Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gardens-Bunnies and Garden Plots Run Wild; Review of a Product You MUST Have

We take a visit to the gardens during this growing season. We have a pic and a video of a baby rabbit. Okay, so it's not a movie of legend, it is cute.

The gardens grow wonderfully but we have issues with the growth. For a jungle does not a garden make.

Pic of the Day

Pets gone wild

Rabbits are very common in the spring and those rapid reproducers quite enjoy our gardens.

My gardens this year, with me handicapped with surgical wounds that burn and stab, have grown into jungles that cause passersby to mumble in shock.

A bed of fine clover had taken over a wide area in front of my happening gurgling fountain and one cute baby wabbit decided he rather liked this gourmet feast.

Below a movie of this little Peter Cottontail and below that, a pic.

Baby rabbit in garden

The problem with my gardens this year is basically that everything is in the wrong place. And this year, what with my heart clogged up worse than a Mexican sewer, I could mostly just sit and watch what I thought were perfect plantings.

My gardens are filled increasingly with what is proudly referred to as "native plants". As a certified National wildlife Steward I monitor a local plant sale on behalf of the Delaware Nature Society. The DNS is the NWF's local representative for that group. So while I am not technically a member of the Delaware Nature Society, I am affiliated and certified by the National Wildlife Federation.

I do, of course, purchase a plentiful and varied assortment of native plants. I then must plant the things. This year, due to a little problem with my heart, I was unable to man that native plant sale booth for the DNS but all of my prior years' purchased native plants are happy and growing happy bejeesus in my gardens here in the swamps of Delaware.

The Swamp Mallows produces pretty white flowers that resemble the blooms of a Rose of Sharon. Both of these plants bloom at the same time as well.

Swamp Mallows are taking over my front porch garden and threaten to take over the world.

I don't want plants over six feet tall in my front porch garden because, duh, I sit on the porch and can see nothing with wild and wooly flora and fauna blocking my view of the world. These Swamp Mallows are not the first plant to be fondly placed in my porch garden to grow into a gigantic plant that catches one's breath.

Well hey, they ARE native plants. This means they're not, like oriental lilies or something which are not, as obvious by their name, native plants. Not that there's anything with oriental lilies but they're not plants native to this continent.

So while oriental lilies grow fine in the swamps of Delaware, a native plant, evolved in this area for many years with genes fine-tuned to the breezes and watery land in which they rest, will grow to heights unknown.

This is a good thing.

I got to get those Swamp Mallows out of there, they are driving me nuts.

I have so far filled my front porch garden with Lamb's Ear, which has to be the ugliest plant in the world if it gets wet and please don't forget I live in a swamp. Bumblebees love Lamb's Ear but is having a hive of hungry bees flying around where one wishes to sit and watch the porch TV a really good idea?

I plant annuals of petunias, marigolds, and red salvia every year in that front porch garden and they do a fine job and are perfect for the flowery, well-behaved garden I seek for that area.

A pretty coneflower, a "miniature" one which I purchased specifically for that garden, grows nice alongside butterfly weed which also keeps a low height and looks nice. The Swamp Mallows from hell threaten to overrun everything.

Coneflower and Brown Thrasher

Out in the center lawn garden I planted what is called a Swamp Rose and this thing is too taking over the world. All year I must constantly pull up bits of this plant that insist on growing everywhere. This thing is invasive but it's a native plant so this is fine.

Except I didn't want my entire center lawn garden to be one great big killer Swamp Rose. I am going to have to get that thing out of there next year.

I try to keep small, well-behaved bushes in the center lawn garden. Mostly I've been successful. There's a pretty variegated Wigelia in that garden and for a couple of years it was happy and well-behaved. With a couple of years of roots in the ground this Wigelia is threatening even the Swamp Rose.

Gladiolas and Clematic

The Clematis climbing my obelisk in my container garden is the flower hit of the season. Clematis want cool roots. I planted a Clematis by each leg of a white obelisk. This was last year.

This year, only the second year for this guy, it eagerly climbed that obelisk like one happy native plant. Only a Clematis is not a native plant.

This Clematis loves wrapping its tendrils around that obelisk. By the time those vines reach the top of that obelisk the Clematis leaves shade the ground below. Cool roots makes a happy Clematis.

What I am going to have to do, and I've done it before, is wait till all my heart wounds heal, which will probably be next growing season at the latest, get me a shovel, and completely empty those flower beds.

With a better garden plan, I am going to move the plantings to a more suitable spot. I have a perfect place for the invasive Swamp Rose and where I want to put the bush it can invade all it wants.

Those Swamp Mallows are going over by the fence.

All of these plants are now over six feet tall so digging them up and moving them is quite the job. I'm going to do it though.

Because I can't live happily in a jungle.

Finally, I'd written before about those Brown Thrashers which built a nest in my hedge rose. Goodness those birds even built their own "door" into the hedge rose and I bit my fingers but let the nest remain. I'd seen three little black birds in the nest but soon enough, boom, they were gone.

Below a pic of the nest. One egg, as one can see, did not hatch.

brown thrasher nest after use

More Gardens and Bird posts HERE

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