Arjuga there? Ok, bad pun, I know. Actually, Arjuga is a plant. Apparantly the wild creeper that I have all over my yard is Arjuga. Now the stuff you buy in the store grows taller from what I can tell in the pics I’ve seen online this morning. I’ve been pulling it everywhere I see it for the last 7 years. It’s still everywhere, though.
Then I thought about it…
It really is kind of pretty. The little flowers remind me of tiny orchids. The bees and hummingbirds, or so I read, love the nectar that is in them. Course, I’m assuming they mean the taller ones, but there must be something in my tinier ones, too, don’t you think? Then I noticed that they love growing around and with other plants that shade them a bit. They grow and mingle with anything that will “umbrella” them. They seem to especially like my Hollyhock and growing in with all the wild violets.
Yes, my lawn is covered in beautiful violets that have been growing wild for who knows how many years. I leave them because I think they are gorgeous and even the plant is pretty. You mow them and they flower right up again. lol.
The other thing that is happening… I have spreading daisies everywhere. A tiny daisy plant was given to me about 3 years ago by some friends. I planted it and it did nothing. Last year it came up and bloomed. I had to remember where they came from. I thought they died. But THIS year… oh my Lord, they are spreading and mounding and growing like mad. I have huge daisy clumps growing right ON my driveway. Apparantly, all they need is a little crack and a sprinkle of dirt and they go nuts. BTW, all this in front of the little stone wall is overflow. My garden looks as if someone tipped it on its side and it’s spilling out. I sort of like it, but I really do need to clean it up a bit.
Well, this got me to thinking….
Why not let them go? The arjuga are not the prettiest greenery, but I’ve seen much worse. The little flower is adorable and makes up for its not as pretty dressing. And why not move the daisies and let them work as a ground cover of sorts and let them take over problem areas? Would I like it enough to not cringe whenever I saw it in large amounts? Hmm… not sure yet.
I had some plants coming up in my rock garden, but didn’t know what they were, so I left them to see what happened. I do this a lot, btw, since the tags always seem to get lost over the winter. They didn’t really look like a weed, but then some weeds are really pretty until you realize what they are. lol. Plus, they were placed in specific areas so I figured they were something I put in last summer. Here’s what they turned out to be. Needless to say I’m very happy to see them. I needed the bright, different color.
Tidbit…did you know that Dianthus are what Carnations were bred from? They are actually the original carnation. They have a single layer of petals, but they smell wonderful since they also have the carnation scent. You can also eat the petals.
Carnations can be steeped in wine, candy, or use as cake decoration. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Dianthus are the miniature member of the carnation family with light clove-like or nutmeg scent. Petals add color to salads or aspics. Carnation petals are one of secret ingredients that has been used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century. (http://whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm)
Since I know many of you are brave about things like this, I’m going to do a post about edible flowers and plants. It’s from this site and laid out nicely, so I think you’ll enjoy it.
My little spruce is doing incredibly. I tell you, it took a few years to really get going, but wow, now its going like gangbusters. I need to do some pruning again this fall. I pulled out the centers last fall so that it would bush up more and that seems to have worked. This year I’m going to prune back the top. It’s getting really leggy up there. You see that long piece in the middle right at the top? The one that is like 9 inches long? That is this years growth so far! That whole center piece is all from this year so far. Yep, time to prune that puppy back. lol. I love my spruce tree. 🙂
Here is another plant that is blooming for the first time this year. I planted these towards the end of summer last year. I knew they lived because they were coming up nicely, but I didn’t know what they would look like. They are really pretty. These are Columbines. I have two of them. Not sure if they will spread or not, but they are a pretty plant. They are a double petal dark blue and yellow. They look more dark purple though to me, but I like them.
This is one of my blue ceramic planters in the front of the house. I have them on either side of the door. The bushy thing in the back is Artemesia. It’s silvery green and the softest thing in the world. Honestly, it’s nice just to brush your fingers through and it has a pretty, soft scent. I put in the pansies (actually I forget the real name but I think they are a type of pansy. I’ll check my tags tomorrow and update this post. lol.) this spring. I think they are perennial so I’m hoping they will come back next year like the artemesia does. They’re pretty, don’t you think? I also moved some of the artemesia to the window boxes and hopefully finally get something perennial going in those. I have a terrible time with my window boxes.
Hidden in all that lovely greeness is my poor dilapidated gate to the backyard. The big bush in the front right corner of the picture is a mock orange. It’s growing like crazy. The honeysuckles are the two big round bushes on top of the gate and they are overwhelming the gate. I can’t wait till they bloom. Honeysuckle is one of my fav scents of all time. That and roses. We were going to work on the gate first, but I won’t let the hubby do it now because of the robin nest in one of the honeysuckle bushes. She is still sitting on her egg, but I keep checking. That nest and egg is the one I took the picture of and used in my new header. 🙂
The rest of the green bushes are Red Raspberry. Yep, we will have a million berries this year. We had lots last year but the bushes are twice the size this year and full of very unripe berries. These are an heirloom berry from a friends mother’s yard. They are HUGE and bright red and wonnnnnnderful. I think I’m going to try making raspberry jam this year. Did you know you can make jam in a breadmaker? Well, at least in mine you can. The book has the recipe and I want to try it.
Lastly for this post is something I did not find outside, but ON my bed. (shudders) Apparantly one of the dogs, probably Rosie, brought in her own toy to play with. I couldn’t understand what Baby was trying to find in my blankets. I thought it was one of her bones, but then I let Rosie in and saw her making a dive for the bed, too. I figured I better check again for that bone. Imagine my surprise when I saw this.. and it was still moving! I would LIKE to think it’s a mouse, but I’m thinking perhaps rat. Somehow that bothers me more. The back legs don’t work but the front legs were. It’s eyes are not even open yet. I put it in this container and put it outside under a bush. I know it will die out there, but I just can’t kill it and with the back end not working, no amount of nursing it was going to do any good. Plus…I really don’t care for rats…or mice for that matter. If they stay outside, live and let live, but we kill too many of them INside for me to like them much. The whole thing was maybe 1.5 to 2″ long. The rest of the day has been spent washing every blanket on my bed. LOL.
See you round the yard again soon! I painted my shutters and got them up <winks>. Soon as I paint the door I’ll take piccies to show you.