Believe it or not, the downside of not having had the sheep escape and eat my garden is that it is completely overgrown with weeds now, especially ragweed. I can hear my grandfather’s scolding voice in my head — your weeds are going to seed!!! What a sin. Since I’m also not spending time chasing either sheep or pigs this year (go away, Murphy, nothing to see here), I’ve been having some time to start to straighten it up some, at least figure out how I’m going to downsize it a bit. I want enough right in front of the house to look pretty and tidy, something that I will have time to keep up with.
Some of it is fighting the weeds pretty well all by itself. I remember planting the yarrow in that bed way back in May of 2003 (too bad none of my old photo links work, boo), and being worried that it was going to all go back to white and take over the entire garden. I’m pleased to see there’s still plenty of nice color in the patch, and planting it that thickly has let it keep the weeds back. Good choice! It’s quite the nice ground cover, and I know some places where I need that and think I’ll be doing some transplanting this fall.
That whole bed is looking better than I thought it would, to be honest. The ornamental grass in the back is thriving, and should probably be split. It gets such pretty plumes in the fall and great color. The spirea is huge and blooming right now, in both pink and white. I never really liked them much and obviously neither did the sheep, because they are thriving all over the place, and I’ve grown to appreciate them. There’s a hydrangea bush that looks healthy enough, but has never bloomed except for the very first year. The sheep don’t touch it either, so I can’t even blame it on them.
Ah. I googled around to see what the internets think about non-blooming hydrangaes, and the second question here is exactly what happens every spring. That photo is exactly what mine looks like every year. So despite global warming and having bought a supposed zone four plant, I’m too cold for it still. Boo.
The bed behind the pond is so overgrown that you can’t even use the bridge anymore, and can really only barely see it. But the black-eyed susans are doing really well and could obviously be split a hundred times. The spirea there again is doing really well, and should never have been planted there in the first place. That side even holds up in the spring when it’s just filled with iris and creeping phlox, so if I figure out where to put these huge bushes, I bet it could stay pretty low maintenance and pretty here.
(Let’s not discuss the status of the actual pond. At least I have the water fowl out of it now, so theoretically I could get the pump and waterfall running again. I must have goals.)
Oh well. I’m glad I had some time to get out there today, and to look through my own garden journal archives. I remember when my beds were pristine, so pretty, way back before we got critters. Maybe I can get some of them at least in shape again.