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Posts Tagged ‘irises’

The day began with a stop at the Basket Case to check out the new availability list. We pored over it page by page, although I do skip certain plants entirely. (Phormiums and Agaves. I know there is probably still an Agave fad but they do not call to me.)

perusing the list

perusing the list

Whatever shall we do when Fred and Nancy retire?

Nancy was planting the last of the baskets…

Nancy

and had rigged up a board to keep the three poodles from leaving the back greenhouse.

Walter

Walter

We bought some Sanguisorbas, of which I never have enough. And some more grasses for Andersen’s Rv Park. There will be some excellent plants of all sorts (including another new-to-us Sanguisorba) arriving Friday.

And then, at last, we went to one of those four clients whose gardens we had not yet set foot in this year. At Steve’s garden, we got an unexpected greeting.

Last time I saw them they were babies!

Last time I saw them they were babies!

They had gotten quite large.

They had gotten quite large.

I thought of the time my friend Sheila had been knocked down by a sheep…

QUITE large.

QUITE large.

I was actually fascinated because I like animals, but I did wonder how they would behave because when they were younger, they would jump up on Steve when he fed them.

I have been doing Steve’s garden for a long time, going way back to when he owned the house that later became Laurie’s, and way back then two little goats used to nudge and butt me while I gardened. These two large goats would pack quite a wallop if they were in a nudging mood.

They were interested in everything. Allan later realized that they had peeled all the reflective tape off the back of the trailer.

trailer

wheelbarrow

shovel handle

I felt sheer delight when they let me pet them. The only truly disconcerting moment was when I opened the car door to get some plants. I had decided earlier that Steve’s garden should have some (deer candy) Sanguisorbas because his garden is never bothered by deer. I did not even have the plants all the way out when there were two goats next to me, standing on their hind legs with their front feet on top of the car, leaning on me and chewing the leaves off the plants. Ok, no Sanguisorbas then. Perhaps Steve could only have a Cistus. The deer on Discovery Heights do not bother assorted Cistus at all.

The goats followed us to the garden.

Down the slope by the garden I was thrilled to see someone else had weeded the raspberry patch and the blueberry patch! There are advantages to being late to the garden job.

fenced blueberry patch

fenced blueberry patch..usually thick with creeping sorrel

raspberry patch

raspberry patch

The goats followed us to the garden and showed a great interest in the raspberry canes…and our lunchbox.

I think they could have figured out how to open it.

I think they could have figured out how to open it.

Allan planted the Cistus and we got down to weeding (befores and afters coming up, of course). Meanwhile, the goats wandered through the garden chowing down…on daylilies, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, a Buddliea…

goats

goats

They stood on hind legs, broke long branches off the variegated Buddleia (time to prune it anyway!), ate a few leaves from each, and moved on…soon discovering the new Cistus. Allan barely rescued it as they greedily began to consume it, so back in the car it went. It can live at Discovery Heights or Marilyn’s among the deer. I am not sure what we can plant to fill in empty spaces in Steve’s garden, because the only thing that seemed to be goat-proof were narcissi and (boring) rhododendron.

At lunchtime, Steve came home and put the goats away in their indoor-outdoor pen. (I told him I would have put them away myself if they had had sharp horns.) Allan pointed out to me later that (aside from my joy in petting them!), it was a good thing they were out, or we would have planted a bunch of nice new plants with no idea that they would soon be eaten.

And now, some garden photos. I have been doing this particular garden since creating it for Joanne. While I will always think of her there, and miss her gardening presence, I have finally segued into calling it Steve’s garden instead of Joanne’s garden.

Due to our late-season arrival the garden had gone all blurry with weeds.

before

before, looking south

before, looking west

before, looking west

before, looking north

before, looking north

before, the path by the stream

before, the path by the stream

This garden has a wonderful layout with an upper pond with waterfall, created by Steve and Joanne and a backhoe, and then a long stream that runs under a bridge down to a small natural lake.

the streamside path after Allan's weeding

the streamside path after Allan’s weeding

On the other side from the path we have Siberian and Japanese irises in a planting inspired by a lovely photo in a book called The Stream Garden.

iris bed is on other side...very hard to keep the pasture grass out

iris bed is on other side…very hard to keep the swamp grass out!

looking upstream

looking upstream

weeded pond bed

weeded pond bed at head of stream

pond bed

The front bed was made by leveling the mound of soil left from digging out the pond.

pond

Five and a half hours later…

across the pond

across the pond; driftwood marks the waterfall

reflected iris

reflected iris

I wonder if there will be any flowers at all this year with those goats?

We still need to get back, do some edging, and weed the backside of the garden….and am not sure when that will be.

While I sorted out the billing, Allan took some photos of the lake from points that I never take time to walk to while working.

by the gazebo, looking south

by the gazebo, looking south

the stream bridge

the stream bridge

When Joanne was alive, she had taught horse riding and had developed a bridle trail all around the large acreage.

from the trail, looking northeast

from the trail, looking northeast

Every now and then something jumps in the lake but we have never seen what it is!

and back across the very wet meadow toward the garden

and back across the very wet meadow toward the garden

The garden looks very small compared to the vastness of the property, but feels very large while we are weeding it. I am going to wait and see what happens with the goats before I worry about how the garden will survive their interest.

Tomorrow I hope to make the wake up call to another private garden. Or, should it rain, I will happily read back entries in Tootlepedal’s Blog. I had time today only for the most recent entry (excellent as always).

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In Joanne’s garden….

We miss her! Joanne died a year and a half ago, and we keep the garden going for her family and in her memory.  She used always to come down and work with us when she had time and energy, or at least to walk around with us and plan, so we continue to fulfill those plans.  The stream garden was one, and now the Siberian iris are in bloom there, and the Japanese iris are heavy with buds.

The upper pond garden, looking down toward the stream

The layout of the garden is wonderful: an upper pond created by Joanne and her spouse, and a waterfall, and a stream which flows down into the natural lake.  SOMETHING likes to jump in that lake: fish?  Occasionally we hear a loud splash but have never been able to see what makes it. Giant bullfrogs abound and are fascinating to watch, even though we know they are a pernicious import and frowned upon.  When we walk around the edge of the upper pond, frogs go SQUEAK and jump one after another into the water.  We created the stream garden inspired by the book of the same name by Archie Skinner and David Arscott.

two views back up the stream; Joanne’s spouse, a lumberman, had the deck built on the back of the house to view the garden.

Primula vialii and Iris sibirica along the stream

I also had the pleasure of a petting visit from golden lab adolescent Daisy and the new dog, a gentle pit pull named Stoli, and a wee puppy named Harley belonging to a young woman who came to entertain the dogs for awhile. I used to let Daisy out of the dog pen to play, but she is too hard to handle in the garden and in her excitement does tend to break off the flowers.

Joanne was a skilled horsewoman and an appreciator of interesting plants. One feels the presence of a gardener who has passed on and hopes that her spirit is still able to see and enjoy the garden.  I think of her always as we garden there.

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