Part two – my accidental success

Sun1I’ve talked about my failed vegetable garden and subsequent attempt at salvaging a container garden, but over the summer I also dabbled in flowers and plants in the house’s other gardens.

The house I have become the caretaker of is an old farmhouse with sprawling grounds.  I knew right away that I was not going to be able to take on the grounds keeping myself in my first season.  Not that I don’t want to do it, it is just that it would be ALL I did were I to take it on.

Thankfully I have a neighbor who has been taking care of the acres of lawn for my dad for years and he agreed to continue with that.  But the front gardens of the house were up to me.  With my parents out of the house for a couple of years and with their diminished capacity for gardening for a few years before that – I had my work cut out for me in bringing he gardens back.

I determined early on that I would clean out the gardens in the spring and wait to see what perennials showed up while adding a few annuals here and there to ensure some color.  Basically, I wanted to have a true country garden – with a mix a cultivated plants and wildflowers which grow in abundance here.  So I did a big clean up of the gardens – which was quite a task – removing years worth of dead brush and other organic matter.  It was great watching new things grow in all season and I enjoyed picking out some flowers at a local nursery to add to the mix.

My only real challenge was determining what were weeds and what were ultimately nice summer flowers.  I decided to forgo any real weeding and see what happened.  Well, I am glad I did, as some things that I would have pulled without any question turned out to be the nicest flowers.  In particularly were a few long stalks that didn’t seem to have any purpose.  I had to talk myself out of pulling them a few times.  Patience paid off and they turned out to be lovely late-season sunflowers which capped off a summer of pretty flowers (no thanks to me). 

Here is a small sampling of the various stages of the front gardens this summer.