Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 7/365 Swing Garden

This is the view I see when I come out of the side door in our garage.
That's where I spent most of today, still working on rearranging my book
room inventory, making sectional signs ("Romance A-B") for the
paperbacks and getting six more boxes sorted out to their respective
sections. Only six more boxes left in the house, plus whatever we haul home from the book sale this coming Wednesday.

Since the temps were above 95 all day, I took frequent breaks in my "Swing Garden". The first photo looks at that garden from the garage, the second and third look out towards it from the house.

I picked up a couple more hanging plants yesterday at Lowe's, on special of course, because Lowe's is tired of watering them. Already today they are all billowy with fresh blossoms. The other plants are French lavender, Sweet Basil, Russian Blue basil, purple basil, pansies, coleus, strawberries, monarda for the butterflies, tansy, fernleaf dill, sage, rosemary, dill, one small hydranga, citronella, curly variated thyme, one blueberry bush and three various sized bloody dock plants. Oh, and two huge yucca plants that came from the family cemetary up in the mountains (along with the twelve yucca in the front yard). These two yucca have broken through their plastic planters and grown into the ground, created several babies, and pretty much just commandeered their entire area.

The birdbath was an early birthday present from my daughter. It's a Celtic design in a sage green color. I love all things Celtic so it was a perfect fit for the Swing Garden. It sits directly in back of the water garden, so when the birds splash they knock most of the water into the pond.

Some mornings we have birds lined up to use the birdbath - eight or nine finches will bath together, but the blue jay's prefer to go one at a time.
The mourning doves can only fit three at a time, and I have seen them jostle each other off the edge. Even the crows like it, even though they are so big they make it look like a wading pool.

If the line is too long, some of the smaller birds will come just under the edge of the roof, to sit and drink from the larger fountain that sits directly across from the swing, surrounded by a base of Boston ferns.

A couple years ago I finally got the hang of taking care of Boston ferns, and now manage to winter most of them over. This year I'm hoping to put up hooks in the upstairs bath and laundry room and take them up there during the colder months. Last year I sent some home with my mom for babysitting, and somehow they never came back (but her house looks real nice). Here's the secret in case there's anyone like me who didn't get it: never water from the top, only from the bottom. Keep a plastic tub just for the ferns (or use your bathtub or sink), put about 3-4" of water in it, and set the fern in it every 2 days (every day if it's really hot and dry), leave it for a couple hours. It will soak up as much water as it needs. After you get use to the feel of the weight of the pot in your hands, you'll be able to tell just by lifting it whether or not it needs water.

This is where you'll find me most mornings while I take the dogs out - they get to play and lie in their cabana, I get time to sit and read and drink my tea.


  1. WOW! I'm in awe of your gardens! And will use your tip for Boston Ferns. i wonder if that's why I can't get a Rabbit's foot fern to stay alive? kat

  2. How many photos did you write about -- I thought three, but there is only one -- unless I'm totally seeing (or not seeing) things.

  3. Can't wait to come and sit with you in your garden next month:)

  4. Oh gosh Carole - what a gorgeous garden. I have trouble watering just a few plants on my deck to keep them reasonably alive.