Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rainbows apologize for angry skies. ~ Sylvia Voirol

I've always been a 100% non-conformist. I've always hated to travel and still do. Never learned to drive a car because I didn't want to go anywhere. I have never paid the slightest attention to etiquette, but didn't know I was "out of step" until I got married ... and my husband pointed it out to me. He enjoyed it.
~ Ruth Stout

I would have liked to have met Ruth Stout. A woman before her time. She was sister to the famous author, Rex Stout, who often commented she must be insane. In her younger years, Ruth claimed to have demolished a few saloons with her friend Carrie Nation. A generation after her death, we are still building on her no-till, no-dig gardening techniques. Ruth did things her way with very little help from the men in her life. She wrote books, helped other gardeners, and was considered a genuine eccentric. Rumors abound that Ruth gardened in the nude so it was best not to just drop in on her unannounced;) She lived a full and healthy life and gardened well into her nineties.


I still have a pot ghetto, a sorry little community of miss matched nursery pots containing plants that should have long since found a home in the ground. Ornamental grasses, zinnias, petunias, a bronze fennel and a Jim Crockett boltonia.

These lovelies will be so root bound they won't know what to do when they are finally set free in the garden.

And then there are the seedlings I sowed. Many are wondering if they are destined to live and die in little plastic cups. This weekend I'm determined to get every last plant into the ground.

I'm very proud of these foxgloves. They don't naturally thrive in my area but a few have been pampered and babied along and are blooming again this spring. Not very tall but pretty never the less. I am finally giving up my vision of masses of five foot tall stalks in various pastel colors. A couple three foot stalks with pink and white gloves is what I'm lucky to have.

Tall by the cherry tree the foxgloves stand
pale in their purpleness, their long bells sweet
and profligate. Each one of them could fit
a lady's narrow, faithless, foxy hand.

~ Alison Prince

The yellow cosmos I sowed from seed didn't do well so I found some already started pinks at a local greenhouse. This is the first year for cosmos in my garden. It won't be the last. They are so cheerful and pretty they will definitely be a regular here. These are only a little over a foot tall.

This little sedum has lived in a plant saucer for several years. It doesn't require much soil or water. Sedums are so easy to start from cuttings. The saucer was about half full of hens and chicks when I stuck a few cutting of this variegated variety into the dirt and left them to root.

Peonies are awaited with much anticipation every spring. If for some reason I could only have five flowers, this would be one. This is the first bloom of the season. Huge, chaotic masses of petals with wonderful fragrance. The bloom time is so short no one could possibly become bored with them.

I love the doubles and the 'bombs' (I suppose they are so named because they look like a bomb went off in a flower petal factory;) No such thing as too many petals or too many ruffles.

The two above were growing on the farm when I moved here. The farmers before me didn't give up much soil to non-revenue producing items. 'Just pretty' wasn't reason enough to grow flowers or shrubs. Peonies were the only exception they made.

Below is one of the two Shirley Temples I added two years ago. They have grown quickly from a few bare root eyes into two large bushes covered in buds.

Another unknown purchased a year ago. The tag said 'red peony'. My camera doesn't do well with reds. This peony is a lovely scarlet.