Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Miracle of the Garden

The Miracle of the Garden

Patricia L. Cummings

Each year I watch in wonder while Jim carries out the current gardening plan he has spent all winter thinking about. Yes, while the snow flakes were hurling themselves against the window panes and Jack Frost was visiting the same, he perused Burpee seed catalogues and others that arrived in the mailbox from December to February. A good garden requires planning and then a lot of work! Jim has it down to a science, something that is not surprising inasmuch as when he started his college career, he was majoring in Forestry and Botany. A love of growing things is a mutual interest!

Rugosa Roses are just beginning to bloom along the fence. This is a view taken from the sidewalk. The brick lined raised beds have paths of bark mulch to keep weeds at bay. An Iris bed sits on the left in this picture.

Here is a look at the garden from the sidewalk. Everything he has planted is "up" even though one cannot readily see that in this photo.He has place white covers on some of the crops that are prone to various types of destructive beetles. Those will have to come off long enough for the plants to be pollinated when the time comes that they are blooming.

We reap a great deal of food from this little patch of earth. The seedless grapes are putting on a lot of growth where they are planted on each side of the white grape arbor that Jim built. In time they will cover all three sides of the structure, making it a "cool" place to sit on the garden bench.

What appears to be a large bushy plant in the distance is actually Jerusalem Artichoke, a root vegetable that helps reduce the effects of diabetes. The root can be cooked but we prefer to cut it up to include in salads.

The Back Yard

These Blackberries are now blooming and will yield an extraordinary harvest of berries for jam and cobbler. This was a preliminary shot but today, the plant is in full bloom! To the right is the Peach tree

On the other side of the house, we grow Lilacs, Poppies, Blackberries, Raspberries, and Blueberries and a Peach tree.

The Poppies come back, year after year!

This is a side view of our 1821 Federal style home as copied from a history book about Concord, NH. '
The date of this photo is unknown. The Elms were cut down long ago,  no doubt because of the Elm disease that dessimated trees of that kind. The fence is also no longer there, replaced with a new one.

/The Front Yard

The front yard is totally under cultivation. The left side has a Quince bush that yields fruit for jam. The fruit cannot be eaten raw but cooking it dispels its dangerous properties. We have pansies this year in a raised stone bed. Ground Phlox has just finished blooming. Centauria, a huge Bleeding heart, and Hosta are planted on that side as well.

The Centauria are in bloom for only a short time

On the right side is a miniature Rose plant that was given to me as a gift. After blooming (inside the house), the plant shed all of its leaves and was looking pretty unhappy. I planted it outside and it has come back every year for three or four years now. I heard that planting a Chive plant nearby will have benefits iinsofar as the smell of Chives is an insect deterrent.

The right side of our front "lawn" area is not a lawn either. Hosta lines the back. Jim has made paths of bricks on both sides of the two front areas for easy walking to pull weeds. The Semper virens or "Hens and Chicks" cacti are going to bloom shortly. A few times we have seen grass snakes curled up on top of the cacti taking a siesta. We have two large Stella d' Oro lilies, another type of Bleeding Heart, Coreopsis which returns every year, and the new addition this year is a bed of petunias to help keep the hummingbirds happy.

Jim built shelves this year on which we have placed two window boxes of "wave" petunias. Since he took this photo a few days ago, the petunias seems to be about twice this size! Soon they will be cascading downward. The hummers love petunias or any other open-throated flower!

Well, that is all that is happening in our garden so far this year. Each flower blooms in turn. There are many other flowers such as Mrytle, Siberian Iris, Daisies, Black-eyed Susans, Trillium, etc. Is it any surprise to learn that a gardener owned this house. The place was known as Fairview Garden. At one time, when there was less foliage, one could see the Merrimack River from the 2nd floor of the house.

"May your days be sunny and bright," in the words of an old Christmas tune. Summer is too short. Let's enjoy it!

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