Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Neglected Flower Garden in August

I always kinda wondered what would happen if I didn’t keep up with my weeding and dead-heading during the season. Now I know. I have been so focused on my web design classes and homework, that I have not spent nearly as much time as I usually do in the garden. I miss it...and apparently it misses me.

A sure-fire sign of neglect: Morning Glory vines self-seeding in the grass, in the path, and everywhere. Believe it or not, this is my arbor: Climbing hydrangea on the left and climbing rose and Morning Glory vine on the right...and on the ground. Yes, there still is a gravel path in there...somewhere. Between the Morning Glory and the leaning Monarda and Purple Coneflowers, good luck finding it.

Overgrown arbor.

This is the arbor as seen from the back of the path, from where my statue “Winnie” stands. See, there IS a path in there. Watch out for the bees, though. They love the Monarda and Purple Coneflowers. I just planted the Joe Pye Weed last year and it seems to be thriving on neglect, hence the word “weed” in the name, I guess.

Ah-ha, there IS a path in  there.

Yep, that Joe Pye Weed sure has made itself at home in the back of the flower garden. I had planted it to try to shield the view of the neighbor’s yard and it has taken that job very seriously.

Joe Pye Weed.

Another sure-fire sign of neglect: Wisteria taking over the greenhouse, the shed, and the roof of the family well as spreading all over the ground.

There’s a greenhouse in there somewhere.

The wisteria is traveling from the greenhouse to the shed overhead, almost completely blocking out the sun. As I say often in this blog, I have a love/hate relationship with my wisteria. LOVE it in the spring when it’s blooming because it’s absolutely gorgeous and smells heavenly, but HATE it the rest of the year because it grows an average of 10 feet per year. I’m guessing it has grown more than that this year with all the rain we’ve had to keep it going.

Wisteria blocking the sun.

The path from the gate to the back yard is nice and shady now from all of that wisteria.

Path from the gate to the back yard. can’t even get into the shed. At least the birds have a quiet, forest-like setting for their home now. Check out those seed pods. Just another reason I have wisteria popping up all over.

Wisteria blocking the shed door.

Where the heck did this one come from? The only wisteria that is on this side of the yard is my tree wisteria and that doesn’t spread. I think these vines are coming from my neighbor’s yard and are snaking their way from the side of the yard, through the woodpile area, on its way to the kitchen garden. Better stop that pronto.

Wisteria vines.

One thing that is thriving on neglect is Brian’s hop vines. They are taking over the one side of the shed and spreading into the daisies. We need to string these up better next year so they go upward more and not outward so much. They have plenty of hop cones on them.

Hop vine.

Considering the state of neglect, the flower garden doesn’t look TOO bad from a distance. This is what we see while sitting on the screened-in back porch.

The flower garden.

Well, actually, you can see the arbor is overgrown from here...

The flower garden.

This was taken while standing by the shed and looking towards the back of the yard.

The flower garden in August.

If you stand in the back of the yard and look at the flower garden, it doesn’t look all that bad. One thing that is kind of nice is the garden is so full of plants now, I don’t have as much weeds to deal with.

The flower garden, as seen from the back of the yard.

The butterflies sure do love the garden. Every time I look at the garden, I see at least two of these yellow Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, plus tons of the white cabbage butterflies. The other day I saw four Tiger Swallowtails flitting about. They looked like they were having a lot of fun.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on a purple Butterfly Bush.

The purple Butterfly Bush is leaning way over into my kitchen garden this year. I obviously didn’t prune it far enough in the spring.

Looking towards the house from the back of the yard.

The butterflies also really like the David Phlox, which is still blooming, but not as pretty as it was a few weeks ago.

White Phlox David.

I often see the hummingbird at the Black and Blue Salvia, but she (it’s a female) is so gosh-darn fast I can’t get a picture of her.

Black and Blue Salvia.

This yellow Showstar, an annual, is really a showstar this time of the year. It always takes the Melampodium a little while to get going, but once it gets going it is constant color and doesn’t even need dead-heading to keep pretty. Now that’s my kind of plant! How the heck did that orange cosmos get in there? I kind of like it. It’s like its playing hide and seek.

A yellow annual: Melampodium Showstar.

The purple Coneflowers are still hanging on, but not as pretty as they were. Of course, the Goldfinches still love them.

Purple Coneflowers and Joe Pye Weed.

I planted three Ice Plants in the front of the flower garden this year and they seem really happy and are spreading. I have actually tried to get rid of the Creeping Jenny and it keeps coming back. The bright yellow/green foliage is nice, but it will spread anywhere and everywhere. I have had this purple sedum in this cool pot ever since we moved into this house. I keep thinking I should transplant it, but then look how awesome it looks. I love the foliage color combinations in this photo. I am more into foliage colors now and wish I was when I first started this garden so it had more of this kind of contrast.

Ice Plant, Creeping Jenny, and a pot of purple sedum.

The right side of the flower garden usually looks best in the spring and summer, whereas the left side looks best in the late summer and fall. I pretty much planned it that way. There’s all sorts of stuff on this left side: From Hydrangeas to a Butterfly Bush, to Asters, Pineapple Sage, Black-Eyed Susans, Sedums, and Geranium (the perennial kind).

The left side of the flower garden.

Hydrangeas, Black-Eyed Susan, and a Butterfly Bush.

I wish I knew what the two Hydrangeas were called that are in this bed, but I don’t.

Black-Eyed Susan and a white Hydrangea.

This one really flops over in the rain and will also flop if I don’t prune it far enough back in the early spring.

White Hydrangea.

Ah-ha! There’s Winnie. Hard to see her anymore from the front of the garden since it’s so overgrown along the path. This is another white Hydrangea that has really gotten big over the past few years. I love it. (Still need to finish this path back here.)

Another white Hydrangea.

This was taken from behind the flower garden, looking towards the shed.

View from behind the flower garden.

So despite neglect, the flower garden really isn’t looking as bad as I thought, expect for maybe the arbor area. However, weeding and dead-heading are definitely in order. What does a neglected vegetable garden look like in August? Tune in soon to see.

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