This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote is the only way to describe how my yard screams with color right now. It is also full of fragrance. The earth is certainly happy and laughing - a great payback for me!
I have learned more about snakes than I ever wanted to since I started gardening. If you garden for any length of time you will come upon a snake every so often, and always when you least expect it. This is not an *if* statement, but a *when* statement.
Our home has a warm southern exposure and some rock-terraced areas--very desirable if you are a snake trying to warm up. We typically see three varieties of snakes on a regular basis: milk snakes, bull snakes and garter snakes; all sizes from tiny snakelets to large adults. I know snakes are super beneficial as far as consuming mice and insects, but I just don't like them lurking around the house (or me) while I'm gardening.
Every season Ange and I re-locate approximately 10-15 snakes. When they are small I'm okay with picking them up as long as I'm wearing garden gloves. For the larger snakes, Ange has a humane snake-picker-upper with soft holders. We catch them and put them in a bucket and take them for a leisurely walk down the road. They are re-located to a large uninhabited field. I am proud to say we have not injured or killed any snakes in the process.
What I've learned:
One July weekend's booty of two snakes. The snake on right was inside of our rain gutter and surfaced when we were mowing. We had to stop mowing and flush it out with the hose-hence the water.
If you like daylilies and landscape design, Eastbrook Gardens is the place to be!
Saturday, July 12th was Eastbrook Gardens annual Open Garden. I never miss it, and as always it was truly spectacular. Despite the recent and plentiful rainfall, Carol and Roger had their fifteen gardens meticulously manicured. Daylilies of every size, shape and color were blooming. A veritable rainbow! Just walking around and appreciating the beauty that surrounds you takes you to another place - a calming...relaxing...grateful that you are alive kind-of-place.
Eastbrook Gardens has 800+ named daylily cultivars and hundreds of seedlings that Roger has hybridized. He is test growing many of his seedlings to make sure they continue to have favorable attributes before he registers them with the American Hemerocallis Society.
While strolling through the garden, you may see a particular daylily that you must have. Carol and Roger also sell some of their daylilies to support the garden. If you'd like to purchase a plant, contact them through their Eastbrook Gardens Facebook page. Hundreds of their daylilies are pictured individually on Facebook. You can also arrange a garden visit by appointment. Believe me, it's worth the trip!
If you've ever been to Germany-WOW! The Germans love gardening. The flowers are unbelievable and EVERYWHERE. It's picture-book beautiful--even the gas stations and cemeteries have perennial gardens! Seems like anything we grow here in Wisconsin grows two to three times larger in Germany. Their lovely, temperate climate has a lot to do with that.
I grow "Martha's Astilbe" in my garden. I don't know it's botanical name, that's just the name I gave it. Shade space is a limited commodity in my yard, but there will always be a place for Martha's Astilbe.
Martha was born in Trienz, Germany (near Heidelberg to give you a reference point). My very good friend, Sandy, married her son who was also born there. Martha and her husband Martin moved to La Crosse when Lud was a little boy. They followed other family members who, years before, had moved to the La Crosse area. They settled here because the scenery reminded them of home. No one spoke English when they arrived.
Martha was a skilled gardener and had a wide variety of perennials in her La Crosse garden. She was also known to smuggle a seed or two in her luggage on her subsequent trips back to Germany to visit relatives. In addition to being an ace gardener, she was also a fantastic cook. My memories of visiting her with Sandy are not only of seeing her beautiful flowers, but also sampling whatever delicious food she had made on that particular day. "Sit down, eat...EAT!!!" she would say. No problem...
After Martha passed on and the estate sale was over, there sat her untended, beautiful garden full of flowers. Sandy was so kind to allow me to choose whatever plants I wanted to take home to my garden before the house was sold. This astilbe was one of those plants. Martha's garden is now gone, long since plowed under, but she lives on in my garden; and I'm sure that would make her very happy.
Anticipation is the buzz word for the 2014 growing season. All the perennials are at least 2-3 weeks late in their bloom. This morning when I got up the thermometer registered 48 degrees...no joke! There are only a handful of daylilies blooming, which is quite unusual when the calendar says July. It has also been raining just about every day - at least once. Ange and I drove across the Mississippi River Bridge on our way to Winona, MN yesterday and the water level was precariously high. It felt like we were driving through the Mississippi instead of over it.
Okay, enough whining. I do think when the blooms finally start it will be fantastic. The daylilies have hundreds of blooms ready-to-go. They obviously love the abundant rain more than me. Until then, I will be impatiently waiting, waiting, waiting.
if it's about
my backyard and garden, I LOVE to talk about it!