This time of year my housekeeping skills desert me. With windows wide open to catch the breeze, dust and pollen accumulates. Slowly a grey haze settles on surfaces. Dust bunnies, a whole family of them, move across the wood floors, swirling and growing with each turn around the room. My fuzzy friends, the ferrets, will occasionally pick up a dust bunny in their whiskers, but that doesn’t bother them. The Spouse, like most men, is ignorant of such things underfoot and I ignore them for as long as I can. Then, just as I can’t stand it anymore, I quickly sweep and swiffer, just enough to give the appearance of clean before heading outdoors again. Well, with the garden in its prime, who spends time indoors?
Lilies are now taking center stage in the garden. Oriental and trumpet lilies, orienpet (a cross between the two) Asiatic and daylilies are vying for attention. The elegant lady lily, bought last year at Dutch Gardens (www.dutchgardens.com) surpassed my expectations. Almost five feet tall, with a straight strong trunk, it has multiple flowers unfolding over a nearly three week period. A soft pink hue beckons bees, but the scent is what seduces me. Already these bulbs have thrown off bulblets and now I find myself with additional elegant lady lilies. I get smaller stalks with fewer flowers from the baby bulbs, but in time they will grow equally impressive.
Different varieties of day lilies, also from Dutch Gardens, are just as beautiful. There are multiple flower stalks per plant, with many flowers on each stalk. Every day when I come home from work I marvel at their shapes and colors and the amount of blooms. While each day lily bloom will only last a day, the show will go on for weeks on end, with new flowers appearing constantly.
As my garden grew denser and fuller, I have wanted to expand into neighbors’ yards. Last year I planted a strip on one side of the house after our neighbor graciously allowed me to do so. Now daisy Becky is in full bloom on both sides of the fence and we all enjoy it.
Then our neighbor on the other side had a patio put in. While talking over the fence, I suggested she adds a few plants to get a bit of privacy from neighbors right across. After some discussion, we decided to take it a step further and soon we found ourselves at the nursery, which just happened to have a 50% off sale. She always wanted to have a Japanese maple, so we picked out a nice upright specimen that will fit her yard. Four purple ninebark bushes will be set around the perimeter of the patio to provide screening, a few butterfly bushes will provide color and scent and a number of plants from my yard will be added as well. There are a few others thoughts percolating in my head as she has given me free rein. With my neighbor soon leaving to join the rest of her family for a long continental vacation, I have a few weekends to turn a nearly empty blank slate of lawn into a true garden. It might be considered work by some, but I get to do what I like best, play in the dirt and create something out of nothing. Happy days are here again!