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Since the tax assessment people call my shack a cottage, I suppose a cottage garden would be appropriate, although chaos is more like it. In the back end, where I have bow sawed down some black cherry trees, some elm trees that always grow just large enough and just long enough that I begin to hope that I have one immune to elm disease, and some sumac, poison ivy, wild elder berries, blackberries that never bear fruit and numerous ten foot weeds I have been attempting a sort of perennial border. I am considering dropping this idea and planting dahlias which for some reason grow well in the potters clay back there. Really--they make bricks and used to make flower pots from the clay in the wet lands around me. I call that part of the garden Eden after the fall. The border has been a disaster. Cup weed grows ten feet tall, but both yellow thalictrum and yellow foxgloves are dying. Monarda spreads all over, coreopsis dies., seed grown kniphofia has not bloomed but at least lived through the winter--now what do I do with the flattened green leaves? Zebra grass falls over and last summer a tree fell on the whole mess. And why did I think forget-me nots were quiet little biennials?? They spread in stem rooting mats all over and even choke the daylilies and tulips I thought would look good with them. Then I planted a couple hundred daylily seeds back in there----but why did I plant glads by them?? But my wife likes the first seedling daylily to bloom there in 09---now there are a couple hundred crowded seedlings started fall of09. I think I lack organization!
Wow - sounds like you have a lot of work cut out for you. On the other hand, you also have the acreage for great potential beds in the future. Once you get rid of all the weeds, the perennials you have can be moved to where they will thrive. Guess the best way to tackle the whole project is one square foot at a time. I have the opposite problem - I have run out of space to plant what I want, so the lawn came out. One last section to do this weekend, and the lawn mower is going to be retired.
Good luck with your chaos - life is more interesting with them.
I love the color of that daylily, and I see nasturtium leaves lurking in the undergrowth.
I'm trying to renovate a vry large old garden which has had minimum, non-gardener maintenance for years and has gotten somewhat out of control.
I swear by nasturtiums to cover ground and block out weeds while I'm trying to figure out what to do next. I use all kinds: Fordhook and anything else that says trailing or vining for big problems, vigorous for somewhat more contained areas-- I had those near roses and had to edit firmly-- and the smallest for edging. They're really not so small. I start a flat of them 2 or 3 weeks before frost/planting outdate for tenders, and direct seed many, many more as close to that date as possible. For us it's Memorial Day, the beginning of June. I have at least 8 or 10 packets and lots of saved seed from last year ready to go.
weedyseedy, I feel your pain and frustration. Just work on one small s pot at a time. If you need to clean it up and out, take what you like, put it in a container. Try to make some individual beds that will give you control over an area and stop fretting. Use your rocks to do borders and separators. Daylilies tend to take over and spread.
If you have good exposures, you've got it made, because that is the one thing you cannot easily fix. If you do composting, use it to amend your soil. You can do it with coffee grounds (check with coffee shops; it's free). You can go to supermarkets and ask for their inedible discards that they don't recycle. For them it's garbage; for you, gold.
In what part of New York is Warners located and do you know your zone?
I don't know if it's all the rain we have had or what but it's coming back and shaping up---sort of! The yellow fox gloves that always look dead in the Spring came up from the roots better than ever, they have been seeding themselves to my surprise, not where I want them but I moved the seedlings back with their parents. I found a four pack of a foxglove called Creme Brulee and mixed them in with the others---haven't a clue what they will look like, can't find a photo but I hope they are yellow?? The monarda took off but I've never liked it's color---not red enough and I should have planted the scarlet one--- the F ulmaria was mislabled and one plant is a huge single meadow sweet, should have moved it back by the Zebra grass. I tryed coreopsis--don't like them-- may move brown eyed susans in front of the dingy red monarda. Thalictrum looks happier but kind of scimpy and no seedlings. Tritoma that I started from seed looks like it may bloom this year--I may cut off the old leaves as they look ratty as all get out. All in all I may be starting to have fun, but I have a lot to learn about perennials---------------------------------------------------Weedy
Gouged out two lonicera bushes, hope to get Empress of India nasturtiums planted tonight then move red crocosmia behind them , maybe red canna behind that and seed dark red hollyhock for next year---if my back holds out---------------------weedy
Rats!! Got a tick too! Found it under my pants waist band---came off easily for a change, hadn't really dug his head in---need to get more brush down back there---I don't think it's wise to go on antibiotics every time you get a tick, but I usually find three or four a season, don't know if inoculation works.-------------------------------Weedy
Weedy, sorry about the tick - they are icky. I pull tick off myself about once or twice a week. I keep an eye out for a rash, but if there isn't one, I try not to worry too much. I don't know if this is wise or not.
Here in CT we've been spraying.. For two years I found a tick on me every single weekend, no matter what I used, even long sleeves, tucking pants in socks and spraying clothing with stuff meant for tents. Luckily, I'm mildly allergic to the bites so I find the ticks within just a few hours. Medical opinion in the Hamptons and CT agrees that 24 hours is the danger period. But DSO ( Dear Significant Other) found two several days after getting back to the city, and that was it. Tick Raiders to the rescue. They come 3 or 4 times a season, and thats been the end of it.
Well, it's the usual mix of disaster and success back in the jungle, (my son says it is a jungle, my wife refuses to go back there---on the one hand I can get away for a while, on the other she never sees the three foot high yellow fox gloves or the tall red seedling daylilies which she wants me to dig some of to give to a friend at her church--mixed blessings). The lemon lilies formed scapes early then froze and lost their buds in April. The kniphofia was chewed right to the ground but is now blooming and sending up more buds- strange looking flower actually. The yellow foxglove is three feet high with great spikes and looks as if it will seed itself forever. But it still is too short to show over the meadowsweet or Filipendula which, with the blasted monarda is almost higher than my head. I wish I had never planted the forget-me-nots as they spread every where and I have trouble getting myself to destroy any plant even daylily seedlings that are hopelessly ugly. The dahlias I planted to back up the mess are three feet high and if the deer don't eat them should be a sight; two tomato plants are three feet high and need tying up and already have blossoms. I finally learned how to pinch out suckers on tomato plants and if I catch them right at a blossom I don't get confused. Two buds (scapes) are showing on some rosea daylily seedlings even though I didn't get them lined out and they are too crowded and Wild Horses daylily has nine scapes rising and three clumps of Ed Murray I split last Fall have scapes all over the place. Summer goes too fast at my age.------------------------------------------------Weedy
Weedy... can you post pictures?? I would LOVE to see some of the beauty you described!!!
I'm recovering from surgery so there is sooooo much I want to do that is calling my name and I should NOT be doing it. I was smart enough to make sure everything that I could SEE from my dining room chair was weeded before I went in for surgery. The rest? well... it's truly ugly but I just have to be patient. Since surgery problems (opened incision) is at my waist, bending over to weed is NOT smart!!!
I can't find anything, I've been wondering about trying to find some members of the buckwheat family myself as I read an article somewhere about them listing and picturing a whole group of them. Now can't remember if it was in the Upstate Gardeners Journal or the American Horticulture's 'zine but there were a lot of species. At 75 my memory is shot and I just had a row with the Old Lady because I thought it was Monday not Tuesday and she wanted to do the laundry Tues but I thought today was Mon. So now she is sniveling in the other room. I guess I'd better go and crawl and say I'm sorry---then we can fight over what to cook for dinner.--------------------------Weedy