Autumn Garden Journal #1

Since Casey retired we’ve expanded our bird-feeding operation quite a bit.  We’d had our feeders on the east side and really couldn’t watch the birds from there.  When we moved one of them around to the south, I was inspired to bring  all the feeders out where we could sit in the dining room–which has full windows to the east– and watch the birds empty them from our rockers.

At nearly the same time as this vision occurred I bought Sharon Sorenson’s book, “Planting Native to Attract Birds to Your Yard” and it seemed to be a sign that I should plant around the feeders with natives.  You’d be surprised what’s Not native and I already owned a few…  My Jane Magnolias are not native, meaning the birds don’t actually get nutrients from them, but they love to use the branches to perch and use it in all seasons to take their turns at the feeders.  Daisies are another non-native that I am over-run with, but I moved them to the Rose and the North Garden.

Sticking with her recommendations about new buys, I bought a maple-leaf viburnum and planted near the back.  Unfortunately, it had a sudden attack by viburnum beetles in August.  We caught it pretty early and put it in a large pot and babied it, so I think it will be all right.

I also picked up some black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia) and purple coneflower (echinacea), two of my long-standing favorites, though I killed quite a few Susans when I didn’t divide them for a decade or so.  Because I had no place to plant them permanently at the time, we crammed them together around the bird-feeders.

And so the time came to make my vision manifest.  I drew it up on graph paper and got Casey’s approval.  Then I brought out the bricks and used them to mark out my ideas.

I dug up the poor susans and coneflowers  and called in my Muscle.

It all came together like this…

It’s a work-in-progress, to be continued, but my Original Goal has been accomplished…

The view from the dining room should entertain us year-round…

Just in time, we have some rain!! It will take a lot to make up for the drought we’ve experienced, but it’s a start…

 

Keep on Growing…

 

 

sorry about the rudbeckia…

It’s back to school for me today..!   I’m floored that another break has flown by, but it’s really a cultural illusion.  The old-fashioned summer vacation is really only 6 weeks of summer, (4 of spring). and fall is still 6 weeks away.  In the garden, that’s time to grow a whole ‘nother crop of green beans, spinach, and onions, as well as a nice stand of zinnias or sunflowers.  Of course, the most dramatic changes have already occurred…

 

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Sometimes I hate to admit what a bad flawed gardener I am…and this latest confession is due to laziness, as well…>sigh<…  Rudbeckia are a sturdy, long-suffering perennial and I have been growing them for years.  So many years have I been growing them, in fact, that the same 3 plants that I bought 20 years ago are still giving;  I’ve divided them into literally hundreds.  Recently, though, I’ve gotten lazy and haven’t divided them as I ought to, and it caught up with me.  I didn’t take a picture of the ugly brown leaves that look as if they’re not getting water, but it’s air they lack.  They’ve become so crowded that I had to take up an entire bed-full and toss them.  The larger bed I should be able to divide and move…mostly…

 

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In the middle of the wasteland, there sprung a bush of flowers that towered over the carnage, somehow untarnished by the surrounding blight…There’s a parable in there somewhere…

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Note to self:  divide rudbeckia, echinacea, daisies, daylilies, and the like every 2-3 years…   It ought to be fun figuring out where to move all these black-eyed susans;  we’ve recently bermed a spot in our front yard that sort of screams for them, but there will be a Lot  to share.  If you would like to have a clump, just yell.