Baking, this morning, and then Sunday School and church, and then my parents and #1 daughter and Son-in-Law are all coming over and the boys are going to barbecue. #2 son’s special plum marinade is involved, so we know it will be good. My husband has decided what kind of rice he will make, and there is talk of strawberry cream puffs.
Yesterday was a sultry day. We bought food, spent a little time at the store where I work, got some errands done, went to #2 son’s gymnastics lesson, got #1 son’s graduation announcements done, and did a bit of gardening.
Not much, frankly. The weather was not conducive to digging.
I got a flat of impatiens to add to my woodland glade of a perennial garden. It is possible that I bought too many.
This is the garden that #2 son and I made a couple of years ago.
When we moved in, there was a crape myrtle and boxwood, two spindly azaleas, and some phlox with white flowers. As the nursery people say, that phlox looks good for about three weeks out of the year. And the crape myrtle also has white flowers for a few weeks later in the summer.
It was a neat triangular green patch, with the crape myrtle at the apex, three boxwoods before it, the azaleas weakly trying to anchor the sides and the phlox in front between the azaleas. It was predictable and visible from the road but undistinguished.
I like a wild garden, myself, and a bit of color, too.
So we planted a nice assortment of shade perennials. Some have done well, some have died, some haven’t made much of a show yet. This is how it is with perennials.
Here are lamiastrum, hostas, and some box. The lamiastrum is very pretty, with its pink flowers, but tiny. Not a splashy sort of flower. The tree-like leaves are the leaves of trees which grow as weeds in this garden. They are very hard to pull, especially they ones that are growing back there amid the prickly boxwood.
And that spotty-leafed thing, which has forgettable little yellow blooms but really charming leaves. It might be another variety of lamiastrum.
There are a few of the perennials which have never bloomed. The circumstances, I suppose, have not been perfect yet.
The salvia (Midsummer Dream) is just getting started with its purple spikes. As long as it gets regular haircuts, it will get much bigger during the season and keep blooming, long after the violets and columbine have finished.
The hostas also have white and purple spikes of flowers. But, as is the way with most perennials, they are a brief show. They will poke their flowers up in June or July.
The azaleas only got to bloom for a day or two this year before a cold snap nipped them. These are weak, puny, unhappy azaleas, though, and I feel sorry for them.
In general, perennials just bloom for a short spell, and they they let their neighbor bloom, and the woodland glade is mostly a collection of interesting foliage.
You will have noticed that about real woodland glades, perhaps. You go for a walk there one week and there are bluebells. Next time, some other flower is having its turn. This is a nice effect in nature, where there are several acres of bluebells or violas or whatever it might be. In a small garden, though, it doesn’t have the same effect.
So we plant annuals. They provide nice color all season, and then die.
As shady as it is, impatiens are really all that will grow there steadily, in the way of colorful annuals. I have planted torenia, snapdragons, and cornflowers there, but they all seem unhappy. They yearn for the sun. The cornflowers actually moved themselves out to the front of the garden where there is a bit of sun, even though they looked very silly, knee-high raggedy sailors amid the dianthus. They did this over a few years through self-seeding, of course, not by uprooting themselves and leaping, but even when they grew where I wanted them to, they were stretching out over the front flowers.
I don’t have the heart to do that to them again.
Pinks thrive as plants in the shade, but don’t bloom much. So it has to be impatiens. I like the double-flowered ones best, the ones that look like little roses, but this year I bought a flat of single impatiens. I planted a few in the afternoon, but it was like gardening in a sauna, so I went back out in the cool of the evening and planted some more. I still have half a flat left.
I tried to get my husband’s opinion on whether I could squeeze in a few more without making them feel squished, but he prefers to see annuals in neat geometric patterns, preferably sorted by color, and would really rather they were vegetables, so he finds it difficult to make suggestions about my wild garden.
I’ll go on out once I’ve had my tea and gotten my pie in the oven and see whether it looks too crowded in the light of the morning.