Monday, June 21, 2010

Glorious Gardens from the Pessimistic Gardener

If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you. - Anonymous Clever Person 
 Do you celebrate what works or dwell on what didn't?

As I upload these pictures from a glorious two days of weed wackin' and perennial putzin' I'm a little frustrated with my own negativity.

Pink Evening Primrose

A glass-half-full kind of gardener might be thrilled with how these incessant rains have provided plentiful moisture.

Happy flowers dancing for joy...

Big bumbles soar from one bright blossom to another.

Every summer, I anxiously anticipate the loudest and proudest of my perennials. The Kniphofia Red Hot Pokers show up like clockwork for the 4th of July, decorating my gardens like bottle rockets.

But, my beloved Red Hot Pokers are missing. Their sad roots rotting in the soggy soil. Replaced by a creepy crop of mushrooms.

On the flip side... Mom's wild roses seem quite delighted. So, I suppose I should be, too. Though I just can't shake this paranoid feeling that Mother Nature is out to get me...

45 comments:

Liza said...

Mother Nature is out to get you, Kate. In fact, she's standing right behind you!

Dirt Digger said...

Was just running through this same thought this morning. I tend to ignore what works well and focus on what I need to change. By the time I realize it, I've missed out on awesome blooms - took it for granted. Great post!

Melospiza said...

Oh, I miss my red hot pokers, too! I haven't planted any yet at my new house, but they were an early and favorite planting at our last house. They were also one of the few established perennials I've had die on me (boo).

Wendy said...

ooh, everything looks wonderful. The kniphophia (can't remember how to spell that!) looks amazing. I have that pink evening primrose too. Love it.

Christine B. said...

No, it's true. Mother Nature is out to get you. She already stopped by my place and left chaos in her wake. I'd be chapped about the red hot pokers, too...they were fabulous.

I guess every hole in the garden is a new opportunity though...that's what the glass half full gardener would say anyway;)

Christine in Alaska

Snowcatcher said...

The water droplets backlit on the petals is simply spectacular.

I mourn the loss of my plants when something goes awry, too. I lost all my spinach and broccoli during Ride the Rockies, but I planted a new crop the day I got back. If at first you don't succeed...

Kate said...

You said it, Liza! I'm keeping my back to the picket fence at all times...

Kate said...

Hey, Dirt Digger;
We should start a pessimistic perennial planters club! :)

Kate said...

Hi, Melospiza;
I've never had them croak before. So, I'm in mourning...

Kate said...

Thx, Wendy;
Red Hot Pokers is way easier to spell. And, pronounce. :)))

Kate said...

Lovely positive point of view, Christine. Now please go away while I whine and complain... (Just kidding.)

Kate said...

Thx, Snowcatcher!
I'm replanting tomatoes today. I tend to re-plant tomatoes every June because I refuse to buy into that safe planting date. It's beyond my level of comprehension that I can't plant tomaters before June 15th...

danger garden said...

OMG...I've been feeling the same way. Like all of this rain is just mother natures way of saying "ha!" and you thought you were going to enjoy an unemployed summer. "I'll teach you my little pretty!"...

jan said...

I am sorry you lost your red-hots! How can you plant tomatoes in mid-June and have BLT for the Fourth of July?

Rose said...

Well, if Mother Nature is out to get you, you're not alone, Kate. We have had rain, rain, and more rain. I tried to pull some weeds yesterday morning, but the ground was so soggy, I pulled part of one of my plants instead. So I gave up. I have pots of plants to plant in a volunteer garden I'm helping with, but each morning I have time to go...it starts raining. Yesterday the weatherman said that the rest of the summer is supposed to be very dry, too dry, in fact.

I'm definitely feeling like a half-empty glass kind of person this morning:)

joey said...

Not by your photos, Kate! All looks lovely. Never fear ... Summer is here with many more of Mother Nature's unexpected surprises! Love the skydiving quote ... made my day :)

Melanie said...

Awe Kate sorry to hear the rain is messing with your Red Hot Pokers , they look awesome, and replacing them with mushrooms, Yuck!

Noelle said...

I think it is very easy to get discouraged....especially when gardening. I do love your perennial bed with the yellow columbine. They are so pretty against the blue sky.

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

Feel free to link this post through my SNAFU day post. It fits right in!

Priscilla said...

I have a Mexican Primrose that looks like yours, I'm not sure if they're the same but butterflies sure are all over them, I was lucky to get at least one decent photograph!

caite said...

they are all great, but I really love that first one!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Hah! Mother Nature is out to get all of us at one time or another, Kate. The opening of my delphinium and peonies always corresponds with the arrival of "The great first of summer wind and rainstorms". You can pretty much guarantee that when these plants are at their peak of beauty, the storm rolls in.
I gave up trying to grow red hot pokers a few years ago, as they just won't come through winter for me. I have similar problems with yarrow and Russian sage, but I buy inexpensive pots of both and treat them as annuals. Funnily, the weedy yarrows come through just fine for me. :-)

Kate said...

Ha! indeed, Danger. I hear you guys are getting pounded worse than we are... Here's hoping the rains quit soon.

Kate said...

Hi, Jan;
I do believe I'll be coughing up money for some other gardener's heirloom tomatoes this year...

Kate said...

Hi, Rose;
Clearly the weeds are enjoying this rain. They're taking over at my place...

Kate said...

Thx, Joey;
Yes, some of my flowers are simply ecstatic with this weather!

Kate said...

Hey, Melanie -- I have mushrooms in the lavender! This can't be good...

Kate said...

Thx, Noelle;
The Columbines are so happy this year they are blooming in cracks in the driveway. :)

Kate said...

Thx, Susan;
I did just that. Love your snafu idea. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Priscilla;
Perhaps that pink primrose goes by a few different names. It's a sweet summer bloomer. I really like the delicate flowers...

Kate said...

Hi, Jodi;
I fear Yarrow is a lifetime commitment in the garden... I've tried all sorts of murderous methods to get rid of it with no luck. :)

Rosey said...

Is it just me or do the bumblebees seem HUGE this year?
The hummingbirds have been divebombing my head so I think they are out to get me.

Friko said...

Of course Mother nature is out to get you, that's Mother Nature's job. And your job as a gardener is to tame bits of her, that's what gardening is.

By definition!

Do you really call the red hot poker Knophia? here they are Kniphophias. I dislike them cordially, they never fit any colour scheme, they die messily and they want a lot of attention.

Kate said...

Hi, Rosey;
The bumbles do seem huge this year, like sci-fi movie huge...

Kate said...

Hi, Friko;
Perhaps I've been spelling it wrong all these years... You're the second gardener, this week, to confess they can't stand this perennial and I can certainly understand why. They don't, exactly, fit quietly into a perennial bed. :D

I enjoy their crazy look. For years, they've served as the 4th of July bottle rockets in my gardens. :)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

In the words of Roseanna Roseannadanna "It's always something!" Certain people to whom I was once married called me a pessimist, but I've always thought of myself as a realist. In the sense that I would rather take life as it is, warts and all, and try to improve myself and my surroundings. If you only have rose-colored glasses, and everything is great all the time, how can you change? How do appreciate the beautiful and wonderful things if you don't acknowledge hurt and pain?

I mean, hi! As gardeners, we always see everything wonderful in our gardens, but also things we know aren't there, or things that are there but we don't want. I don't think that makes us pessimists. I, too, love the Red Hot Pokers.; They notoriously don't return here, and I didn't know the rain (which we have had in buckets, in fact the Ark is sailing by as I type) thwarted them. I had some really cool foxtail lilies which didn't come up either and it turns out I didn't have them in well-draining enough soil. Garden is a verb, we learn and move on.

That first photo is so gorgeous it has me packing up my car for immediate relocation out west!

Kate said...

Hi, Monica!
I popped over to pay you a visit this morning but it looked like you were on hiatus. So I lurked but did not comment. How rude is that? :)

Love your philosophy. And, thanks for the compliments. Clearly the grass is always greener elsewhere.

PS! Just tell me when you plan to arrive and I'll chill a bottle of vino...

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

My niece is really working on me hard to visit her yet this year--fortunately another aunt is there now to distract her a bit! If I do venture out that way, we have to figure out how to meet up. What's halfway between you and Colorado Springs--some mountains and a desert?!

Gail said...

My dear, What an array of wonderful comments! Loved them~sorry about your RHP~gorgeous photos and I am sure you'll add them to the garden again. I am now planting those plants that demand (impertinent creatures) perfect drainage in containers! gail

Kate said...

Oh, you should do it, Monica! Time in the mountains is always a sweet break for low landers :) Hmmm... let's see... Midway between CO and here is - you guessed it! - a big pile of sage brush. :)

Kate said...

Good idea, Gail.

Containers certainly save the day for me -- especially when it comes to tender veggies. :D

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

OMG, Kate, these are beautiful pictures! The first one took my breath away! Get a shot of vodka, it'll turn you to an optimist!

Kate said...

Мудрый совет моя дорогая Татьяна! Приветствия к Водке! [Hope I said that right...] :D

caite said...

every photo is lovely.

Gloria, Dakota Garden said...

Hi Kate, I was just showing your wonderful blog to Ted and found the pictures of the death of your red hot pokers. Last week I just planted some and was told that if they are tied shut at the bottom of the plant they do better. I guess they do not like moisture in their middle - See you soon