Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flowers and More Flowers

My garden has been offering to my eyes a never-ending pallet of delightful colours. I have been neglecting my duty by not sharing them with you. I’m changing that fact right now…

What’s this??? A totally boring photo with no bright colours! Well, I had to start somewhere. I built this tree-ring Day Lily flowerbed last year. Last Autumn, I covered it in a thick layer of leaves to help to protect it from the harsh winter. This Spring, I got an idea…

If I were to leave the leaves in place, would the Day Lilies be able to grow up and through them? The answer was, “Yes! No Problem!” The reason why I did this was to stop all the moisture in the soil from evaporating during the hot summer days. The leaves will also decompose, adding nutrients to the soil, and they will also prevent other weeds from invading this area.

Ummmmm… I forgot about the Spring winds! Once the top layer of leaves began to dry out, they also began to blow out - over the rest of my lawn! D’oh!!! I added just a thin layer of topsoil on top of the leaves to keep them in place. This is a great photo to show how most plants multiply. Last year, this small clump consisted of just three lilies and this year there are eight lily flowers. From the main clump you can see how ‘runner’ roots spread out – almost in an arc-like fashion – to fill in area for the next season.

For the next – like forever – it rained and rained!!!! Once the sun had a chance to do its job, all the flowers in my garden really started growing high and strong!

As per usual, I enjoy fiddling around with my flower images on the computer to enhance the colours and textures of the plants and flowers. This image will be my album cover for my garden photoalbum on Facebook, this year. These Day Lilies look like an explosion of life and colour!!! I love it!

Compare this photo to the very first one in this blog story and you’ll see how far this small patch of lilies has come, so far this year.

This is how this garden looked at its height, last season. WOW!!! What a difference. Last year, I saw only about ten flowers in this whole garden. This year, each individual flower will produce about ten flowers… and doing a bit of quick math will tell me that I should see over four hundred flowers over a 3-4 week period!!! Impressive!

Just a few feet away we can see my birdbath garden.

This garden space is not very large, but it is filled with a large variety of flowers.

Over the last few years I’ve been teaching myself how to build the perfect flower garden.

I’ve been studying the colours and heights and learning when certain flowers bloom.

I try to plan my gardens so that when one flower has bloomed and died, there is soon a different species of flower growing to take its place.

As my Daffodils are blooming, my Tulips are growing.

As the Daffodils begin to die off, the Tulips spread a new colour through my garden.

This is what my birdbath garden looks like today. The small purple flowers (I don’t know what they are called) have now turned to seed, the Daffodils have wilted away and the Tulip flowers have all fallen off.

Now is the season for the Iris. You can also see another few patches of green growing on either side of the Irises – these flowers will bloom in another month with bright purple flowers. The other thing that is hard to notice – right now – are the very small Pepper plants and Eggplants that will fill in this space once the Irises have finished flowering.

This small garden has taught me about seven different species of flowers. Flowers are in constant bloom from the earliest of Spring into the middle of Summer, with a small Autumn harvest of food, to boot!!!! You really can do quite a lot with a small amount of space.

These are just two of the seven gardens I have in my backyard. But, now, I want to take you on a small journey to see how my front garden prospered this year…

This garden is filled with mostly Summer flowers, but I do love the small splashes of Spring Daffodils and Tulips that usher in the growing season.

I built and planted this garden last Spring and because the roots of all my flowers were healing I saw very few blooms, last year. I was really excited to see so many Tulips blooming this Spring and I know that next year I will see even more!

Just a few weeks later, many other flowers have begun to fill in this space. In another few weeks, the lilies – bottom left – will bloom with burgundy and yellow flowers. In another few weeks, after that, my Cardinals – hidden by the lilies – will shoot rockets of red skyward to attract the Hummingbirds.

But, for now, let’s take a closer look at my Bleeding Heart!

And… a little closer!!!

I always like to get in really close with my camera, when I’m taking pictures of flowers!

At the other end of this garden, another plant has bloomed. I’m rather proud of how I planted these to grow in the shape of a curve to follow the edge of the garden.

I still have so much to learn about the flowers in my garden. This is another species that I’ve learned a lot about… everything except its name!

I look forward to letting Nature continuously surprise and delight me so that I can continue to share these marvels and adventures in gardening with you. I hope that these many colourful photos have inspired you to take a closer look at the beauty that surrounds us as we tread our own course of growth and change to realize that each of us is as simple as a flower – understanding that a flower is a complicated thing!


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