Sweetness & Sweat

Last Sunday in the sauna-garden, I finished “most” of the cleanup and some of the weed pulling. I was about fed up with it all when a Monarch butterfly tucked into a fading mountain laurel bloom to boost my equally fading energy.

“I think the weeds are winning,” reads this sign in a garden we’re featuring this May.

Although this fun couple hangs out after hours in their cute “Margaritaville,” they stay on top of spring weeds. All procrastination gets you is future sweat labor. Tiny tree seedlings become deep-rooted nightmares in no time flat.

Between scrabbling and pulling, I’ve barely made a dent in the cedar elm seedlings and “cleavers” (Galium aparine). I stuff the cleavers (after wrangling them off my arms/legs/glove) under plants or drop into the compost pile for free fertilizer.

Many of our “weeds,” including cleavers, are actually beneficial to us. Herbalist Ellen Zimmermann explains why in this segment with Trisha.

On sweet breaks from the sweat last weekend, the first fragrant roses nuzzled me, like Marie Pavie.

Buff Beauty on the back arbor is sky high since I never finished pruning its unruly stems. Even from below, I caught a whiff of its warm fragrance.

In this back cove framed by climbing roses, shrubby Lady Banks puts on a grandiose show minus olfactory sensations. A lavender spiderwort seeded here for a sublime, surprise complement.

Purple and yellow are such a delight together, though I didn’t actually forecast this scene, either.

When I divided and moved a bunch of bearded irises a few years ago, I just plopped them in the island bed, clueless about their color. Then I added some golden groundsel nearby. Sometimes gardening is plain old luck!

Lots of insects are going for the groundsel, too.

Narcissus ‘Falconet’ balances gold and yellow on the other side of this bed as it’s done for years.

The biggest perfume blast comes from the other side of the yard, where white Lady Banks finally recovered after being mangled when a creek tree landed on her in last summer’s Harvey storm.

It took us 4 days to get power back since the tree took that out, too. I figured that it’d be a year before our rose was up to screening a rental yard again. You’ve got to admire a plant with such gusto!

In case you missed it, Brie Arthur, Raleigh-based horticulturist, speaker and author of the The Foodscape Revolution, joins Paula and Glenn Foore at Austin’s Springdale Farm to chat connections that cross borders. And, in a small backyard Ratna and Venkappa Gani unite worldwide tastes and sensations in a food and flower forest.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week as we head into our April spring premiere, Linda