"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The path in spring.

The last couple of days have been beautiful.  The birds seem to be returning, maybe they've been waiting for the sun too.  I was able to get a picture of this Spotted Towhee, at least I think that's what they are.  Let me know if I'm wrong.  There was a pair of them and when I saw them they were drying off from a dip in the birdbath.  
I spent most of my time weeding and cleaning the path area.  Here's a view down the path, the pond is behind where I stood to take this picture.
I had lots of weed, grass and for some reason Lady's Mantle (alchemilla mollis) growing in between the stones.  I have several different types of ground covers growing around them.  This is Blue Star Creeper (laurentia fluviatilis).  It will soon be covered in these pretty little pale blue flowers.
I also have it growing around the side of my pond.  It's easy to transplant and stays a nice green mat once the flowers are finished if I keep it watered.  Another ground cover growing around the stones is Corsican Mint (mentha requienii).  It looks very similar to Blue Star Creeper, but its flowers are much less noticeable.  If you step on it a chocolate mint scent is released.  Sometimes I just rub my fingers across it so I can smell it.  
The plants that are growing on the right side of the path are geraniums 'Wargrave Pink'.  These all self seeded here.  They reseed everywhere, but I've let them get big here.  They will be covered with these pretty pink flowers for months.
Here are a couple of Columbines  that are blooming down the path.  I found lots of babies too all over the place.
A little wet from getting watered.  They are a nice lavender color.

Another ruffled one, this is the palest pink.  It looks perfect for a fairy dress!

As you turn around curve at the end of the path this is the little gate that leads to the raised beds.  The ground cover here are Baby's Tears (soleirolia soleirolii).  It spreads very quickly and has no blooms.  The only downside is that I have to keep pulling it out from the flower beds nearby, but it does come out easily.
Right now the oxalis oregana is just beginning to bloom.  You can see them in the previous picture on the right.
Next to them are some hardy fuchsias that I just planted, something is chewing the leaves on them.  There is also a White Bleeding Heart (dicentra spectablilis) growing there.
I spent a lot of time cleaning up the raised beds and moved a clematis 'Crimson King' to the very end to grow along the fence.  
While I was out watering in the front yard two Painted Lady butterflies flew around and across the street.  I wonder if they were the ones we released a couple of days ago?
Today I plan to clean and weed the front yard and I'll share some pictures of that area.  It's supposed to be in the 70's again, perfect for gardening!
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  1. Alchemilla- my all time favourite plant,even if it is a thug (which it undoubtedly is). It's the one plant I have to watch carefully for it seems to seed everywhere in my garden. Sometimes that's welcome, other times...it has to go ;-)

    I love seeing your birds, Catherine: they are so different from the chaps I see regularly in my garden( though I did once-15 years ago- have an oriole which had very much lost its way) .I love to learn about new (to me , that is) birds ;-)

  2. You are clever to let the self-seeders stay where you want them - cuts down on plant purchasing costs, so you can spend your money on bigger plants and trees! I didn't get out too much yesterday, too much princess partying, but I hope to today. Happy sunny garden day to you!

  3. Your path and all around it look wonderful. Very lush and full!

  4. Hi...thanks for visiting. You asked about this bird. I looked up Spotted Towhee and it could be. They do have a white-light colored breast feathers that are spotted. The Eastern Towhee, which is on my birds blog, is around here but the Spotted is from about the Mississippi River westward. I went to Cornell lab and looked there and I would think it is a spotted. I would need a better from on shot to tell for sure.

  5. Beautiful posting, a tribute to your efforts.

  6. Hi Catherine, your paths are so inviting, leading to the picket fence is a wonderful way to continue the mystery! The baby's breath is a lovely groundcover, so lush and refreshing. That fairy dress columbine looks appropriate for the Queen herself! :-)

  7. Everything is so green and so pretty...your gardens are a delight to see! How beautiful!

  8. Beautiful photos! The pathway looks lovely and the geranium is absolutely stunning!

  9. Bilbo is yours! please email me at jungle julie @ shaw dot ca and we'll get him on the move..

  10. I am so envious of your weed free pretty garden

  11. I enjoy reading your blog. You have such a beautiful garden. It's fun to read about what you have successfully grown here in Western Washington.

    I showed my husband your walkway and asked him if we could lay stones in a similar fashion through our garden. Hopefully he'll agree. Stone walkways are my favorite, and yours is stunning.

    I look forward to learning more from you. Enjoy the sunshine today. :o)

  12. Catherine your walkway is so beautiful and inviting. I just want to walk thru my computer screen and explore.

  13. Beautiful!!!


  14. I love your paths with the stones and groundcovers inbetween!

  15. I love your choice of flowers and the path is so pretty. Glad you are having such perfect days to enjoy being in the yard. I love that you saw the butterflies.

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  17. I like your garden..and what a faithful gardener you are!!
    My garden shares blog space with my eclectic other hobbies. Take a look http://fortunatelyours.blogspot.com/

  18. I'd love to have a Geranium like that seeding around. It's beautiful. I really like your ground covers too.

  19. My English Country Garden - Yes, I love it too. It is such a pretty plant, but it will try to grow everywhere.
    How interesting that you had an Oriole, I wish one would get lost here so I could see one :)

    Karen - I notice the self seeders grow better than where the original plant is sometimes.
    Hope you were able to get out. Yesterday was perfect party weather.

    Heather - Thanks, it looks better every year.

    Abe - Thanks for helping. I think it did have white on the breast but it was hard to see the front. If I get a better picture I'll let you know.

    Claudia - Thank you so much!

    Frances - That little fence is one of my favorite things in the garden and best of all it keeps our dog out of the raised beds :)

    The Retired One - Right now is when the ground covers look the very best, so green and healthy.

    Patientgardener - Thanks! :)

    Kanak Hagjer - Doesn't it have the prettiest coloring? I love it and it's so easy.

    Prairie Chicken - Yeah! Thanks for letting me know I'll email you.

    Joanne - I wish it was weed free :) For now it's in pretty good shape.

  20. Renee - Thanks. I hope you can put in a stone walkway. I love being able to plant around the stones.
    I'll be over to visit your blog.

    Susie - I wish you could. It would be fun to be able to visit each others gardens.

    Carol - Thanks!

    Ginger - It' fun to have so many options to plant around them. I wish you could smell the mint. It always makes me hungry!

    Mildred - It was gorgeous again. Isn't it neat that the butterflies were here? I hope it was the same ones.

    Dell - You could almost call me obsessive about my garden :) I'll be over to visit.

    sweet bay - It's nice when a pretty and easy plants seeds and you get more. It is very generous with its babies!

  21. Catherine, I'm not at all familiar with Blue Star Creeper... but anything that smells like chocolate mint can't be bad!! ;-) How are you feeling about all the progress you are making? And your family?? Have a great day!

  22. Catherine your path is so inviting - lush and beautiful. Love the stones with the groundcovers creeping along. And that Geranium - what can I say it's gorgeous with the darker lines detailing it.
    Hey I hear you have a Josephine coming. I just love her and hope she does better in the place we moved her to in the fall. So far she looks good.
    Beautiful weather although it got a bit too hot for me to be out in all day.

  23. I enjoyed the tour. Thanks! I love those columbines!

  24. Your garden, and especially your path is looking so nice. I keep trying to get mine so nice with that fill in groundcover, to no avail. Only grass in mine. Yours makes you want to run around barefoot.

  25. Definitely Spotted Towhee. I went back and forth between that and the Eastern variety after seeing one in my yard. Eastern has white streaks rather than spots. Your paths look great. I figured baby's tears didn't take to foot traffic so I never bought it. You've changed my mind!

  26. Oh Catherine, I just love that path!

  27. Great tour - I love all your planting. I'd just organised a friend to bring me some baby's tears for around the stepping stones in the Jpanaese Garden and then I read your post - we must be on the same wavelength!

    You're so lucky with the weather - I spent all yesterday ducking heavy downpours and today is the same! I got too cold and wet yesterday, so I'm staying inside today. :(

  28. Shady Gardener - The mint smell is so good! I'm really happy with how things have been coming along here. It's been nice to have several days of good weather, we've all been enjoying it!

    Linda - I'm checking today on 'Josephine'. I hope I can finally get her. It was hot for me too after awhile. Our front yard is full sun and after a few hours out there I was done :)

    Sue - Thanks, there sure is a lot of variety in those columbines.

    Tina - There are a couple of areas the grass wants to keep coming back in. I have to dig it out, and now the ground cover seems to be winning over the grass finally.

    Melanthia - I think you're right. I finally looked them up and I'm sure it's a Spotted Towhee too.
    The Baby's Tears handles foot traffic with no problem.

    Darla - Thanks!

    Nutty Gnome - You'll love having it around your stepping stones. It spreads fairly quickly too and stays green all year.
    I hope it stops raining there. I think it's supposed to return tomorrow, but this time it'll be welcome for a day or two to water the plants.

  29. Wow what an awesome display of flowers. I just love the ruffled flower. She is so pretty - and what kind is this? Your path looks so inviting - I want to take a stroll. Becca

  30. I love the white garden gate and the stone walkway! Just beautiful. -Jackie

  31. omg, I'm in LOVE with that pink ruffly columbine! I need one!! Did you start it from seed or buy it somewhere?? It's just beautiful. I think your bird is a spotted towhee too. Towhees almost always have red eyes which this bird does. It doesn't seem to have much white tho so maybe it's the 'oregonus' version which is supposed to be most common in the NW where you are. If you have two maybe they'll nest in your yard?!! That would be fun.

  32. Becca - That columbine is just a self sown one. I'm going to try and save seeds this year and share them.

    Jackie - Thanks, the gate was put there to keep our little carrot stealer out. It ended up adding a lot of character to the garden.

    Kathleen - It's just self sown there. I will save some seeds and send them to whoever wants some.
    Aren't the eyes on that bird interesting? I had no idea it's eyes were red until I saw the picture.

  33. I would love some seeds. Just sayin' ~ so I can be first in line!! Thanks for your generosity. If you see something in my garden you'd like, please let me know. I'll be happy to share.

  34. Thanks Catherine!! and remember to let me know if you see anything I can share back with you. :-)


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