Monday, August 27, 2012

Not Feeling the Love

I am having a devil of a time finishing this post about how I not felt like blogging much lately. lol I have not been feeling the love towards blogging in large part because I'm not feeling the love towards my garden over the summer. I have been working in the garden more this year than for the past 5 and yet at the same time I'm less satisfied with it. I'm noticing the flaws more this year, the unfinished parts. Those would include:

1). The field up top. The Bidens were mostly a bust up there this year and the few asters are only knee high.

mid-April 2012 The pink flags mark the locations of Aster 'Miss Bessie'.

August 26, 2012

I'm so envious of the beautiful artistic grasses that grow in the Dordogne region in France with the wild orchids that Rob has shown on his blog. Here we just get tangles of bermudagrass and some tall blooming grass that's the ugliest thing I've ever seen. When the mess gets bad it's time to bring out the tractor and mow it down.

2). The view from the corner of the drive to the house. It's dominated by the shavings pile with the gray tarp and lacks a visual focus, a "punch". I've held off doing anything much because we plan to build a hay shelter and two new stalls adjacent to the paddock. Then I can landscape.

early March 2012

The best I can do to screen the shavings pile for now is to allow a couple of wax myrtle volunteers to grow up above the pile. Might add a couple of sweet bay magnolias too. A shelter for the shavings would be impractical at this point because we don't have a tractor that has an attachment that could easily move the shavings under a shelter after they are dumped.

August 26, 2012

3). The garden east of the house. Love it late April through mid-May, but after that there are gaps. I want more summer phlox in there, but am having some trouble getting as much going as I'd like, due to both winter losses (voles?) and summer losses (some sort of white fungus at the base of the stems). The daylilies need to mature more into clumps and I want to add more purples like 'Indian Giver', 'Blackjack Cherry', and 'Catherine Neal'.

late April 2012

late May 2012 The (clumsy) hay edging is my attempt to correct a
curve I've had trouble getting right after moving the rose 'Blush Noisette'.

A riddle: why is the answer to a bed that needs something
and already has daylilies always "need to get more daylilies"?

4) The beds north of the well, between the house and the big perennial bed. At least they don't just look like compost piles anymore, but they still have some filling in to do. I recently added more seashore mallow and Hibiscus moscheutos to the bed nearest the drive and will add more to the sister bed as well. My favorite part of this part of the garden is the sweetbriar rose (Rosa eglangeria) and a white-and-blush pink hibiscus. The foliage of the sweetbriar is very strongly fragrant every morning and evening with high humidity (which is most mornings and evenings in summer) and after a rainstorm. It smells like honey and apples.

late May last year

August 26, 2012

I think I'm just ready for the landscape to come together more as a whole. Granted, it does come together even now when everything is sized up in late summer/ early fall, but I'd like for it to be more together over the whole season.


  1. I really admire all your gardens, but that's a LOT of work! I can't seem to keep a small area looking good. Wishing you beautiful Fall weather, which should be on the way soon!

  2. You definitely have a lot of work. Your garden area is HUGE! Blogging is not easy this time of year for many of us. I always feel like August and November/December are the worst months to do it. So hang in there, Fall should inspire the mind again:) But I do like your area....what a great place to wake up to and have some coffee:)

  3. It still looks good to me! Our garden has suffered some from drought this year too so it is not looking it's best but there is always next year!

    Hope you enjoy your fall,


  4. Honestly, sometimes I tire of blogging too. The weather hasn't helped with wanting to garden either. Here it is the end of August, and I am positively warmed over sitting here at the computer. Later in the week the forecast is for temperatures in the 90's! This is Canada for gosh sakes! Were is that fall chill in the air?
    I have always found lots to admire in your garden. You are a knowledgeable gardener and I have confidence that you will find solutions to all your design/plant problems. As soon as the temperatures drop a bit, I am sure it will be much easier to muster the enthusiasm to get started on changes and additions you decide on.

  5. Having a garden the size of yours is hard work. I marvel at the roses that fill your beds, they are all so lovely. I hate losing plants over the winter, voles or whomever...rotten critters!
    I thought my gardens were doing alright then walking through them this afternoon I am seeing limp foliage on plants that I was sure were doing well. Hoping some water and coming rains (?) will perk them up a bit.

  6. I have always admired your garden spaces, and I love this post for showing its broader setting. You have already accomplished a lot! Each season, each year you will no doubt continue to add to and adjust your garden, but I doubt you will ever feel it's finished! But no matter, your piece of paradise is bound to be beautiful!

  7. I love your country gardens and know they have to be a lot of work. We live on 1/4 of an acre and I don't want to add any more garden areas at all as I've almost too much to handle right now.

    Last summer I got bogged, depressed and just didn't feel all that great from the summer's heat and humidity and let my gardens slide. This summer was better. Although, now with all the rain we've had the past few months, we're living in a jungle, and after Isaac, the gardens are pretty much under water in some areas and I'm hoping I don't lose too much. More rain is expected throughout today.

    Hang in there and pretty soon summer will be over. It takes a lot of work to create the wonderful beauty that surrounds you there. I am always impressed.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  8. You have a huge garden! And you have a lot of work in it!
    Maybe you need a helper in the garden and or have you already him?
    It's very beautiful place, lots of pines, big trees.

    1. Thank you Nadezda! No, no helpers currently. I need one though!

  9. I've gone through these blogging-blahs periods, too; it seems it takes me longer and longer to write a post these days. But I can't blame all my malaise on gardening, though, because I haven't worked very hard in the garden for the past month or more. I'm blaming that on the heat this summer--I'm hoping when it finally turns cooler that I'll get motivated once again. You have such a huge garden to tend to that it's no wonder you feel overwhelmed at times. I have a lot of space, too, but I haven't cultivated nearly as much as you have, and my small garden areas seem overwhelming to me at times, too. But I've always loved the style of your garden and think it's beautiful the way you have combined so many natives and non-natives to create a lush and natural-looking garden. I hope the cooler weather of all will make you fall in love with your garden again!

  10. If you are not in the mood to blog it is better to give it a miss for a while otherwise it becomes a chore.
    You would think by this time of year we would all be in the garden, lounging contentedly while sipping a cool drink. Unfortunately this is just the time when the novelty wears off and we start seeing the flaws and failures in the garden...better to sit indoors or keep our eyes closed :-)

  11. LOL, if one part of my garden looks good for 1 season of the year, I'm satisfied. But then, I don't put much time into any part of it! To me, your garden always looks lovely, Sweetbay.

  12. I agree with easygardener--this can actually be a hard time to love the garden, because now you know without a doubt which hopes and dreams for it are just NOT going to work out this year. What a good thing bulb catalogs are... From way out here, of course, your garden looks lovely and lush!

  13. 1) I did not see any of the problem areas you wrote about. I think your garden is magnificent.
    2) Have you thought about using tall grasses to shield the shavings area?
    3) Instead of adding more daylilies, have you considered coneflowers, pycnanthemum (mountain mint), 'Monch' asters or 'Blue Fortune' agastache which start blooming in midsummer?
    4) What about adding some tall asiatic lilies? Even after they're done blooming, the foliage is interesting and adds a sense of fullness. Pennisetum also adds summer fullness. The pink plumes of Karley Rose would be beautiful in your mixed beds.
    5) You're being too hard on your self.

  14. No amount of criticism will persuade me to see your garden as anything but lovely and peaceful. I do think that the end of summer is a trying time for many gardeners. I hope your mood will change soon :)

  15. I think I am with Masha...your garden looks just wonderful and truly beautiful, lovely and peaceful and it brings me joy when you blog and show it through the seasons. I thank you sincerely for that.

    As for blogging...I notice a lot of folks are finding it hard to blog as there is so much to do now. It is harvest season and there have been so many weather challenges.

    I also liked Casa Mariposa's reply to you, good suggestions.

    A nice stack of garden magazines to flip through, might inspire, and give new focus!! ;-)

  16. Thank you very much for your kind words. They mean a lot to me.

    Casa I should do a post regarding your suggestions!

  17. Hang in there Sweetbay, I think we are all in the same place. I'll be honest there are days (more and more of them) when I walk outside and look at that monster and I ask myself, "what the hell were you thinking." but then cooler temps come along and I feel better about things. My back was a source of frustration for me, I got that taken care of now about two week ago I came in from the garden and I had a hernia! They say all great artist suffer. LOL Your garden is beautiful. I think we are all just tired right now. The climate the past three years has not been an encouraging one for gardeners.

  18. You are being MUCH too hard on yourself SB!!!!! I always look at your long shots with envy because of the amount of space you have. It always looks so peaceful on your property ~ like paradise ~ I wish I could look outside & see your view! Plus you do everything yourself which is quite an achievement! I hope the new season will bring fresh enthusiasm for you. I haven't had much time for blogging either but I don't want to give it up (& I hope you don't either!!)

  19. What I love most about your garden Sweetbay is the natural lush wildness about it . . . though I know it is not wild . . . a ton of hard work goes into creating your gorgeous landscape. It blends in so perfectly with the surroundings and always seems to have gifts of wildlife about. I definitely feel let down about my garden too . . . especially when I lose my help and cannot complete jobs I had hoped to. August always seems to be garden burn out time. I hope you will have a great fall and feel better about your creation. To me it is simply wonderful and so healthy. I wish I had a Prince of my own. ;>)


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