It was beautiful. Magnificent, for a while. My son hauled boulders from walls long-lost in the woods to build the retaining wall.


This was the garden last year. It was almost as neglected last year as this, but we hadn’t had the awful winter that has caused so much damage.

It took two years to construct the garden and fill it with topsoil and plant it. We had roses, climbers and “fairy roses,” miniature hedge roses. Day lilies and hybrid Chinese lilies. Daffodils and narcissus. Daisies and Astilbe. Columbine, tulips and crocuses.

The climbing roses are gone, as are the hybrid lilies. Only three tulips made it through the winter and four daffodils.

Dead fairy roses - the worst damage of the winter. They will never bloom again.

Dead fairy roses – the worst damage of the winter. They will never bloom again.

I haven’t been able to do anything with it. Garry’s never been a gardener and my son is working so many hours, his remaining time is too fractured to give the garden what it needs — serious attention. And hours of hard work.

So the garden has been on its own. Check out Bette Stevens and her ongoing battle with the weeds and choking veins. Not to mention the thorny things that bite. We decided we should extol the virtues of weed gardens because there’s nothing in this world hardier, more dependable than weeds. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.

I’m lucky some of my weeds also flower. They are in the a “bridge” group called “wildflowers.” Into this category fall this year’s two bumper crops: Solomon’s seal and day lilies. The day lilies won’t bloom for another month, but we have so many of them coming up, when they are ready to bloom it’s going to be impressive. Usually we also have spiderwort, but I don’t see any … or maybe they just aren’t up yet. Time will tell.

This is my independent garden, a garden surviving on its own. Amazingly, the columbine has done pretty well and we have two (count’em) narcissus. And, of course, the eternally hardy hosta. I think nothing can kill hosta.


It was a rough winter, but for me, it’s been a difficult spring. Half of March and pretty much all of April just went missing while I was having surgery, in the hospital, then home recovering. Meanwhile, the garden’s been on its own.

wild garden may 2014

Not as many flowers as usual. To no one’s surprise, the weeds and wildflowers have taken over. I’m in no condition to tend the garden — so this year, it gets to do its own thing. Express itself.

It’s a free garden, unfettered by human interference. Some would call it a mess. I call it independent.


The endless search for something interesting to shoot paid dividends today when we found a small private buzzmill down towards Douglas. Took lots of pictures, so more will come. Garry’s shots are particularly interesting, but I haven’t had time to process even half of mine yet. Tomorrow is another day!

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background — Along the River

Behind the reeds, weeds, trees and a teenaged photographer, flows the Blackstone River. Springtime waits in the balance. 

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