Welcome to Dan & Rita's Garden!

No garden or pond is ever finished and ours is no exception. This page represents "year 2" of our new pond and garden. It's good to have you here!! One of the neat things about having a pond and garden is sharing it with friends. Sometimes it seems like folks show up when the flowers are past or not quite ready yet. Well on this page, they're ALWAYS in bloom!! Come on, let's take a stroll.....

We have a few other pages online as well.
Let's see the fishpond.
Summer garden2000
Our Winter garden on Christmas Eve '99

angel bench and arbor One of the new additions to our garden in the summer of 1999 was this small arbor and concrete angel bench. The arbor is simply 4 posts with lattice on 3 sides. The top is made up of 2 by 4s on edge set about 8 inches apart. Note, the sides are spread slightly. I'd guess the front is 8 to 10 inches wider than the back.

This is located along the brick sidewalk that leads from our deck to our garage. It's "such a long walk" (40 feet at least!) that I thought folks might want to stop along the way to rest and enjoy the view of this part of the garden.

That's Morning Glory "Heavenly Blue" just starting to bloom on the top. We also planted "moon vine" here but they bloom at night (and smell sooooooooo good) so I don't have a picture of them.

closeup of angel bench

"Heavenly Blue" morning glory above and angels watching over us below.

We found this neat little bench at a concrete statuary and pond supply dealer. I knew we had to have it as soon as I spotted it.

morning glory full bloom

This view is looking from our deck stairs down the curving brick sidewalk towards our garage.

I thought these morning glories were NEVER going to bloom. They are supposed to be 90 day bloomers. I started them in flats the first of May. They grew and grew until it looked like they would topple over the arbor but no blooms until early September. We were beginning to wonder if the frost would get them first. We really enjoyed them while they lasted.

They are a tropical plant so the first frost zaps them.

In this part of Kentucky, our first frost can come any time in October but the "average" is Oct 10th. This year we got a couple extra weeks of reprieve before Jack Frost bit our tender annuals.

old hand pump and washtub

If you step down the stairs at this end of the deck so you are standing on the "upper end" of the brick walk you can turn back toward the deck and see our old hand pump.

This brings back some memories!
Do you remember sitting in a washtub to cool off when you were a kid?
I do!

We had a hand pump like this too. I remember if you pumped real hard and fast you could "flood it" and water would shoot out the top and rain down all over you. What fun!

Oh yeah, they still sell wash tubs. This one is brand new. We got if from Home Debit er Depot! The pump is still pumping water via a tiny electric Rio pond pump that cost less than 20 bucks.

A garden should be for as many of the senses as possible so we have sight, sound and smell. There are some chocolate mint and citrus mint and thyme planted around the base of the washtub. The chocolate mint smells just like a peppermint patty candy! Nearly each time I passed this way I would brush my hand over one of these so I could smell the garden all the way to work!

Perennial, chocolate mint: mentha x piperita
and orange mint: mentha piperita citrata
Toss a sprig in your iced tea, YUM!

Caution: mint can be very invasive. We have managed to keep in under control by burying plastic edging surrounding each clump. It's fairly shallow rooted so this "should" do it.

veronica sunny border blue Just past the old well pump we have some "veronica sunny blue border".

Veronica longifolia "sunny border blue"

It blooms from summer thru fall nonstop.
It's perennial and ours were 4 times as large by fall as when we planted them.
Very low maintenance.
Attracted bees.
With all those good attributes, I recommend it even though it's not a real show stopper bloom.

spider flower Just past the veronica is some "spider flower"

Cleome hasslerana spinosa

Some friends of ours gave us the seed for this annual flower. It has leaves that resemble marijuana! This caused it to get a double take from some of our kids friends! Once it starts to bloom in mid summer it doesn't stop. Like the veronica it has a flower stalk that just keeps getting longer and longer as it puts out new petals near the ends of the flower stalks.

It has a mildly musky "skunk" smell but not enough to be a bother.
It has a few thin but sharp thorns.
The old blooms send out long slender seed pods on the end of "whiskers" giving it a somewhat of a "hat pin cushion" look.
It reminds me of some plant out of a science fiction movie!
Fun and easy to grow and "freely seeds it's self".

Notes: If you want to grow this plant, drop the seeds on top of the soil in your garden or starting pots. It needs light to germinate.
I enjoy this plant and can't really say why except it's "different" and I like any plant that blooms nonstop!
It tends to get tall and leggy late in the season.
I've seen one plant reach 5 feet tall and spread nearly as much but it's really "open" limbed so it's not going to shade something else out or anything.
Don't be afraid to give it a trim but do it before it gets too tall.

castor bean plant If you take a few more steps down the walk you'll come to the king of this part of our garden!

Caster bean is an annual that gets so tall people have a hard time believing it grew that big in just one summer!

I've seen it written in garden books that this plant was planted in Victorian times beside the front doors of "rich folks" houses.
It sure is big enough to turn heads.

Deep red stems and reddish green leaves.
Fuzzy red flower stems that produce ping pong ball sized spiny seed pods.

CAUTION: castor bean seeds are poison!
Don't take my word for it.... visit http://museum.gov.ns.ca/poison/castor.html and see for yourself!!.
Wait till the seed pods dry to brown color and wear gloves when harvesting them. The outer pod is covered with tiny sharp spines. Sort of like velcro with an attitude!

castor beans full height This is another view of the castor beans (duh...)

This is the maximum height we saw. About 8 or 9 feet. I've read they can reach 12 feet or more in our area. Even taller in a longer growing season I'm sure.

I REALLY like these plants even though they are annual and must be replanted each year. They are SO huge and lush and tropical looking. Doesn't this picture just give you a "cool shady summer" feeling?? I've read that this plant comes in other colors too. If I run into another color I'll want some of those seeds too.

The plant has a fairly short tap root and a hard wind with rain can topple them or break over upper branches.
If you need seeds surf on over to www.selectseeds.com go to the online alpha listing and down to castor bean seeds.

Tall grass and pond area Let's step off the walk and follow the curve of our little above ground pool around towards the pond area.

Notice the tall grass on the right side of this picture. This is how we "hid" our pool. Clumps of tall grass. We bought this in a 1 gallon pot several years ago at the grocery store. We've divided it every couple of years and given several clumps away to friends. It reaches about 4 to 5 feet tall in summer. It's variegated with a double yellow stripe running down each grass blade. It puts out nice light tan colored plumes in fall that reach about 6 or 7 feet and look especially neat in the fall and early winter when most everything else is gone.

I lost the plant tag and so I don't know it's name.... RATS!
Note:While surfing the web looking for more tall grass I stumbled onto a site with pictures and description that seems to match our grass.
It's called "miscanthus sinesus variegatus". Of course it's nearly impossible to tell for sure from only a picture but that's my story and I'm sticking to it! We like it a lot and we will be adding more grasses in the near future!! They're low maintenance, and neat to look at and they're PERENNIAL. Gotta have more more tall grass!!

Note the arbor leading into the pond area.
You walk on through the arbor, I'll be right behind ya....

Dan and the purple beans! Psst, hey, turn around! It's the bean from Jack and the beanstalk!

I know, I know this is a crummy picture. We've gotta stop taking pictures on bright sunny days. Or we gotta get a new camera or a new developer or something. Suggestions are welcome! We have learned that bright overcast makes for much better garden pictures.

Never mind all that, check out the purple bean vines! While yer at it, check out that shirt! Sheesh, it was only a buck, I couldn't pass that up!! The purple bean flowers and my shirt BOTH attract humming birds!

dolichos, purple hyacinth beans.
Just too cool not to have some! Stick some seeds in the ground in late spring after the ground has warmed or start earlier in pots. Give 'em something to climb and STAND BACK!

closeup of purple bean pods
This is some purple hyacinth bean pods and flowers simply laid on the scanner glass. I laid a white paper over it and dropped the lid. This bean is just too cool. Everyone that I've given seeds or plants to has thanked me.

Very prolific, blooms nonstop from mid summer until frost. Holds it's blooms and pretty maroon red pods up high. Flowers attract humming birds and are mildly fragrant. Save the dried seed pods for next season.
Caution: this plant isn't a true bean and it is mildly poisonous if eaten in large quantity.
Visit North Carolina State University poison plant website for more details.

The Hyacinth Bean may be found in several catalogs including--
Parks 2000 on page 86, called Hyacinth Bean, Dolichos lablab
Call 800-845-3369 or visit www.parkseed.com for a free catalog.

Another pic of the fishpond Now if you'll stop staring at the silly man in the funny shirt and look to your right, you'll see our tiny fishpond.

You are now standing in my very favorite part of our garden!

What 'cha standing up for?? Have a seat on the garden bench.

Notice the pretty pink flowers in the upper right corner of this picture.

Here's a close-up...

dianthus closeup This little perennial doesn't grab you with it's looks but it's neat anyway.

Sort of a cinnamon something-or-other. From 10 feet away if the wind was right.

The blooms remind me of a tiny fireworks pin wheel. These blooms are only about the size of silver dollars. Plant is maybe a foot tall or so.

We got them from Burpees. They call them simply
Dianthus, Rainbow loveliness.

Since there's about a zillion kinds of dianthus, I have no idea what this plants botanical name is.
Why doesn't Burpees give the Latin names of their stuff???

Anyway it smells so good I'm gonna hang onto this one!

Pot of Gold pansy From the dianthus rainbow to this "Pot of Gold". Just a pot of yellow pansies.

I remember in Sunday school as a child. My teacher would give us each a paper cup with a pansy in it for Easter. God bless her!
I still like pansies. They are one of the first flowers to bloom in the Spring. It's a shame they can't stand hot weather.

pond from low angle Here's the view of the pond from the garden bench that was put there just for pond watching!

There are more pond and garden pictures and the "pond story" on my pond page located at http://ky-dan.com/pond.html I hope you enjoyed the visit. I know I had fun showing you around! Come on over to the bench and lets have a cold drink and listen to the waterfall.
Click the Play button to hear the waterfall.
If using MS Internet Explorer, you can tap your down arrow button to turn down the volume on the player. If using Netscape you can drag the volume bar shown on the player.

Dan sittin' down again! As Porky Pig used to say, "th th th that's all folks!"

Well, that's all of this "summer 1999" page.

I've made up a page of our garden covered with snow if you'd like to take a look.
Dan's garden in the winter
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed your visit to our tiny piece of Kentucky!
Come on back, anytime!

The Lord God Planted A Garden
by Dorothy Francis Gurney

"The lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world

And he set there an angel warden
In a garment of light unfurled.

So near to the peace of Heaven,
That the hawk might rest with the wren

For there in the cool of even'
God walked with the first of men.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth.

One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth."

If you got this far down the page, you are my kind of folks!!! Why not drop me a line!!! Just first name and city, state, (country?). Naturally I'd love to hear your comments about my pond and garden page but there's NO pressure here. Just a line to say "I saw your pond and garden page" would be appreciated.

"I feel closest to God when I'm sitting in my His garden".

I welcome email from my friends! You are invited to click the mail-dove to send me a message OR you may hand type my address into your message.
My address is "dan at ky-dan dot com". It looks funny when written out this way but it should fool those darn spammer robots that visit web sites gathering email addresses.

Mail Dove

pointing handUp to the top of this page
This way Pointing Hand to the Pond page!
pointing hand Let's visit the garden in winter!
pointing hand Summer garden 2000 this way
Pointing HandBack to Dan's Garage
Stuck all this online around December 22, 1999