A Garden is a Source of Happiness and a Job Forever

I once had a garden club sweatshirt with those sentiments and it certainly is true. I’ve been enjoying my specialty day lilies in bloom, going out each morning to dead head spent blossoms, sometimes as many as 50 plus each day. But now I was noticing stalks with nothing on them and brown leaves at the base.  I had some new lilies that bloomed for about three weeks on 5 ft tall stalks. What to do with them now? So, I rushed inside to Google “cutting back lilies” and got my instructions. While I was there, I checked on the Spiderwort because most of them are now lying down, having done their thing, and the astilbe blossoms were now brown. The Evening Primrose have taken over more territory, so I must pull some out. I’ve no worry. They’ll be back again next year in profusion. In any event, it was clearly time to go out and clean up the garden a bit.

Of course, once I got out there, I found – you guessed it – weeds! How dare they come up amongst my pretties!  I put Preen down, those weeds aren’t supposed to be there. Time to give them another sprinkle, I guess. And oh my, look at the stalks of green berries soon to turn red on my Italian Arum. They were hidden beneath the Spiderwort, but no longer!  The berries are poisonous to humans, but not to the birds. The Spice Bush is blooming and the late-blooming day lilies are just starting to show buds. How I love the way they stretch out the season. The same holds true for the varieties of Hostas I have – about 35 – some are now blooming and some are just starting to show the promise of a flower stalk.

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I can’t say my container plantings look very good. The rains we’ve had every day this month but three, I believe, have left the Geraniums, Petunias and Lemon leaf looking like drowned rats. Time to go to the nursery again I guess to refresh the plantings. But my begonias are still looking spectacular in their hanging pots and my New Guinea Impatiens rested a bit, but are now starting to bloom again. But they all needed a bit of leaf pruning.

So after two hours of pruning this, cutting that, dead heading this and pulling up that, I had a heaping wheel barrow full of garden debris. I sat down on my work bench to survey my efforts and my lovely Rose-breasted Grosbeak stopped by and sang me a serenade telling me, I’m sure, that I did a good job, but you’re not done yet, Joy. You didn’t even touch the side garden.  I took a quick peak. Oh my, yes, the Goats Beard spent clusters need clipping and there are day lilies there needing attention Well, if it doesn’t rain tomorrow, perhaps… Unfortunately, by the time I work my way all around the house, I’ll be back where I started and most likely today’s clean bed will be tomorrow’s mess, once more in need of attention. A garden is indeed a job forever.