Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Friendship Gardens

I have many beautiful plants around my yard that are meaningful to me because each time I look at them I think of my friend who shared them with me. There are so many things to love about gardening and sharing plants is one of the best because they help build Friendship Gardens.

My lovely friend, Connie, who generously welcomed and introduced me to the local community gave me Autumn Joy sedums and iris the first year we were on our little ranch. The sedums have matured and add so much softness and interest around our little cottage. They really shine in the fall and their reddish dry flower heads are spectacular in the winter snow. The iris were magnificent this year and we were delighted that the yellow ones have multiplied.

Iris blooms are short lived but are velvety and feminine and a delight to
the eye in the spring.

The sedums have a soft rose
flower head. The birds feed off
them in the fall and winter.
Below are the sedum in summer
forming the beautiful flower

JoAnn, a Master Gardener friend, gave me the hosta plants that she was thinning out of her garden. They took well and are blooming now with lovely lavender flowers. They reside in the deep shade at the front of the house and seem to get stronger every  year. (See below)

JoAnn also gave me Aptenia Confifolia or Baby Sun Rose Red which is an easy growing succulent plant that spills over outdoor pots so beautifully. I take cuttings and keep it going inside during the winter where I will occasionally get some tiny red flowers to cheer the room. I've shared it with my sister, Sandi and several friends in the area. {Aptenia cordifolia, commonly called heartleaf ice plant or baby sun rose, is a succulent, creeping, short-lived, mat-forming perennial that is native to the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is invasive in California}

I was looking at bulbs at Home Depot one year when another customer approached me and told me that if I'd like lilies-of-the-valley, she had many that she dug out of her garden and would be happy to give them to me. That started my bed of lilies-of-the-valley. I adore them for their heartiness and sweet scent and because Mother planted them on the north side of our farm house. There they proliferated into a large bed between the house and the sidewalk and it was a favorite place to play. With an open window in the spring, the sweet scent wafted into the kitchen. Then this spring while visiting friends Pat and Chuck in Lincoln, they offered me lilies-of-the-valley they dug out of a bed they were renewing. Now I have Pat and Chuck in my garden too.

A special friend, Sue Tuttle, from high school who has become a part of my life again, recently shared a cedar and a holly tree from her garden in Kansas for the windbreak in our yard. I will always think of her when I tend them. Below is the picture of the holly and cedar before planting in the yard where they are now living happily.

And my sister, Bonnie,of North Carolina shared several plants with me but the Pasque Flower is the only one that has thrived here. The others tried but couldn't survive the dry bitter winter. The Pasque flower flourished on my kitchen counter all winter but is now blooming in the flower bed at the front of our cottage. It is South Dakota's state flower so it can handle the harsh prairie weather.

My sister-in-law, Carolyn, gifted me with a beautiful plant during our last visit. She said it was indestructible but more importantly, it is beautiful. She wasn't sure its name - do you know? It is also a succulent of some sort.

I hope you share from your garden with friends and family and accept their offerings. It is a wonderful gardening tradition, one that should be tended.

1 comment:

Sandi P said...

Loved the photos of the newest addition to the Edwards Ranch. And your flowers are just gorgeous - what wonderful photos. Wish I was there to enjoy.