Friday, July 15, 2011

Garden Secrets

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, has does your garden grow?
I've been thinking about my garden lately, but this rhyme reminds me of my friend Pat who auditioned for a fairytale theme park when she was a little girl and got the part of Mary, Mary, quite contrary. Her mother, who I can picture in low heels, a shirtwaist dress and a string of pearls, smirked a bit at the part she received.
Anyway, last year at this time, my flower garden at front was devoid of color, except for green and sometimes brown. Once the spring Irises and the June tiger lilies have faded, I had no color. I vowed that this year, July would have color.
I have a few spots of color, like my balloon flower

or my echinacia.

But they are sparse so far, not spreading in my garden. So this year, I planned ahead.I ordered some zinnias from the PTA plant sale, and my husband planted them along the front.
Zinnias are kind of flirtatious. They start to show a bud and they tease you that they will arrive soon.

And then you wait and wait for them to actually open.
Oh, but when they do.
They appear in shades of yellow, orange and red, and even purple.

They come in pink:

And even pinker:

They start out opening flat like a daisy then add layers and layers of petals until they are thick and lush.

Here's a photo from the back garden that shows a zinnia mingling with a pink hollyhock and some blooming purple hostas.
The hollyhocks come every other year and the soil around this house doesn't appear to nourish the hollyhocks that I've transplanted from my parents' house in Kentucky to Michigan to Ohio. The hostas are these hilarious little low growing shade plants that suddenly send a shoot straight up in the air, like a flag pole with purple hanging blooms.
But wait until I tell you about the surprise in my garden. I planted something that I forgot.
I'll tell you next time I'm feeling contrary.

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