More Outdoors

Some of the plants I mentioned in yesterdayʼs post are peeved (I believe it — donʼt you?) because they didnʼt get their pictures in the blog, so Iʼll continue the outdoorsy rabbit-food theme today.

Principally, some photos…

the little red prickly bush — you can gauge its minute size by the chain link behind it

I wish I had more stuff to say about each one, but weʼll let the captions speak for themselves, right?

Okay, okay. The little red prickly bush is where I effectively closed yesterdayʼs post. It stands between the NW lilac (as I started calling it in the captions) and the little forsythia along the chain link fence separating us from Gasser Abyss. This little guy would like to be about a yard to four feet high, I believe, but The Lovely One kept insisting on cutting him back to fit into her little garden of petunias and such annuals over the years, of which you can get a kind of look when we get to the weigelas.

baby lilac (purchased back in late April) number 1

We went on a plant-buying spree this year in mid-April (it was so darned warm, then — today, too, for that matter, downright sultry and hot, durn the durned humidity). We came home with the new sand cherry that the rabbits devoured four days after we planted it, three little weigela plants (a species of which I had not previously heard) and two tiny little lilacs. I think all the plants were $5.00 or less apiece (but I may be flattering my buying skills in hindsight). We had no idea where any of them were to go in our yard, but greed for nature overwhelmed our common sense. Besides, Janet volunteered to pay for them all.

The sand cherry seemed to make a good anchor for the yard on the NE corner, balanced by the old/new lilac in the NW. The Lovely One decided to stop planting annual flowers in a little bed she had created on the west side of the house, so the three weigelas went there. The two new lilacs were a bigger decision, but (as seemed obvious to my beloved) we had none on the eastern side of the house, as opposed to the huge old lilac on the west, so both went there in about the same position, relatively speaking, as the old one was one the other side.

new baby lilac number 2, just north of the other one and just past the NE drainpipe

The more northerly new lilac stands on his own, unprotected by the house, but we hope one day a source of morning shade on our back “patio” (actually a house-long strip of trashy, ancient concrete). Both seems to be doing very well so far.

hydrangea — note Janetʼs decorative fence-leaning-on-a-fence

I wrote about the hydrangea already yesterday but didnʼt show its picture (maybe she was the one complaining that I had to continue the post). The yellow flowers in the shot are not its blooms (please, itʼs a joke; but theyʼre not). Janet has them stapled to the piece of wooden fencing she has decorating/covering up the chain link monstrosity. As I noted yesterday, we hope the hydrangeaʼs blooms come out blue this year, thanks to rusty hardware inserted into the ground.

western side of the house, former flower garden: this is weigela number 1 amidst some of Janetʼs decorations from the old flower-garden days

Now weʼve moved around the back side of the house to the western face of the building (out of which my office window beside the computer looks). In the little former flower garden sit the three new plants — genus weigela. (Click the link to learn more than I actually know about such plants.) I donʼt know which two species we bought (theyʼre not all the same), although if I knew where their little plant tags are secreted about the house or garage, they would probably tell me.

weigela number 2 (in the middle, a bit further south). Notice Janetʼs decorative touches, please.

I had imagined that when we replaced the nonexistent annual flowers with the three new bushes (and moved poor, defeated red prickly bush from here to the fence line), that the garden would become part of the yard. Janet had other notions, as you can see by the multitude of decorative things scattered not randomly about the still-dirt space…

This middle weigela is the “different” species, too.

furthest south on the west side, weigela number 3 with more decorative stuff

And I kept moving around the house toward the south and the corner with the front, so the plant above is indeed the third weigela (a word I consistently misspelled yesterday, but have since corrected).

Now letʼs go back around the house in reverse, picking up some of the older bushes that I have so far neglected…

the big lilac — itʼs so huge you have to get some of the house as well

If I imiginarily step back to the north, stumbling down our steep western slope, which falls away from the house both to the west and north simultaneously, the weigelas are now hidden behind the huge oldest lilac. If you notice the shuttered window above and left of the plant, thatʼs the office window, and the bush now covers about the lower third of my view (good thing, too, since our neighbors keep a massive and tempting vegetable garden in their own back yard westward). This spring the scent of lilac through the window was heavenly. The bush is about eight to ten feet tall and nearly that big around now, having started as a little two-foot midget.

the Rose of Sharon on the NW corner of our house and patio (you can see the awful cement in the foreground)

Many years ago, friend and former student (I wonʼt reveal how former, for both our sakes) Sharon Goettler, settling into her new house, perhaps as a way of thanking me/us for wiring up several items in her home, including a ceiling fan, my least favorite wiring job to do — no matter that we have four of them in our house now (and no, although widely experienced wiring up and also electrocuting myself on other peopleʼs bad wiring jobs — refer here — I am not really a credible electrician, regardless how many home jobs I have done), offered us a small plant from her yard — appropriately a Rose of Sharon (a name I have always loved, thanks Old Testament). This one is of course the Midwestern native that settlers gave the old name to, rather than the exotic subtropical plant of the Bible.

As I had always (well, not always, but for a long time, once I had adjusted myself to the notion of having plants in the yard) wanted to put two bushes in back, one at each end of the cement walls retaining the side yards from covering the patio, I had a plan for her gift. Sharonʼs bush was the first successful step in that direction. It now stands about seven feet tall.

on the NE corner of the patio, our burning bush

I imaginarily stumbled further north and then along the flat eastward to take the Rose of Sharon shot. If I kept backing up eastward to the edge of our yard, thus looking back at the patio, I would see this shot above of our burning bush. No, there is no Jewish Tanakh-ic theme to our back yard, nor does a deity speak to me from the plant (nor to anyone from anything, thank you very much nutsos of the world; viz. Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus); itʼs just a species of bush that turns red in the fall. Having killed (or let rabbits kill) several specimens earlier in our lives together in the good old gray house, I was delighted to keep this one alive and thriving, starting about the turn of the millennium.

And since that backward imaginary walk brings us back almost to where we started (the two lilacs are just up the hill leftward of the bush in the photo), letʼs quit for today. Although I still have the trees to discuss, as promised yesterday…

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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