Friday, August 3, 2007

Garden Introduction

It seems like at the beginning of anything there ought to be an introduction, or at least a preface. Since this is to be about our garden I should give it an introduction.

We live in Iowa City, on the east side, in an older part of town. Our house was built probably in the 1920’s and more importantly, is on a nice size corner lot. The fact that it is a corner lot is important because it is very accessible to people who come by, either on foot or in cars. We have lived here since 1982. There was not much here at that time by way of a garden. There were the trees. We have mature trees of many varieties. There is a sycamore, a linden, a walnut, a buckeye (just like the Ohio State mascot) and an elm. All these trees were big when we moved in 25 years ago. They are even bigger today. There are also white and pink crabapple apple trees.

With all those trees we have a lot of shade. There are pockets of sun. Those pockets are in much demand. For the last 20 years I have gradually been eliminating the lawn. We share a push mower with the neighbor. With not much grass to mow I can still complain when it must be done.

I garden to the curb. I can report that there is no grass to curb contact in my yard. I garden in the parkway. Having filled up most of two dimensions I have started gardening in the trees.

In this electronic venture I will try to give you a picture or two of what is in the garden. Let me tell you about the groups of plants that I grow. I will try to label pictures from those groups so that you can view them together if you wish and I can work the technology.

I guess I should start with hosta. I sort of did, about 1990. For a while I just wanted to get as many varieties as I could. Then I realized that they were too close together. I started moving them apart and planting things between them. At this point I have mature clumps of many varieties. The Sum and Substance by the front steps, the Guardian Angel in the side garden, and the enormous Lady Isobel Barnett in the back yard are probably the standouts. Then there is Abba Dabba Do. (Who thinks up these names?)

I then grow daylilies. They are in the sunny areas, wherever those are found. They create quite the riot of color in July.

I grow iris and wish to grow more. They start with the little dwarf iris in March and go on to the Japanese in late June. I am particularly interested in growing more of the Louisiana Iris, which do well in wet areas. I do like to grown plants that you do not see here in Iowa that much.

The last major plant group would be the lilium, including the Asiatic and Oriental lilies. For me they are companion plants to the daylilies. I like how they create a wonderful contrast in height.

There is lots more stuff; from poppies to hellebores, from spring bulbs to orchid cactus (what's that you ask), from amaryllis to caladium. I hope to explore many of these as we go along.

1 comment:

dp said...

While I always enjoy the close-ups, I particularly like the aerial photo of your backyard in this post!

Great introduction!