Friday, August 19, 2005

Gardening Lessons Learned

Most of you know that I am new to gardening. And if you've been reading my blog all year, you know that I only survived the winter by thinking about all of the beautiful plants that I would have in the Spring and Summer and hopefully, Fall. I drooled over gardening catelogs, bought three books on Midwestern gardening and anxiously waited for the plants to come. I planned and replanned what I would plant and where they would go. I also ordered some bareroot plants from a catalog.

The beautiful plant above is a variety of phlox, which I love.

We also have an amazing butterfly bush that attracts the most beautiful butterflies (I *have* to get a picture of them!) We have a variety of hostas, which I had never seen before, but are prevelant in the MidWest. I've planted daisies, marigolds, pansies, petunias, snap dragons, ivy, and a bunch of other things.

I've even planted things that I've forgotten about! Some of the dryroots that I planted started coming up and I couldn't remember what they were. One was a plant that I put infront of a hibiscus bush by the front entry way. I remember that the plant is supposed to be 18" tall. Well, the darn thing keeps growing and growing and now it's as tall as I am! Taller than the hibiscus bush! I've been intrigued about this mystery plant. What is it? How pretty will it be? Will I be able to put the flowers in an arrangement in a vase? A few weeks ago, it started to grow skinny pine-cone shaped flowers. Cool! It's almost time for it to bloom. M wanted to cut it back, but I told him not to -- we have to see what this thing wants to do. I don't know what it is, but it looks like it's going to be great, I told him.
Okay, he said, let's see what this thing is.

foreshadowing side note: My allergies have been extremely bad lately. My eyes have been dry, itchy, and watery. My nose has been itching so much that I nearly rub it off each day when I try to "scratch" it by rubbing it. I've been taking Alerest lately to combat this crazy allergy.

Back to the story....

We had our friends, the H's over last Sunday. He grew up on a farm and she does flower arranging sometimes for the grocery store. They've helped me identify my unidentified midwestern flora and fauna in the past. As they were leaving, I asked them what this very large mystery plant is. They both kind of chuckled and Mrs H said, "Oh, Sandra, let's just get out your shears now and get this out. It's a weed. You don't really want it. It can't be what you ordered from the catalog. It just took over and what ever you planted didn't have a chance. You don't want it." Hmmm.... But she also told me that Queen Anne's Lace is a weed last week and I love Queen Anne's Lace. So, I didn't think anything of it.

I mentioned to M that it looked like those skinny pine-cone shaped buds were going to get yellow blooms and it would be so pretty. Oh yeah, M said. I meant to tell you, I was talking to a neighbor yesterday and at some point he asked us why we have that plant so prominantly in our front entry way. Guess what it is ?


The most harmful pollen producer of all plants. The plant that 90% of people who suffer allergies are allergic to!


After telling me that, M, with my permission, went out front and pulled out every darn leaf, stem, and flower from that darn plant!!!

We now have a big gap in the front entry way...and that's just fine with me :>


A.J. said...

Oh, poor sweetie! RAGWEED! Oh no! But at least your allergy should get better now. Oh dear, it is a bit funny, though, if you hadn't been suffering so.

Reminds me of the shop-owner in town that put beautiful orange and gold-colored leaves in her front window for an autumn display. Turns out they were poison oak leaves!

Your other flowers are beautiful. Has little Tom been "dead-picking" lately?

CaliforniaGrammy said...

RAGWEED! Oh-my-gosh! RAGWEED! It IS the stuff everbody complains about with itchy eyes and runny and stuffy noses! You poor thing! I'm so glad you've been rid of it now, thanks to Mrs. H and good 'ol M (who wanted to chop it down weeks ago!) . . . now I wonder what "didn't have a chance" to grow? You may be surprised in a couple more weeks!

v-party of five said...

Poor sistah!!! And your poor nose. I remember the abuse that nose gets when you rub it! And nobody try to move the hand away... hee hee. Love You!

gramonthelake said...

What is the difference between a flowering weed & a flower anyway? I love Queens Ann's Lace as well. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Another mid-west weed, Goldenrod,is now sold at local nurseries & used in wedding table centerpieces. I'd like to know how come weeds grow so well with no care, sun or shade, wet or dry? Your yard & deck planters looked so pretty when I visited in August. You must have a green thumb! Hope you're feeling better now. xoxoxo

TGentry said...

That's terrible. But I commend you for being so diplomatic to the offensive little weed, giving it a chance to be a beautiful flower. If I may ask, what catalogs do you use? I work at Park Seed/Wayside Gardens in customer service, taking catalog orders.