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12 July 2010 @ 11:46 pm
Might I have a bit of earth, sir?  
As last summer was ending, I found myself desperate to do something with a few problem spots on our property. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I hit the end of season plant sale at Lowes. I always feel a bit sad for the stragglers, those plants that had been so lovingly nurtured and coaxed along only to be left alone, forsaken, roots struggling against the confines of the small plastic containers.

I've no idea what I planted in the marshy area next to the gym/outbuilding. It was tagged suitable for wet ground; that was good enough for me. At present it is green and growing but has yet to flower. The area remains a work in progress. In front of the house, just beneath the big bay window, I planted three rose bushes. Or shrubs. Not sure. I only glanced at the tag long enough to ascertain they were supposedly low maintenance and likely to fill out and be pretty. Sold! I planted them and administered the food packet that came with the purchase. Then I left them alone.

Weeks went by. Months, even. It occurred to me about a week after the first snow fell that I ought to have done something to prepare them for the winter. Trim them back? Feed them again? Mulch? Ah, well. They were clearance priced plants, and I've no gift for gardening. The poor things were doomed from day one.


Come spring, two of the three plants put forth stems, thick with shiny leaves. Come early summer, there was a downright silly profusion of buds. These roses want to live, dammit! I've staked the two flourishing plants. I'm deadheading every few days. I bought food spikes but have yet to remember to hammer them into the soil. They don't seem to care any which way; they go on growing and blooming and establishing themselves in spite of my dithering.

Not the best picture, but it gives you an idea of how happy these plants are with NO help from me.

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The first two bushes have multi-layered petals; this one is very simple.

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I didn't plant these, but they come back every year. I'm a big fan of that. Pay no mind to the creepy cherub statue/defunct fountain, which was far less sinister before S3 of Doctor Who.

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My herb garden is plugging away quite nicely. Well, mostly. My veggies? We shall see. The bee balm is flourishing. My yarrow is droopy, though, and my lavender is very leggy. How does one encourage it to grow in a more bushy configuration? The Russian sage is green and leafy and shows no sign of wanting to bloom.

My poor, benighted lupin continues to put forth fresh new leaves, only to have them turn spotty and brown. I offer it apologies for my failings on a daily basis.
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formerlyfbformerlyfb on July 13th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
Your roses are beautiful! I don't know what the sunny yellow flowers are, but they have volunteered in my yard, too. I like them, they are cheerful. As for the lavender-what variety did you plant? There are so many types and they seem to all grow differently from one another. I have some tall, leggy ones and some that want to cascade over and down the wall they are planted next to.
Kelladyjoust on July 13th, 2010 04:16 am (UTC)
I've no idea what sort of lavender it is. I am so very bad at this gardening business.
formerlyfbformerlyfb on July 13th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
You might be bad at the business of gardening, but clearly you are very good at gardening!
Josh Shainejoshwriting on July 13th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC)
I don't know what kind of lupin you have, but I can tell you that the Lupin Festival, in Franconia, NH and its area, runs in early June, so it is not exactly shocking to me that one might have a hard time keeping it green and happy in mid-July!

They are gorgeous, though, as are all your flowers above!
Kelladyjoust on July 13th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)
I bought it as a start at the local herb and flower stand; mayhap it needs a season to establish. *fingers crossed!*
Annephloxyloxy on July 13th, 2010 07:49 am (UTC)
Pretty!! I like pictures and gardening posts, even if you think you are an epic failure. Evidence points to the contrary!
Fjordhopperfjordhopper on July 13th, 2010 09:56 am (UTC)
Yay for low maintenance roses!! I have some too and I love them for the same reason!

Your gardens look beautiful!
Zoë Tzoethor on July 13th, 2010 11:39 am (UTC)
My mom had some of those types of roses in the backyard -- they basically grew like weeds! Yay for roses that don't try to kill themselves!