My gardens, part two – At my parents’ house #1

I say "NO" to you!

I say "NO" to you!

We lived with my parents for much of the past four years and I told them I would continue to help out with the garden when I am at their place. My version of “helping” is doing what I think needs to be done. They tend to overlook things like six foot high shrubs that are planted a foot from the house’s foundation and are happily scrapping paint from the siding whenever the wind picks up, not to mention freaking me out whenever I was home alone in the evenings watching TV. “Somebody is scratching at the window! Oh wait, those are just the GIANT EUONYMOUS.” Now there’s something truly terrifying, giant euonymous. Sounds like some sort of giant, puppy eating slug. One summer when my parents were out-of-town I cut them back to a foot, the next summer, when they were again out-of-town, I dug them out. That’ll show them to go on vacation without us. Here’s the former home of the giant euonymous. I’m now attempting to turn it into a herb/strawberry/shade garden. To which my parents’ dogs say NO! much like my daughter, when she went through a phase where she would say (while pointing her finger at you), “I say ‘NO’ to you!” That is what the dogs think about my endeavor to replace the eunoymous because that is not herb/strawberry/shade garden, it is doggy digging garden for digging doggies. Since there are plenty of places to dig I don’t know why they are digging in this bed, my parents’ live in a doggy heaven: no fences, no leashes, plenty of wilderness, and lots of vermin to chase. I keep on trying, the strawberries look decent and so do the larger plants that I put in but everything else has been removed by sweet old Priscilla who is impossible to get really mad at since she has soulful eyes and stiff, arthritic joints. I planted parsley, dill, borage, basil, and something else, I can’t remember what, this weekend. Hopefully it will germinate and survive.

IMG_1081In front of my parents house is this large limestone planter. My dad, ever so kindly, filled it up with new topsoil so I can plant stuff, probably gomphrena and petunias, when the seedlings are ready.


Where plants go to die

I also will take care of this flower garden. I was pretty aggravated when my mom moved a small clump of pampas grass into it cause I knew it would get huge and eventually need moving.  It is fast approaching hugeness but the idea of wrestling with it is very unappealing. This is a good garden for testing a plant’s toughness. I’ve literally planted hundreds if not over a thousand plants in this garden over the years and most of them simply did not make it. The soil is heavy clay (with rocks! no less) and the climate is, well, Kansas. Too much rain or too little. Too hot or too cold. And windy. I actually managed to kill monarda, pretty amazing.


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