Saturday, July 16, 2016

Spring Profusion

When we were traveling Brad and Yessi sent us a few photographs of our home's spring garden.  After considerable work last winter -- pruning, new gravel on pathways, rock edging, and mulch on the beds -- it looked quite spiffy when we departed and even better, fully leafed out and in bloom, when these photographs were taken.   

But then, alarmingly, the spring garden continued to spin onward and upward with sun, rain, sun, rain.  Growth was pushed like I've never seen before.  None of that cold drizzle, overcast stuff this year.  Nope!  By the time we got home, spiffy was no longer the operative word.   Think chaos, which reminds me of my favorite gardening book, A Gentle Plea for Chaos by Mirabel Osler.  There is a stylistic message here, don't you think?  

So, if for a moment you were wondering what I do when not traveling, this third of an acre garden keeps me wholly engaged.   Our in-town very overgrown woodland path is in the photograph below.   I've been working from west to east on cleanup and these Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) are on the eastern fence line so they still need attention.  I like trees open -- so a bird can fly through -- but that's not what we have right now.   Slowly and steadily I've been moving through the garden -- weeding, pruning, staking, deadheading, watering -- hoping before we depart for a fall trip I will have brought order to this madness.

The piles I've generated have been Herculean in size, leaving Ed-the-donkey to load and haul them off to Langley's green waste site.  Our three large compost bins were overwhelmed within minutes of arriving home.  

The gardened garden is still over-the-top-lush, but at least somewhat contained.  

Then, once I get to the east fence, it will be time to start all over again.  Like this Eucryphia, now in full bloom, pruned but not finished because before I completed the task I found a sweet bird's nest -- Bushtit, I think.  As I head back around in a month or so, this tree will be in my sights once more.  And the baby birds will be fledged

Bushtit - Google Image

Although you can't see the size of this hardy fuchsia, it is well over my head attracting the attention of humans as well as delighting the hummingbirds.  I also have a cape fuchsia (Phygetius capensis) that is even bigger.  They are usually in deer range providing a tasty treat but this year they are in giraffe range.

Does this sound like garden work grousing?  No, no, no, I love it.


"There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling."

~ Mirabel Osler


  1. Seems we lead parallel lives at times. Glad we got the lines to converge so we could meet.

    Your garden is MUCH more beautiful, but I have MANY more weeks, including lots of poison ivy!

    Are you still living solo or have the boys returned?


  2. Yes, I like the parallel image. A chance encounter via HaRVy and Thistle, and here we are. Nice!

    Luckily we have no poison oak, poison ivy or poison snakes here on Whidbey!!! In California our garden had poison oak everywhere, and we spotted a rattle snake a couple times a year. I'm happy to be without both.

    The guys return today.

    I'm headed for Useless Bay Coffee.