Friday, July 1, 2011

My garden....warts and all....part deux...

This is the right side of the arbor created by the old ladders.  There is a beautiful unnamed grass growing on the left side of it which has purple seed heads and waves so beautifully with any wind.  There is a Veronica in front of it.
These are yellow day lilies next to a shoe form that cobblers used to use to repair shoes on.  We have several of those around the garden; they were purchased at an old barn filled with 'junk and stuff' in Lacon, Illinois.  The barn and outbuildings are closed now but we used to treasure hunt there almost every weekend.  I purchased all the glass snack sets I use for garden parties there as well as some really unusual yard art and the little red wagon I use to haul my garden tools.
 Here we have Maltese Cross, Veronica, weeds, lavender, and some Autumn Joy Sedum.
Bee Balm that isn't blooming yet, cone flowers, another weed.
This is where our bluebird house usually resides but this year a wren took it over.  I replaced the BB house with a spare wren house and just left them alone.  We have way too many wrens this year, we actually have three males in our yard where we usually only have one.  A wren is currently building in this house and sings from it most of the time.  The little doll chair is something my husband found on his many travels.  To the left of the chair is a new Ligularia.  This bed has been a constant source of Chocolate Mint which came in on one of the plants we received from a 'friend'.  It also has red sorrel that has been hard to eradicate.  I've been using Roundup Sure Shot which is a foam you can use to target a specific plant.  Since it kills the root, it can kill plants inside the garden bed even though you sprayed one outside the garden bed.
This is more bee balm, balloon flowers, more sedum, and day lilies. This chair is another find at the barns in Lacon topped by a birdhouse we found in an antique store in Lacon.  My husband has several chairs stored away that can be pulled out at a moment's notice and set in the garden when photographers show up at our home.  Most all of the plants in our garden were planted to encourage insects and birds to visit.  We have many kinds of butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies, bees, wasps, praying mantis and moths that visit.  We have hummingbirds, bluebirds, titmice, wrens (house and Carolina), rose-breasted grosbeaks, grackles, finches (gold and house), downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, orioles, indigo buntings, chipping, white throated, song, and white crowned sparrows, a Eastern towhee was a frequent visitor this spring, cardinals, catbirds, and house sparrows.  When a male house sparrow becomes fixated on a birdhouse on our property, we trap it and dispose of it.  I know it sounds cruel and people have been upset that we do it.  But most of them have never watched in horror as a male house sparrow pulls out and destroys a whole nest of bluebird eggs.  Or kills the mother sitting on the eggs.  Our native songbirds are protected by law, but English House Sparrows and Starlings are not native and are not protected.  Other birds have hunting seasons.  We don't hunt crows, doves or quail.  We hunt male house sparrows and ONLY the ones that decided one of our bird houses belongs to them.  The male will defend that house even though he doesn't nest in it.  I would much rather have bluebirds than house sparrows.

These are the iris, peonies, Joe Pye Weed and Swamp Milkweed.  The milkweed will be almost eaten down to nothing by the end of the summer when the butterfly caterpillars start eating it.  The butterfly lays eggs on the underside of the milkweed leaf so that when the egg hatches the babies have plenty of food.  We plant this milkweed all over.

Tomorrow I'll introduce you to the circles and 'the cage'.


  1. I love the touches of whimsy throughout Eden, especially the shoe forms and little chairs! It makes me think that you could have elves and sprites in your Garden. BTW...have the male sparrows met your bull frogs? If they can take a Blue Heron..I'm thinking they could handle those Sparrow bullies. ;)

  2. 'City' folk just don't understand the destruction some birds undertake. We have learned not to say anything and deal with the problem in the best way.

    Love your garden and whimsey. I'm going to see how many old ladders I can find and steal your arbor idea! :D