This Year’s Personal Flower Garden

Spring came later than normal this year and it has been quite cold and wet. As I discussed in Enjoying My Own Personal Flower Garden, Rebecca has created a beautiful flower garden for me. I go there during the spring, summer, and fall when I need a break from the office. It’s a sign of the most sincere respect of my need for privacy and of her love for me. The garden is quiet, cool, and serene during the hectic summer months. I go there to contemplate life in general and when I need to think about the specifics of a book. Of course, we also enjoy time together there.

Most of the flower garden came back this year. For example, the wild strawberries look just as beautiful as ever.

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We noticed something odd about the flowers this year. Not only are they more plentiful, but they’re also a darker pink than ever before. Some of the flowers almost look light red in color. I looked around online for a reason for the color change, but didn’t find one, so let me know if you have any idea of why they have changed in color this year.

Last year she had also planted some columbine for me. The flowers come in all sorts of colors and I’m delighted to have three beautiful colors to enjoy. The plants are much bigger this year and she has moved them around to provide this tricolor presentation.

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The bishop’s weed returned this year as well. The plant has gotten much bigger and has bloomed profusely.

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I’ve read a number of negative things about bishop’s weed (such as it will take over the garden), but so far we don’t seem to be having any problem with it. We’re either lucky or some condition in our garden, such as those pesky rabbits that eat absolutely everything, is keeping it under control. A few other sites tell of ways to use this plant successfully, but it’s one that you should probably enjoy from afar.

One of my favorite non-flowering plants is silver mound. Rebecca has tried a number of times to get this plant to stick around and she’s had some success, but last year’s plant succumbed to the drought. So, I have three new silver mound plants to enjoy this year (they’re so nice that the garden just doesn’t seem complete without them).

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A new offering this year is the English daisy. It’s quite pretty. Various places I’ve looked online have told me to enjoy it this year because it may not return next year. In England, it’s actually considered a bit of a weed, but something this pretty shouldn’t be called a weed.

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I also received  new color of coral bells (also called coralbells) with a dark pink flower. It’s not just the flower that is a different color, but the leaves as well. Even when these plants aren’t blooming, they present an interesting leaf shape and add to the splendor of the garden.

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Sharing the garden with me for the first time are the chickens. They come by and feed under the bird feeder (picking up all of the seeds the wild birds leave and reducing the weed count as a result). Of course, they’re curious as to why I’m just sitting there when there are so many lovely bugs to eat and wonder whether I might not just serve a purpose by petting them instead of being quiet. They really are funny birds.

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Our friend left behind a pair of his boots to use as planters last summer. Rebecca has made full use of them. We now have boot planters on the patio.

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Enjoying My Own Personal Flower Garden

Every year Rebecca works out a new arrangement and adds plants to her gift to me, a personal flower garden. Every morning I wake to the scene below our bedroom window of Rebecca’s hard work. I know it’s an effort because getting into that rock garden is hard. It’s on a slope that’s taxing even for me; I can’t even imagine how hard Rebecca must have to work to maintain it for me. I talked about my garden a little last year in the Making Self-Sufficiency Relationships Work post.

One of Rebecca’s goals is to make sure that something is always blooming in my rock garden. It’s a little difficult to accomplish, but I know that people in the past performed the same task to ensure that there would always be something pretty to see. I really respect her efforts to make the garden as pretty as possible and to keep it that way all summer. So, the pictures you see in this post are a mere snapshot of my rock garden. Later in the summer, the scene will change and then it will change again for fall.

A favorite new plant is a pincushion flower. The exquisite blue flowers are really hard to capture, but I managed to get a passable picture of them. The real world flower is even more beautiful than the one shown here.

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One of the flowers that came back from last year is the blanket flower. It’s a favorite of mine because the colors change slightly over time and I love the fact that the flowers are bi-colored. This year the blanket flower is paired up with fiber-optic grass. As you can see from the following picture, the combination is really nice.

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A few of the rock garden elements are edible. For example, the chives have some beautiful flowers that are also edible (as are the chives). I’ve always found chives to be a nice addition because they combine color and texture so well.

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Some of the flowers are quite bright. One of the flowers in this category is the coreopsis. Rebecca has them placed where their profusion of bright flowers will show up best. This is another holdover from last year. Immediately below the coreopsis in this picture is bugleweed ‘metallica crispa’, which has already bloomed for the year, but will continue to add its deeply colored foliage to the garden.

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Most of the pictures that I’ve found of wild strawberries online show white flowers. I’ve been assured that the plants in the rock garden are wild strawberries, but they have these dramatic pink flowers. As with many other plants, they’ve come up from last year.

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Another bright pink flower in the garden is seathrift (armeria). This year the seathrift is nestled in with some ferns and a happy looking frog.

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As I said last year, the view from our bedroom is for me alone. When I go out my back door though, I see some amazing beauty—the rock garden, our herb garden, the woods, and bushes surrounding our patio. Most importantly, I see the love my wife has for me in producing something so quiet and peaceful for me to enjoy.

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