Tuesday, August 05, 2008

How does my garden grow

I love to have a beautiful garden. My dad and grandpa have always been avid gardners, and they have instilled the love of growing things in me. The only problem is that I'm somewhat of a lazy gardner - I like plants that offer the maximum return with minimal effort. I also have some challenges with my yard: lots of sun and heat, poor soil (a horrible clay loam), very little water (less than 1 inch in the past 2 months) and it can get quite windy. Hmmm - sounds like I live in a desert huh? But despite all the obstacles, I've managed to make a few things grow.

My favorite: day lilies. Although my true lilies are well past their prime, my day lilies are still blooming like crazy. I could have 100 of them in my yard, and I'd love every one of them.
Coreopsis is a new addition to my garden. My dad bought me just this one last summer. It has consistently bloomed since spring, and I haven't done one thing to help. I haven't even watered it. And I love the sunny yellow flowers. I think I may put a few more of these in the yard this fall.
This is another new addition - its called a coneflower. I only have one that I bought because I read they are very drought resistent. Its got big, showy flowers and seems to love its sunny home in my front yard. I think I need more of this one too.
I'm in love with this flower. Its actually something that I'd never even heard of. Its called an Arizona Sun Indian Blanket (I think) and I think its gorgeous. The flowers are so striking, and being that its from Arizona, it does well in my yard.
I have lots of hollyhocks on the top of my rock wall - I have a 6-foot white fence on the top of the wall, so it can feel like we're down in a hole sometimes. So, I needed something to brighten it up. I love hollyhocks. They have the most amazing, abundent flower, but the stalks and leaves are so ugly. It the perfect combination. They also grow like weeds, and I've found how to reseed them. I think they're perennials too, so I'm figuring in a few years I should have dozens of these guys.
This is my only attempt at something edible - my peach tree. This is only its second year, and I think I'm going to get about 50 peaches - and that is after I thinned them quite liberally (they were weighing down the poor small branches). Peaches are my very favorite fruit, and I'm checking them every day to see if they're ripe (we're getting close). I would really love to have more fruits and veggies - maybe some day.
I have a few petunias - the only annuals in my garden (remember that I prefer flowers with minimal effort - and that includes planting once and having them grow for years). I have also successfully gotten my petunias to reseed themselves though, so I do have a few random ones popping up here and there. Although they're totally common flowers, I love them.
This is my very favorite tree - a thornless purple-robed honeylocust. We planted it less than 2 years ago. Back then, it was a skinny stick, barely 5 feet tall. Now, it is bigger than my house. And its gorgeous. It has huge purple flower clusters that pop out all spring and early summer.
This is my butterfly bush, and its much prettier in "real life" (the picture just doesn't do it justice). It sits right outside of my kitchen window, so I can watch the butterflies land on it while I'm doing the dishes.

I'm slowly adding new plants. I've been saving up, and in another month or so, I'll get some clearance perennials planted, just in time for the snow to fly.


Mindi said...


i wish most of those would survive our summers--the only thing that we have like you is the butterfly bush and it's one of my favorites, as well. it's in our backyard and it's getting huge.

beautiful flowers!

Ruhiyyih Rose said...

Holy cow - a peach tree?! Lucky you! That is one gorgeous garden... and great photos too!

Anne Marie said...

Wow, your plants and trees are gorgeous! I'm so jealous of your peach tree. We planted one this spring and it is dead as a doornail. It has one rotten little peach on it. I'm so sad! I love all your flowers. I'm totally writing down the names of all of them so I can make an attempt at some beauty in my yard next year. The butterfly bush looks awesome and I know my kids would love it.

Lynita said...

Wow, I had no idea that you loved gardening so much! I mean it is no surprise, you have lots of love for nature and all, I just had no clue! I have a somewhat black thumb, because I hate having to remember to water the plants. When we have a house, that will be Ryan's job and I am sure he will love it! For now we are growing some herbs and peppers just in planters on our porch. Which reminds me I have to make some pasta this week with all of that basil and oregano!

Julia said...

I love gardening too but I'm the way about wanting to plant once and then enjoying. My poor annuals that I still stubbornly buy every year are usually dead July (this year is no exception) and I even TRY to water a lot.

I love the hollyhocks and have been looking for something to plant along one side of our fence. Maybe I'll have to try those. We have so many mature trees in our yard that I don't worry much about them, but I do wish we had room for a peach tree!

janae said...

I think it all looks great! I love all those flowers. I think you've done a fabulous job. I'd be happy with a little grass right now.

carrie said...

I love flowers....but I can't grow anything to save my life. :o) Your garden is beautiful. Great job!!

Misty said...

So jealous. All of our plants are so new that they look like babies!

Omgirl said...

I'm so jealous of your peaches! I want fruit trees so badly. But we don't really have the space.

As for that Arizona sun indian blanket, watch out...it takes over your whole flower garden! I had to rip all mine out this year because they got so big and spread so fast after 3 or 4 years that they choked out all my other flowers. Too bad because it is so hearty!