For the past 30+ years, I have lived on 55 acres of the foothills in rural South West Oregon.
When my last child left for college in 2000, my husband started building fences around plantings near our home for me. We call them ‘flower-jails’, as the flowers are separated from the deer and rabbits who find them delicious. I now have 5 distinct ‘flower-jails’ around the house. A number of trees and bushes are also fenced until they get tall enough to survive on their own. I also have a couple of beds that are not fenced, where I am finding plants the deer do not eat. It has been a labor of love for me to weed and move around the many plants I have accumulated through the years.
I am also a potter, who likes to make many flower vase designs so I can bring my flowers inside. My goal was to have flowers year-round, but I know this is not to be as we still have too cold of winters. I still love the cold winters, since this is how we get beautiful spring bulb flowers. As I get older, my goal is to have a lower-maintenance flower garden.
I also grow a vegetable garden, which I have found produces many different flowers of its own. By cultivating the lettuce and other vegie flowers, I do not need to purchase as many starts the next year. For example: bok choy, swiss chard, dill and cilantro keep coming back on their own.
With my little digital camera, I have photographed my flowers for a few years and enjoyed looking back at when each plant reached its prime. During this time, I’ve learned a lot about where a plant will grow best in my yard. Sometimes being moved only a few feet away will make all the difference. No matter what the tag on the plant reads, when a plant finds it’s ‘perfect’ home, it will let me know by growing and thriving.
Many plants outgrow their ‘home’ and need to be divided. I have a hard time ‘killing’ any of my plants that I have usually babied along. Last year, I found a local organization that was willing to accept a number (80 or so) of my plant starts for their annual plant sale. Through other flower people, I’ve learned to know when some flowers go to seed. California poppies are a great example of flowers that I’ve been seeding on other places of my property. I look forward to sharing some of what I’ve learned and photos of flowers.