The saying goes, “The shoemaker’s son has no shoes.” We cleaned up the back of beyond. All the dead brush and the phragmites are reduced to near nothing. Phragmites are locally invasive (very tall) grass that obscure my pond view. Efforts to remove it did not get beyond talking. So, one January day when the temp hit 63 degrees, I cut them down with a manual hedge trimmer. It was tedious! To my surprise it worked and the grass never returned in any significant quantity. Who would’ve guessed? This year we put the final touches to the cleanup. I sought before and after pictures. Easy!? Nope. It was hours before some pics were found. And it seems I don’t have a good shot of when the phragmites obscured the view. Imagine that? I was at a loss for a picture!
The front of the house was unique, which was a nice way to say – “odd looking.” The appearance is indeed unique, as one would love a special child. It’s a work in progress. Before, there was no hint of interest. Now, I have been on a multi-year plan to obscure the balcony with green. Wisteria and ivy are growing in. There is a climbing honeysuckle. Yes, I know wisteria take over and the climbing honeysuckle may be more nuisance at a later time.
For better or worse, this remains a work in progress. There is a very fine line before I cross over into messy. For all the pictures that I take of every single thing and event, you would think that I would have extensive image documentation of this change. Surprise! There’s not much to show. Ha! I culled more than a few but it was harder than I expected.
We are in a border dispute. When I cleared the phragmites I found a park bench on the edge of the pond between the pines. Ours? We had a bench and I didn’t know it? Or, the neighbor? It seems that the neighbor has claimed the bench. He can have it. There are too many mosquitoes.
By the time this post is published the pics will be two months old. These images are right after the deck was planted. The containers will look so much different. I thought containers and houses don’t mix. Previously I had been in an apartment and using containers. You plant beds and landscape a house, right? But no, containers have advantages. I’m happy to be living in both worlds.
By late July it was pretty much a jungle. No complaint. We especially needed color and cheer this year. Someone recently referred to our house as the New Orleans house. Thank you!
Here’s where the bang for your buck is worth it and lasts for a very long time, just not forever. I wish. It’s a trade. I have been container gardening for decades. It seems I have had a deck for a very long time. Living in a house now, I should be landscaping and planting in the yard. But containers give you a concentration of color without having to traipse all over and around the house. I/we went to the nursery and did a one (two) stop shop and brought home a palette of color. The garden will last about six months before fall takes them. It’s work. I will fully appreciate that effort on a summer day right about the time this post publishes.
I plant in containers. It’s easier to get flower pictures. It’s steps onto the balcony which makes for an abundance of photo ops. They are hardly in the containers and I have some winners. If it stands out, I save it. Too many pictures, so little space.
A painter’s pallet. In spite of corona, there are stores and nurseries open for business. The big box store – Home Depot and even mail order – the great Amazon fairy, they will all get plants to your doorstep. But it is the act of going and picking out your plants that makes the difference. I like to see the produce and feel it before I buy groceries. I was constrained – one nursery, one time only. So off to the nursery – Lakeside Garden & Nursery, Laurel, DE. Good price and great plants! I went nuts and we filled the car. At least it all fit in one trip. I’m set. Colleen doesn’t want to be out any more than needed. But, done. I’m set. The garden will carry on. We got flowers and we got vegetables. There will be something to admire as we sit out on the deck – a lot – this summer.
I did a lot of container gardening for a while. This is a small sample in mid summer bloom. There were many plants and a riot of color. Different flowers and crowd them together, I was told. The metallic figure front and center was a gift from Lila to our garden. When we moved a few months ago it was left behind as a gift to the new owners. It was a few years since I have gardened and the most recent planting was drab. But once upon a time there were lots of plants and color. And it was as though a private backyard was there in Manhattan.
I tend to do things in enthusiastic excess. For a while I was really consumed with container gardening. I suppose it was good for my blood pressure. There’s a certain zen state that you enter as you water the plants every day. I could have gotten an automatic watering system but that wouldn’t have been as much fun. Lately it’s mostly weeds that take up in the containers. Maybe I’ll get back to it one day.