Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Rain + Rain = Super Green Garden
We've had record rainfall around here this spring, and it hasn't been the greatest thing. On the larger scale our community and our state have had minor to moderate flooding. That's been scary, but we've managed to avoid a true natural disaster. We're all grateful.
On the smaller scale, the wet days means the garden has grown lush and green, but the weather has given us few days to mow or work on landscape projects. Add that to a house painting project this summer and we already, in the early days of June, feel like we're weeks behind.
It always helps me to review the progress going back to the very early days of the front yard. This was April of 2012
The first year, in 2011, we didn't get much done the other than reclaiming the front yard from the weeds, and getting rid of a few unwanted plants and shrubs that were either diseased, dying, or ugly as all get-out.
Then in 2012 my oldest son built this retaining wall for me:
And we were able to make some small progress on adding the kinds of plants that make up an old-fashioned perennial border: roses, day lilies, bee balm, salvia, and purple coneflowers.
This spring, though, was so wet I struggled to find sunny days to plant, weed, mulch, and landscape.
This weekend was a little crazy and disjointed. (Again. Can we stop having these, please? Thanks.) But we had some sunshine and dry weather. It was about time.
Below you can see some real progress. In the foreground is a clump of yarrow/crabgrass/some other thing that I think might be butterfly weed. That's sort of a mess. The electric blue in the middle is May Night Salvia, and to the rear of it is some wild Joe Pye Weed that volunteered in my garden. It is tall, has purply pink flowers, and butterflies love it. It can stay. To the right of the salvia are mixed Asiatic lilies. If the rabbits leave them alone this year (fingers crossed) I might actually get some flowers. The retaining wall is out of sight on the left side of the photo, below the lamp post.
Here's a view of the lawn edge of the perennial border. Behind the lilies in the lower left corner are some kind of nameless penstemon with reddish leaves and stems, and white flowers. Near the house is the Limelight Hydrangea we moved away from the foundation:
I conquered another little bit of acreage in front of the faucet/hose rack for some delphiniums:
But to the right of the delphiniums is still an overgrown mess. It doesn't look that bad, but the overgrowth is hiding a pile of waste sod, sticks and stump pieces, and the sump pipe.
Eventually we'll get the entire border in front of the house cleaned up and edged in these stone pieces. I like how you can just run the wheel of the mower up on them.
Those green spikes are gladiolus. I was so happy to see them come up! I've never grown them before.
I'd like the front yard to get close to done on the major landscaping this summer so I can move onto the back yard, which also desperately needs attention. However, house painting is the priority this year. It's a race to see what we can get done before October and too-cold-to paint temperatures.
I hope to post another garden update later in the season. Until then, I leave you with my latest star of the garden, which finished up blooming last week. This is a tall bearded iris variety called Tennessee Gentleman. Enjoy!