Keeping up appearances

Three beautiful days in a row and we are almost caught up on our yard work.  Everything is growing so exuberantly David took the battery-driven trimmer and whacked a path through the Brunnera for the dogs.  Although it looks a bit unsightly now, the Brunnera was beautiful in early spring with tulips popping through the blue blossoms.  The Brunnera will grow back in a few days. It holds its own through the summer heat and makes a nice ground cover in an otherwise dull dog run.

To improve the path, I plan to buy a couple more stepping-stones from the rock quarry in Falls Church. 

Meanwhile our little dogs will have a place to run along the back fence.  They like this path and the fence cap which squirrels use as a superhighway as they run from pillar to post and back again.   With a walnut tree overhanging the back yard and bird fountains continuously filled, what squirrel wouldn’t call this home?

In spring the dog run is filled with Brunnera with tiny blue blossoms, and tulip blooms. The gardener’s trick is to have a ground cover in the hot months when nothing much grows in this garden along the fence, except Virginia Creeper vine.


David saw the little rabbit eating clover in the neighbor’s unmowed yard. He has survived the loss of his vine-covered home and found another residence, probably in Garland Gobble’s undergrowth. Good thing Garland’s dog has gone to the happy hunting ground and never been replaced.

A nest of Cardinals took up residence across the road in the hedge row that was once a chain link fence around a half-way house.  Mother Nature again, trying to cover the city blight.

Meanwhile, I watched father Hairy Woodpecker feeding one of his progeny. He brought the little fellow to the suet feeder near the Wren house and showed him where to look for good stuff.  I worried that the Woodpeckers might become dependent on us, but Father soon showed the little guy where he could find some tasty insects on the old cherry tree.

This morning, the tiniest little wren was bathing in the bird bath. She flew up into the Choke Cherry in the rain garden and then climbed higher into the Viburnum. I watched her for a long time, hoping she would fly to the new wren house that sits near the bird bath but she did not unless my eyes failed. Given her distance from me, it is possible I simply lost sight of her.  One of these day, I will have enough money saved for those Leica binoculars.


The second begonia tuber sprouted in as many days.  I had not checked the contents of the pot I planted in February for some time.  I left it outside on the porch when I thought the corm was dead, but I looked at the pot this morning, and there was a little leaf. I intend to inform WFF that instead of 3 weeks, they should let customers  know it could take up to 3 months to get a sprout. We’ll see what happens from here.  I have until the end of June to order bulbs for fall planting, and advise them of the success (if it happens) of the begonia corms.  The begonia on the porch is Firedance and she should look like this by June:



8 thoughts on “Keeping up appearances

  1. All your hard work has really paid off. What a lovely yard. I have recently fallen under the spell of the lovely Begonia and have 10 hanging baskets sporting the pretties. Sure wish I had that color you have however. This fall, I will be planting some of my new love and will look for Firedance. .


    • I am mad about begonias in all forms. Just remember they are tender and you don’t want them to be frost-bitten. I start the new ones in spring when fear of frost is passed (if outside) or keep old ones going over winter. The corms of the tuberous kind need to rest, however so you must let the tops die back and replant them in spring.


  2. Your homestead is not the only place you have influenced exuberant growth. My vicarious enjoyment has blossomed at your reports and the photos you have taken and assembled of flora and fauna. Add to that an exuberant growth of green, that is my being green with envy. I realize, of course, that envy is misplaced as your garden is the result of years of loving, meticulous and hard work. Kudos and keep the reports coming.


  3. Lovely post, Dianne. Nature at its finest. You seem to spend quite a bit of time outdoors. I would love to plant some flowers in the back yard, but the soil is rock hard. I guess I will have to ask our yardmen to plant them for me.


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