Sunday, June 1, 2008 Waterwise Gardening

Just in time for a 1st grade school project to collect and write about an insect, Aster spies his first fire fly of the year.  He or is it a she (will know better after the report) is home temporarily in a clear plastic Standard Oyster jar with a crack in the lid for ventilation.

After begging forgiveness from Lily for cutting down the peach tree, Lily helped me pull mint.  Yes, I have mint in my garden and I am often asked why?  It serves its early spring purpose by giving green before the summer perennials emerge.  It is usually manageable after the aggressive late spring pulling.

More rain his week and I can finally fill my new rain harvesters.  Trilling!  I ordered a sign to put on my mailbox to read:

A Waterwise Garden

Watered with Harvested

Rain Water

Being the first of the month, I do my monthly photo journal.  I encourage everyone to do so.  I save the photos per month so I can compare the same timeframe from year to year.  For a large part of my garden…the Red Bed, Herb Garden, and Secret Garden, this is their third year.  As such, this is my year to LEAP.  As the accurate lure goes:  First year they sleep; second year they creep – third year they leap.  With a spring like God intended, cool and wet, everything is looking and doing so well.  Too much so, I will need to do some dividing…purple flag Iris anyone?

Patrick finished re-edging my back beds.  He did a very good job, as usual!  The box have been reset to form an straight line instead of a nook for where the bench once sat.  We also installed a reservoir to re-circulate water for a fountain that will go there.  Now I just have to find a vessel to make a fountain out of.  I love fountains and put them in most of the gardens I design.  Actually, I would put one in every garden, but not all the homeowners want a fountain.

My friend Barb organized a casual week long garden tour of JC Raulston Arboretum’s volunteers’ gardens…volunteers opening their gardens of other volunteers.  It should be fun.  One of the many perks for volunteering at the Arb!

If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Wake Living and 15/501 to see a story about sustainable gardening where they use my garden as the example.  A nice photo of my Butterfly Garden was used as an example of a transition zone.  Also in the feature is my copy of W A T E R W I S E giving useful bits of waterwise gardening tips.

Magnolia grandiflora leaves are busy falling, and falling, and falling.  This is what they do – especially now.  As with nature, we get the good with the bad…they shed their leaves when the bloom of those awesome, sweet smelling, and”I want to eat you up” fantastic blossoms are peaking.

Plants in the garden that are just coming up or just getting started include:

  • Crinums
  • Echinacea
  • Rudbeckia Black-eyed Susan’s
  • Crocosmia

Plants in the garden that are waxing include:

  • Brown Turkey Fig – full of fruit.
  • Buddleia Butterfly bushes
  • Various Daylilies
  • Spice Bush (both Lindera spp. and Lindera spp.)  These were a gift from the JCRA and make a nice addition to my garden because they are the host plant to Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Cleome
  • Bee Balm – some blooming
  • Autumn sedum – really should pinch back

Plants in the garden that are peaking include:

  • Stella de ‘Ore Daylily
  • Big weedy looking herb from Lisa Treadaway?
  • Honey Comb Buddleia
  • Mints
  • Sedums
  • Lambs ear
  • Salvias – hot lips, blue
  • Milk weed
  • Big purple Oxalis
  • Begonia – perennial
  • Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens ??
  • Hydrangeas – all in flower forming nicely.  Oakleaf, Lady in Red, Lime Light, Endless Summer, Nikko blue
  • Pink Phlox in the mixed border
  • Arisaema tripihyllum Jack in the Pulpit
  • Climbing fig
  • Hostas
  • Magnolia Grandiflora
  • Verbena on a Stick
  • Amaryllis
  • Santolina
  • Clematis – added a new trellis to support it – purple
  • French Lavendar
  • Feather leafed Lavendar
  • Passiflora Incarnata
  • Verbena ‘Homestead Purple’
  • Yellow, pink and red Yarrows
  • Lavandula stoechas Spanish Lavender
  • Salvia macrophylla ‘Hot Lips’
  • Red stemmed dogwood

Plants in the garden that are waning include:

  • Columbine
  • Foxglove
  • Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’
  • Confederate Jessamine
  • German Bearded Iris, purple and yellow
  • Siberian Iris (blue spp.?)
  • Dwarf Iris cristata
  • Bottle Bush
  • Tradescantia (spp.?) – a volunteer
  • Spanish Lavender
  • Grecian Foxglove
  • Foxglove
  • Hardy Orchid
  • Chrysogonum virginianum green and gold ‘Allen Bush’
  • Campanula (spp?) – a white variety given to me by Annette Hunt from New Bern whose garden will be in Better Homes and Gardens 2010
  • Herbaceous peonies (spp?)
  • Achillea yellow yarrow (spp?)
  • Rhodos in a container garden

Roses in bloom besides the

  • Stairway to Heaven
  • Pink Double Knock Rose
  • Honey perfume
  • Bride’s Dream
  • Europea
  • French Lace
  • Iceberg
  • Fragrant Wave
  • Julie Child
  • Pristine
  • Sweet Valentine
  • Pink Peace
  • Rainbow Sherbet
  • Black Cherry
  • Don Juan
  • 7 sisters’ rose

What the bunnies are eating: most everything they like…they have the run of the garden.  I am not happy.  My kids think I am behaving nicely…good thing they can’t read my mind.

Helen Yoest (Philbrook)

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