Tag Archives: Nora’s garden

Dogs, Disasters and Determination

I thought about this when I took my little after-work stroll around the gardens on Friday. Everything’s looking so pretty, color and texture already changing. Then I got to one of my favorite spots, what I think of as a little faerie garden.

I literally stopped dead, stunned speechless.

Pancho
Pancho

During my earlier workout, I’d heard Pancho 

barking incessantly–and yelled out a few times for him to knock it off. I didn’t think much of it–until I saw my dragon wing begonias, my pretty mini fuchsias, some of the yellow bells and foxglove had been trampled on, and many broken.

It didn’t take much for me to get the picture. Some critter had wandered in, and the dogs had gone wild. Now if a deer passes by, they generally just lie there, maybe give it a glance. I hear them thinking: Okay, it’s bigger than us, we’ll just stay where we are. But a raccoon or possum, that’s fair game.

Homer
Homer

And the games must’ve been vigorous. 

A moment–okay longer than a moment–of heartbreak, and a stern talking to given to the dogs.

While I’d planned a quick trip to the nursery for Saturday, it was for a couple of specific things to fill particular gaps–and didn’t include fixing up that section. Now it would. After I gathered up some of the broken plants–sticking them in water on the faint hope they might shoot some roots–I scribbled down a short list of what I’d need.

Saturday’s trip took longer, and well, there I am in the middle of all those gorgeous plants, so four and a half flats later, I come home. I’ll also confess, I had to make myself stop. So tempting to get more–and somehow I’ll always find room. But enough already.

BW isn’t home today, but will be pleased I only have a single plant I want him to do–pretty big hole needed, and in a tricky spot.

I’ll do the rest.

As I’m setting them out, getting a visual, switching them around, next visual, I realize I never have any real plan when I garden. I have a basic concept I may or may not follow.

That’s just the way I write. Huh.

Both are jobs and joys for me, and I approach both in a way I’ll call organic. Let’s start here and see what happens. After the first draft in a book, I’m going to need to start from the beginning again, start weeding what doesn’t belong, prune out what needs to go. Maybe I have to move what I thought should go here to there. 

I’ll need that third pass in a book, doing all the fussy work, making sure this is the best I can do, making sure it all holds together.

Gardening’s the same with my process.

There are going to be gaps that need filling. More color, more texture, maybe a different angle. My nasturtium seeds have only sprouted two little plants. I think about this, move one carefully and plant it with the other.

new home for two lonely nasturtium, lavender in bloom behind
The new home for two lonely nasturtium, lavender in bloom behind them.

In its place I fill in with mini fuchsias (I bought far too many for the faerie garden anyway), and some wishbone flowers (not on my list, but too sweet to resist) that should spill nicely over the wall.

Wild indigo in bloom along with dragonwing begonia and azuratum; mini fuschia and wishbone flowers in front.
Wild indigo in bloom along with dragonwing begonia and azuratum; mini fuschia and wishbone flowers in front.

Not what I’d intended, but it works. It works really well, and I think, that’s just how it should look. Readjusting with a story is the same. You go where it works.

Water, compost, conversation. You want a strong story, you want strong plants–and I want to be intimately connected to both.

It’s marvelous to watch things bloom, in a story, in a garden–whether it all blooms the way you anticipated at the start, and even more so when it blooms its own unexpected way.

You’re going to get sweaty and tired–and there can be some disasters–having both my hard drive and backup crash simultaneously years back, costing me an entire chapter isn’t so different than seeing a pretty, thriving section of my gardens trampled by a couple of enthusiastic dogs. There I had to go back,reconstruct–and tell myself, as I am with my faerie garden, it’ll only be better for it eventually.

Faerie garden, redone.
Faerie garden, redone.

With a book, it’s going to end. You’ll have done the best you could with the story, and you’ll move on. A garden is a constant work in progress. But for me, getting there is pretty much the same.

Single Iris, the others seem to be waiting
Single Iris, waiting for the others to bloom.
shady spot with bench on the correct side this time
Shady spot with bench on the correct side.
Rhododendron with bird feeder
Bird feeder amid the rhododendron.
Peony tree blooming!
Blooming peony tree.
patio pots already filling in
Patio pots filling in.
mountain laurel likes the dappled shade
Nora’s mountain laurel likes dappled shade.
Herbs thriving, especially oregano
The herbs, especially the oregano, are thriving.
delphiniums about to bloom with green edge petunias in front (new)
The delphiniums are about to bloom with green-edged petunias added in front.
coral bell for bw to plant behind the boots.
Coral bell (the plant for BW to put in the ground) behind the boots.
verbena with star flowers, heliotrope, purple cone flowers
Verbena with star flowers, heliotrope and purple cone flowers.

Nora’s 2014 In the Garden album

A favorite shady spot
One of Nora’s favorite shady spots

Nora was out in the garden yesterday and sent in these photos.  We’ll update them as the season progresses.

How’s your garden growing these days?

 

azaleas by the steps
Azaleas by the steps.
boots
The boots have a new set of flowers.
columbine with dianthus and monarda
Columbine with dianthus and monarda
Butterflies like the verbena
Butterflies like the verbena!
False Indigo, Drawgon Wing Begonia, Azuratum, nasturtium seed planted in front
False Indigo, dragon wing begonia, azuratum and nasturtium seed planted in front.
girl with dianthus, violets and foxglove
Girl with dianthus, violets and foxglove (one of my favorite photos – L)
Lilacs
Lilacs. (The bench was a 2013 Mother’s Day gift!)
Petunias in old watering can
Petunias in an old watering can.
pretty patio pots different angle
Pretty patio pots (there’s that face again!).
solomon seal with cone flowers
Solomon seal with cone flowers
sunflowers germinated!
Germinated sunflower seeds!
verbena with star flowers, heliotrope, purple cone flowers
Verbena with star flowers, heliotrope and purple cone flowers.

 

The Garden Report (Mother’s Day edition)

Nora sent photos from this weekend’s forays into the garden, including an update on growth in that well-loved face pot.  When I’m up at her house, it’s always fun to find the fanciful figures tucked in among the flowers.  There are so many that I’ve completely missed the face table (that’s missing it over more than five years, y’all)!  So she kindly sent a photo of that as well.

nr garden md 15 The goddess of the garden oversees all.

nr garden md 14 Look how the flowers have filled in.

nr garden md 13 Broken flowerpot?  Plant it!

nr garden md 12Barrel of flowers and grow bags at the ready.

nr garden md 11The higher planter holds Nora’s prized Meyer Lemon Tree.  The lemons she’s harvested have been wonderful!

nr garden md 7 Hidden in the garden…

nr garden md 3 See the face???

nr garden md 2 Garden wellies.