Thursday, September 18, 2014

Summer Ramblings-Every Garden Tells a Story (Part 2)

I am pleased (and amazed) at the response my post of yesterday, about the stories my front yard/flower garden tells, got.

I shouldn't say "my" garden - my loving spouse of 40 years is responsible for a lot of what you see, especially when my back gets cranky.

So I told my spouse he now has fans from all over the world.  His reaction? "I should hope so."

He doesn't read my blog - he doesn't do all that much online, bu he patiently puts up with my online meanderings.  So drop him a comment at the end of today's post and thank him.

Today, I'd like to tell you some more stories about my flower gardens.

In the center bottom of the photo above, you can see some white marigolds.  Another reader of a post this week reminded me of a time, long ago, when Burpee ran a contest for its customers - the winner would be the customer who was able to provide Burpee with the seeds of a true white marigold. 

Burpee had been trying for years and years to produce a white marigold.  Finally, they turned to their customers, and someone won it - 21 years after the contest began.  A couple of morals from this story - first, never give up.  Second, have conversations your customers or your readers.  Keep them engaged.  Give them reasons to like you, and to buy from you, or read you. (I can use these lessons sometimes, myself, as I am a natural introvert.)

The stones you can barely see at the bottom of the photograph - those are from some of our travels.  In 2002, we visited the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota and we were permitted to take stones blasted from the mountain that is being sculpted into the monument.  The story of the Crazy Horse Monument is epic and I don't use that word loosely - I encourage you to read about it.
I also want to share a couple of pictures of my shady back yard with you. 
This pink turtlehead hails from Asheville, North Carolina, a milder clime than ours.  Some people buy souvenier t-shirts or mugs when they travel.  I buy plants and garden decorations, as I mentioned yesterday.  Many of the plants I buy are from warmer areas, and they don't survive our harsh New York winters.  But sometimes they do survive- like this pink turtlehead.

Our back yard tells its own story. 

Many years ago, the late Joan Gibbs, of Gibbs Perennial Gardens in LeRaysville, Pennsylvania,taught me the secret of shade gardening.  Don't strive for showy flowers, she warned, because you rarely will get them in the shade. (Although, that turtlehead is an exception, don't you think?)  Instead, look at leaves.  See the colors, the shapes, the shading, she continued.  Look at how plants look in each season - spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

That's what you want to strive for.  And with her advice, that is how I started my part shade/shade garden in the back of my house.  Such good advice she gave me.  Observe, and be willing to change how you think. Discard what you've already learned. Keep an open mind.

That works for such much more besides gardening.

So, those are my stories for this week. 
Do you want to hear more garden stories?  I have so many to share.

If you like what you see, comment, and "like" my blog's Facebook page. I will respond to all comments (eventually), although I'm a bit behind right now.

18 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous garden! That must take an incredible amount of work. Well done!

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    1. Thank you for the complement. It does take work, but it's a work my husband enjoys.

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  2. Loved learning about the white marigold -- I want some! Do you have to buy the seeds somewhere special?

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    1. There are several mail order sources for the white marigold seed.Burpees is one and I know there are others. I buy mine as plants - I'm fortunate enough to have local nurseries that grow the plants.

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  3. Such pretty pictures! I love gardening but we don't have much room so I just have to do a few containers.

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    1. Thank you for the complement. I've come a long way from growing up in an apartment, and having only the windowsills to grow plants on. I hope your containers bring you joy. There are a lot of flowers that do well in containers, depending on sunshine and how frequently your climate demands that you water them.

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  4. How awesome and gorgeous are these flowers.!

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    1. Thank you - your complement makes me smile!

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  5. What is the bright green clump next to the brunera?

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    1. The variegated clump next to the brunnera "Jack Frost" is an ornamental grass we bought many years ago. It does well in part shade. Sadly, I can't remember what it is called - I have a tendency to lose the names of my plants and my husband is almost as bad as I am.

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  6. This brings back memories. I miss my gardens. Florida barrier islands are so different from my Georgia garden, small plots different from 2 or 3 acres. There s something so therapeutic about getting your hands in the dirt, checking the pansy faces, harvesting fresh veggies, eating nasturtium blossoms in your salad. Thanks for sharing your garden!

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    1. It was my pleasure. So many people enjoyed the posts. I had thought about whether I should do it or not, and I'm glad I did. (Come back in the spring, and I'll show my readers some pansies.)

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  7. One day I wish to have a beautiful backyard stocked with veg and fruit trees/plants...these pics you shared increase that longing of mine :)

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    1. I hope your dream comes true. If it doesn't happen right away, don't give up.

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  8. So much to relate to Alana, but first I shall relate to hubby dear! He should read your blog! He has an awesome wife! But, okay, he brings you flowers! I won't comment on your garden. You don't want me to come near! I kill flowers, plants :( The bit that resonated with me is,

    "A couple of morals from this story - first, never give up. Second, have conversations your customers or your readers. Keep them engaged. Give them reasons to like you, and to buy from you, or read you." Indeed! Your work, your garden is NOT just about you .. it's about your GUESTS.

    So, thank YOU for giving us wonderful reasons to LIKE you and keep coming back.
    HUGS <3

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    1. Thank you. I made a lot of my guests happy the last couple of days and that makes me happy. (By the way - I was a teenaged plant killer. Yes, really!)

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  9. I've really come to enjoy turtlehead. It's at the back of my lasagna garden, nearly 100 feet up a mild hill from my kitchen window, yet I can see its pink flowers from way down there! I like it so much that I just ordered a second one. Thanks for showing us the backyard, too, and for sharing more stories. I like that you bring back stones from places you visit.

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    1. I haven't brought back stones recently. I should start again. Nice that you have a turtlehead, too. I recently found out that there is a white turtle head. I may want to try to get one.

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Hello! I welcome comments, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.