Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Ugly Side of Gardening...

Planting two boxes worth of perennials kept me focused on the basics last weekend.  In the meantime, with rainfall every other day, the weeds have been flourishing.  My 'Cottage Garden' almost lost it's definition - as the green from the weeds blended in with the green of the grass.  It's been killing me to look at it!  So I 'skipped school' Friday -- and weeded the garden.  It's not glamorous - but it is rewarding:

This is the "ugly" side of gardening - the "untold truth":  Weeds!  Uck!!
(That little 'gem' to the bottom right:  "Arabian Night" Dahlia

What you can't quite discern among the weeds in the photos are new Bee Balm (Monarda didyma - "Marshall's Delight"), Blue Star (Amsonia Hubrichtii) and Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis "Morning Light").  I've also transplanted 3 Yellow Day Lilies and a couple of struggling Moonbeam Coreopsis. Once the rain stops tomorrow - I'll be able to finish the job.  But in the meantime, here are a few shots of what's coming up in the garden...

Yellow Day Lily - Flower bud
Cheddar Pink blooms
Asiatic Lily - Flower buds in the sunshine
Center Glow Ninebark - incredible color
"Recovering" Hosta
Amsonia (Blue Star) in bloom
(I love this new addition to the garden - Thanks, Jean!)
And rounding out the tour...

Golden Privit, Dappled Willow, Flowering Ajuga,
May Breeze Phlox, Asiatic Lily, Hosta, and Anemone blooms 


  1. Weeds are on steroids in this rain. Beefing up at record pace. It is like a race which one can out grow the next and stake claim to the garden. The slugs ate my cucumbers and they are also monster size from all this rain. At least you are seeing a rain free day. We had ours this morning.

  2. Oh, how i love finding new gardeners that share the passion of Gardening! I host a garden party on Thursday's called Cottage Flora Thursday's...would love to have you come by & peek around & would love it even better if you'd link a garden post sometime? oxox,tracie

  3. I love blue star, too! I'm still weeding - though I should have been finished with it long ago. Same story every year. They flourish even without rain - but give them just a little moisture and they want to take over!

  4. Well, that was definitely more pretty than ugly. The weeds are amazingly strong aren't they... no matter the weather some find their way into the garden. Stay after it, Shyrlene, don't let them get the best of you. :-)
    Love that collage of pretties!

  5. Shyrlene, I've been weeding, too (in full suit of netting, since the black flies and mosquitoes are both numerous and vicious after the wet spring). Your Amsonia hubrichtii is a little further along than mine; I just noticed the first flower buds today. When the amsonia blooms, I consider it the beginning of the early summer season in my garden. -Jean

  6. I love your anemone! And, it's no secret those ugly weeds will take over if we turn our backs too long! A never ending chore, but I try to do a little every time I'm outside. I have a neighbor who will mindlessly bend over and start pulling my weeds whenever she visits. I encourage her to visit often!

  7. GWGT - weeds on steroids is the perfect way to call it! The roots go on forever. Slugs are just nasty - they almost took out my Dappled Willow the year I planted it.

    Tracie - great to have you visit; I had a chance to check out your blog and your meme - I'm "IN"!

    Holley - is the weeding ever really done? Who knew there could be so many varieties in one yard?!

    Meems - no weed is going to get the better of me! ;) ...I am really looking forward to seeing the new perennials mature (and I think I need another visit to the nursery??!)

    Jean - I haven't had to resort to a suit of netting, but it's getting close; the amsonia just has me over the moon - I am so glad you featured it last season!

    Deb - there are more anemone with my name on it, because 1 is not nearly enough; I wish I had neighbors like yours - pulling weeds during a visit? I'd have "garden parties" all the time! :D

  8. It certainly doesn't take long for weeds to run rampant when the rain won't stop! I'm still weeding patches after our wet season ... and that ended almost a month ago now!

    You've got lots of lovely things on the way. Love the little Anemone!

  9. Oh - I'm on the other side - growling at visitors NOT to pull what they see as weeds, and I see as wildflowers, free spirited plants. But I admit to lightly weeding the gravel paths, where I am rescuing treasure. Why do they grow so happily in the gravel, where they get stomped on??

  10. The great thing about weeding is that you can see what you have done so easily - though sadly the wretches always pop back up once you turn your back. The gardening equivalent of dusting, you are never really done - unless you plant so thickly that they have no chance! I get very few annual weeds in the back garden, sadly I suspect it is because the surrounding gardens are barren wastelands. The allotment is a totally different story. Lovely photos of your plants glowing with the sun. Your newly weeded border sounds as if it is going to be gorgeous, can't wait to see it. How is your greenhouse doing? Mine is so full of tomatoes now I can scarcely get in the door!

  11. Those dang dandelions plague my garden.
    Also thistles tend to take over my property if not kept under control. Funny thing is, both of these weeds are edible!
    Your photos are wonderful, especially like your photo collage with white anemone!

  12. Ah yes, a freshly weeded garden looks so nice! I'm trying to get mine done too in between the blasted rain... oh well. Your blooms look beautiful too!

  13. Bernie - I can't even begin to imagine the weather you have been through. Weeds in warm climates - NOT for the faint of heart!! (I just love that little Anemone!) :)

    EE - I am paying much closer attention to Illinois natives and 'weeds' (you would be proud!), but these "bad boys" in my cottage garden are not playing nice. They have to go!

    Janet - I should have known better about the weeds thriving. Last fall I mixed sphagnum moss with mushroom compost to help amend our 'clay-based' soil. What wouldn't LOVE growing in that?! (it's loaded with earth worms - who are also very happy)

    Rosey - 'dandelions' are "the bully of the garden" here too; their roots touch bedrock I swear. Thanks for the kind words about the pictures (I use Google "Picasa" for collages. It's freeware.)

    Heather - SO true! The garden looks like a million bucks (which is my project for today). I know rain is good, but a few days of sunshine would be nice... I can't wait for the next round of blooms!

  14. Every now and then a "skip day" is in order! So glad you were able to get out there and enjoy the feel of the earth beneath you! Your garden is looking lovely...send rain our way...please!

  15. Weeds love the rain, but so do all the plants we're moving around or planting out - just have to be in the garden this time of year, for the pretty and the ugly :)

  16. Nice thing about the heat only the strong weeds survive here. I will say I enjoy weeding as it gets me down next to the plants to enjoy them from a different perspective.

  17. Cat - digging in the dirt was so cathartic, and the garden looks much better! I'll see what I can swing with the rain!! :)

    Cyndy - SO true! After I finished weeding, I sat and enjoyed the breeze & the fruits of my labor. I'm a bit sore, but happy!

    Tufa Girl - I agree! Knee-high is a very cool perspective.

  18. I hear ya, the rain here is relentless, making for weeds as far as I can see. I too just did a post on my merging garden/lawn/weeds, its been a great year for growing (everything) that is for sure!
    Thanks also for stopping by my Wisteria post, I love your technical term beejebers, must remember that ;) In fact my weeds are scaring the beejebers out of! Cheers Julia

  19. Julia - After 3 days of weeding, the 'cottage' garden is looking great; NOW I realized how much room I have for more perennials! (..time to go shopping!...) BTW - the Wisteria were just gorgeous!

  20. You definately caught the beautiful side, too! Makes it worth all the work, doesn't it? Your anemone is so pretty.

  21. Your yard sounds like mine...but I would need the whole summer off to catch up with the weeds at this I look at them and know eventually I will get to them..some I cannot control at this point because they are some of the worse to get rid of...your garden looks lovely and the new plants will feel welcome...

  22. Chris - why thank you! :) I am very excited for the Anemone to fill in next season! I also planted (3) Amsonia (Blue Star) this year that I hope take off next Spring!

    Donna - we are definitely on the same page about 'weeds', no question. Thanks for the kind words about the garden... so far, so good!


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