Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Stroll-June 14, 2009

Yesterday my husband finished removing the tough roots of an old yew hedge, in anticipation of workmen coming this week to tear off our old porch and rebuild a new one. He's not a very big guy, and I think he pried them out by sheer force of will. Fortunately, my dire warnings that he was going to kill himself doing this did not come true. The workmen could have removed them for us, but doing it ourselves was going to save $150 dollars. But only because he didn't wind up in the emergency room!

I wanted to really savor my stroll around the back yard today, because I know it will be a mess most of the rest of the summer from all the construction. I was glad to see there are a few things that had bloomed for the first time within the last twenty-four hours.
These are the first hollyhocks of the season. I love hollyhocks! Some are growing from seeds my sister gave me; others are from seeds I scavenged from a stand of hollyhocks that are self-sown on drainage district property, along a ditch. I had driven by those several times, admiring them. One day in the fall I just pulled over and took some seed pods and put them in my pocket. I just couldn't help myself!

Purple loosestrife has started to bloom. Now, before you call the police, let me tell you I know they're invasive and no longer available to plant. This is the last of a very old planting of them. They have gradually died out in my garden. I think the fact that they are much loved by Japanese beetles has a lot to do with that. I'm not too worried that my particular plant is causing any problems. I don't think it ever has a chance to set seed, since it is so thoroughly eaten down by the beetles each summer.

The first day lilly! This one came from my brother-in-law's garden.
This was the first week of bloom for the oak leaf hydrangeas.

Finally a plant I know the real name of: penstemon "Husker Red", developed, I believe, at Nebraska State University. I planted them because I'm trying to gradually shift to prairie natives throughout my garden, or, at least, go that direction when I plant new things. The goal is to make the garden tolerant of our climate and welcoming to our particular birds and butterflies. I like the wine red of the stems and early foliage on these.
To see who else is strolling today, visit The Quiet Country House.


Aisling said...

Good luck with the construction project! I love your photos today, especially the daylily. They are one of my favorites (ok, they all are!) and this one looks alot like the "Autumn Red" daylily that grows in my front garden bed.

I'm glad you were able to join us. I like the idea of moving toward native plants. I leave my "wild edges" for that reason... to feed and sustain our native species of birds, insects, and wildlife.

Crafty Gardener said...

What a big job your husband tackled. Good for him. I enjoyed strolling through your garden.

Rose said...

I have some old shrubs I'd like dug out, too--would your husband like to visit?:) I've been hinting to my husband about it, but so far no luck.

You have lots of lovely blooms--the daylily is beautiful as are the penstemons. I am trying to add more natives, too, to encourage the butterflies and birds. I wish I'd known you needed some hollyhock seeds; I will have plenty again this fall if you want anymore!

Good luck on the construction project; hopefully, your garden won't be disturbed too much.

Joyce said...

Aisling, I wonder if it IS Autumn Red. I've seen it around in other people's gardens. When Bruce gave me his divisions he had just thrown a whole much of things into a bag. I planted blindly, having no idea what color they would be!

Crafty Gardener, welcome!

Rose, I think he's had his fill of shrub removal. If they had been in the front, we would have pulled them out with a chain and a truck, but there wasn't a way to do that out back.
You'd like the penstemons. They are very easy, and slowly fill in their space. Maybe i should divide them and we could do a swap.