Looking Back at the Corner Garden

Earlier this year I removed a small patch of lawn, a corner near the sidewalk facing the house. Originally I thought I would plant annuals and perennials, but decided annuals would be more fun. Perennials, once established, require little maintenance. I wanted a bit of action in my new flower garden and it’s action I got.

sidewalk corner

Corner near the sidewalk


After removing the grass and preparing the soil, I planted seeds, including Sunflowers, Bachelor Buttons, Cosmos and a Spring Mix of assorted purple plants.  I covered it all with a portable green house. The goal was to keep digging critters away from the seedlings to give them a fighting chance.

It half-worked. None of the critters were able to dig, but I couldn’t keep it well-watered either.

The seeds didn’t get enough consistent moisture, and next to nothing germinated.(I did get one sunflower).

green house covers

April, 2013
Seeds tucked in for warmth and safety


Disappointed but not defeated, I headed to the nursery and bought a few cell packs. I picked up a dozen sunflowers as a compliment to the one that grew from seed, my signature annual Alyssum and a few flowering annuals.

sunflowers and annuals

May, 2013
Sunflowers, Alyssum and assorted annuals


In early June, I drove up to the house in an unseasonal windstorm, and saw the fruits of my recent labor (the sunflowers) bending in the wind. I dragged a bench, a folding table and anything else I could think of and braced all the plants. I’m sure the neighbors wondered why I would move the bench to the edge of the sidewalk, but desperate times (sunflowers in peril) require desperate measures (in this case looking foolish). That said, I’ve gone out to lunch with girlfriends wearing a wig and false eyelashes so I suppose my concerns about looking foolish are moot. Ha!

sunflowers and bench

June, 2013
Sunflowers staked to the bench


The summer heat settled in and then this happened. The Bachelor Buttons, Cosmos and assorted seeds took off.  Every week something new popped up.  What a joyous experience. As the sunflowers died back, the annuals filled in. This also became my test garden. I bought (and forgot) about three pink zinnias and left them to suffer the heat out back.  I replanted them in the sidewalk garden and they flourished.

sidewalk garden flowers


The Bachelor Buttons started going to seed, testing my resolve. The orderly me wanted to deadhead the flowers and trim back dying branches. Daily visits from the birds kept me in check. It was nice to see them swoop down and grab a bite. Another plus, re-seeding. As the birds and squirrels drop seeds, they’re likely to regrow the following season. We all win!

I planted most of my garden peas in the curb garden, but since I had plenty, I planted a few among the summer annuals. As the annuals died back, the peas could take their place.

zinnias and cosmos


October was all about pumpkins and Halloween. Drip irrigation and a warm sun kept things humming along.

Oh, and this visitor:

butterfly collage


The peas are growing among the summer annuals and will need to be staked soon.  Still lots of color but the zinnias are starting to decay.  Nightly temps in the forties signal the end of summer weather, even when it does make it to 72 F by mid-day.

going to seed

November, 2013
Going to seed

garden peas and flowers

November, 2013
Garden peas grow among the flowers


What’s next? Time to collect seeds for next year. I’ve snagged a few here and there, but I need to make a concerted effort now before our promised Monday rain. Oh wondrous rain, how I’ve missed you.

Then on to planning for next year. Happy weekend. I’ll see you Monday.

12 thoughts on “Looking Back at the Corner Garden

  1. That was fun to see all the changes in just a few short months. You really got a lot of flower power out of one wee corner. I’ve always fancied Bachelor Buttons too. That colour is awesome. Are those Asters, the bright pink with yellow stamen? The little stamen look like fireworks in the middle. That’s you, making your neighbourhood pretty one corner at a time! So when can you start over in California. We wait for the may long weekend and sometime later than that (sometimes longer).

    “In a tiny pot I grew, till planted in your garden new. With tender care and bright sunshine, a posy I will be for thine” by Boomdee


    • That’s lovely! Thanks for sharing your poetry, and with such spontaneity, too. Mwaaaaaa.

      As for the flowers, the bright pink with yellow centers are zinnias (I once thought they were dahlias). The other bright pink flower is a Cosmo. Those centers do look like fire crackers. That’s a great analogy. I was surprised at the course texture of the petals. They’re quite different from the Cosmos, for instance, which are soft and thin. They’ve really hung in there, but now that I see leaf mold it won’t be long.

      I’ll replant in April or May as well. I learned so much this year.


  2. D’you know I like the last shots of the dying flowers just as much as all the others – I am glad you did not give in to your tidy up impulses. It is all part of the cycle and the drying and browning, shrivelling and drooping [sounds like me 🙂 ] gives me a sense of satisfaction with a season well lived and also a sense of hope for what will be again – It dies away so that it may return bigger and better – how exciting! Your little curbside patch is about the same size as my courtyard garden – which I continuously forget to photograph 😦


  3. Wonderful! Beautiful photographs too by the way! It was really quite adventurous of you to do that really, You just never know what you are going to get with that seed assortment. It’s wonderful. I hope to be just as wild as you some day! tee hee 🙂


    • LOL! Am I wild? I didn’t know but that really makes me smile.

      I used to be quite shy and reserved. Over the years I’ve spread my wings. It’s good trying new and different things, challenging myself to push my own boundaries.

      You can do it, Ms. Sunshine.


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