The summer has flown by. It seems like just yesterday that i was planting annual seeds to fill in a bit of color among the perennials.And, now it's starting to go dormant. Some days i feel dormant, too, but that's a story for another time!
With no school and no obligations at all, it's been a productive summer here in the garden. I had three "big" projects planned for this year - a new shade garden with an additional place to sit and contemplate, an irrigation system for the main back beds, and refinishing the front porch decking. Amazingly, i managed to get them all done with time to spare. I shall get my lazy self in gear and share them with you over a few posts, but first... there is left over business from last year.
|Eventually, the shrubs will form a green mass to soften the base of the deck.|
In June of 2016 we lost a beautiful 'Thundercloud' plum tree that shaded our back deck. After several weeks of grief over the loss of a truly beloved tree (it was the first one we planted at our new home - 16 years ago - and provided not only afternoon shade on our deck, but also the most gorgeous display of pink wonder every February when it bloomed), we decided not to replace it with another tree. (Our tree man had always complained that it was way too close to the house - and apparently he was right!) Instead, i embarked on a new perennial bed in the now sunny space left behind.
I planned a bed that would be the entrance to the back yard, but would also have color for three season and provide fragrance for the deck ... literally, i chose as many fragrant varieties as i could find. It did fairly well in 2016, but was too new to really tell if we would like it.
This year, a lot has changed. The major design worked out just fine. The gaillarda ('Grape Sensation') has bloomed since June and is still going strong. In the early spring, there were pink Oriental lilies - all fragrant, and now there are two types of sedum in bloom.
The grasses and shrubs have been slower to get established. Two of the grasses did not survive the first winter and have been replaced with two more. Part of the problem is the full sun location. Many grasses would like a bit more shade. The muhly grass has been slow to take hold, but is looking better this fall and actually has a few plumes - and they are pink, as planned. (Did i remember to say that it's predominantly a pink garden?)
|Seen from the "back", the rhodo (left), viburnum (center) and gardenia (right) will fill in this whole area.|
The rhododendron has also struggled, but is finally starting to look strong and has about doubled in size over the past couple of months and the gardenia suddenly produced three blooms this past week - hoorah! In the spring i realized that i needed one more shrub to fill in a hole, so i planted a 'Sugar Shack' viburnum , which has grown like Topsy. The shrubs all need one more year before i will be totally sure they are going to make it, but i am feeling better than i did this time last year.
The only "major" design change i have made was to remove the lilies this fall. Altho they were beautiful and smelled wonderful, i realized that they were not substantial looking enough for the rest of the bed. It's full and lush, while they were each standing on one skinny stalk above everything else - just not the right look. So, this week i replace them with pink daylilies which will give me a more substantial looking foliage to fit in better with the other plants - they are all supposed to be fragrant - and moved the Orientals to the back part of the main garden where they will be able to easily hide their skinny legs among the taller perennials.
|Trevor the hedgehog has always guarded this part of the garden.|
All in all, it's a plan that worked!