Green Thumbs and Purple Bruises


Well, I never said I was Martha Stewart, did I? And the differences between us are noticeable.

For one, I never spent any significant amount of time under house arrest. But more important to this post, even though I love to decorate and garden, I am definitely not perfect at it and I have no problem admitting it.

For instance, I get distracted with non-decorating and gardening things-- y'know, life and stuff-- and nature tends to get away from me. This is what happened recently. I've been plugging away in my spare time, writing my novel, and suddenly I discover obscure jungle tribes have moved into my backyard.

They're swinging from the vines. They're hiding in the shelter of growing thatches. They're making rude slings and taking out local wildlife for their din-din...


Okay, so maybe I exaggerate a tad... But not much.


Yup, that was my backyard earlier today. Lamb's Ear on the left deciding to discover it's Manifest Destiny and take over as much space as possible...

Mossy phlox having phloxed for distance...

Morning glories I planted seven years ago-- and removed (I thought) five years ago-- still making a play for turf and self expression...

Dead branches lying deadly... Plants which planted themselves in some personal quest to impose their taste on me waving hello...

Dandilions as big as, well, non-dandy lions...

Yes indeedy. Something had to be done!

So in an attempt to combine today's post-plus-chores, I took all of you with me on this quest for de-jungle-ification. Here, I seem to have upset an ant colony who felt my structural reorganization of their apartment complex was inappropriate. Much of what looks like dirt here are actually teeny ants!...


Regrettably, I think they may discover at the end of the day, during the course of weeding I might have actually bagged and disposed of their buddies George, Adam and Mildred...

But sometimes sacrifices must be made.

In happier news, I found that the climbing rose I'd planted a year or so ago-- a Ginger Syllabub-- is growing and is absolutely gorgeous...


I'm hoping to train this to grow over my arched trellis.

I also found that these Sweet Williams (at least, I believe that's what they are) have planted themselves...


I don't know where they came from originally-- I didn't plant them-- but they show up in some location in the yard every year...


I had planted the ancestors of this foxglove-- two different kinds-- but just where it decides to pop up each year is always a surprise to me....


I believe this is a Camelot foxglove. I like their bright pinkish purple spires, so I pretty much let them go wherever they want to be. If they show up somewhere strange in the yard, I just leave them. I figure it's better not to get too bossy with such a pretty, yet poisonous, plant! :)

I also found I had a rather nice Don Juan rose-- lovingly nicknamed "Johnny"-- here in the center of the yard...


Johnny's always quite the eye-catcher, with nice smelling flowers that are fairly disease-resistant.

I have two other red roses. One is this rose that was in my backyard when I bought the house. I didn't plant it, so I'm not sure of its name...


And then there's this climbing rose which only blooms once a year, but this year, it has been outdoing itself. Look at this nature-made nosegay of blooms!...


This... I don't know what it is. It's sort of furry-- and very bright pink...


With it blooming so happily, I couldn't pull it up. But it beats me what it might be. Maybe one of you wise folks here knows?...

So in the interest of Before and Afters... Here we have Before... The tangle of the jungle...


And here we have a shrubbery-trimmed, weeded and de-Tarzaned After shot...


I still need to trim back the rose bushes, put down new mulch, remove some dead topiaries and a million other things... but it's a start.

And I even have a soft Lamb's Ear bouquet to show for it!...


Time, I think, for a nice glass of ice cold tea!


And otherwise, I hope to see you again this coming Wednesday when we talk about other thrifty finds! Have a good one!

9 comments:

Da Old Man said...

Nice landscaping job.

I have a very small yard, which I paved. Yeah, I hate yardwork that much.

Melanie said...

Beautiful yard!

I love the manifest destiny idea of lambs ears. :) Mine do the same thing. Started with one tiny sprig from a friend and they are determined to conquer anything they can.

That pink thing, is it a bit on the shrubby side? The flowers remind me of spirea flowers and I know there are some pink ones.

JennyinAspinwall said...

I think that your unknown pink bush ia a Spirea- I have one in my yard. They are a mid-sized plant- mine is growning slowly.

http://www.groundtradesxchange.com/plant_database/deciduous_shrubs/spiraea.htm

I love the Ginger Rose- I have a romantic looking "New Dawn" that has really taken hold. Dusty pink blossoms- just right for my trellis. I will look out for your variety next time I am in the market for one...it must smell divine...

Cheers!

Jenny in Aspinwall

PS, I went to the Red White and Blue on 65 for the first time last week- wow! I could have spent a fortune. Too bad it was like been stuck in a very loud pin ball machine- crowded and crazy!

Fountains Outdoor said...

I love my garden looking like a little jungle but I have to admit that I just don't have the time to take care of it. Maybe after reading this post I'll start...

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Well, in Jersey, isn't it required to have your yard paved? :)

Melanie- Yes, the lamb's ear definitely have ambition!

And it's looking like you and Jenny from Aspinwall may be right-- it might just be spirea. Which is so weird because I know I didn't plant any! I guess the birds are saving me some money on perennials.

Fountains Outdoor-- I feel happier with a little organization to mine. I don't need it to be all planned out, but I like to keep the South American tribes from taking over TOO much. :)

Monica said...

I like those Sweet Williams that come up every year, I want to plant those!!

but I had foxgolves and I YANKED them out when I read that a person could die eating them and I have a bunch of little nieces and nephews who visit and eat stuff they shouldnt!!!

Bird said...

I was going to suggest the pink fuzzy thing *might* be valarian, but huh, now I read the other comments I can see how stupid that was, its a spiria for sure... and yep, those others are Sweet William, a fave of mine, I love them!

Having a garden that is mostly neglected, then a scene of random frenzied activity I know all about the fun of self seeded mystery plants, they make up most of the interesting things we have. It's creative, doncha know :D

chyna said...

Good to know that the ant colonization and jungle isn't just in my yard. Swear this is the year of the weed and zillions of tiny little ants biting and stinging whenever I move something. Rather cocky for a group of visitors I didn't invite. ;)

Lois said...

Hi Jenn.
I just love foxglove flowers. I think they are so pretty but I didn't know it was a poisonous plant.
See, you learn something new every day.
Mind you I don't garden.
I put annuals in the deck planters and that's about it. Mostly geraniums, marigolds and snap dragons. Hardy plants that can survive even me. LOL!
Your garden looks lovely. I am green with envy.
Have a great weekend Jenn.
Lois