Late May garden tour

Even with the dry conditions the garden is exuberant and lush. In this post I’ll do a virtual garden tour starting in the northside gardens, which we call the “sandy garden” and the “square garden”. From there we will go to the front yard, then take the southside walkway to the  meditation garden and the back yard. Here is the sandy garden:

I recently dumped all of the wood shavings and bits of bark from the woodpile onto the paths of the sandy garden. It really helps to keep moisture in--this is a very dry garden, as the name suggests.

I recently dumped all of the wood shavings and bits of bark from the woodpile onto the paths of the sandy garden. It really helps to keep moisture in–this is a very dry garden, as the name suggests.

Sandy garden showing the compost bin and newly smothered patch of lawn near the swingset.

Sandy garden showing the compost bin and newly smothered patch of lawn near the swingset.

white iris blooming in the sandy garden.

white iris blooming in the sandy garden.

The square garden is the only part of the yard with a flower garden when I first moved here, and it was, indeed, square in shape. Now, although the garden has expanded and isn’t a square anymore, we still call it that for lack of a better name. In the picture below you can see the edging, using hay flakes.

edging

edging around the square garden

The square garden has some delphinium–here is a really big one:019Now to the front yard. Here it is from the driveway, looking toward the road. This side of it gets a lot of sun. It has very happy perennial bachelor’s button (centaura montana) that spread wildly. That along with iris and dame’s rocket are blooming now.

nice blues

nice blues

front yard from the driveway

front yard from the driveway

Further down in the front yard there is a pretty patch of woodland anemone in bloom: 056The lower front yard, near the road, dominated by hostas, is filling in nicely. I got two more kinds of hostas recently, a pale lime green and a bluish one.

waiting to be planted

waiting to be planted

hostas protected by thick layers of hay mulch

hostas protected by thick layers of hay mulch

I've been laying wood shavings mulch in the paths, and hay in the beds.

I’ve been laying wood shavings mulch in the paths, and hay in the beds.

the side of the potting shed, newly weeded and heavily mulched.

the side of the potting shed, newly weeded and heavily mulched.

front yard ferns

front yard ferns in late afternoon sun

Tater enjoying the new rock wall in the anemone patch

Tater enjoying the new rock wall in the anemone patch

Mr Fluff loves the little rock bench in the upper front yard.

Mr Fluff loves the little rock bench in the upper front yard.

Going from the front yard to the southside walkway, the path has been taken over by forget-me-nots and poppies. 077A little further on the path, dame’s rockets steal the show.

Dame's Rocket on the southside hillside

Dame’s Rocket on the southside hillside

In the meditation garden, the catmint have spread everywhere. 093In the back yard, the bed under the apple tree is doing beautifully. It has filled in with wild ginger, campanula glomerata, hostas, columbine, wild woodland phlox, geranium, foamflower, and various other plants. Lovely!

path into the apple tree garden

path into the apple tree garden

I used to dislike hostas–now I can’t remember why! This leaf captivated me:109

view from ground level

view from ground level

Tater relaxing, as usual. That's the apple tree garden behind him.

Tater relaxing, as usual. That’s the apple tree garden behind him.

Here’s a few pictures of the rest of the back yard:

standing on the threshold stone between the meditation garden and the back yard

standing on the threshold stone between the meditation garden and the back yard

The next picture is of the “triangle”, the most recent patch of the back yard lawn to be smothered. There are lots of day lilies and peonies there. This picture shows the nice patch of goldplate yarrow I planted in the center of it.

back yard "triangle"

back yard “triangle”

Lastly, I want to show pictures of a wildflower I brought into the garden from a huge patch of it I saw on a hike. I can’t seem to find it in any wildflower book. Maybe some kind of primrose? It is happy in the front yard and is spreading.

039040041043

too many flowers to blog about!

It’s really getting crowded out there, and I can’t fit all the plants on a blog post, so I’ll have to be choosy. Yesterday I stopped at our neighbor’s nursery and got some pansies, portulaca, marigolds and petunias. I have eight delphinium seedlings started–had terrible germination this year for those. And lots of sunflower and zinnia and nasturtium seedlings. May 1 seedlings

I confess that I bought yet another collection of daffodils recently from Colorblends. I ordered the Daffodil 100  with a guaranteed 85 different cultivars. Here are some of the narcissus I already have:

a nice double white, short trumpet. I think it is called

a nice double white, short trumpet. I think it is called “lion king”

small yellow with dark orange cup--maybe the one called

small yellow with dark orange cup–maybe the one called “delibes”?

early solid yellow large cup in a vase on the kitchen table

early solid yellow large cup in a vase on the kitchen table

Let’s see, what have I accomplished…I’ve almost completely de-weeded the back yard. Compared to some previous years, that’s terrific–mostly it is because I kept up with things last fall. Here are some pictures I took this morning:

back yard as seen through the fence!

back yard as seen through the fence!

back yard as seen from the meditation garden.

back yard as seen from the meditation garden.

I like this picture of the back yard, showing the paths and low rock walls.

I like this picture of the back yard, showing the paths and low rock walls.

And in the front yard, I have removed the blanket–heavy quilt, really–of maple leaves that the maples dropped on it last fall.

rolled back leaf quilt!

rolled back leaf quilt!

I cleared the paths of grass and over-enthusiastic spreading flowers. I had to get out the shovel to remove the hundreds of garlic chive seedlings that were growing everywhere–they have very stubborn roots.  Another major expander is the Lanceleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), which spreads vigorously by underground runners. I’ll get pictures soon. And then there’s the harebell, adenophora, which is the worst of all for spreading everywhere. I mean, everywhere. Anyway, here is the front yard this morning:

from the driveway

from the driveway

front yard from the top

front yard from the top

As you can see, narcissus are the main show right now, but bleeding heart is already budded and there are a few lucky tulips that escaped the voles and other critters. Garden May 3 037And of course there are lots of forget-me-nots!Garden May 3 051

gardener’s heaven

Classes are over for the semester, weather is perfect–I spent all morning and half of the afternoon outside. Had to put my bug jacket on for awhile but that’s OK. First thing I did was spend an hour fixing the horse pasture fence. While doing that I was accompanied by a beautiful rose-breasted grosbeak which sat on a branch near me and preened itself. No singing, but it was sure lovely.

Later, in the garden, I worked on the front yard. I raked off the layer of leaves, removed stalks of last year’s phlox, peonies, and hostas, and weeded the whole thing. I took photos but I don’t have those uploaded yet. Here are some pictures from a few days ago. David covered the remaining patch of grass at the top of the front yard with newspaper and hay. We plan to plant hostas there.

front yard top smothered

front yard top smothered

The bumble bees are out and are enjoying the pulmonaria blossoms.

pulmonaria

pulmonaria

Since I was wicked busy this past week, David got a lot more done in the garden than I did. He took his tractor and back-blade and scraped the accumulated old hay and horse manure from the barnyard and made piles–these will compost and shrink and eventually turn into garden soil! That’s Casey with his head buried in the hay bale!

horse pasture

horse pasture

The early, short red tulips I got from Colorblends are up, and looking great.

scarlet baby tulips

scarlet baby tulips

The bleeding heart and monarda are sprouted–now that the temperature is up everything is, actually. Spring is here for sure!

bleeding heart and monarda

bleeding heart and monarda