Saturday, July 9, 2016

Little Garden Epiphany (cue the music) (6WS)

This summer we've been busy with other things, including totally revamping the kitchen (to put it loosely), plus the start of the growing season was chilly and not entirely conducive to planting or anything else.  Snow in May can be a downer, for sure.

So.  The perennials grew, the grasses grew.  I did a bit of mowing at the start,  and flang mulch for as long as I had it to fling.  Then we got busy inside, and the garden was on its own.  (yes, this is heading somewhere)

Usually I'm out there deadheading the peonies and cutting back this, mulching that, fuss fuss fuss.  I noticed a small sparrow who had apparently taken up residence in the beebalm.   I started seeing the turkeys, the resident woodchuck, deer,  numerous small birds, all whipping about out there eating seed heads and big crunchy (yummy) weed leaves. Go, woodchuck.

Strolled out this afternoon to see how much ugliness was there, and was pleasantly surprised to find that everything was doing just fine without me. The lavender has never looked better, the beebalm looked surprised to see me,  and the day lilies went right ahead and started putting out buds without my permission.   Here and there a nice stand of grasses with really attractive seed heads...and suddenly it hit me.  All those birds, they are all seed eaters.  When I yank up the tall grasses, when I deadhead the flowers, I prevent them from setting SEED. And the birds that eat seeds go somewhere else.  Just now the garden is one ginormous evolving seed tray. How cool is that.

Aha, aha.


  1. ooh I had this epiphany too . . . . our garden is very wild but even I blanch at enormous thistles especially when they come up in the middle of a patio. However a few weeks ago I thought what the heck it might be a pretty one.

    It wasn't, and I have been so annoyed I allowed it to grow . . .until yesterday evening when a Goldfinch visited and spent 10minutes filling his beak with all the seeds.

    So joyful to watch, and I went to bed feeling happy that I had left the thistle after all - even if it is still an ugly one!

    1. easy to forget that we arent the only animal out there. ive done that with thistles too, but from now on you will have to watch where you step, since they also spread like mad and damn all don't they hurt with you walk on one barefooted...

      Sometimes I think we try too hard for our own version of perfect, tidy, Gate Community Orderly. It's like managing a forest to someone else's idea of what a GoodForest should look like.
      By the time you're done you have nice trees but no wildlife.

      (only ugly to you. to the goldfinch, sheer manna.)

  2. Just goes to show: Don't mess with Mama

  3. I'm learnin, Mr. L. One day at a time.

  4. There's no end to the work you can do in a garden, but you don't have to do most of it. I was about to toss the dead sweet email the other day when a tufted titmouse got in ahead of me and noshed in the seed heads. I collect what he left for next year. But nature's not supposed to be neat.

    So this a good motto to cross stitch in the time you save by not tidying up the garden.

  5. Agreed. Nature's a messy broad. and tends to spread herself wide and deep, in the hopes that something will stick, something will catch hold and multiply.

    I don't usually clean up the fall garden, I let the deer do that for me--they take the seed heads of the African daisies, they will if encouraged eat my Borage to the ground.

    Now if I could just find something that would take out the jonquils...

  6. Stupid push technology. I'm guessing you knew I typed sweet William back there?

  7. why, er, of course I did. yes. yes indeed.

  8. My garden consists of a long cement planter the length of my garage. The only things that grow there are voluntary, and weeds that the birds bring. :-)

  9. Not a bad way to run a garden, Mlissabeth. I'm leaning that way more and more as I lean more and more =)

    One year I actually did scatter a whole batch of mixed (my choice) flower seeds and let them work it out. It was quite pretty, actually.

  10. simply splendid! Hooray for you!

  11. Nature has a wonderful way of spreading all of it's glory. Man, not so much lately.