Sunday October 26, 2008 Sunday puttering in Helen’s Haven

Sunday is my day in to putter in the garden.  I call my garden Helen’s Haven.  And it truly is a haven to me.  I happily share my haven with my kids, neighboring kids, neighboring cats, birds, bees, butterflies and chipmunks.  Occassionally, my husbands enjoys it, but most times he views the garden as a place where if he ventures to, it might result in me asking for some help with whatever I got going on at the time.  I also share the garden with some unwelcomed visitors and residents such as voles, moles, bunnies and the occasional deer.  

I spend Monday through Friday either in a clients’ garden or otherwise doing something for someone else.  Or working on a deadline or scouting out great gardens for publication.   Occassionally, I have a hour or two during the week to get something done.  I usually start a to-do list when the first think pops into my head and then on Sunday, work my way through it. 

When it rains too much to work, I’m bummed.  But, I do take advantage of it and sleep in.  Otherwise, I’m up at my regular during-the-week-time, too excited to sleep. 

First thing I do is turn on the fountain.  I love to hear the fountain and its worth the water to have it on when I’m here to hear it.  I always start with the hardest job; usually this means the job I’m least excited about.  Today’s was straightening out the shed.  I was looking for the containers I keep bird seed in so I could get all my bird stuff ready, then one thing led to another.  Next thing I know, I have a nice and neat, well organized shed once again.  Now that the work was out of the way, I went about my tasks:

  • Walked through and pruned back anything I had to duck under or turn sideways to get throught.  I pruned, a climbing rose, butterfly bush, and the fig.  The fig will get a major cut in early spring.
  • Moved the beautyberry.  It sure seemed like a good idea at the time to plant it where I had it.  I love this plant; the purple berries peaking right now.  Today, it’s in a better place with more room and not in the way.  I hope it makes it.
  • Removed three clumps of lemon balm.  Someone, a long time ago, gave me a little piece.  Today, I spend way too much time trying to get rid of it…beware of gardeners bearing this as a gift.
  • Planted a red bearded iris – red – who knew?
  • Cut out ground covers that were covering stepping stones.
  • Cut back rosemary that was covering the paths.
  • Pulled all tenders to take to my friend’s greenhouse.  He lets me winter over a few plants.  I don’t have many and if I work it right, I’ll have a greenhouse next year, but for this year, I will keep them at KK’s. 
  • Staked out the area where I want to put the greenhouse.  I still have some things to work through. 
  • A trip to Lowes to get spray paint, another trash can to store my birdseed, a couple of conifers to put in porch pots, potting soil, and suet.  Looked all the Christmas stuff and grunted – ugh. 
  • I displaced two planters when I gathered pots for KK.  While I was at Lowes, I picked up a yucca to replace one of them.  I forgot about the other.
  • Traded out my back porch pots.  The summer holds palms with dragon wing begonias.  The winter holds Leyland cyspress and panseys.  I usually keep the center plant (palm/Leyland) in their nursery pot and hold over each year.  This keeps down the expense.
  • Organized all my seeds I got from Brandon yesterday. 
  • I gathered other seeds from my garden such as the red Castor bean, society garlic, white cleome, and milkweed.
  • Watched the grass grow.  I reseeded on the 16th and now it’s at about 1/4 inch tall.
  • Picked up the chestnuts.  I think the worst of it is over.  My kids call them ouchy balls. 
  • Checked on at the plants I transplated 2 weeks ago.  Some are looking puny, but I think they will make it.
  • Moved some salvia.
  • Filled the bird feeders.
  • Stopped to watch the birds.  This year I added a peanut feeder and I immediatey attracted woodpeckers.  I’m a happy girl.
  • I also added a mealworm station.  I have blue birds, but now I’m waiting for them to start feeding from my tasty treat station.

I’ve already started my list for next Sunday.  With cold weather coming, I know there is a cleanup in my near future.  The elephant ears will melt, Miss Huff will drop her leaves, so will the fig, any annual will be gone.  At least there aren’t many annuals, which is good.  Cannas will need cutting back.  And so it goes.  I wont do anything before it’s time.  I would rather wait and see a mess for a while than to cut it back before its time. 

Today was a beautiful day in the garden.



  1. Kim said

    Wow! That was a LOT of work to get done in one day. It would have taken me a week. I’d love to see photos next time – it all sounds lovely.

  2. Funny thing, Kim, I’m never without my camera. But yesterday when I left the SEED WALK, I was in a hurry to make my next appointment. I forgot it. I can’t even describ what it was like. Brandon brought over this afternoon. I’ll get photos next time. H.

  3. machelle said

    Sounds like a day well spent.

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