Saturday, May 05, 2012

Just when you think you haven't made a difference...

This poppy languished in the shade for three years before I moved it last year, and it is rewarding me for the effort by blooming repeatedly with lush, gorgeous blooms.  Maybe next year it will spread!
 When I moved to this house 6 years ago, there was already lots of good stuff growing all around me.  Plenty of lovely wild herbs, trees, and some beautiful plants that my mother and sister had put in close to the house.
Gradually I've added much more than I realized.  Rows of lavender and sage, mint patches, chamomile, and trees are now part of the landscape, and I take them for granted.  Some of the things that have gone in struggled for years because they needed more light or less groundhogs.  It's been rainy, and I've been on an enforced vacation for a while, so today I got out for a few minutes to see what is going on.  What a marvelous surprise!  Everything has returned.  Nothing was lost - not even the passionflower that I was sure had gone forever!  The horseradish is tall among the weeds, the witch hazel is bushing out, and the persimmon is about to bloom.  The sour cherry is covered with lush leaves.  It is very rewarding to see all of the plants that I've tucked in and nurtured have survived and thrived - as well as the volunteer (and most desired) mimosa tree.  Lots of fruits and herbs in the near future.
Bluets were purchased as a tiny, almost invisible bunch of upright threads atop a few miniature leaves.  They are simply a sentimental flower for me, reminding me of a miraculous morning.
Finally the blueberry patch is filled with many, many bunches of unripe berries.  Half a dozen plants went in the first year, and they've been whittled down each spring by varmints.  This year with the help of a fence, we'll have fresh blueberries to harvest.

I've never bothered to grow my own comfrey before, but last year my sister and I dried our own for soapmaking, and found it to be so superior that we will always grow and dry it ourselves from now on.  The flowers are exquisite.

The red currants have been carefree from the first year, and have produced since the second.  They are one of those plants that keep you going, keep you trying new things.

Elder blow is already covering the "auria" bush in the corner.  Always early, but never in the first week of May before.  The bush is now 8 feet across and at least as tall.  Standing next to it, the scent is intoxicating.

My friend Roe sent me some elecampane roots last year, and I was afraid to look, since their location is especially weed-ridden and rocky.  Both of the plantings took root, and they look pretty happy!

I expect that there will be ripe figs to eat by mid-June.  Another gift from a friend, this has been another one of the plants that gave me courage to try others.  It has been happy here from the day it was planted.

Gooseberries.  We lost some to frost, as last week when I tweeked the branches, tiny yellowed fruit fell to the ground, but it looks like there will still be plenty to eat.

Each year we participate in a conference and receive small packages of iris bulbs.  Last fall I finally planted several years worth - and today they peeped out above the weeds to thank me.

Last year the birds got all the serviceberries, and shortly thereafter, tent caterpillars took over the small tree.  I was worried about how it would survive the winter, but it looks just fine.  Maybe I'll even get to eat some this year!

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