• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Ruth's garden is on its own

Gardens & Books

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 9:53am Top

I've been having such fun reading your garden journals, I have to chime in. However, I'm not actively gardening - not enough time and energy, with everything else. I spent hours and hours working in my yard decades ago, though, and I still get to enjoy the fruits. There used to be much more variety, but over time, some things just petered out and other things kinda took over.
My pictures this year will look a lot like last year.
I've got an album at Webshots, (which you can reach just by clicking on the pictures posted here) so I'll only post an ocassional picture here, if there is something to point out.

My ancient water maple tree gave up the ghost last year, and here is the corner

You'll notice that I didn't replace the tree, but have several volunteers vying for the honor. The tallest is a wild cherry which doesn't produce fruit, but grows fast. The one I'm rooting for is the maple at 1 o'clock from the overturned bucket. It came up last year, so I expect great things from it this year.

May 11, 2012, 5:37pm Top

Wow! It's a regular battle royale back there! I look forward to seeing who wins!

May 11, 2012, 7:24pm Top

Yippee! Ruth's added her own thread!

I'm going to have to look up 'water maple tree'...I've never heard of that.

May 11, 2012, 7:29pm Top

Aha, I found some information!

The silver maple (Acer saccharinum)—also called creek maple, river maple, silverleaf maple, soft maple, water maple, or white maple—is a species of maple native to eastern North America in the eastern United States and Canada. It is one of the most common trees in the United States.

Ya learn sumthin' new ev'ry day...

May 13, 2012, 8:50pm Top

I do admire volunteer plants and have a hard time telling things they have no business in my yard. Trees that tend to invite themselves -
Walnut - which always get dug out.
Holly - It's just such a nice plant, I try to offer them new homes.
Dogwood - my neighbor had a fabulous deep pink dogwood that died a couple years ago. I keep hoping that the sprouts I'm allowing to keep growing will turn out to be daughters.
Oak - My bane recently. Another neighbor's tree throws millions of acorns which sprout throughout my lawn and beds.
Crategus - Thorny and hard to eradicate.
There's one tree which has volunteered several places and I don't know what it is. Maybe apple? I've ignored it because I can always cut it out if it annoys me. I need to discover what it is because it has overtaken a birch tree. It's got an entry in the contest above.

May 14, 2012, 7:43am Top

I'm enjoying the battle of the volunteers!

May 14, 2012, 8:16am Top


Where would we be without volunteers? :D

May 15, 2012, 8:54pm Top

I love oaks but not the one on my neighbour's property: last tree to lose its leaves, after I've done the garden cleanup, so every Spring I have to clean up a bazillion oak leaves from my borders.

Edited: May 15, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Eek! I have a volunteer red oak and was thinking of transplanting it into a corner of my yard. I was so excited to find it. I think it came from acorns I brought from DC to feed the squirrels in my backyard.

I have a feeling that my neighbors might not like that tree. What do you think?

I was hoping to plant it to provide even more acorns for squirrels. My husband says not to worry about it and plant the tree anyway. Our yard is so small that it will have to go in one corner so that the tree will eventually overhang three other yards.

I know that these trees get humongous...but that won't be for another 300 years. I'll be long gone by then. :)

May 15, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Well, they grow slowly. If they don't have flower beds on the other side, you should be ok. It also depends which way the prevailing winds blow. I'm in the lee of them so the oak leaves are everywhere, including all around our front door.

May 15, 2012, 9:37pm Top

My gut feeling says to transplant the tree. I am so upset by all of the construction in my city and so many trees being hacked off and cut down. This is a reaction formation to that, I know.

May 15, 2012, 9:38pm Top

I don't do much with fallen leaves, other than just rake them into my compost pile. It doesn't bother me if I don't get all of them either as they will just dry up and provide food for my lawn, I figure.

May 15, 2012, 9:50pm Top

Aha, it's different in the city. I'm in the country, surrounded by trees. And I do mean surrounded. At 4 p.m. our house is in total shade.

May 15, 2012, 9:55pm Top

You're so lucky to have all those trees!

May 16, 2012, 8:44am Top

At 4pm it is hot here, so I would welcome shade at that time. :)

Plant the tree! You can always cut it down if it doesn't work out (sorry, SqueakyChu).

Edited: May 16, 2012, 9:41am Top

The red oak tree is already growing int he ground (near my front door!). It just needs to be either yanked out or transplanted. I think I'll just have my husband transplant it.

My younger son, years ago, planted a tulip poplar (a Maryland native plant) in our backyard. This is what it looks like in the fall...

May 16, 2012, 12:30pm Top

Ah, look at all those leaves....for the compost pile...:drool drool:


May 16, 2012, 12:51pm Top

9: I think it came from acorns I brought from DC to feed the squirrels in my backyard.
That's so cool! I'd cavalierly say don't worry about the neighbors, but I worry about mine...

May 18, 2012, 11:53am Top

I've been way out of commission this week, battling allergies - I think it's oak pollen which has aggrevated my sinuses this year. I normally work 4 ten hour days to allow three days for a real life. I started that schedule when my boss moved the office 45 miles away and the commute adds 2 hours to my work day. (GRRRR!!!) So instead of 5 long hour days, I've got 4 even longer days.
Anyway, I've been in a meds induced fog, struggling to be clear enough to drive. So I've only been able to enjoy my yard in glimpses.

I'm hoping the roses are still at peak tomorrow when I'll have time to go and say hello to them. I need to dig some up and invite them to KY.

My daughters are coming to celebrate my birthday. I want just the two of them, because that never happens anymore. I'm planning to make fresh lemonade and sit with them in the gardens.

May 18, 2012, 11:58am Top

2wonderY, do you have a birthday this weekend? So do I! Also have allergies. Pah. Sucks to be allergic to things you love, like trees.

May 18, 2012, 12:02pm Top

Happy Birthday to you, tiffin! I turn 58 next week.

Last year I had no problems and I was attributing it to eating local honey. But it was KY local, not WV where I spend half my time.

May 18, 2012, 12:11pm Top

You're just a young 'un. Many happy returns! Once the mossies and blackflies come out, I wear a bug hat and am covered head to toe. Somehow the screen on the bug hat helps--a filter? And I always shower when I come in from a big stint in the garden, which helps as well. By June we're out of the pollen season for a while--until the farmers start haying. Och weel...

May 18, 2012, 12:22pm Top

Ruth, sorry to hear about your allergies: I've had them all my life. If I'm going to be in the yard/gardens much then I take an antihistamine before I start. I also take a shower afterwards and throw my clothes in the wash, to reduce my exposure to stuff that might make me sick.

But it's worth it, to see the flowers...

May 21, 2012, 9:39am Top

Well, the whole crew came. It's not really that many, but the 4 grands generally demand everyone's attention. But they were SO GOOD! We filled a pew at church, and they do know how to behave during that hour. Church had a picnic afterwards, so they were happily fed and occupied for lunch. When we made it back to my house, they were happy to just hang out on the swings and a hammock and a bouncy horse, while the grown-ups enjoyed our own company. It was a picture perfect day. The 4 year old, Ellie, is most interested in what's growing. She and I made some beautiful arrangements with roses and everlasting peas, which are the perennial version of sweet peas, but don't have an odor.

My camera battery needs charged, and I've lost the charger. No one else brought out a camera. So it's all preserved in my head - and my heart.

May 21, 2012, 9:47am Top

This was your birthday celebration, right? My lads and Himself took me out for a lovely dinner. Just having my family around me was the best gift of all--sounds like you feel the same way.

May 21, 2012, 10:58am Top

Yes. It was perfection.

May 21, 2012, 6:56pm Top

Sounds wonderful, Ruth. :)

May 24, 2012, 11:41am Top

I cheated on the tree replacement competition. I came across a taller Maple sapling, and I believe it is a Red Maple. It was trying to grow in pine needle trash on my lower patio and so it was easy to pull up, and it really seems to appreciate the real soil and water it's being offered.

I also had an ancient apple tree rot through the trunk enough to lose it's top a few years ago. I left the partial trunk, and it's been vigorous enough to keep producing suckers, but I let a wild grapevine mass over the whole thing. I was going to chop out the grapevine and let the tree free, but we noticed that the grapevine is producing lots of potential grapes this season. So I'm going to wait. The apple tree (Which is so ancient and venerable that many random people in town remember it from their childhoods. My children were practically raised under it. It had always been the backyard focus....

Ode to an Apple Tree

Spring has well begun once we see your snowy petals fill our vision every year.
We know the work of gathering your windfalls each mowing day,
But too, allow the wasps their drunken orgies in their cups.
The meals and friendly gatherings celebrated under your welcoming boughs
Still fill our hearts' eyes.
Laden with green fruit throughout the season,
You ne'er but once struck visitor - and we agreed with your exception!

Young and old have lazed and read and played seated 'neath you;
And daring perches found aloft, to see yon distant new horizons
And dreamy slings and swings for contemplation, you have borne.

When you sighed and laid you down,
We sadly gathered up the wood, to burn at campside fires;
And eagerly were glad to see
Your roots throw up new vigorous life.
A daughter stands now at roots' end,
Soon taking on the 'ternal task
Of friendly shelter -Thank you, dear tree!

Wow! I had no idea I was so sentimental.

May 29, 2012, 7:56am Top

Scrabbling in the undergrowth to pull more oak seedlings, my hand found a poison ivy volunteer. I've got a great big blister now between fingers. I'm amazed at the elasticity of the skin.

I still haven't found my camera battery charger. The yellow loosestrife is doin' its thang at the moment.

This borrowed photo looks a lot like my patches:

May 29, 2012, 8:26am Top

My yellow loostrife used to be so pretty, but the day lilies have all but battered the life out of it. That's why I'll be going after the day lilies with a vengenace this year! Grrr!!

May 29, 2012, 9:00am Top

Dang! about the poison ivy.

May 29, 2012, 6:59pm Top

Beautiful picture, even if it isn't technically your own flowers.

BTW, I break out like crazy with exposure to poison ivy, too. My doctor told me to take an antihistamine before I break out, if I suspect I have been exposed to poison ivy. It keeps me from having blisters 'pop out' all over my wrists and hands.

It's an allergy.

Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 9:58am Top

I got back to West Virginia and took a walk around before it began sprinkling. Hydrangeas and Perennial Peas are doing best now.

Color and size are best viewed from the porch-

Jun 12, 2012, 12:01pm Top

Oh those hydrangeas are just beautiful. Never in a million years could I grow ones like that.

Jun 12, 2012, 12:20pm Top

Sure you can. It only takes about a decade to get good, mature and reliable clumps. You have to baby them along until then, but that just means clipping dead wood in the spring as the leaves emerge and making sure they get enough water in the summer sun. The ones I have get the western sun and used to wilt. Now it's just sit back and enjoy. I don't even clip anymore, and I get more blooms.

Jun 12, 2012, 12:24pm Top

I clipped my Hydrangeas too much the year before last, and had virtually no blooms last year. This year I didn't do a thing, well, except water and spread coffee grounds at the base of the plants. They are blooming very well this year, but when I take pictures, they blooms look washed out, so I've not posted any.

Jun 14, 2012, 10:03am Top

Huh! My camera did the same thing on all of the different flowers. I had to edit to bring back the true colors. I was surprised because it was overcast, and the camera shouldn't have had such a problem. I still couldn't get the color as vivid as it is in real life.

Jun 14, 2012, 1:03pm Top

Our eyes are still superior to any camera. :)

Jun 15, 2012, 12:53am Top

My husband and I are talking about getting a new camera. He knows what to look for, and he can consult his brother if he wants further information, who probably consults their sister, if they want further input. As long as I don't need to read the manual in order to figure out how to point and click, I'm happy.

Jul 8, 2012, 5:16pm Top

Was in Kentucky last week, so I was not even aware that my community was hard hit by the storm. My neighborhood was without power for 4 days. So when I got back, I took a quick look around and cleaned out my freezer. Luckily, all had re-frozen, so there was no glop or odor to deal with. Now I need to find if there is still a drop-off spot for spoiled meats. It's all bagged and back in the freezer in case I end up putting it out with the regular trash.

A quick survey of the yard from the back door didn't reveal a busted tree out on the far corner. It must have been a real freak wind, as this strong young tree snapped at 6 feet from the ground, and nothing else around it was harmed. It was too hot yesterday, but I started tackling it some today. Yeah, guess where my equipment is? Yep, Kentucky.

It's a Hawthorn, and it is the biggest tangle of lethal thorns you'd never want to mess with. My favorite holly bush is underneath, otherwise I'd just let it season for a while. It's not in anyone's way.

Temperatures are supposed to moderate to the 80s this week. I'm glad - my old house lacks AC, which is usually just fine with me. I've been trying to stay hydrated inside and out.

Jul 8, 2012, 7:45pm Top

There were some freaky storms down this way too. I'm glad that only one tree was apparently damaged!

Jul 10, 2012, 8:53am Top

I won't miss the Hawthorn except for the screen it provided. But I'm mourning the holly. The leader got snapped off in the impact from the hawthorn falling on it. I'm not sure it will recover and grow taller. It's a very prickley leaved variety and it's a female and was beginning to produce copious berries.

The birds will miss the hawthorn. I had no idea how many berries were made in that small tree. They have dried and fallen from their stems, and the ground is dangerous - like walking on tiny marbles.

Edited: Jul 10, 2012, 9:04am Top

Sorry to hear about your snapped hawthorn tree and the fallen holly tree.

Our tulip poplar was once snapped in the wind when young. It went on to produce a second leader. Then, later, the original leader grew back! It's now a beautiful tree!

In 2007

In 2011

Kind of like a two-sailed sailboat! :)

Jul 10, 2012, 9:08am Top

The holly was still a young'un - just my height. They grow really slow. Top two feet are gone. I hope it can develop another leader.

Edited: Jul 10, 2012, 10:50am Top

Researching Holly recovery, I found this short dissertation, and thought I'd share it:

"Whenever I see the Holly tree, I feel an inner smile, like a ray of light touching my heart. Sometimes I go and look for Holly trees or I pay a visit to the ones that I know best. They give me relief from pain and I feel my own inner clarity and "uprightness". The beautiful thing about Holly's presence is that it touches both heart and mind, and brings them into a harmonious dialogue. I become aware of my own spinal column and feel an inner acceptance of pain and sacrifice. The thorns of Holly do not speak to me of aggression, but rather they speak of sacrifice, and of the crown of thorns “Like the Hanged Man of the Tarot, Holly represents personal sacrifice in order to gain something of greater value.”

The Wisdom of Trees: “Mysteries, Magic, and Medicine”
by Jane Gifford

The crucial paradox of the Christian faith – intellectually incomprehensible – becomes living evidence in the presence of Holly. The leaves are so dark – and yet the tree radiates light! There is so much sharpness and pointedness in Holly – and yet it transmits a mild and gentle acceptance. On another level, the thorns symbolize the protection of the core self of pure love from the intrusion of negative thoughts like envy and jealousy.

I feel something highly cosmic in Holly, which has taken on and adapted to the earthly elements. This cosmic-earthly body of Holly gives me courage to stand upright, and courage to bring love to earth. "

Ralph Raphael Grosse-Kleimann

Edited: Jul 17, 2012, 10:57am Top

The city promised to remove the storm debris. It looks like the trash men attempted to take my pile, but they mostly managed to spread it around. The thorns were too much. I'm hoping they have a backup crew. Otherwise I may spend the next few weeks cutting the branches up into very small pieces and filling my trash barrels.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday evening pulling the mini-mountain apart and chopping it up into smaller pieces. I found it was not impossible to make bundles, though they are awkward and still terribly thorny. Another evening's work should do it. Trash day is Wednesday.

Jul 19, 2012, 3:10pm Top

Just a note to report that the trash men passed me by once again. They didn't even tip my barrels out, much less pick up the tied branches. It's possible they had a full truck and mean to return. My neighbor directly opposite had a small mountain of discards from cleaning out the house getting ready to sell it; and that was not picked up either. Perhaps they came back today.

Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 12:13pm Top

I happened to be at home when the sun was out a week past, and I knew where the camera was, so I took a few pictures.

This is a corner of one of the flowerbeds. There really is a path to the alley, but nothing is tied up the way it should be:

Leadwort Plumbago is the brilliant blue at the bottom. Perennial peas on the left in front of a hydrangea and a rose. Asters, hibiscus and others on the right. Goldenrod is a volunteer, but I don't much fight it.

This is the same area viewed from the other side:

The asters were willed to me from an ancient neighbor lady. Several people have been owners of her property since, and none of her gardens remain.

Twisting right:

the purple asters were collected from a highway strip. Dogwood tree behind has lost most leaf already.

Riot in pink:

One of my beautyberry bushes:

The other one has lost all it's berries, don't know why.

And here is the hawthorn that got struck down by the big storm:

It is such a pretty plant, I'm gonna hate to kill it, but I must.

Sep 25, 2012, 11:32am Top

48: Gorgeous!

Edited: Sep 25, 2012, 12:29pm Top

Aarrgh! Lost my post.

1. Why are you killing the hawthorn?

2. Beautyberry? Great! You have now identified a plant my dh and I saw on a nature walk last week, while on our vacation, thanks!

Sep 25, 2012, 12:54pm Top

Beautyberry - AND ITS A NATIVE!

Hawthorn must go because it's sprouting up everywhere! It doesn't want to be a tree; it wants to be a grove of trees. There are several more behind the fence.
Cleaning up the fallen tree was nightmarish because of the three inch thorns that I'm still finding in the soil now as I pull weeds. Yikes!

Thinking of bringing a volunteer to Kentucky, but not sure where to let it loose.

Sep 29, 2012, 10:20am Top

Release it on the property line...

Edited: Nov 19, 2012, 5:52pm Top

I noticed that one of my volunteer trees is carrying crabapples!!!



That just makes me smile.

ps: does photobucket have any size between thumbnail and gigantic?

Edited: Nov 19, 2012, 6:24pm Top

I don't know, I don't use photobucket, I use Shutterfly.

You can change the size of your posted picture by adding a space and "width=400" after the 'jpg and before the right arrow key.

Dec 3, 2012, 9:28pm Top

How are you doing, Ruth? Not seen much of you lately...

Dec 4, 2012, 7:18am Top

I'm doing fine, thank you for asking. One daughter has more complications in her life than it seems possible, and I try to lend a hand there. My brother is undergoing chemo a state away, and I've been trekking up there to be his advocate and driver. So far, it seems that December is under control. (saying prayer that nothing else crops up.) I got down to Kentucky this weekend, and I hope to post a progress note on that. God sustains.

Dec 4, 2012, 12:35pm Top

Indeed He does.

Keeping all of you in my prayers. :)

Apr 26, 2013, 4:53pm Top

First stay at home weekend for me in a while.

Gonna mow and enjoy what's coming up. That crabapple volunteer pictured in >53 2wonderY: was in full bust-out bloom last week. I took pictures, but still can't locate the camera battery charger. May have to buy another one.

On the prayer front, both my brother and my dad are in cancer remission. My daughter's family got a huge tax return, and seem in relatively good shape for now.

Apr 29, 2013, 3:40pm Top

My cherry tree here was in full bloom, but the bee activity was on the holly tree. Lots of small flowers, so there will be plenty of berries this year. Lilac is in full bloom, and lots of catkins hanging from my water oak tree.

May 7, 2013, 3:42pm Top

This has been a prodigious and leisurely spring. Everything is blooming large and plentiful.

A field of wild violets:

a volunteer spread of aconite:

lovely licacs:

and I forget the name:

but I have it in white, pink and purple.

May 7, 2013, 3:45pm Top

(58) On the prayer front, both my brother and my dad are in cancer remission. My daughter's family got a huge tax return, and seem in relatively good shape for now.


May 7, 2013, 6:33pm Top

>58 2wonderY:: that IS good news!
I would call that white, pink, purple thing scilla.

May 8, 2013, 6:31am Top

Thank you, tiffin! I knew I didn't have to look it up, just wait for someone to tell me.

May 22, 2013, 3:38pm Top

Ruth's garden has a tomato!

Edited: May 22, 2013, 3:46pm Top

This is the best month in my garden. The roses are bloomin' their little hearts out, and the peonies are right behind them.

Fourth of July

Lady Hamilton

and the rambling pink

who's ruffles thrill me.

Here's my spiderwort

May 22, 2013, 4:37pm Top

Lady Hamilton is a show stopper!

May 22, 2013, 4:40pm Top

And she might actually be a Pat Austin. I can't remember. But she tends more to peach than to orange.
The buds are erect, but the full bloom always nods.

May 22, 2013, 10:06pm Top

Beeee U ti full!

May 26, 2013, 8:53am Top

65: Everywhere pink! Peonies here haven't yet bloomed.

Mar 31, 8:11pm Top

Harumph! I've been trying unsuccessfully to load a picture of my new trench.
I exposed the entire length of pipe this evening and I've found a contractor willing to come later in the week and just make the connections. I'll have all the materials on hand and notify the gas company. It should go bing-bang-bing. And he'll charge for just his time.

I'll try the picture again tomorrow.

Apr 1, 6:26am Top

Got it to load.

Apr 6, 3:50pm Top

What's the trench for?

Apr 6, 5:10pm Top

Oh, I thought you knew. Had to replace the gas service line.

Apr 6, 9:51pm Top

Darn, I was hoping you were starting a moat.

Apr 6, 10:33pm Top

>73 2wonderY: I must have missed that post...or just forgotten it, sorry.

Apr 7, 7:19am Top

Sorry, my battery died last evening. More -

I was so ticked at the estimates the contractors gave me, that I just started digging. Had to remove my precious plants from the work zone anyway, and just kept going. I did hire a plumber to make the actual disconnect/new connections/move the meter. Paid him for 4 hours, though he actually worked closer to 3. (rate = $70.) But hey, he's gotta make a living too, and he didn't screw around. He got through it a lot faster than I would have. In fact, I couldn't even budge the old line, even using his wholesale-sized monkey wrenches. It's been rusting for 100 years.
I'm glad I dismissed him when his part was done, as it took 4 more hours for the gas company tech to come and inspect and make the final connection. He got there just as a thunderstorm came up, and he went down into the hole and did what was needed while I tried to shovel mud over the new line. The tech is a good guy too. He gave me parts from his supply, and handed me two cans of paint to use on the exposed connections on either side of the meter, when it dries out.

Apr 7, 10:59am Top

LOL at "getting ticked": it gave you the incentive and energy to do it yourself!

I'm still waiting to hear back from the floor guy. Does he want the job or not?

Group: Gardens & Books

90 members

5,860 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,461,158 books! | Top bar: Always visible