Meanwhile, In The Garden, Light Comes And Goes


Hydrangea-Dogwood-Phormium

The back yard is green. It’s hydrangea time. Yeah, they are leggy, pruning mistake. Lesson learned.

Leslie asked me how my white roses are doing. In truth I neglected them to deal with my mother’s Alzheimer’s-provoked move. The poor guys responded by sinking into a despair of black spot, rust, and unnamable blight.

But a couple of good sprayings with oil from Indian tree seeds and back they’ve come.

Iceberg-Rose-With-Hole

A little bitten, a little cock-eyed, but still roses and on the whole white.

White-Iceberg-Rose-In-The-Morning-Light

You might also remember I had planted a butterfly garden. The plants are flourishing, the butterflies scarce to date but welcome.

Border-with-Coyote-Mint-and-Vervain

By the way, it’s not called milkWEED for nothing. This stuff spreads. I like to call it an optimistic plant. But I’ve made a morning ritual of picking out the tiny sprouts. Keeping some space clear.

Milkweed-and-Morning-Sky

Now native sage, yarrow and mint surround my olive tree like girls in bright dresses around a gawky friend. Bokeh, you party crashers. Light is such a prankster.

Border-of-Yarrow-and-Salvia-Plus-Bokeh

That yarrow, by the way, was supposed to be white. Surprise! I prefer the rosy pink, in fact, and the sage’s creature-like habit adds a little bite to the sweet colors.

Salvia-Ponzo-Blue

Elsewhere, some of the stuff in my garden, man, I have no idea what it even is. This stalk turns red eventually.

Weird-Thing-I-Do-Not-Know-The-Name-Of

And the general unruliness. Some plants, privet, for example, grow where they are not wanted. Out of my fern, you wanton sprout!

Fern

Some plants, although invited, decide to take over. There will be thinning oh Japanese anemones, you have been warned.

Japanese-Anemone

Fortunately, some daises I transplanted brushed off neglect and decided to grow tall and spectacular. By themselves,

Daisies-Almost-Alone

Or, in dappled context,
Hydrangea-and-Leaf-Burn

next to neighbors. Boisterous, lace-capped, pink-flowered neighbors. Lurking grasses, necessary menace.

Daisies-with-Hydrangea-and-Grass

Thanks, you plants, my friends. Just what I needed.

 

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23 Comments

  • 06/24/16
    8:09 am

    Reply

    Susan D. said...

    Your commentary makes me chuckle. In my garden at our farm, we have menacing poison ivy! In fact, things are so overgrown (dangerous in snake country), i dare not even venture around. We’ve called in reinforcements and by the end of next weekend, I might have good news to report.

    Your flowers are beautiful. I love what you said about the yarrow.

    06/25/16
    7:37 am
    Lisa said...

    @Susan D., Thank you. Snake country does sound so mysterious, like a movie of danger.

  • 06/24/16
    8:17 am

    Reply

    Susan said...

    I believe your mystery plant may be arum italicum. Lovely photos – thanks for sharing.

    06/25/16
    7:38 am
    Lisa said...

    @Susan, Thank you so much. I do not get blooms on these things, just the red pods. But, Google search confirms. Are the red things the flowers in fact?

  • 06/24/16
    8:20 am

    Reply

    Susan said...

    My garden grounds me (no pun intended :)). I have a friend who is a CASA volunteer. Her garden seems to always get vigorous attention after she has to attend court for for her cases.

    06/25/16
    7:39 am
    Lisa said...

    @Susan, Oh gosh yes. So grounding, so calming. I even find myself liking to walk barefoot out there on really bad days. Fallen plums are a risk, however;).

  • 06/24/16
    8:48 am

    Reply

    Mary anne said...

    Even during dark times a garden can bring comfort and beauty. Yours is lovely.

    06/25/16
    7:40 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mary anne, Yes. And thank you.

  • 06/24/16
    8:49 am

    Reply

    Susanna said...

    Lots of love there!

    06/25/16
    7:46 am
    Lisa said...

    @Susanna, <3

  • 06/24/16
    8:53 am

    Reply

    Katherine C. James said...

    How lovely, text and photographs. Yesterday I hiked for two hours at Coyote Ranch between the Dumbarton and the San Mateo bridges. It’s already California rolling-foothill yellow, but there are white pelicans—I love those beautiful, big-beaked birds—white egrets, brown specked lizards too brazen to scurry out of the sun, and an assortment of other flora and fauna set against the stunning join of the bay returning from salt ponds and the land returning from farms. There were a pleasing number of butterflies as well. It was perfect weather: clear blue sky, sunshine, a cooling breeze. It’s almost July and we are remaining quite habitable. Happy Friday. Enjoy your paradisal yard.

    06/25/16
    7:47 am
    Lisa said...

    @Katherine C. James, Such a perfect day! It’s been hot here on the Peninsula, hotter than usual, so I am glad that by the bay we’re staying cool. I do so enjoy your writing.

  • 06/24/16
    9:02 am

    Reply

    Bungalow Hostess said...

    Thank you for sharing your white roses….and your garden is looking wonderful thick with lush greenery and lots of interesting plants.
    Pottering about in the garden is so soothing….it has helped me maintain my sanity and perspective during many a crisis.
    Your photos look fabulous!

    06/25/16
    7:48 am
    Lisa said...

    @Bungalow Hostess, You are welcome! Thank you for asking:). My roses appreciate the interest in their wellbeing, prima donnas that they are.

  • 06/24/16
    9:26 am

    Reply

    Ruth Johnson said...

    The green stalk that turns red looks like what we in England call ‘lords and ladies’ – a type of arum lily. Watch out – the berry-like seeds are poisonous

    06/25/16
    8:19 am
    Lisa said...

    @Ruth Johnson, Thank you. It looks poisonous!

  • 06/24/16
    9:35 am

    Reply

    kim said...

    Beautiful Lisa. I have the same garden issues! I hope you are well. Sending good thoughts to you about your mom. We are dealing with the same with my mother-in-law. It’s not easy. Enjoy your weekend. Kim

    06/25/16
    8:22 am
    Lisa said...

    @kim, Thank you. Good luck with your MIL. We probably should get together and compare notes:). I’d like to, at least.

  • 06/24/16
    9:47 am

    Reply

    Frances/Materfamilias said...

    So much solace to be found in a garden’s resilient beauty. Yours is maturing into a lovely, tranquil space, with a kindly, if watchful, tolerance for interlopers. And your photos of it are exquisite. xo

    06/25/16
    8:23 am
    Lisa said...

    @Frances/Materfamilias, Thank you. And yes, it is maturing, I think that’s exactly it. Room for change at the margins, without disrupting the whole. Rather like your place on the island, I imagine – and now a new way of urban gardening awaits.

  • 06/24/16
    12:09 pm

    Reply

    JB said...

    Water or mud to get more butterflies. Sometimes cut oranges too

    06/25/16
    8:27 am
    Lisa said...

    @JB, I have put a glass plate out behind some milkweed, and I fill it with water every morning. Do you think that’s sufficient? And orange slices, well, OK then!

  • 06/24/16
    12:12 pm

    Reply

    dottoressa said...

    Your garden and your plants are the real friends-beautiful and calming when needed,always there,sharing their grace :-)
    Dottoressa

    06/27/16
    1:42 pm
    Lisa said...

    @dottoressa, So true. And of course, you all here.

  • 06/24/16
    12:51 pm

    Reply

    Eleanorjane said...

    What a lovely space! I’m making a habit of breakfasting and lunching outside when working from home (and when it’s not raining, which isn’t often). Especially on fraught days like this morning when I work up to find that a small majority voted for England to leave the European Union.

    06/27/16
    1:42 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Eleanorjane, So fraught. And I think it’s a great habit, to breakfast outside. So calming. Thank you:).

  • 06/24/16
    2:05 pm

    Reply

    Jane said...

    Those white roses!!!! Love them and all your other lovely flowers. I love hydrangeas but especially the lace-caps. I have one called Lady in Red.

    06/27/16
    1:43 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Jane, Lady in Red. What a wonderful name.

  • 06/24/16
    3:03 pm

    Reply

    Candace said...

    Your garden is flourishing so beautifully. I adore hydrangea and love your gorgeous, full pink ones!
    Everything is so vibrant and peaceful, infusing strength and calm into your life.

    06/27/16
    1:43 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Candace, Thank you so much. I will take all the infusions I can get.

  • 06/24/16
    7:35 pm

    Reply

    Susan said...

    Gardens are very rewarding. Always thriving. As you say, some plants like to take over (just like some people). Glad to see you spending time in your garden! Nothing better than a little R&R time surrounded by beauty. Susan

    06/27/16
    1:44 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Susan, Ha! So right about the invasive species of all types.

  • 06/24/16
    9:38 pm

    Reply

    Faux Fuchsia said...

    luff this new gardening you. How good are shastas? How come bare earth and no mulch? I have to use a thick sugar cane mulch to keep the earth damp and the weeds down.

    Keep up the good work x

    06/27/16
    1:46 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Faux Fuchsia, I don’t think we can say “new” any more! And the large Chinese elm always provided a leaf mulch. Now that it caught a root fungus, and we had it cut way back, I probably should mulch more intentionally.

  • 06/25/16
    6:57 am

    Reply

    holly said...

    What is the “oil from Indian tree seeds” that you sprayed on your roses. my roses are a bit in need as well.
    thank you for your lovely writings and photos!
    xx-hb

    06/27/16
    1:48 pm
    Lisa said...

    @holly, Neem oil! Here’s an affiliate Amazon link, http://amzn.to/28WA54C, if you prefer non-monetized, just go to Amazon and search for neem oil. Great stuff, smells dreadful:). And you are very welcome.

  • 06/25/16
    8:39 am

    Reply

    Susan said...

    The stalk that will have the berries comes up in a paper-y sleeve. It’s not very noticeable.
    http://www.isatis31.botagora.fr/en/aquarelles/galleryType/slideshow/ItemID/1152.aspx

    06/27/16
    1:49 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Susan, Ah yes. Pesky little plants, aren’t they?

  • 06/25/16
    10:19 am

    Reply

    Lisa Chavez said...

    Gorgeous!!! Gardening is one of my favorite things to do. I only have a balcony right now, but I still manage…it is container-laden and I enjoy cucumbers and peppers, herbs, flowers, plants with beautiful foliage…

    06/27/16
    1:50 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Lisa Chavez, Thank you! And I imagine I may move to a balcony garden some day, and it will have its own joys. As yours does, I am sure.

  • 06/26/16
    7:20 am

    Reply

    Charlotte Des Fleurs said...

    Hi Lisa, I, too, have a large garden with many butterfly-friendly plants. I noticed that they seem to prefer the flowers that are in the sun. Your garden looks a bit shady to me. Perhaps that is simply the time of day when you took the photos.

    Anyway, here are some tips that may help bring more butterflies to your garden:

    http://www.joyfulbutterfly.com/butterfly-garden-tips/

    Smiles from Charlotte Des Fleurs

    06/27/16
    1:51 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Charlotte Des Fleurs, Thank you for the link. The garden gets a lot of sun, too much to take a photo in fact due to the brightness! My current theory is that the butterflies need a longer swath of milkweed to really know its there, and to make the flying over a fence thing worthwhile. We shall see:).

  • 06/26/16
    12:51 pm

    Reply

    Mardel said...

    So peaceful, lovely and friendly, your garden photos. I feel cool and welcome just looking at them. My yarrow is supposed to be white also. Mostly it is, but there are a few pinks and even a bright yellow.

  • 07/14/16
    6:09 am

    Reply

    Tabitha said...

    Beautiful garden, even though I am in the land of abundant rose gardens, mine are sickly weaklings who cough up two or three blooms then go back to wither on their chaise longue

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