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10:15 pm: The flowers I forgot.
So I realized the other night after posting that I tagged my entry floweres (among other things) and never actually mentioned any.  Day lilies were on my mind, as Allen and I drove up to the Ironton area to visit his ol' iris & day lily buddy Elvin Roderick.  Allen calls him Al (but you can call him Betty), but I wonder if he doesn't actually go by El.

Allen has already posted about  how Al is going to cut back on his breeding because he can't keep up with it.  What he can't keep up with, I suspect, is not the cross pollinating and associated breeding tasks, but the weeding.  They have the most beautiful property.  You couldn't properly refer to it as a yard; it's more like the grounds of their, well, rather ordinary house.  When I imagine Wretched Excess (the house I plan to build on the 200 acres I plan to buy when I win the lottery) the house is abut 15,000 square feet, which the Rodericks'  ranch is definitely NOT.  However, what their house is is very welcoming and liveable, with an extended kitchen/dining area, through whose floor to ceiling windows you can gaze out over much of their lawn, gardens, fish pond and woods.  All immaculately mown, weeded and otherwise tended, by two charming people in their 70s.  As I told Allen, it's the sort of setting I would love to live in.  And, actually, we have enough land to manage it.  But even if we were both retired, I know we would never maintain such manicured beauty, partly because Allen prefers a wilder, lower maintenance property, and mostly because we--that would be I, primarily--are just not likely to spend a huge percentage of our time weeding.  And it must be practically a full-time job.  I wish I had taken my camera to take some pictures, it was just so lovely.  They have a patio out back with a trellised roof covered w/ shade cloth.

In addition to many gorgeous day lilies, they still have some iris, sunflowers, regular lilies and lots of unidentifiable (by me)  flora.  Also, many trees and shrubs.  Their Japanese maples were badly damaged during this spring's freeze.  They have cedars (weeping and otherwise),  redbuds, and lots of other trees around the house, with practically a forest in the acreage beyond the koi pond.  They lost all their big koi to river otters released into the area by Fish & Game a year or two ago,  although they have some growing up (for the next pilgrimage of otters, no doubt).  And they have many bird feeders and many birds just swooping through and singing, many more than we see here.   Almost makes me want to retire and become a gardener, until I remember how stiff I was for days after weeding half of the very small UU garden bed.

So, obviously, when I win the lottery and Wretched Excess is ours, I will definitely have a gardening staff.

Current Location: at my computer (duh)
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: none, Allen's sleeping


[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
I am now jealous, in a mild and benevolent way. My garden is teeny (because I live in a small terraced house in a city, and because the UK is so small and overcrowded) and I would LOVE to have enough garden to refer to it as "grounds".

Are Japanese maples very frost-prone? I'm about to buy one (I hope) and that hadn't occurred to me as a concern, but then we don't get more than a few frosts here per winter.
[User Picture]
Date:June 19th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)

japanese maples

I am far from expert when it comes to plants, but I do know that in this area nurseries recommend planting japanese maples in a protected spot. Certainly the Rodericks' maples were severely damaged by the late freeze, but so were many other trees. We live in a slightly milder area than the Rodericks, and the freeze caught our redbuds, oaks and our lone dawn redwood in leaf. Allen was worried about the oaks, we were both mildly concerned about the redbuds and I was certain the dawn redwood wasn't going to make it. However, all varieties leafed out again. All the trees lost some wood, but basically they all seem pretty healthy. There are lots of Japanese maples here and in St. Louis, 100 miles further north, and they regularly make it through the winter. I think the main problem was the lateness of the frost more than its severity.
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