Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Garden 'Volunteers', Good and Bad

Here is the seawall garden, freshly weeded and looking its best, compliments of a dear friend visiting from the northeast. 
This tenacious weeder and I spent two and half days working from the pointy end to the far fence, wrangling out weeds and the invading roots of our St. Augustine lawn.
 I fear it's a no-win situation with that grass - it can't believe its not welcome. 
Twelve inches down we found fat healthy runners and pulled up five foot lengths!
(That little strip of metal edging is not a barrier of any sort.)

But we had a great time, taking breaks in the pool, working through rain and baking humidity - the kind of activity only real garden nuts enjoy!

The purple day lilies have taken over from the peach and yellow varieties.

Up close they look like watercolors, right down to the crenelations between the colors.

Also in a lavender shade and just beginning to show are the liatris.

These native perennials are sometimes called Blazing Star or Gayfeather.

The big surprise was the number of rampant kitchen garden volunteers that seemed to spring up overnight.
This zucchini set root between the chives.

I pulled another that was overwhelming the tomato cages.
All the rain and mild temperatures have created a perfect zucchini environment.

This squash vine was tangled up with volunteer tomatoes and zucchini plants, all crowning the compost heap.

And the best surprise was this big fella, cascading over the stone wall in the east corner garden.

When we pulled back the leaves we found a pumpkin!
Surprising because I've never tried to grow pumpkins or even compost Halloween pumpkins.

The rains came and went, and the water was rough, but we did manage a boat ride. We hadn't seen the house from the water for a long time. It's so nice to be surrounded by moisture after all the dry months. The plants feel the same way!

Happy gardening, friends!


  1. I am loving those daylilies: what a stunning color! I love growing daylilies, but I always have a problem with so much brown,dead around them most of the time. Their season seems so short and then we are left with that foliage...ah well. And, I've never grown Liatris, amazing as that seems. Everyone has some, and my sister in law once offered me some which I turned down. So...I will have to rethink this. Your garden "work" with a friend sounds just heavenly: working, sweating, swimming, just being outside. All good! It's been so hot here this week I am out in garden only at 6 AM!

    1. Hi Libby, I know what you mean about the day lilies. I placed them in the middle ground, but they still leave a hole in the canvas when they disappear. I have not got the know-how yet to create a continual flow of color. Maybe cannas?

  2. That is some amazing volunteering!!! I would be so tickled as would my beans to see such goodness just popping up! That pumpkin is awesome! And you all did a stunning job on that flower bed! I would really like some of that purple lily in my life! Happy gardening to you! Nicole

    1. Hi Nicole! I know pretty amazing - I think if I was trying to grow them, they'd be hanging back and coplaining about the conditions!
      I was just reading your last post and feeling sad for your tree loss! Your gardens are so inspiring. I'll be interested to see what kind of tree you pick as a replacement. Best wishes.

  3. All so lovely, I would love to spend a day by the water weeding and pool dipping. The volunteers are all so fascinating. Enjoy your summer at the lake!