How does my garden grow? Part 3

Like craaaaazy, and all by itself!

I last left you with a wintry image in January…

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It’s now the end of June, and my garden is almost all covered in green! And flowers, too.

I would walk the neighborhood streets in the very early spring, happy to see the snowdrops and crocuses in other people’s gardens, but despairing that mine would never come. Then finally, in April, my crocuses began coming up. Maybe the snowdrops don’t like my soil, maybe they need another year, but they never showed. But, by April 4th…

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And even this lovely flowering perennial (below), a Lithodora ‘White Star,’ was exhibiting its white stars (the Cranesbill next to it? Where’d it go?).

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A few days later, shortly after I planted some wooley thyme, more crocuses and now the tiny daffodils were peeking out, too!2018-04-11 18.28.342018-04-11 18.28.37

When I set the bulbs back in November, the grape hyacinths began shooting up almost immediately, only for their leaves to wilt in the cold of winter, as you can see in the bottom center of the above photo. The snaky long leaves. But nature held sway and they blossomed anyway! (Below)

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So, I had a nice mix of daffodils, crocuses and flowering weeds on the bare earth to delight my eyes.2018-04-13 08.25.20

View from the porch ⇓2018-04-13 08.25.47

And before April ended, even the ninebark shrubs were sprouting tiny, new leaves.

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April 14th above.

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Above: April 23rd after adding a little potting soil…

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MAY FIRST!

Now, I thought all the wispy little leaves and flowers growing atop the Creeping Jenny (the trailing plants with the yellowish leaves planted near the sidewalk) were parts of the Creeping Jenny, but eventually figured out they were weeds and tore them out.

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Therefore, two days later, the front garden looked like it does in the photo above.2018-05-01 15.36.06

I found and transplanted this lovely “weed” called Star of Bethlehem and might regret it one day. But they cheered me up.

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In my porch planters, I had sown oodles of nasturtium seeds and they started emerging, too, finally.

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On May 18th, my new recycled rubber stepping stones (I think $8 each? Or a pair?) arrived to replace the paving stones I had been using. Oh, the ninebark is in bloom! Less and less bare earth to be seen!

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And the nasturtiums and Black Eyed Susan were also awakening in the garden. Above. I weeded, watered, then went away for two weeks.2018-06-13 17.22.38

When I returned the sight above blessed my eyes! Hardly any bare earth! Flowers! OK, big ol’ weeds, too, but we can handle them on such a small patch of ground. A little tugging and digging daily’ll do it.2018-06-16 12.17.53

This last photo was taken June 16th. Even in the 13 days since then, everything has gotten more lush and colorful. The ninebark are growing like crazy (I will wait until winter to trim them).

I’d say this beats a boring old patch of grass, wouldn’t you? Maybe I’ve been trying to pack too much into this little garden, maybe I underestimated how well it would all grow, but I’m happy and my neighbors say they like it, too. Even a professional roof gardener who dropped by admired my choice of succulents for the edge of the walkway.

I planted the nasturtiums — annuals — on the advice of an old friend. They’ve done very well IN the garden, are a little sparse in the planters. Either I’m watering them too much or too little or they just don’t like potting soil (the seed packets say they LIKE poorer soils). I planted them behind the ninebark and behind the holly to fill up those areas until the shrubs grow larger, and a few are interspersed near the walkway.

I’ve considered a tree. Either on the “hell strip” (as I’m told mowers call it) between the sidewalk and street (if I’d be permitted) or in the middle of my front yard. Something small that would provide just enough shade, but not too much and wouldn’t have crazy roots that might hurt my foundations. Basically, I discarded that idea for now since I like my garden as it is.

Yet the other day, I spied this little lady (below on the right) by my Black Eyed Susan while I was weeding. I left her and marked her with a stick. A friend thinks it might be a field maple. Or an oak planted by the squirrels? I’ll let her grow a little while and might move her further front or to the hell strip or even out back or on the median strip of the street. What do you think?

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