It’s been a wonderful spring with reliable rain, even temperatures, and no extreme weather. This is enough to spoil a gardener and make him forget the usual drought and plague which usual hit about this time of year. Delphinium would be my poster child for weather gone wrong, and in a normal year would lay in a storm beaten heap well before the end of June.
So I couldn’t help but gloat a little over the delphinium, but the real point to this post is to show a little of the backyard and hopefully impress someone with how busy I’ve been. There’s a whole other garden back there and sometimes my limited attention span never makes it past the Tuesday view of the front street border 😉
Once into the back yard the most prominent feature is the kid’s play set. It may look romantically functional in photos, but in reality it’s become too weak and shaky, and not quite what 9 and 11 year olds look for in outdoor entertainment.
An executive decision was made to retire the play set.
Between ripping down the old set and figuring out what to do with the site, several weeks passed. Another executive decision determined that the budding gymnast needed a bar to do acrobatics off of, so off to the internet. In the meantime summer came.
While working out the swing project (which as expected became much more complicated than it should have been) I also tried to triage the vegetable garden and back flower beds. For as wet and cool as the spring was, the phlox came up terrible this year. Spider mites, stunted plants, missing clumps… I blame miserable soil prep and last summer’s drought, but who knows. I did finally fertilize, and things appear to be turning, but as I realize once again how great they should be, I kind of regret not taking better care of them.
Even though the phlox patch (aka vegetable garden, aka potager) is really just an overdone example of gardening gone wrong, it only takes one amazing flower to make it all right. Some Regal lily (Lilium regale) seedlings from a few years back are big enough to flower and I love them. The flowers are nice enough in themselves but in addition to color, they perfume the entire potager with a heavy scent of summer which reminds me of gardenias and the tropics. Too much for an enclosed place, but in the late afternoon, out in the garden, perfect.
While the garden slowly comes together, the new swing set also rises. An idea comes to mind, no real reason why it shouldn’t work, new parts, wrong parts, returned parts, and a whole lot of sweaty digging while the price tag goes up and up.
As the old swing went down, the annual ‘cut that damn grass it looks horrible and it’s full of ticks and don’t you care about the children’ discussion took place. In an attempt to distract naysayers and define the area I nearly killed myself moving a few mini boulders over to define the edge of the meadow. I like it and of course think it looks even better, but as for other opinions… I’ll let you know as soon as we’re back on speaking terms.
To be honest bugs do abound in the meadow. There are fireflies, butterflies, crickets and bees galore, as well as visitors of the cottontail type.
While I was trying to figure out how the old swing set could so quickly collapse and be outgrown, it’s beginning to sink in that it’s the actual years which are ticking away. It’s already been nine years since we moved to this house.
But you really can’t do anything other than enjoy the ride. We now have a cute little swing set for relaxing afternoon entertainment and it will hopefully provide many years of fun.
The pond is next. It’s been a ball-trapping, mud-slopping, weed-filled pit for more years than I care to admit, and is absolutely overdue for a detox. Every year I say the same, but I hope that once the potager is weeded, and the new swingset bed planted, and a truckload of bark mulch spread, and daffodils dug, and out-of-control compost pile reclaimed… I think then I’ll start on the pond. Maybe.
Have a great week!