Friday, July 27, 2018

All That is Pleasant in My Cottage Garden

The weather this week is not pleasant. In less than three days 11 inches of rain fell here, much of it torrential, causing damage to my plants. Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram saw the pictures. I considered writing a blog posting about the devastation, until I picked up Cheryl Wilfong's book on mindfulness, Garden Wisdom: 365 Days. I read Cheryl's July 26 entry:
' The first step is mindfulness. Let's begin here today by walking through our gardens and examining what is: noticing the pleasant and noticing the unpleasant.'
I took a 'mindful' walk with my camera. I decided to focus on the pleasant as I had already documented the unpleasant. In spite of the storm damage, there is much beauty. I delight in the morning glories that I allow to bloom in all the places they reseed. My two favorites are shown in the picture above. The dark purple and white-with-purple ones climb the arbor near the patio.  They perfectly complement each other.

I find beauty in hydrangeas, daylilies, and clematis:

Three of my hydrangeas: top - 'Pinky Winky', bottom left - 'Limelight', right - mophead H. sp.
Daylilies Hermerocallis 'Chicago Apache' and h. 'Siloam Bo Peep'

Several clematis are blooming. (I don't remember the names of these two.)

I am surprised and happy that the torrential rain didn't batter down Joe Pye. In the same border, my new favorite plant, sea holly, is now surrounded by the cheerful blooms of cleome. You can see why I call this border The Abundance Garden.

Eupatorium dubium Joe Pye Weed 'Baby Joe.'
Sea holly Eryngium giganteum 'Miss Wilmott's Ghost' and cleome.

Hostas have been glorious this year, and several continue to strut their stuff in Serenity Garden. 

Two of my many hostas, bravely surviving both the weather and the deers' nibblings

After their blooms are spent, hostas continue to please with the beauty of their foliage. I often choose plants for their leaves: While the canna, 'Striata', has striking blooms, I picked it for its (almost translucent) striped foliage.  The red leaves of the banana tree are stunning. Every gardener knows what it is that makes coleus so lovely.

Top: coleus; bottom left: hosta sp.; bottom right, canna 'Striata' with banana tree

Foliage also dominates the container garden, enhanced by some bursts of color from annual begonia. 

Containers in the Stone Garden
Turks' cap lilies

I ended my stroll around the garden by basking in the warmth of the Turks' cap lilies. I inherited these marvelous native plants from my mother-in-law. A stand of them nod their heads over the fence to passers-by. You will find them in another bed near the entrance to the Woodland Walk.

I am grateful to Cheryl for sending me a complimentary copy of her book. I recommend you check out her blog, The Meditative Gardener. When I finished my walk, I realized there was so much more 'pleasant' than 'unpleasant' in my storm-ravaged gardens. Practicing mindfulness is very rewarding.

Pamela x

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  1. We've had storms and torrential rain here too, I was hoping that it would clear the air a little but it's still hot and muggy. You have so much beauty in your garden, it's disheartening when plants suffer damage but there are others which weather the storms well.

  2. It is always better to focus on the good and lovely. You have so much beauty surrounding you in spite of the heavy rains you had.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

    1. After the storms I could see only the damage to my plants. It took effort to tune it out and see the loveliness.

  3. This is a very timely reminder for me. I've been despairing that my garden is in such a mess because I tend to see only what is wrong. But if I can train myself to look past the problems I can see that there is also a lot of beauty there.

    1. You are so right, Dorothy. Focusing on the mess is so very stressful. The beauty, however, is so calming.

  4. I like your outlook! That is good to remember that there are always amazing successes and beauties to find in the garden, along with issues and challenges to solve. ;-)

    1. I guess that is why we find gardening so rewarding, Beth.

  5. Yes Pam, lets forget the bad stuff, what you show us is oh so very pleasant.

    1. Thank you, Alistair. I was glad, however, that I didn't have anyone coming to see the mess. I'm happy to say I cleared up most of it, and my garden is once more ready for inspection.

  6. Pam, I'm sure your garden must look completely disheveled to your eyes, but to any visitor -- and the rest of us reading your blog -- we see only the big picture, which is a garden filled with lovely flowers and plants, one that has obviously been lovingly tended over many years. By all means focus on the the beautiful flowers as you tidy things up, which probably won't take as long as you think. Hope things are getting dried out a bit! Best, -Beth

  7. Hoping that next week ... my garden will also have a freshly washed bright eyed look --- and that yours is happily bouncing back.

  8. I’m sorry you received so much damage from those storms. In a nod to mindfulness, I was thinking how much my dry garden would welcome those 11 inches. We finally got 1 inch this past week, and it was enough to make me dance with joy. I guess we’ll both look on the bright side when we can.

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