The rugosas by the front porch are past their spring flowering and developing clusters of large and colorful rosehips.
I still yearn for certain elements of the gardens I have left behind--my Vermont garden was 18 years in the making and tending.
The fate of my Gradyville garden--bulldozed for a parking area--still troubles me.
Continued rain is hampering my efforts to create gardens here at the farm, but I am discovering a legacy of plants which the Amish ladies of the two houses tended.
Rose of Sharon, aka althea or Chinese hibiscus, is apparently beloved of Amish gardeners.
This one stands at the end of the porch.
In full glory nearly a week ago.
Each blossom lasts only a day,
Silky petals, laden with raindrops this morning.
Last week I trudged through the backyard of the lower house, squeezed through the gap at the gate and out onto the road--a round-about route to the mailbox.
I was surprised to see this profusion of flowers growing along the end wall of the long building which once housed the Miller's harness making enterprise.
I suspected it was 'balsam', although I had never grown it.
Photos online and in several plant catalogs confirmed the identity.
Most of the plants have a scarlet blossom, a few are more magenta in color.
Rounding the corner of the shop I found these.
Plants originally confined in a white-painted tire had spilled over the edges and begotten a host of offspring. Identification of these was more difficult.
Comparing photos, doing some reading, I learned that four o'clocks over-winter in our climate, spreading and forming tuberous roots.
I learned that one plant can produce several variations of bloom color.
I went down later in the day and discovered that in spite of the rain some of the blossoms were more fully opened.
I think [if it stops raining and I can garden] I will eventually move some of the smaller plants here.
This rose was planted in the raised bed that skirts the side of the porch. It was tucked in the corner beneath the roof overhang. It was very slow to break dormancy and I feared that it might be a variety which couldn't survive the harsh cold of February.
Finally I saw signs of life--a few leaf buds at the base of the plant.
I moved it to the corner of the terraced garden, clipping back the dead wood.
The photo doesn't do it justice.
Apparently Anna Miller grew cleome.
I grew cleome in the front garden at the Bedford stone house.
It self-sowed with rude abandon.
I brought a few seedlings over to transplant and then discovered that cleome were popping up by the dozens. I have had to pull out a few, along with random petunias and a host of cockscomb.
Monday evening, working til darkness fell, I tackled the weeds in the gravely strip which borders the cement steps.
Last autumn I tucked in several varieties of thyme, a few lavenders and a clump of daylilies in the upper part, then divided clumps of dianthus and stuck them in hoping they will eventually spread down the slope.
I decided to leave a few of the invading cockscomb, but ruthlessly pulled up those which were over-shadowing the thyme.
I've learned that several of the Miller women have kept their gardens at this farm home.
The lower house, where Mose and Anna raised their family was constructed nearly 25 years ago.
Several roses line the south wall of the house.
Our house was built in 2006 for the Miller's older daughter who was widowed at age 29.
Typically the family rallied to provide a home for her and seven children.
She later remarried and the house was turned over to one of the newly married younger sons.
When he relocated a year ago, Mose and Anna yielded the big house to yet another married son and moved up the lane with their youngest child, Mary.
She was wed a few weeks before we acquired the place.
I don't know which of the women selected the plants I am now enjoying.
I'm intrigued that Amish women, who must paint the walls of their homes in the traditional shades of gloss blue, must dress lifelong in sober hues of blue or dark green, grey or black, can give brilliant colors a dominant place in their choice of garden flowers.