Monday, June 20, 2011

Drizmal Days

Another weekend is over.  It was a busy one, too.  On Friday, we all helped Joel celebrate his 25th birthday.  (Where did that time go?)  At least he didn't set off the smoke detectors when he blew out the candles, not like when we celebrate my birthday.  For Mom's birthday, we're going to just buy some number candles  (91 candles would really cause a blaze, plus Mom said she prefers to eat her cake with a nice frosting that is not encased in wax.)

We've been having a few days of rain again, so not much is getting done in the gardens.  We did work all day Saturday on transplanting flowers from the Formal Garden for our downsizing attempt.   That project is really proving to be a long drawn-out process especially since everything is so wet.  Oh, well, my late father always used to quote, 'The creeks have to run in June or we'll have a dry summer."    So far, I'd say we're not in any danger of a dry summer.

Yesterday when we were working on the transplanting process, I was kinda down about the garden.  I don't know if this ever happens to other gardeners, but I suspect it just get to feeling what you've created is blah.  You see everything that is wrong with it.  Every weed, every crooked rock, every chewed up leaf, everything that needs doing.  And this time of year, everything that needs doing is overwhelming with a Capital O.  Sometimes we feel we have created a monster, a garden that owns us, not the other way around.  We worked until dark on Saturday and put all the tools away when a slow, steady drizzle started. A fitting end to a 'drizmal' day.

Just as we were wrapping things up, Richard & Emily and their adorable toddler, Courtney stopped in for a visit.  Carl had such a good time with Courtney 'exploring textures' in the popcorn bowl.  According to Carl, Courtney was searching for just 'the right' shape of popcorn morsel. 
Pudding Dog had a good time reaping the benefits of the Textural Exploration.  (And yes, there's that old floor of ours again...looks better with popcorn covering it.)

Sunday morning dawned and along with it, another steady, straight down rain.  We decided to take the day off and headed out for a ride with Joel.  Sometimes just getting away from the mess at home is the best remedy for a case of the blahs. As we drove through the countryside we saw some beautiful, picturesque places, homes with beautiful gardens and wild, open spaces.  There is nothing I love better than farm and woodland views.  Carl said he really enjoyed his Father's Day, too. 

We got home right around dark and I went out for a little stroll through the gardens with the camera.  Something about being gone for the afternoon changed my perspective on our projects here.  It was too dark to take really good pictures, but that's ok, because this way I didn't see as much of the work that needs doing.
It just looks better different when the light isn't so bright.  I couldn't see that the pan fountain could use a cleaning.

And a few of my annuals are finally starting to show some color.  (Can't quite see how badly the beds needs edging in this light.)

Our little Horstmann's Silberlocke fir tree is putting on an amazing show with it's new cones and the reverse curved needles. 
Love those cones.
I couldn't see any weeds to pull in the Woodland Bed, either.
Looks like a big ol' Quilt O' Hostas, doesn't it?  They really did grow this year after all the rain.

'Baby Blue Eyes' spruce really shows up with a flash at night especially when the needles are wet.  I had to be careful here, this one is planted right on the edge of the quarry, I didn't want to go for a swim.
The light was fading, so some of the pictures I took with a flash and some without, which really makes for a different effect. 

Last weekend, Carl decided to try pruning one of our white pines in the Quarry to look more open.  Well, the result was a little unsettling, but we'll see how it turns out.  The tree might just give up and die from sheer embarrassment or it might survive; we hope it does, anyway.  The picture above was taken without a flash, and below is one with a flash.  (We really aren't trying to torture our trees, we're just trying to 'train' them...the problem is, we're the ones who need the training.)  Joel was mortified when he saw the end result.  I avert my eyes when I walk past it, too, poor thing.  At least we didn't try to make a poodle tree out of it.
Here's our Bosnian Pine out on the point rock down in the pond...this one was planted when the Quarry was first built in 2002. (We don't prune this one, it's safe from experimentation, plus it has the sharpest needles of any pine I've ever encountered-- I think it should have been named Porcu-Pine)
 The flash caught something reflecting back at me.  Of course, it's Screech, following me around like usual.

The Dry River Bed looks a whole lot better in the dark but I really do need to do something with the golden moneywort climbing all over. 

Looks like I polished the waterlily leaves, they sure are shiny.
Never mind that I wish I'd never been given the yellow flag iris and that it's an invasive and tough to get rid is pretty when it blooms.   Whenever someone tells you, 'Oh, do I have a plant for you!  You couldn't kill this one if you tried!" beware!  Someone brought this iris over as a gift years ago and it looked so sad and wilted, I laid it in the pond to recover.  Soon after, it rooted.  Well, guess what?  It really, really, really loves where it is now and we've been trying to curb it's enthusiasm every year.  We do deadhead it regularly, though, because the seedlings sprout up everywhere.)

In the dark I can't tell that the gate could use some paint touch-up work.
Finally the last lingering light faded and the camera kept flashing 'Subject Too Dark'.  It was time to go in.   I was feeling a little better about the gardens after my stroll.

Between remembering my doctor's advice to quit gardening and feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work to do, it was a bit depressing around here lately.

But to quit gardening entirely is a Subject Much Too Dark to entertain.

I think my next garden tours will be conducted after dark. 

The garden looks much better then.

(Well, MOST of it looks better, anyway!)


Zoey said...

Even with few flowers in bloom, your garden looks nice with the blue, green and yellow foliage.

I can imagaine it's pretty overwhelming thinking of all the work that needs doing. I felt the same after 7 hours of work in mine yesterday.

Randy Emmitt said...

Those hostas are amazing, around here they swelter in the heat. The garden like great as far as I can see it needs no work.

FlowerLady said...

Dear Karen ~ What a lovely evening stroll through your wonderful gardens. It did my heart and soul good.

Sometimes all we need is a little time away to give us a different perspective.

I love your 'hosta quilt'.

We can get down at times from things said, from too much work, too much thinking, etc. Tomorrow is always a new day. A new day to enjoy the life we've been given.

Belated Happy Birthday to Joel.

Love and hugs to all of you,


Junebug said...

What some lovely evening light pictures. Isn't it funny how we can be so critical of our own garden and others just oooooh & aaaaaaaah over it. I'm glad you got a little break away.

El Gaucho said...

For what it's worth I think that your gardens are amazing, and I've never seen them, just looked at your terrific pictures. Keep you chin up and know that others have the same criticisms of our gardens and they still don't hold a candle to yours. said...

Boy, did your garden recover from all that rain, and of course your hard work to rid of it. The garden is looking lovely and so neatly maintained. And the poor pine, well, what can you say but hold up your branches and forge ahead. Carl needs a learners permit on trimming them I think.

Alison said...

Poor sad tree! I've never pruned an evergreen, so I have no idea what he was trying to accomplish. I hope it recovers and looks marvelous.

Love your hosta quilt. And your garden in the dusky light looks lovely.

I used to feel overwhelmed by the large garden I had back East. It definitely owned me, and made me feel so discouraged. I'm glad you got some time away to get a little different perspective.

Lona said...

Well I think your garden looks gorgeous. I think we all get periods of disappointment in our gardens. We see all the flaws that others would never see. I think we get too critical of our gardens. I know I really do mine. Everyone's plants always look so much more lush and bigger than my plants get here in my clay dirt. Their borders so neat and defined. Combinations go so well. Etc, etc. LOL!
We are having the rain again too and I just know the weeds are out there growing over my flowers. LOL! The lilies in your pond are looking so beautiful. I love the night time pictures where everything looks shiny and the barks show up so well.

Missy said...

Your garden looked like a magic wonderland in those photos.

I know what you mean about feeling overwhelmed sometimes.

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

We are our own worst critics, for sure. I am having a garden tour in my garden this weekend, and I'm walking around finding all of the problem areas now. I guarantee you, no one but me will notice them, so I'm going to try to NOT point them out. I can't wait to visit your gardens this August. I will boost your spirits when I stand there with my mouth hanging open in awe of what you've accomplished. Coveting your hostas, by the way. Have you ever gone to the Firefox (I think) Hosta Botanical Garden in WI? I think they have 1000 varieties of hostas there. I just drool when I go there.

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

Your garden in looking very pretty. I luv the waterlillies theare beautiful ours havent bloomed yet. Thank You for sharing your garden today.......Julian

Rosemary said...

Your garden is a work of art.... Love the pan water feature. The moneywort in the stone is lovely. Sometimes our garden do own us and other times they give such joy makes up for all the hard work...and don't let anyone fool you gardens are very hard work.

KK said...

Karen...your post really put a smile on my face. I loved the tour and i think everything is just perfect. But I do get those days too, when I look around and only notice what needs to be done. I love your pan fountain and you know how I feel about the quarry. Have a blessed week. I hope you get sunshine.

Beth said...

Happy Birthday to Joel! I love the pine with the inverted needles and of course, adore your beautiful quarry garden. Your gardens are stunning - never will a garden be perfect - but stunning, amazing and beautiful - that's yours! You and Carl have built a thing of beauty and you should be very proud of it (and of yourselves).

Carolyn ♥ said...

Well I think it all looks lovely my dear. Pat yourself on the back for all your hard work.

Sall's Country Life said...

Scatter some tiki torches and you could have the next set for Survivor! The one who can keep up with you and all that gardening is the winner! Everything looks beautiful,Karen!

Tufa Girl said...

Unless you photoshop all the photos you post I would have to say the gardens look just fabulous - they way they are. - dark and daylight.

Karen said...

Thank you all, I feel better about the gardens now, even though half of them are underwater at the moment. Tiki torches and Survivor-type games are a good idea. Photoshop would also be a great idea...wouldn't it be great if we could retouch the gardens for real??

Briana said...

Carl sure did a number to that tree.... Cody was looking for a haircut, but he knows not to ask CARL. Haha, your gardens are beautiful and you sure do a wonderful job keeping them up. Clara wants to see you guys soon, we'll have to stop by! FYI, we're starting to dig our mess here on Saturday!

A rootdigger said...

After seeing this, I think I need to rethink my garden and my rocks. Your pond area is kind of English or something. Fantastic.wonderful blog. going to follow. jo from sunnyside.

Diane said...

Your garden is just spectacular. Thanks for much for the tour. I'm trying to go for a similar look, in areas of my yard, as you have with your hostas. Mine will be on a much smaller scale, but I so enjoyed looking at yours.

Happy Gardening to you.

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Pan fountain looks amazing! Thank you for an excellent post! I enjoyed the gardens featured very much. I think a great garden must have personality that sets it apart.
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