Stop and admire the roses after gardening

This is the place where I stare into space.

rose-arbor-2009-blogSummer finally arrived at my patio on Sunday. Because the weather was too cool in May and too stormy in June, I hadn’t been able to take up my usual comfy spot to enjoy the view. I love to garden, but I love to sit and admire the results even more.

While I sat there on Sunday I was able to watch a young robin try to get the ripe red berries off a new shrub. Because the branches aren’t strong enough to hold it yet, the bird had to hop from the ground and quickly try to grab a berry in its beak. That bird didn’t give up until the last berry was gone.

I was sitting so still a squirrel didn’t see me as he poked his little head through the lattice trellis and dropped down to the feeder for sunflower seeds. He’d pick up a plump seed, hold it between his paws and ferociously saw through it, then drop the shell and pick up another.

The sun was warm, the sky brilliant blue and birds chatted noisily in the trees while swallowtail butterflies gently glided by.

My landscape has never looked this lush and green. Now I know what happens when drought-hardy plants get 4 inches of rain in one month. The tall ash tree has sprouted more leaves at its crown and it keeps on growing. This is the one I bought seven years ago at a garden club sale for $1. It was just a stick then and it fit easily in a 1-quart yogurt container.

The Canadian Explorer rose has climbed across the arbor leading into the yard and now it’s holding the old rusty arbor in its place. Bees and more bees buzzed busily from rose to rose to rose. Apparently they know the value of stopping to smell the roses, too.


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Just moved to Great Falls MT. in Feb. from northern Minn. I left behind two acres of many long garden beds and a 25x35foot koi pond. Last fall I dug bagged and boxed many perennnials to move with us. The boxes are opened and the plants are greening up and happy. My question is when is the best time to plant in this climate? And any ideas to remove sod? Ive rented a sod cutter years ago and will spray to kill the sod. Just wish there was a quicker way than digging it all out. Thanks Connie

Hi Connie:

Thanks for stopping by to ask your question about gardening in Great Falls–I appreciated hearing from you!

I’m based in Denver, Colo., so I don’t have Montana gardening experience. However, I have a couple of resources for you:

1. You might want to get in touch with the Montana Extension master gardeners–I’m sure they’ll have many good recommendations about planting in your area.

2. Another great resource for your area is Zone 4 magazine. You’ll find answers to many of your questions, plus lots of good local gardens to visit, in the magazine. Full disclosure…I’m the editor of the eNewsletter called Fresh from the Zone. You can sign up for the (free) mailing list at the bottom of the homepage on the website.

Here’s to happy gardening,

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