea why... but the woman who owned that house was older and had a lovely garden. (She was standing at the window watching me as I loaded it into my car, so I waved hello.)

Clerk, at least you're losing your trees now and they won't screw up whatever design you come up with, right? (Trying to look on the bright side here.) :)

Annie, I forgot to mention that since this tree is in the treelawn the CITY will have to take it down and grind the stump. And then I believe that they require you to wait 2 years to plant any other tree there... they give you a list of approved trees from which to choose, and they plant it for you. :-P My guess, though, is that their first inclination will be to take out the large branch that is dead and leave literally half of a lopsided tree. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Kim, I like your rock garden area, especially as it looks now, surrounded by planting beds. That's turned out to be a nice present from your husband, hasn't it?

Carol Michel said...

I'm starting a four-day weekend, most of it to be spent in the garden, Yeah!

I like the ninebark, different folige color and all.

Happy to hear your doggie is going to be okay.

Karen said...

I love that milk can. It looks great in your garden. Hmm, tiarellas in the sun? Not good. I won't even look at heucherellas (heuchera x tiarella) because they are so sensitive, they never seem to survive in my garden. I'm not sure if tiarellas are that sensitive too. Glad to hear your dog is okay.

sugarsandsalts said...

What a beautiful blog.
Thanks for sharing the acknowledge on gardening.Hope everything goes well.

OldRoses said...

So glad your dog is better. enjoy your new sunshine! Any plans for a veggie bed?

lisa said...

Love the ninebark and the milk can! I say you can never have too many "decorations" in the garden-you need a hardware foil for the plants. And hey, more sun is a great excuse for more plants! ;) If yoe need extra shade for plants suddenly in the sun, you could use my trick and put some sort of container full of annuals in front of them as a temporary fix. I've done that for clematis to keep the roots cool.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about something you wrote earlier:

Two years ago, my boyfriend decided to surprise me ... Japanes garden... not really live up to my construction standards.

That's honest. And it is OK.

You know what the thought was... (and it WAS an amazing thought/gesture)... and it is beautiful.

Looking at this photo, it gets more beautiful with time.

This is a very good thing.

Entangled said...

Your milk can looks just like one I have, but mine's in the living room - that's how much I like it. But it's a souvenir from the old family farm, so I probably wouldn't put it in the garden. My dad rescued several from the estate auction, but he had to polish off a lot of rust before they were fit to be in the house.

Your backlit ninebark is beautiful! I gotta get out more - I didn't even know there were red-leaved varieties.

Ki said...

I hate to be a downer but I've seen ninebark in garden centers and I couldn't understand why it's such a great plant? By reading the tag I got the impression that it was a sprawly and fast growing plant with maroon colored leaves but no flowers that I could see. I could envision that it could be like a purple version of some wild blackberry canes growing in the waste area in back of our home. Please diabuse me of this impression if I am wrong.

Wicked Gardener said...

I have to head to your neck of the woods - my neighbors only throw out real garbage!!

MrBrownThumb said...

I rarely find good stuff but recently I found a bunch of window that were in good shape. So I collected them and was planning on using them to build a little greenhouse...but my family tossed them out.

Oh well.

David (Snappy) said...

Hi Blackswamp girl,I love the Milk can, and the ninebark does glitter jewel like.I have seen large cottinus bushes that have the same magical glow in the early morning when i walk past them on the way to work.

El said...

Ah, sea kale. Do tell. I have one I grew from seed this spring and have transplanted to the perennial veg bed in the center of the garden. It is so far not happy, above ground, anyway. (Saw your pic and nearly screamed Sea Kale!)

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Nothing like a day of puttering in the garden to fix any problems we have!

Hope you heard back from the vet and your doggie is OK.

Anonymous said...

your family sound like my kind of people...and it looks like you have great beer sense (Dortmunder Gold indeed...who else but you could even think of matching Beer with their plantings for the day?)


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