Have you ever got a gift that you wanted to regift?
Well, I am so lucky that I like to keep mine!
Often my family will give me plants as a present for birthdays or Christmas and I love them.
At Christmas I usually get a Christmas Rose that as soon as the frost disappears it gets planted.
I love looking out my office window and seeing their bright flowers in the winter.
Brings an extra bit of sunshine to the day.
You can’t see it in the picture but right in front of that big mass of green, one is planted.
The stump behind is about 12-14 feet high and the honeysuckle embodying its structure was given to me by my sister.
It was just a tiny little thing in a pot with a stick for it to grow upon, and the poor thing stayed in the pot for about four years never getting any bigger.
But hey… I kept it alive and that’s the main thing.
Then Rob had this stump that had a cavity in the middle.
It was like the heartwood had rotted away leaving a perfect spot to plant honeysuckle.
At the time of planting, I didn’t have any other flower gardens to put it into with something for it to grow up.
Four years in a pot not growing and four years in the ground growing makes a HUGE difference.
The ground isn’t even very good ground as underneath the yard is gravel.
I remember trying to dig a hole and ended up putting a pile of dirt on the ground for it to nestle into.
The pot had to be sliced open and the roots were so full in the pot all you could see was white with a little bit of dirt inbetween.
Taking the shovel I sliced through the roots at intervals cutting down the sides just so it could breathe.
And breathe it did.
Exploding into this wonderous specimen of greenery and heavenly smelling ivory flowers.
You can see in the picture that the flowers are just starting to come out.
The hummingbirds flock to it like bees to honey and this year I believe there is a robin’s nest on top as I see them flying in and out of it.
On the left-hand side of it, there is another stump about 8 feet high with a clematis on it given to me by mom and dad.
It needed somewhere to climb so this stump was the obvious choice.
Except for now it’s taken over the stump and threatening to take over the yard as well.
I’ll give it a trim in the fall when it finishes growing.
They say to plant it in moist, well-drained acidic soil with shade on the roots and sun in its hair.
Well, I got the well-drained acidic soil right anyway so the rest doesn’t really seem to matter, not at least in our yard.
In-between the two stumps you will see what looks like a pole sticking up.
That is part of the jungle gym for the quails and any other birds that wish to use it.
This morning there was even a crow on it and I know what you’re thinking.
A crow… big deal!
But it is a big deal in our yard as I’ve only had crows visit regularly a couple of summers ago and since and before then never came again until now.
To the right of the honeysuckle on the bottom layer is Jupiter’s-beard (Red-valerian) in bloom.
That was given to me as a present in a wild seed package and this year I’ve had to support it with a tomato cage as it splayed out in the middle, last year.
Above the valerian in the midsection is a pink pussy willow.
That was gifted to me by a lavender farmer and it too sat in a pot for about four years.
It got so bad that you couldn’t water it from the top as it was just full of roots.
The soil had just disappeared.
I keep trimming it back to keep it more of a bush than a tree and although it has pussy willows (so soft) every year I’ve yet to see pink ones.
Pussy willows are wetland plants but this one doesn’t seem to mind gravelly soil with good drainage.
Keep in mind I don’t water these plants they just get what they do from the rain.
Hey, if they can’t stand my treatment of them then they are not a match for my garden.
I do give them lots of love and talk to them though.
Maybe that’s the secret.
Behind them in the top section of the picture are a row of birch trees.
They don’t have any branches lower down but they are developing nicely up top.
Rob moved a family and the move included five birch trees that were in half wine barrels.
At that time their height would have only been about 6 feet tall and now they are massive.
We were given them to take care of while the family was building a new house and it wasn’t ready to move into yet and when they finally moved in, all they wanted back was the barrels.
So, we popped them into the ground and the red-breasted sapsuckers love their sap now that their trunks have grown.
This is just one shot of the yard but the rest of my gardens are filled with flora from family and friends.
Please, for now, no more.
My gardens are full and the plants in them are not even filled out yet.
Well I might have just spoken too soon.
I had a peace rose that couldn’t make the cut so another one wouldn’t be amiss.
My thanks to everyone for the gift that keeps on giving.
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