This garden is a little neglected when you consider how much time I have spent on the front gardens this year. I've been trying new things in the little memory garden for Tim and also the new plantings in containers out by the entrance to our home. This little garden on the west just seems to get along OK without me. The secret to my easy care garden is to pack in as much as I can...thus no room for weeds. I didn't plan it this way, but I have chosen flowers that multiply and fill in. My old faithful, Black Eyed Susans, come back every year and are so hardy...and I love the fact that they are a clean plant....always look crisp and tidy. My kids often give me things for my gardens. The brighter green plant in front is the bleeding heart from my son, John. The little Church birdhouse a gift from my daughter, LuAnn. I didn't know where to hang this heavy house, but I knew it needed something sturdy to hang from. Joe built the trellis for clematis and this little piece of wood was added to hold the house. It's out away from any tree covering...hanging there just above my head. As soon as I hung it there a chick a dee moved in. They tolerate my being there flitting back and forth telling me to hurry up with what ever I'm doing....they need to get to there babies inside. They have had a couple of batches of babies this year. Sometimes, I even move to another place to work, if they squawk enough :)...but as I said, I don't do much in this area, so they can come and go as they need.
Another planting by the birds or the chipmunk is this sunflower. It's next to the copper bird feeder-bath that my daughter gave me also. I've had this copper addition to my garden for several years. I took the picture and then realized that it was empty. I usually put a few sunflower seeds in it...that's where the sunflower is growing. Maybe a seed just dropped...but I like to think that a critter planted it :) Last year my Russian Sage was looking really messy, so I just plopped the copper in the middle and tied pieces of the sage to the copper leaves below. It worked out well and this year I didn't have to tie it, but it's growing so well that you can't see the copper leaves at the bottom of the feeder. I tried to dig out the sage, because it looked so unkempt, but I guess I didn't get it all. I transplanted some of it back in the woods border, but it has since died, so I'm glad a little piece was left here.
So it just goes to show you that we can't control everything. You know the saying about the "best laid plans of mice and men" You can plan and plan, but sometimes your garden just takes over and things spread and multiply with no help from you. Sometimes the outcome is better than you could have ever planned. This little spot was such an eyesore...such a hard place to garden with the lawn sloping down to the back yard. I had to watch myself, so I didn't fall or when sitting tip... over because of the slope. I found myself always working downhill. So my plans for a simple herb garden failed, but my neglect let the plants take over and fill in. Now it's such a pleasure to come here and not have to do much weeding...just enjoy the garden that nature made.
Here's the poem that gave us the famous quote...
From Robert Burns' poem To a Mouse, 1786. It tells of how he, while ploughing a field, upturned a mouse's nest. The resulting poem is an apology to the mouse:
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren't alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.
The poem is, of course, the source for the title of John Steinbeck's 1937 novel - Of Mice and Men.