i think it should be a good spring; i hope my favorites will come back up after the winter. the one and only plant that i am positively dying about, hoping they'll survive and bloom, are the Papaver orientalis. i saw some in a friend's garden in seattle two years ago, and fell in love - they have these huge, beautiful, rice-paper thin flowers. that's all i want: oriental poppies.
my columbines did pretty well this year, though, and i'm excited to see how much bigger they get. i've got several varieties planted: Aquliegia canadensis, Aquilegia skinnerii (Tequila Sunrise), and Aquilegia vulgaris (Black Barlow). i need to do a very thorough job cleaning up leaves and debris, though, because some have contracted leaf miners. in order to prevent their reappearance in the spring, all contaminated debris and leaves from the columbines must be removed. i've included a picture - they kind of look like intestines. gross.
other than that, there haven't really been any pest problems. though the local birds did snack quite extensively on the grass seed i put down a few weeks ago. no biggie - the grass hasn't really taken off, and i suspect i will just re-seed it in the spring. there are some precious little grasslings, though - kind of nice to think about new buds and growth even as things are slowing down and going into hibernation for the long, crappy winter. maybe i'll pull up those pictures in february to remind me of what's to come.
the garden's come a long way, though, and i'm proud of the results. the most recent task was to enlarge the perennial bed, and lay down a handsome bluestone border. we also took all the timbers from along the back fence, and made a raised bed at the far end of the garden near the big tree. i hope to put some interesting varieties of ferns and hellebores in that bed - plants that do well in shade. also, i love the unique color combinations and variations of hellebores. if i could afford to have a huge drift of them, i would - but toooooo expensive. maybe i can come up with some other ideas during the winter.
one of the benefits to being a card-carrying member of the somerville garden club is that i get a newsletter every month, with a handy list of tasks to do in the garden. it's nice to have such a climate/region-specific reference, as well as thoughtful articles on plants and horticultural goings-on in the area. you might initially think it a po-dunk operation, but the club has its shit together - the newsletter is well written and well designed, and i get emailed updates of club gatherings and projects. i'm bummed to have missed the november meeting (it was last night, i was hosting the volume vixens meeting here at the casa), but will be able to hit up the wilson square fall cleanup this weekend.
to document our progess, here are some pictures of the garden in the fall of 2004:
and in the fall of 2005, with some help from christina, kate and derek: (please be sure to note our posh bluestone edging, provided gratis by derek)
and the hopeful grass:
sleep tight, garden!
i'll be dreaming of you all winter.