Monday, March 9, 2020

Ivy and Blooming Things

I spent all of yesterday morning in the garden. The English ivy that serves as a ground cover in some of our flower beds had become a little too effective, all but smothering some of our plants. So I spent the whole morning pulling ivy. I filled three yard waste bags, and there's plenty more to be done!

English ivy will take over. It's relentless. My grandmother had some in her yard in Maryland, and it used to cause disagreements with her neighbors. It would grow up the brick wall that separated the two houses, and the neighbors would complain. (And now they're all dead, which makes me think we should just relax.)

But anyway, back to yesterday. I also repotted my purple heart, which had become incredibly root bound and kind of sad-looking, and I put two burdock plants -- which I grew from seed and planted in a pot last year -- into the ground.

It was a busy morning! By lunchtime my hands were scratched and sore and my lower back was killing me. I tried to take pictures of what I'd done, but they didn't look like anything. You can't really photograph what's no longer there.

Fortunately, there's a lot more happening around here, plant-wise. On the patio (above), you can see our blooming forsythia in the back corner, as well as our foxgloves in pots on the table and more foxgloves and teasels in pots on the right -- ready to go out into the garden soon.

Indoors, our amaryllis bulbs are coming to life, sending up little green leaf sprouts.

Our first orchid of the season has appeared. Several of the others have flower stalks and we'll have more blooms soon.

Our cactus, which bloomed for the first time last year, is giving us not one but two flowers this year.

And the mystery plant has finally bloomed -- and it is, indeed, borage (Borago officinalis). I think it will continue to bloom all summer. It's already attracting insects -- see that little critter on the upper right flower?


  1. I'm with you on the relaxing into life and not getting het up about things.
    Now that Tom is terminal it makes you see life in a different way. We had neighbours who rowed for 30 years and she's just died, what was that all about?
    On a lighter note, your little cactus is pure joy.
    Still got the image of Dave from yesterday wrapped in that pink blanket on my mind, lol

  2. I especially liked the simple picture of the cactus from above. You can hire me to jetwash your paving stones. They will come up a treat. My charges are competitive.

  3. Such beautiful and mood- enhancing photos.

  4. How lovely to be able to respond to spring with hands-in-dirt and flowers budding and blooming.

  5. Borage is one of those northern herbs I miss being able to grow. It's a medicinal herb, and I never actually used it for any good purpose. However, it is one of the few true blue flowers in the natural world and I just love it.

  6. Invasive species can be very nasty. I always keep wondering what you would do if you had a big yard? How many plants would you have? What kind of landscaping would you do? You'd never have time to blog.

  7. Love seeing the spring flowers there. We were out weeding and doing yard work yesterday too. The season calls, we answer!

  8. Beautiful Cacti - Amazing Close Up Shots - Advice, Stretch Your Psoas Before Gardening - All The Best This Week


  9. Wow, everything is coming alive all at once. I actually see two little critters on that last photo.

  10. Your plants are looking super. I love the forsythia. I don't have any of that in my yard. Yellow is so cheerful. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  11. I love all of your flowers! You really do put a lot of love & effort into your yard.

    I spent about 15 minutes doing some yardwork on Saturday & then Sunday couldn't figure out why I was so sore (I became convinced I had the flu).

  12. I want a photo of your hands because it appears that you have TWO green thumbs.

  13. A garden is a lot of work at certain times of the year, but it's great exercise and the rewards are worth it. I've heard about English Ivy taking over so the one year I had it I kept it in a pot rather than planting it in with everything else. It went on the compost heap that fall. I haven't seen any sign of it around the compost so I hope it's gone! I do love the look of it though.

    Those photos are wonderful. Makes me want our spring to come soon, even though it will be quickly followed by summer hell.

  14. we had some english ivy here but I got rid of it, didn't want it growing on the house. my amaryllises are sending up and some are already blooming. I spent the weekend outside in the yard as well.

  15. What's happening on the corona virus front in London?

  16. Briony: I guess we're ALL terminal, more or less. Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

    YP: When the weather dries up a bit I'll weed and sweep out there, and it will look much better. Right now it's too wet and mossy.

    Mitch: Flowers always do it for me!

    Ms Moon: I agree. I don't know how we ever survived without a garden.

    Colette: Yeah, we never do anything with it either. This is the first true borage plant we've had -- we have tons of green alkanet in the garden, a close relative, which we call borage, but it's not quite the real thing.

    Red: It's pretty big already, at least by London standards! Honestly, I can't imagine having an even bigger garden.

    Robin: It's a nice feeling, isn't it? Like everything is waking up.

    Padre: OK, I had to look up "psoas." I've never heard of them before! (Much less stretched them.)

    Sharon: You're right! I missed that second one, lower down!

    Edna: You should plant some! It makes a great hedge or shrub and it's super forgiving when it comes to being pruned.

    Bug: If it's any consolation, I'm STILL sore, on Tuesday morning!

    Catalyst: Ha! I almost took one, because my hands were so filthy at the end of that project, but I figured I didn't need to inflict my dirty hands on blogland.

    Jenny-O: I'm surprised it died in the compost. I'd expect it to take root!

    Ellen: Yeah, probably a wise move. It looks pretty climing up a wall, but it is a constant battle.

    Elizabeth: Oh Lord, where do I begin? That's a blog post in itself! Probably about the same as there -- lots of hysterical news reports but not many actual cases. (So far.) Camden, the London borough where we live, has reported two.