Friday, May 14, 2010

The Burden of Plenty

I have complained of the neglect our poor gardens have experienced over the last few years. Nearly all the rose bushes have died since no one cared to cover them for the cold Wisconsin winter. The peony bushes are slow to fill out due to several years accumulation of leaf cover. But all is not in despair.

Some plants seem to thrive on neglect though. Take the day lilies that are filling every available garden space (no - seriously - take some please). You can't tell from the picture here, but they are moving into the lawn. It's the only available remaining space. We will have to rip out quite a few, but for now I have to admit they are at least green. And they will bloom, probably all summer once they get started. I'm not 100% certain, but I'm guessing they will be the wild-type orange variety. Not exciting, but colorful anyway.

Our front garden is still suffering from what I call "chair-rail syndrome" (we've ripped out the old vine but have nothing yet to replace it).

You can see the dirt in the grass beyond the brick border - that vine had eaten almost a foot of grass already (and from the roots we pulled out, it was ready to take more). This portion of the yard gets deep shade most of the day, but there's a sliver of late afternoon sun that cuts in underneath the trees from the west. I think that's the only reason the cherry tree and the juniper here have survived. I still think a shade ground cover would be best. Right now our vote is for European Wild Ginger (Asarum europaeum). Hopefully it will fill the space well, not be too tall for the spring bulbs or the summer perennials. And hopefully it will be polite and not eat the lawn.

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