Blended Edges

Early spring is all about growth. Seeds sprout, bulbs emerge, and branches fill with leaves. It’s an exciting time.

By mid-season, everyone is branching out.  Creepers move across the ground at a steady pace with flowers popping up along the way.  Plants seem to fluff themselves up, growing taller and fuller daily.  Like guests at a party, individual plants seek the company of others.  Once distinct, they’re all blending at the edges.  It’s one of my favorites times in the garden.

hydrangea and bellflowers

Hydrangea and Bellflowers

Campanula, commonly known as Bellflower, hug the patio. Hydrangeas branch out just above.

alyssum and baby tears

Alyssum and baby tears

Sweet Alyssum joins the party, merging with baby tears growing along the path.

flax, anenome, alyssum, begonia

New Zealand Flax mixes with flowers

New Zealand Flax shades the Anemone which will be covered in white flowers by August. On the subject of white flowers, the Alyssum smells like honey as it takes over the pot. A begonia came back from the frost last year, now shadowing the tiny bulbs below.

lindy and bellflowers

Daphne and Bell-flowers

It’s a fun time to explore the garden, too. Here Lindy emerges from behind the wheelbarrow, her green eyes blending with the Daphne and Campanula. I think they’re all sweet.

mouse and geraniums

Mighty Mouse is the garden exception. He’s not the blended edges type. Bright white fur and his stand-out personality defy convention. It’s only fitting that he’s photographed here with a bright orange geranium, craning his neck to see the hummingbird, above.

Growing up with bright red hair and freckles, I had a hard time ‘blending edges’ as well. It took some growing up to get comfortable with my ‘center.’  This wonderful cat and my blended garden are happy metaphors for healthy growth in life.

Do you like to blend at the edges or stand out in the crowd?

30 thoughts on “Blended Edges

  1. Ha! I’m a definite blender 🙂 Your photos are so beautiful and your descriptions border on the poetic. I am very happy to see a little of my homeland in your garden too – though watch out those things can grow enormous and become a home and breeding centre for our garden nemesis the snail! They love the deep, dark, damp confines near the base of the plant where they sleep all day and make ruthless forays from at night……….. just saying 🙂

    While your kitties [I include the mighty Mouse in ‘your’] take to the sunny outdoors my boy has taken up a resemblance to a bear and can spend all day sleeping in one spot, emerging only briefly to bat at his Canadian mouse, pat me if I am close by, or have a wee snackette before retiring once again! I fear he is getting older now and his youthful energy and vitality has waned. I am seriously looking for a little doggie to share our home.

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    • Oh my goodness…a little doggie. What fun that would be for all of you. Orlando strikes me as a cat that could get along with a small dog. I sure hope that is true. What a wonderful new companion for you. I think Will is starting a trend.

      I really enjoy your descriptions, Pauline. Orlando is a smart kitty, wise to the seasons as they descend.

      Thank you for your kind words regarding my words and pics. That means so much to me.

      As for the New Zealand Flax snail haven, believe me when I say I have a garden full of hiding places. I’ve spotted the slimy marauders in every corner of the garden. I keep saying “this will be the night I go outdoors and capture them all” but then my comfy couch and the company of my family wins me over and the task is set aside for another day.

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      • Have you heard of the saucer of beer disposal method? At least they die happy – or oblivious 🙂 You could then enjoy the couch and your family undisturbed, which is a most wise choice to make in my opinion!!

        Following Will’s process has definitely inspired me to stop thinking ‘one day’ and start looking! As I have my heart set on a labradoodle or similar, it may take me a while!

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        • I have such a soft heart, Pauline. It’s hard for me to kill them. I know that sounds silly to many, but I just can’t. My plan was to set out lettuce and gather the masses, then take them to a nearby trail. They can eat all they want without disturbing anyone’s garden. It just feels monumental when I see snails and slugs at every turn.

          A labradoodle sounds sweet. Do you have animal shelters for adoption purposes in your community? Best of luck finding your new family member. I can’t wait to hear the stories that lie ahead.

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          • Alys, when I would toss snails to other spots in our yard, I would always wonder how long it would take them to crawl back 🙂 – these little critters can surprise us with how far they go.

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          • Bless you for your soft heart! When it comes to slugs and snails – and possums – who decimate our gardens and our food supplies, I become decidedly mean spirited and go into defense mode [this, of course, is how wars start and I should know better – but remain somewhat unapologetic, and certainly unreformed, in my defensive ways] I am tolerant and accepting of all other life forms [except fleas, flies and mosquitos – so better make that ‘many other life forms’] and even have several scobies and some kefir grains living in my kitchen that would make many other folks turn pale and wobbly at the knees. 🙂

            We do have many animal shelters and rescue organisations here and I am already perusing their various sites for something that may fit the bill. I expect it to take some time – I am just putting the word out there because you never know who may hear it. 🙂

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    • Pauline, your description of Orlando reminded me of Pasha in his older years. Those are sweet times, when they are content just to be with us. I guess all of life goes through seasons and each is special in its own way.

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  2. I love those kitty cats, it’s hard for the garden to compete with them! But your plants are lovely. I used to grow lots of Alyssum when we lived in CA (is that plant named after you? 🙂 ) but haven’t had as much luck with it since. As for blending in or standing out – I always tried to blend in but could never quite succeed. Although I wouldn’t say I stand out either. I’m sort of a hybrid, I guess.

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    • I think of Alyssum as my signature plant since it is so rare to see part of my name anywhere. I love the smell and the ease of growing it. The entire crop this year is self-sown.

      I like the idea of being a hybrid. At 5’10” with red hair and freckles I know I stood out, and not in a good way. I longed for straight, chestnut brown hair, slender legs and the ability to take on a bit of color. Alas, I am what I am, and I’m mostly at peace with that. 🙂

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  3. Oh, your garden makes me want to weep at its perfection. Even your “spillage” is artful and classy. The only things that blend one of my plants to another are the weeds that connect them (and then try to smother them with their joyous affection). And just like you with the snails, I seem to have a bit of a soft spot for some of the weeds–especially if they flower.

    I have huge respect for anyone who can make magic with nature. I bow down to you, Alys. 🙂

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    • Oh aren’t you kind. Thank you so much for that. I’ve always been happy in a garden. It satisfies so many of my senses and quirks. I like color and design, the ability to bring a bit of nature into order, the outdoors, the birds and the squirrels and I don’t even mind pulling weeds. I find it therapeutic. If I were close by, I would drop by for some honest to goodness weed-pulling. I do understand about the flowers, but then those flowers become seeds, become more weeds and there you are.

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  4. He, he, he! I’m still giggling after reading Will’s comment above! I can totally relate! And I’m swooning over several things: Firstly, the gorgeous Lindy! She’s so beautiful. What a lovely photo of her surrounded by complimentary-eye-colour plants. Secondly, I love how Mouse has decided that your lush garden is his second home – and that he feels so comfortable there. Thirdly, I adore the baby tears growing along the path (love those pavers!) and want to follow it straight through that gate! You do have such a wonderful way with words, Alys: “This wonderful cat and my blended garden are happy metaphors for healthy growth in life.” So lovely! I am most definitely a blended at the edges mad cat woman!!! Ha! Big hugs to you, Slinky, Lindy and Mighty Mouse! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

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    • Thank you, Dani! Mouse is a character through and through. He runs from place to place to be with me in the garden, all quite endearing. Lindy hangs out with me in the back garden and Slinky mostly stays indoors. Beijing is so old now that she sleeps most of the day and night. She seems to like this heat, and can be found lounging on the coir rug on the back steps.

      How is your wonderful menagerie fairing with the cooler weather?

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  5. This is a wonderful way of describing what different plants do and how they grow. I definitely consider myself a blender, although I do tend to prefer bright coloured clothes to dark ones… that’s got me thinking! Maybe I’m a subconscious attention seeker, like your geraniums!

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    • Cathy the Geranium…its a perfect nickname. I notice you’re wearing orange in your gravatar photo, along with that cute hat and your gorgeous hair.

      I think we can be a bit of both. Depending on the circumstances, I can enjoy both, but most of the time I’m a blender.

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  6. A beautiful border, Alys. I’m working on blending in the garden this year – vinca, anemone and a couple of unknown plants my neighbour gave me are helping my cause! 🙂

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    • Hi Aileen,

      I’m glad you like the border and it’s nice to read you are working on your own. I love vinca and anemone and have both growing here, too. Can’t wait to see your growing garden as the season unfolds.

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  7. Every bit of your post was a complete joy. The kitties and your lovely prose will carry me to bed in the very nicest way. I can say this with certainty, if you had gone to MY high school with your alabaster skin, gorgeous flowing red locks, blue eyes, freckles and cute as a button smile and personality, you would have been fighting the boys off and definitely my BFF. I think it’s complete madness that you weren’t treated kindly by schoolmates. I can only guess they were a bunch of shallow and jealous buffoons.

    The garden is really looking splendid. I’m with Dani, I think the baby tears are perfection. As you know, I’m also a big fan of Alyssum. A giant pot by the entrance might work well, now that we have a covered porch. It seems to enjoy shade a bit in the afternoons. Do you find that? I remember watching Alyster hiking thru your Campanula. Just his little red cap waving adieu as he headed off to the pumpkin patch. It’s no wonder Mighty Mouse is mesmerized by the Hummers. I could sit and watch them all day too. It’s so serene in your garden. The fountain gurgling, hummingbird wings fluttering and kitties snoozing everywhere all serves up a mighty healthy dose of, “aahhhhhhh”. xoxoxoK

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    • You are so dear. Thank you, thank you. How I wish we had been classmates. I’ll just have to be happy that I’ve found you now.

      You are so right on the Alyssum. I planted some in the new triangle garden last summer, and as soon as the heat settled in, they wilted. The Alyssum in the side yard, however, stayed fresh and full all summer.

      You crack me up: “Alyster hiking thru the Campanula’ LOL. For a little guy, he sure makes tracks!

      I hope you’re back in our garden soon. Maybe next year once you’ve settled into your new house.

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  8. There is always so much to look at in your garden, Alys, and the plants are blending so well.

    Adding to the discussion about snails — I spent a couple of nights in a row out in the backyard with a torch, plastic bag and tongs, collecting snails. Can’t you just see me? The neighbours must have thought I was performing some strange ritual! I didn’t like disposing of them, but it has paid off. There are so many less snails munching through my plants.

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    • Thank you, Anne! I love spending time there, and watching it change and grow over the years.

      I’m glad you were able to reduce your snail population. They are big eaters, that is for sure.

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