Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What's New in the Garden?

Hi, everyone! Here are some pictures of what's going on in our Brooklyn backyard garden.

Okay, this isn't our backyard, this is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, but it got your attention, didn't it!

Now to my garden. Here are some wide-view shots of the whole thing, such as it is. Not much in bloom yet, but things are filling in nicely! (Click on photos for a slightly bigger view.)

After a pathetic show last year, our dwarf azalea really went all out this spring.

Our latest addition to the family: a dogwood tree. Doesn't look like much, I know. It's 2 years old and about 2 feet tall. But just you wait!

We had a maple tree there, but common sense finally prevailed, and we took it down. The dogwood should be just the right size for our mini backyard.

We have two mystery guests this year!

I lost the labels for some of my plants and I don't know what they are. Do you?

Mystery plant #1:

I have 3 of them. Pretty, but what are they?

Mystery plant #2:

I have only one of these. From where I placed it, I'm guessing that it will grow tall flowers. Any ideas? (Click on photo for a bigger view.)

Now on to some old friends.

The last of the iris.

The first of the columbine (aka aquilegia for you Latin lovers).

I love this Cranesbill, also known as native geranium or hardy geranium. Tucked nearby is a creeping phlox and, behind, bugleweed. Once the butterfly bush gets into gear, the bugleweed will thrive in its shade, though the cranesbill will suffer. (Click on photo for a bigger view.)

What else?

You can see that the back border is starting to fill in nicely, in an English cottage garden kind of way. (Finally!) Moving from front to back, there's creeping Campanula (bellflower), columbine, daylily, hollyhock, and one of the mystery plants. To the left, the iris keeps spreading like nobody's business. To the right, I'm going to be cutting the lilac way back, to encourage new growth deep into the corner of the fence. (Click on photo for a bigger view.)

That lilac must be at least 50 years old. Our neighbor Ruth, who used to live two doors down in #21 , gave a shoot from her own lilac to Mary Brown, when she was raising her two boys in our house, #17. Ruth sold her house the year we moved to the block -- Robert helped her to clean out the basement, and I helped her to attach a new toilet seat. She was impressed that I was so handy! Now she's living in the southwest with one of her daughters. We still have her Christmas cactus.

I bought a few Verbascum plants last year --- one died, the others didn't do anything. But this year, we'll be getting some blooms. I can't wait.

The hanging planter you see is a combination of petunias and some other things that is doing poorly (already?!), so it's back here in the plant hospital. Once it's looking decent again, I'll hang it out front.

This year I tried to start a number of things from seed. Not everything was successful. The morning glories, which I will train up the ugly laundry pole, all sprouted, but there's nothing remarkable about that. I'm happy that some of the sweet pea plants are thriving. Here is my sweet pea patch ... er, pot.

I also planted some nasturtium seeds -- Owen helped me. Now it's time to thin them out and transplant most to other spots. My neighbor Joe will take a few. How about you? Both the leaves and flowers are good in salads (so I've read).

In case you haven't seen our screen door and back steps lately, here they are, in all their painted glory. (With requisite junk underneath.)

Of course, everything displayed in this post really belongs, in her opinion, anyway, to one very special feline: Mitsie. Sometimes she is just too interested in challenging the bees, but so far, no stings.

More later!

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