You've found Ky-Dan & Rita's Garden!

Welcome to our backyard!

Now in our 7th year!
Each year, so far anyway, we've added a little more flower bed and reduced the grass that needs cutting.
You know that grass is just another flowerbed waiting to be dug!

As a gardener I tend to judge the year by how much rain we receive. 2004 was an odd year for us. We had drought in 2002 and more than adequate rain in 2003. In 2004 we had it both ways! Early in the year we were way ahead of average rain totals. Then in late summer the rain just quit. Period. We had no rain-at-all for 6 weeks! Then the rain came back with a vengeance. We had the driest September on record and the wettest October on record. Very strange!

Enough rambling - on with the pictures!

We have a few other pages online so click away for previous years or scroll down for 2004.

2003 the rain came back!
2002 was very dry but we still managed!
More flowers in Summer 2001!
Let's visit the fishpond.
Summer 2000 was a busy year in our garden!
Go back to Summer '99
Visit our Winter garden on Christmas Eve '99

Pink Crabapple

Pink Crabapple var. unknown. This is not my favorite tree except for 2 weeks in April. During the summer the Japanese beetles devour the leaves and they fall to the ground or turn brown. It's not particularly shapely BUT when it blooms and the late afternoon sun hits it just right- it's beautiful.
Photo taken April 15 for a bit of beauty on TAX day!.


Variegated periwinkle or vinca minor.
This is the rear corner of our backyard flower gardens. It gets full mid-afternoon sun and was a rather dry barren looking corner until we planted the periwinkle.
Disease and insect free and evergreen. At least it keeps most of it's leaves during our Kentucky winters. (Your mileage may vary!)
Taken May 11, 2004.

Variegated Periwinkle
The variegated leaves on this periwinkle look very refreshing and cool. The yellow and light green leaves turned this hot brown corner into a mini oasis.
This plant spreads by sending out above ground runners that then take root and form "satellite" plants.
Not terribly invasive if you lift the runners and snip them off a couple of times a season.
May 12.

Japanese Blood Grass
Japanese Blood Grass - imperata cylindrica is a hardy perennial fairly short grass. We use it as "bookends" on this end of a stepping stone path through the garden. It dies back to the ground in winter and reaches 18" high in summer. Later in the season it shows many more red tips. How can you not want a plant with a name like "blood grass"??
Taken May 11.

Bearded Iris The following pictures are old fashioned Bearded Iris These plants are hand-me-downs from my sister and she got them from someone else "many" years ago.
The plants are hardy and fairly drought and insect resistant.
Taken May 11.

Bearded Iris
You plant bearded iris tubers nearly on top of the soil. Just barely cover them. After that simply mulch to keep down weeds and hold moisture and enjoy. Very low maintenance plants.
May 11.

Bearded Iris If you plant bearded iris try to pick a spot where you can leave them for several years. They take a year or 2 to get going but are worth the wait!
May 11.

Bearded Iris
One more color!

Bearded Iris And another....

May 11.

Bearded Iris
Like I said, a simple low maintenance bed that you can leave alone.

May 11.

Spiderwort Close up picture of Spiderwort bloom. What a pretty color! Only about 1 1/4 inches across it's still an eye catcher.
May 31.

Some plants I buy as much for the name as for the flower and this is one of them. Spiderwort - Tradescantia ohiensis is a perennial that blooms most of the summer. Not at all fussy about soil or water and seems to be mostly disease and insect free. This one is a keeper!

May 31.

Fish pond garden
I just have to include a goldfish pond photo each year. Our entire back yard - over half an acre - was just grass and a vegetable garden for nearly 20 years. I stuck in a little preformed plastic fish pond and a friend gave us a few pond plants and 4 or 5 different perennial flowers to put around it and suddenly we SAW THE LIGHT!

June 23.

These are just 25 cent goldfish that have grown as big as 6 inches in length. As soon as they see your outline or shadow they gather with open mouths! June 23.

Goosneck loosestrife Anchoring the back corner of the pond is a clump of Gooseneck loosestrife which is a hardy perennial fairly invasive plant. Purple loosestrife is labeled a noxious invasive weed around here but the white is less of a problem. This variety spreads by underground root runners. I had it surrounded by a 4 inch plastic bed edging buried nearly to the top. They ran right under that and started trying to take over the rest of the area. I bought some 10" wide aluminum flashing and dug a ditch around the gooseneck and buried the flashing. I then placed the plastic edging next to the aluminum to protect the edge and filled in the ditch. That's kept them contained for the last 3 years.

July 12, 2003

Bee Balm Red bee balm - monarda didyma look great, are very hardy, not too invasive, (but will travel via shallow root runners) and they smell great.

Bee Balm I just figured it was a fragrant plant - I didn't realize it was an herb.
Here's a close-up of the purple variety which does get some mildew each summer.
Some varieties are more resistant. Pretty flowers and nice spicy scent. It's earned a permanent place in our gardens. June 23.

Baloon Flower
I've talked about Balloon Flower - Platycodon grandiflorus
on previous years but I'm including it again.
It's a very reliable hardy plant. Mostly bug and disease free. It's not invasive. It may fall over in the rain if many blooms are open at once so I put a small fence around them to hold them up. Sometimes the critters (bunnies and deer!) will nibble off the stems. Why don't more of you grow them??? They've been around for 50 years! Get some!
June 23.

Red Cannas I've just got to include Canna - Cannaceae again as well. Some websites call them canna lilies but they are not lilies! Yes you have to dig the roots and store them over winter but they are huge, RED, lush and tropical looking. Feed heavily and give plenty of water for blooms lasting from mid summer right up till frost. There are many different colors of blooms and leaves available. Some are grown in pots in ponds and bogs. You need some canas in your garden too! June 23.

Stokes Aster Stokes Aster - Stokesia laevis is a low growing, fairly low maintenance addition to our garden. Not terribly remarkable but it's low habit and non-invasiveness makes it an easy fit along our garden paths.
June 23.

Oriental Lily
We added a new bed just for the Oriental Lilies. These hardy bulbs are beautiful and the smell WONDERFUL.

The Asiatic lilies are pretty too but do not smell as nice or at all.
June 23.

Stargazer lily
Stargazer Lily is THE worlds most popular lily. I just wish you could smell it!
If you have any lilies at all you want some of these.
You can usually find these individually in pots at garden centers in early to mid summer but you can order 25 bulbs for the price of only 2 or 3 pots. Get a pot or 2 and order a bunch of bulbs! June 23

Wildflower bed If you must have a neat orderly "well kept" flowerbed then don't plant wildflowers.
If you love surprises and want something new to look at almost every day then plant some!

July 13

I don't know the name of this wildflower but it's just one of many that came from a single pack of "assorted wildflowers".

June 23

More wildflowers

June 23

And more wildflowers

June 23

Last one here but there were many more in the bed at different times of the summer.

June 23

Back yard west side
I'm not kidding when I say our back yard was just grass for nearly 20 years.

This photo taken June 23, 2004

Back yard east side
OK we had a few trees along the sides but just grass everywhere else.

June 23

Shady Swing
I simply walked forward about 50 feet from the previous picture and snapped this one.
If you start at the end of the driveway and cross the shady deck and pass the fishpond and follow the path all the way to the end-- you wind up here!

June 23

Garden Pergola
This Garden Pergola was a fun and not too difficult project from 3 years ago.
The purple beans that will soon cover it completely are just starting to climb the corners.
Miscanthus Sinensis Variegatus on the right. Blood grass in the lower center. Blue balloon flowers on the left.

June 23

St. Francis
St. Francis of Assisi - Patron Saint of Animals watches over this shady corner of the garden.

June 23

angel statue
This smiling little girl angel statue stands up on a block to get above the ferns and coleus and hostas.

June 23

DoDo Bird
The "copperus stupidicus" or copper dodo bird looks for bugs amoungst the hostas in the front shade garden.

June 23

Shade Garden
Come on! Follow the steps across the shady deck and meet me out by the fishpond.

June 23

Front Steps
If you're not in a hurry you can go the long way around and take the front steps alongside the daylily bed.

June 23

Several years ago I bought a bag of "assorted" daylilies.

June 23

I have no idea what their names are.

June 23

Each plant started as just one little sprig or "fan" as they're called.

June 23

Now it's been 5 years and it's about time to dig and divide them!

June 23

Fish pond
Glad to see you made it around to the fish pond!

I'm usually here this time of day but today Rita and I've gone to Natural Bridge State Park for a little hiking trip. June 24

One last look at a Moonflower -Ipomoea alba. I know it's hard to tell but this bloom is 5 or 6 inches across.
This member of the morning glory family blooms at the other end of the day. It opens in late evening and is often gone by dawn!

Possibly the best smelling flower in the whole garden.

September 3.

Dan & Rita Here we are on a trail in the Daniel Boone National Forest of eastern Kentucky. This is the area known as the Red River Gorge and is some of the best hiking in the Eastern United States.

I hope you enjoyed visiting our gardens as much as I enjoyed showing them to you!

I pray you'll be safe until we meet again - in the garden or out in the woods!
June 23

Ode On The Pleasure Arising From Vicissitude
by Thomas Gray 1716-1771

Now the golden Morn aloft
Waves her dew-bespangled wing,
With vermeil cheek, and whisper soft
She woos the tardy Spring:
Till April starts, and calls around
The sleeping fragrance from the ground:
And lightly o'er the living scene
Scatters his freshest, tenderest green.

New-born flocks, in rustic dance,
Frisking ply their feeble feet;
Forgetful of their wintry trance
The birds his presence greet:
But chief, the skylark warbles high
His trembling thrilling ecstasy;
And, lessening from the dazzled sight,
Melts into air and liquid light.

Rise, my soul! on wings of fire,
Rise the rapt'rous choir among;
Hark! 'tis Nature strikes the lyre,
And leads the general song:

These pages were ALL created with plain old NOTEPAD.
If I have misspoken, misspelled or made a typo I'd be grateful if you'd drop me a line so I can fix it.

Thanks for stopping by. We hope you enjoyed your visit to our tiny piece of Kentucky!
Come back, anytime!

Drop us a line and tell us where you're from. We'd love to hear from you!

"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

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