Monday, June 21, 2010

June in the Gardens

Here it is June already. Birds and squirrels, gardening and B&B guests are getting my attention these days. Stevens Point has had its share of rain already this month so creatures and plants in our gardens are quite happy. Already summer travel has provided plenty of opportunities to share the gardens of Dreams of Yesteryear with guests.
I like to describe to my guests what the property, especially the gardens, were like when Bill and I purchased our historic home, the J.L. Jensen House in 1987. The huge yard was quite overgrown with trees, shrubs, vines, and Lily of the Valley. Cedar hedges that were nearly as wide as they were tall topped the stone rip rap on two sides of the lot. A bittersweet vine near the west porch crawled over the roof and looked like it would be the plant that ate the house. Grape vines had tangled their way relentlessly through the Lilacs (not a bad thing if you like to make grapevine wreaths J). Pachysandra had managed to make its way up to the top of the mama and papa pines. Although we had just bought a large old house that needed lots of attention, we couldn’t wait to sort through the gardens to discover what kinds of plantings had been placed here by early owners of our house. I imagined Jensen family members planting these varieties a century ago. But, I also imagined that soon enough I’d be using my back, knees, elbows, and muscles to have my way with these plantings. After all, what is the purpose of a garden if not to accentuate the house? J
We’ve owned this historic home over 23 years now and I think we have pruned and trimmed every inch of the yard. As guests stroll through the formal and informal gardens of Dreams of Yesteryear, they now can gaze upon antique plantings that have been lovingly nurtured back to health. Honeysuckle, Bittersweet, Lilacs, Roses, Cotoneaster, and Bridal Wreath are a few of the plantings we've given a second chance at life. Of course we couldn’t resist the allure of the local nurseries and have given some new plantings a first chance at life in a Victorian garden. A variety of Hostas, Dragon's Blood, Lavender, Bugle Weed, Sedums, Artemisia, Iris, Jacob's ladder, Wild Ginger, Anemone, Lamb's Ears, Perovskia, Euonymus, and Lillies have found a home in our Victorian garden.
So as I write this I realize it‘s officially the first day of summer. With no purpose in writing this except to ponder my gardens, I wish you a happy summer and invite you to come enjoy a stroll through my garden.