Monthly Archives: June 2016

The existential crisis garden tour

My garden is a hot mess.

welcome to the jungle

I apparently  only do adult life in the form of weekly ordeals, so the garden has been on red ordeal alert for approximately 104 weeks.   I busted up my hand in fall 2014 and didn’t get any fall cleanup done.Then I spent the spring and summer venturing onto the deck, looking at the jungle for a couple of seconds, and running back inside.

I didn’t get much gardening done, but I stayed up late and partied a lot  with my old friends shame, guilt, regret, and ‘remember that time when HORTICULTURE SCHOOL? Remember every decision ever? Why the hell do you do any of the things you do?’ Good times.

This year? Honestly, I  don’t want to jinx it by overthinking things… but I am remembering to water things. And add  compost. I put in an appearance at the landscape supplies lot. I am machete-ing weeds,cutting  edges and banging down truckloads of soil. I’m using super lazy cheats, like cardboard garden beds. There are still pockets and corners of burdock and thistle. But it’s fun again.


I found these stawberries’ ancestors growing by our garden gate when we bought the house in the 90s!

I have killed a lot of plants. Legit, spent-money- on -them, adult homeowner career lady plants.  (Beautiful white garden rose bush, I let you down, and I am so so sorry.)

But others? My oddball collection of salvaged, traded, and ‘founds’? The ones who have been in my life through work, projects, a move, all that life stuff? They have been there waiting for me at the end of the sad grey tunnel. (Behind a lot of really tall weeds.)

Want a tour?

mow your driveway

I know, I know, I should mow my damn driveway. You would not believe the temptation to crop the weeds out of these photos. Not today! Meet Hoppy the hops plant. He will try to take over your entire yard. He’s great for gates… and for hops if you’re doing a brewer-couple’s wedding flowers. He is, however, bred for looks, not beer.

porch onion

Porch onion. I love him. I grew allium and garlic chives from seed back in the early 2000s. They are now everywhere. Spencer says I can keep this guy. He reminds me of the radish growing through the concrete in Japan. (the allium. Not Spencer)  Allium come in so many shapes and sizes- plant bulbs in the fall for spring/summer blooms. Those big tall Dr Seuss looking poofballs on a stick? Allium. Also available in tiny and yellow.



I had to cut back some over-enthusiastic geranium from a client’s walkway a couple years ago. I took the cuttings home and planted them beside our steps. The lady who owned these has since passed away- I didn’t know her very well, but I’m friends with her son, and I like thinking that I’m carrying something forward in her memory. I should see if her son would like some…



Another survivor of my ‘let’s grow local wildflowers from seed like a real horticulturist’ days. Columbines. (aquilegia) from one or two plants to whole clumps. Growing perennials from seed is a real exercise in patience. Gardening in general, I guess. “It is only tot he gardener that time is a friend” *


These frigging poppies. I love these. They were in bloom for my birthday this year and it felt like a sign. They spend the whole year as raggedy ass thistle looking leaves… except for one glorious week where they put on a show. Big, silky, the brightest orange red you’ll ever see. These came to me as three strays from my gardening boss’ garden. And now I have billions. They’re my crowning glory.

sage flowers


Also a surprise that felt like a sign as I figure out the next few steps of the rest of my life- my sage plant. It survived the winter. And now it’s growing Sage Flowers.

PS. *That quote back there? Turns out I’d only ever heard half of it.

“It is only to the gardener that time is a friend, giving each year more than he steals. ”

-Beverley Nichols

Well how about that.

Enjoy your weekend, and happy June! I hope it brings you  more friends than thieves, and that you get to play in the dirt 🙂



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