In case your were wondering, this page is located in Louisville Kentucky in the good ole U.S.A.
I freely admit that I hate winter. Once we've passed Christmas and tossed a couple of snowballs I am ready for Spring!! Unfortunately in the larger scheme of things Spring and Summer do not last all year -- except for these pages. The flowers here are ALWAYS in bloom!! Come on, let's take a stroll.
This is the view out our kitchen window. I snapped it from inside sometime in late
April or early May 2000.
Note the green pond with few water plants. No pond filter in place due to freezing nights but the fish are on top working on their tans. Most flowers are just getting started and the trees are about 1/2 leafed out.
Everything beyond the arbor was dug-planted-built in the Spring & Summer of 2000. The back path is still sod. The flower beds are new and empty and the yellow porch swing way back there is hanging from an old kids swingset A-frame.
What a contrast!!
We don't want to confuse you so I'd better explain - this is Rita standing at the head of the new path that passes through the new garden beds leading to the new swing!
(New means Summer 2000 and those that know us will admit that she is much easier to look at than Dan!)
Dan will be your narrator for this trip. Rita is going to grab a few cold drinks and meet us later for a swing and a sip out under the shade trees.
This is my favorite picture of the whole bunch!
It was taken end of June or early July and it shows this part of the garden in peak bloom.
I took this picture with my back to the kitchen window so this is the view we get when we look out.
It's hard to miss the red canas behind the little fishpond waterfall. Here's a closer look.
This copper moon was fairly easy to make. The pole is 1/2" copper pipe. The moon face is cut out of copper flashing with tin snips. The ring is 4 gauge solid copper wire and the whole thing is soldered together with a little propane torch and lead solder from the hardware store. Anyone who does any home improvement involving copper pipe already has everything they need with the exception of the wire and flashing. Get the heavy wire from your local electrical supply house or your electric utility salvage yard.
Gotta love those RED canas!! They are a pain to dig each Fall and save till
Spring but looking at this one picture reminds me why I do it.
Just behind the canas and to the right are the purple coneflowers.
This is another one that's a lot of bang for your buck. One packet of seeds will yield a bunch of flowers. The only drawback is you need to be patient or have a green house. They really don't get going until their 2nd year around here. If you have a green house or plenty of room in a sunny window you could start them early or even start them in late Fall for next years bloom. They are perennial but may act more like a biennial. (Plant them one year and they bloom the next.) They ARE worth the wait!
We're working our way clockwise around the fishpond in case you're keeping
These are called shasta daisy. It's another perennial that can easily be grown from seed. This picture is very early in the bloom cycle. They wound up covered with blooms. Then it rained and they all fell over.... I had to tie them up but they were pretty.
I'm partial to seed started perennials because they are cheap. Period.
I'd love to be able to buy all these flowers in great big pots and just bring them
home and set them out but I don't have the $$$ for that!
Also, there is the satisfaction you get from knowing you grew that flower
from a seed and NOW look at it!! (The name superimposed on the
picture looks kinda cheezy to me so I guess I won't try that anymore!)
This is yarrow. It's not my favorite but it was a gift and it's come back without
much help from me for 3 years so it deserves an honorable mention!
I've heard it said that yarrow can be invasive but we haven't had any trouble. I planted it and then buried some 5 inch plastic edging around it and it's been very tame. I let it get dry and top heavy this year and it looked bad right after this picture was taken. I'm going to keep it trimmed back and watered next year to see if it will bloom fuller and longer.
And finally, how can you not like a flower named yarrow?? It sounds just like something your grandmother or my granny would have grown! (In fact they probably did.)
If we go back to where Rita was standing and step through the arbor
(where the purple hyacinth beans are just starting to bloom)
we can see and smell our next stop.
The guys on the left are cleome "spider flower" with some hardy lilies on the right. Cleome gets about 4-5 feet tall and nearly that wide. Once it starts blooming in early Summer it goes non-stop right up till hard freeze. Many of the other flowers are long gone by late August or September but cleome is just like that battery bunny, it keeps going and going.... It tends to get leggy but if you prune it every couple of weeks it will behave and branch out with even more blooms. It comes in white and lavender. The flowers fade and leave behind long skinny pods hanging on the ends of "cat whiskers". When the pods start to brown, hold an envelope or bowl under them. Roll the pods between your thumb and fingers to harvest thousands of seeds in just a few minutes. Label the envelope and save it for next year as this plant is annual and needs to be re-sown each spring. Re-seeds itself and could be a problem if you plant ground cover under it. (We don't). Note: top sow cleome seeds on damp soil as they need light to germinate.
These are hardy Asiatic lilies.
I wish you could smell them -- yum!!
I'd love to give their names but we had a little mix-up
this Spring. I took a handful of popcicle sticks and
wrote the names of all 6 different varieties on them.
Then when I set the bulbs I put a "name stick"
next to each clump. I planned to make some more permanent
copper labels when I got time. The problem came later on when
Rita noticed the lilies were all up and those unsightly sticks
were detracting so she pulled them. She didn't notice the writing
until they were in her hand. Ah, well that's the way it goes.....
Did I mention how good they smell?? I darned near got a sore back from stooping down to sniff them every time I walked by!
Hint: You can buy a big box of popcicle sticks at a craft store for only a few bucks. Write plant names/dates and other info on them with a ball point pen. They will last a year out in the weather. (Unless someone pulls them up!) They are also handy for labeling flats when you start seeds.
On the left side of the path we have some giant sunflowers. They are lots of fun if you
have room. It seemed like the path went from open meadow to a walk in the woods when
the sunflowers grew up. A 99 cent packet of seeds will yield
a bucket if you want to harvest them. Why harvest them at all??
We left the faded flower heads in place and watched as cardinals hovered and
chickadees hung upside
down to remove the seeds.
The bunnies like to chew them off when they are young. We had to place chicken wire around them until they reached 3 feet high or so. By that time the stems are hardened and the critters leave them alone. These giants reached 9-10 feet tall. Tip, plant zinnias or smaller sunflowers under these big guys for a longer show.
This is another view of the sunflowers and the path that leads from
the fishpond garden area out to the swing and shade garden area.
Note: the spot where I stood to take this picture is already
dug up and will become the new gardens for summer 2001.
This is where the path winds up.
A path should take you somewhere right??
Rita is already there so lets go over and sit and sip something cold!
This is a closer look at the swing. We were driving down the road near Bardstown Kentucky and saw this for sale along the way. We stopped and looked and checked the price and gasped and went home and built one!! It turns out the price wasn't so bad after all. Real cedar shakes are expen$ive!
These elephant ears are way cool too. You can almost imagine you are sitting in the jungle as you watch them wave in the breeze.
They are another gift that keeps on giving. If you give someone a flower they will think happy thoughts about you every time they look at it! (Thanks Nola!)
QUESTION: What would you call this structure?? It's not a pergola.
It's not an arbor. Just calling it a swing doesn't describe it very well
What would YOU call it??
Way back in the Spring I was "grabbed" by one of those impulse
purchases. My favorite home supply store had boxes of 10 assorted
canas for 10 bucks and they were right in the door way so I couldn't
miss them. I'm glad I got them. The box contained about 4 different
varieties and this one was my favorite. From the front the blooms had
red centers with yellow fringes. From the back they were mostly
yellow with red streaks. Did I dig 'em and save 'em for next year??
This is just a misty early morning shot out the kitchen window --
or is it??
Here's a close-up and now we know what happed to the
The path and swing are on the east side of our yard and
this garage marks the west side.
This picture does not do the wildflower bed justice! I hate to keep repeating myself but just a buck for a packet of seeds sure did produce a lot of flowers! This is their 2nd year and they were such a joy. Each spring day I came home from work and walked out here to see what new thing was blooming. It was a new surprise nearly every day. Don't think wildflowers are just for "out in the wild"!
The sun trellis was a winter project and now it's covered with roses.
(Sorry, no rose pictures yet)
Here is a close-up of the sun trellis. Just like the moon
shown above, it is made of copper flashing, heavy wire and copper
pipe. Something like this makes a wonderful
winter project. Give it a shot. If you're like me the hardest
part of a project like this is gathering the materials and actually
getting started. Once I get going it's almost always easier than
I thought it would be!
This is the last piece of copper for this trip anyway.
This was a winter project from 2 years ago. Built very similar to the
moon or sun but this one can turn to point into the wind and
the finny thing in the center twirls in the breeze.
I call it my weatherfish.
In case you are wondering, the difference in color is simply age. The new copper doesn't stay new looking for very long. Once it turns dark like an old penny I have some stuff to brush on and over night it turns sort of a crusty gray green and looks like it's a hundred years old! See the moon face above for an example.
Heavenly blue morning glory in the background.
This is a late Spring view from the garage door leading up to our deck. This view is one reason to hurry home from work each day!
The morning glory cover the arbor by mid summer and most days I was forced to sit under it to rest up from that long walk back to the house!
For more pictures of the morning glory and the angel bench underneath,
see our 1999 garden page.
Here are the hollyhocks close up. And you guessed it, another one that's just a buck for a packet of seeds. Once again though you have to be patient. Hollyhocks are mostly a biennial flower. Plant one year to enjoy the next. I have some "old fashioned" ones started now that are supposed to keep coming back year after year, we sure hope so!!
This is another flower that your granny used to grow.
Lets finish this off with one shot of the front flower bed.
This bed is also circa Spring 2000.
It starts at the bottom of our front steps and leads to the front door. This is a hardy yellow mum that was transplanted in the previous Spring. It grew this big in ONE season!! The bricks are about 8 inches long so the mum is 6 bricks wide --- 4 feet of solid yellow bloom that lasted 3+ weeks. This slope faces the West so the afternoon sun hit it and it positively glowed. I lifted it out of it's previous spot and carried it here in a shovel. This huge mum started 6 months earlier as a one shovel size root ball.
I SURE hope it makes it through this winter!!
Well that wraps it up this Dan & Rita's garden 2000 page.
If you are reading this you must have tired eyes and not
enough to do!!
If I encouraged you to plant one more flower or to stop one time to smell the roses in God's great big garden then I have accomplished my mission for this page.
I admit I am tired of typing!!
Thanks for stopping by. We hope you enjoyed your visit to our tiny piece
Come back, anytime!
"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."
Up to the top of this page
This way to the Pond page!
Let's visit the garden in winter!
Take a time machine back to Summer 1999!
To Dan's Garage
These Summer 2000 pictures were scanned and put online January 2001
This neat little counter thingie started at zero on January 3, 2001
You are visitor # since that day. Thanks for stopping by!!