How my garden does grow

Yesterday I spent some time getting some garden therapy. Over the course of the summer plants throughout my garden have grown like crazy. I think I'll need a machete when it comes to cutting some things back in preparation for winter.

Back in mid-April I posted a bLog-oMotives entry about the little two hour gardening project that came about as a result of deciding not to spend $1000 on a water feature in one flower bed. (Top photo: April; lower photo: September) In fact, I spent no money at all in landscaping the area. All the materials used in the bed were either moved from other overcrowded parts of my garden, or the result of dividing some larger plants. With the initial planting things looked a bit bare. I knew that would change in a relatively short period of time.

Several hostas, a sedum and fuschias quickly filled in much of the bed. (Left photo: April; right photo: September) Black mondo grass, a black fern, a saxifraga, a Veronica ground-cover, an ornamental thistle, some calla lilies and moss roses added color, texture and variety. Then the begonia that wants to eat North Portland filled in any bare space.

The only disappointment in the bed is a supposedly hardy gardenia. Of the five originally placed in my garden two are thriving (one is in its second year), two appear to be diseased (including the one in my newest bed) and one did not survive.

In the two inner patio corners of the bed are my homemade copper hose guides. I wrote a "how-to" bLog-oMotives entry about the hose guides back in June.

It was a beautiful fall day to be out gardening. I even began the process of raking leaves that had fallen from our pink dogwood. Suddenly, I was attacked and covered by a swarm of yellowjackets. I was doing a far from graceful "get naked" dance as I ran to the house, tearing off my insect covered clothing. By the time I got into the kitchen I was just wearing my briefs and still had yellowjackets in my hair and flying around me. Somehow I got only three stings - one in my ear, one behind my knee and one on my shin. I did have a minor immediate allergic reaction, but soon felt nothing but intense pain in my swelling ear.

Later in the evening we discovered that the yellowjackets had built a nest in the drainage hole of half a wine barrel planted with mint for our mojito-making. Ed stuck a cork in the opening and proceeded to flood out the nest throughout this morning.

I hope that with continuing great fall weather I will be able to enjoy additional days of garden therapy without requiring any medical attention, allergy drugs or painkillers.

©2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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