Total Pageviews

Monday, July 19, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

My last couple of posts seem to have focused on birds... time to get back to the garden... and butterflies!

I showed you a view very similar to this a couple of weeks back.

It shows the border along the back wall.

Notice anything? 

How about the fact that to the right of the tree, the Southern Wax Myrtle, the Rose of Sharon, the grapevine and the Vitex are all bursting forth with lots of growth and greenery (and in the case of the Rose of Sharon, flowers).

To the left of the tree, not so much.

I've complained about this area before.  Here's another view:

Again, you can see greenery, growth and blooms further away from the corner.

But there's that one section up against the wall, right by those three pine trees, where nothing will grow.

And therein lies the problem.  Those pine trees have sent a mass of fibrous roots under the wall and it's impossible to get a spade in the ground there. 

Well not quite impossible -- you can see I planted a few shrubs there. However those shrubs remain the same size (if not smaller) than the day they were planted.  They're fighting a losing battle with those tree roots.

I think the answer is going to be a lattice on the wall and some large containers with climbing vines.  Plan A obviously isn't working.

You may have noticed in the above photos that the tree ring round the pine tree looks different from before.

Here's  what it used to look like -- cheap plastic "stones" (what can I say, I inherited them from an old neighbor), and then there's the fading volunteer sunflower, as well as greenbriar and other weeds taking over. 

I've been wanting to spruce it up for a while.  So, over the July 4 weekend, that's exactly what we did.

You can see the finished result below:

Real stone this time, and although it's not the same as the stone we used for the border, I think it goes well.

The sunflower is still there - I need to pull it and harvest the seeds for the birds before they go moldy, but haven't got around to it yet.

What else is happening in the back garden? Oh yes, there's Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, everywhere! I purchased a couple last year and they have self-seeded profusely :-)

The butterflies are loving them:

Gulf Fritillary

I wonder,  is the one below a Monarch, or something else? (Sorry I couldn't get a better photo)

That's it for today.  I have some more insect photos, but I'll share those in my next blog post.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Kathleen Scott said...

Looks like a monarch to me. Congratulations!

You might think about some clumping grasses for that spot where trees won't grow. Maybe Bamboo Muhley (Muhlenbergia capillaris) Big mounds of lacy, ferny-looking foliage. Turns wheat-gold in winter.

Ami said...

Nice butterfly photos! I also grow milkweed, which was munched to bare sticks by monarch catterpillar. Now they are bouncing back, but I just can not see the butterflie... :(

BTW, that was a excellent project you did for that tree ring. Maybe you can grow something shallow rooted plants in that area, such as succulent plants?

Jayne said...

Hi Kathleen, I think there's just too much competition from the roots of the trees on the other side of the wall but I'm willing to try anything. Thanks for the suggestion, it sounds lovely if it can hold it's own in that area.

Jayne said...

Thanks Ami. Milkweed is very resilient isn't it? It can get munched to nothing and then, as you say, it bounces back. I hope you get some Monarch butterflies stop by soon.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Yes, that is a monarch. I like what you did under the tree. I wonder if it would work to put a raised area by the fence. Or, you could put a huge pot there, that wouldn't need to be watered as often. I like your idea of putting in some lattice with vines.