Monday, May 14, 2012

Dog Daisy Days

I'm going to show you why I am too soft hearted to be a great gardener. If something is growing I hate to yank it out and do so only very reluctantly.

 We had an early and mild spring this year. The mulch has not yet been put on my garden but I am beginning to think there will not be much room left to apply it. Looking down from my upstairs window you can see my garden is in the midst of what I call the dog daisy days. Yes, those white flowers are popping up all over. Some might call them wild flowers. Others might call them weeds (my Dad used to call them dog daisies). But I like the billowy quality they give to my landscape at this point in the season.

Here is another good patch of the daisies. I better investigate closer as there is meant to be a white lavender on this front corner. For nostalgia's sake I like to have lavender in my gardens as it was a favorite of my grandmother and, although she seemed to move house quite often in her latter years, she always made sure to plant lavender. The weather conditions here make it difficult to grow lavender successfully but I keep persevering.
 Down in this narrow planter I had some tomato plants pop up the first year after I used compost from my bin to amend the clay soil that the planted had been filled with. This will now be the fourth year that I do not need to plant a tomato plant - indeed what I do need to do is be strong and pull out almost all of these seedlings that are growing. This is a clear example of "despite the odds, nature prevails" as this garden is on the regular route of the deer who pass through but yet seem to leave it alone and the amount of sunlight this spot gets is marginal for vegetable growing.

 And here, there is a terrific number of basil seedlings, despite the fact that it is across the other side of the driveway from the herb garden and the pots where I had basil growing last year.  There's also a few of my blue larkspur that pop up wherever they please.

 Oh, this mint looks so healthy. But it will have to be dealt with severely. It has smothered out the tarragon and the oregano. Additionally I usually can find some seedlings of dill and cilantro popping up but they will have had no chance this season.

 Out front I spent an hour hacking away at a very large budleia (butterfly bush). One stalk still remains as it was too thick for my heavy secateurs and I really need to get in there with the shovel and dig out the last vestiges. Now we can see the iris although their bloom season will soon be over. Then it will be time for me to feel guilty about all the black eyed susan's that have self seeded all over the place. And yes, the dog daisies show their face here as well.

Finally, just to record how it looked, the deck re-staining happened last Thursday. It always appears a rich deep color to begin with but soon weathers down. In the front left (behind the mint!) is the bottle tree, a charming little piece of southern nonsense. Bad spirits are meant to fly up into the bottles and get trapped within thus saving the residents from bad happenings.

If the weather will co-operate tomorrow I really must get out and be ruthless in pulling out all the extraneous seedlings. So sad. But it is what is needed.