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Floral Homicide

by - Monday, May 05, 2008

I have a history of killing plants. Tulips, aloe, bamboo (yes, bamboo)... whatever it is, give it to me and I will find a way to make it shrivel up and die. I don't do this intentionally. I just have a problem with remembering to water plants or giving them enough sunlight or putting them in right-sized containers... basically, everything to do with ensuring the necessities of life for any sort of flora. Which is to say... I am very very afraid of my garden.

The previous owner was quite an avid gardener ('best garden in all of Leaside', so the neighbours tell us), so I have a beautiful garden filled with tulips, forsythia, a rose bush, lambs ear, Japanese Maple, a water feature, and all sorts of pretty things I don't know the names of. There is so much variation in my garden that it is a bit overwhelming. I can't take care of one thing... how am I supposed to take care of 50 different things :o\ So before I tend to my first victims - I mean flowers - I'll give you a look at the garden in its untouched state. All I've done is clear all the leaves from fall and remove any dead looking thingys. So far, so good...




But I do have one problem area... the little garden in the front is looking a little overgrown. Flowers are coming up, but they're accompanied by these very long grasses. Are these grasses supposed to be there? Should I trim them? Do I need to do anything, or leave them alone?? If you know, please give this girl a clue :)

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7 comments

  1. Love the title of this post. Made me laugh. I'm afraid I have a history of killing plants, too, so I'm not much help. Your flowers look lovely, though! -Julia :-)

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  2. From my small knowledge about plants I would give them sometime to see what blooms. I almost pulled many "grassy green things" and my garden pal told me know "no!". That if I give them time they will bloom into beautiful flowers. who knew.

    ps. your such a good writer about these things, you make me laugh.

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  3. The previous commenter is right, you probably want to keep these. The grasses near and including the purple flowers, are grape hyacinths, and the maroon flowers (and related grasses) are guinea-hen flowers. You are lucky to have been left such a nice garden!

    You don't need to do anything to them, just dead-head the plants when the flowers have faded, and remove the grassy material when they are yellowed. Leave anything underground where it is, as these are bulbs. You can plant annuals or perennials around them if you don't like the look of the non-blooming plants before they've completely faded for the year.

    I've just started reading your blog and really enjoy your sense of style and writing! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

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  4. Thanks for the tips! I will leave the grasses untouched then and hope they bloom into more pretty hyacinths or guinea-hen flowers... see, I'm picking up the lingo, corinna ;)

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  5. Sorry - I have no advice for you as I have the worlds blackest thumb. I even kill those little forcing bulb sets they make for the slow witted :)

    But I want to wish you good luck - the garden looks lovely.

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  6. How fortunate to inherit such a lovely garden--and what a tall order to maintain it for an expectant neighbourhood! I think a love of gardening comes to people gradually, if at all.
    A wise person once made a distinction between yardeners, who really just want a good looking landscape without much emotional involvement, and gardeners, who like the whole process of effort, reward, and heartbreak that inevitably follows gardeners. Luckily, your bulbs won't require much maintenance other than deadheading the spent blossoms and letting the 'grassy' leaves grow on to replenish them for next year. Daylilies make good disguises for bulb leaves, as do English ivy or periwinkle (but both are invasive, which may or may not be desirable). Sorry to ramble on. I love gardening. I hope you catch the bug.

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  7. Sounds like you may have a lovely garden yourself s&n. I'm not sure yet if I'm a gardener or yardener... this summer will test my mettle. I'll probably focus on maintenance and leave planting something new for another year. There is so much to explore in the garden and I'm looking forward to the surprises it has in store.

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