Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Garden Tour

I recently went around the house to capture some garden pictures as I promised. We've had some really intense weather lately, including a series of tornado warnings. Thankfully, nothing so serious has materialized but the amount of rain and hail we've received has damaged some of the flowers. You'll see what I mean further on.

This first picture is just to show you my favorite seat in the house -- the front porch swing. I love nothing more than to curl up on it with a good book and a cup of coffee. The porch is very private but with all the best elements of nature -- birds singing, breezes blowing -- right at your fingertips.

This is the side yard looking out towards the streets (our house is the white one on the right). You can see our next door neighbor has wild roses growing over her fence into our yard. I love them and if they're on my property I consider them mine to rightfully clip and bring indoors.

This is a further view of the side yard landscaping we started last year. The mulched bed used to just be grass but when we put sod down we decided to turn it into a more decorative area. Last year I added a peony and a purple azalea (which sadly didn't bloom this year). Then this year we divided several hostas from the back and brought them over here. They are doing quite well as you can see.

A closer view of the hostas. The large tree behind them is the rhododendron you've seen me feature before.

So here you can see what I've done with the small front beds. Sadly, the outrageously expensive Easy Elegance Super Hero roses I purchased were a bit of a bust. I was expecting them to be a cherry or fire engine red and they are not. The photo is deceptive. They are really a deep fuchsia. And so far no smell, which as you will recall was my other requirement. I've been told by the nursery where I ordered them that the smell depends on a number of factors, including the age of the plant and the temperature of the air. So I'm holding out hope. Regardless, they are blooming quite nicely, and I've decided to leave them for now since they add a needed pop of color.

Directly next to the rose is another transplanted hosta, also growing quite nicely.

This is the front view.

We recently added a Welcome mat, and I have to say it's amazing to me that such a simple addition has really finished the vignette.

I know I've showed the urns before, but I had to show you again. They are growing so well and really add a lot of curb appeal in my opinion.

This view is the other side of the house along the driveway. I hate the railroad tie edging, and I have no doubt we will be replacing it eventually. In the meantime we're making the most of what is in the beds themselves. Trey helped me transplant this row of hostas that had been in the back. While not technically groundcover, hostas can really serve that function. Best of all they are versatile enough to thrive in shade or intense sun. You can see that these hostas are a little browned along some of the leaves. I suspect they were stressed a bit by the transplanting, but I know they are hardy and will do just fine next year.

This is the other side of the driveway right next our our other neighbor's property. We enjoy a number of these lovely daylilies, which since we've moved in have only grown in size and number of blooms. The vine growing behind the daylilies is a kind of clematis called Virgin's bower that blooms late in summer and has a sweet, honeysuckle-like fragrance.

This is a small coneflower plant that I transplanted from my boss's garden. How lucky am I to have a boss who is a fellow garden enthusiast and off-loads amazing plants to me? It hasn't bloomed yet, but is looking healthy and has buds on it.

The salvia I planted last year was doing wonderfully until all the terrible rain we had (even more subsequent to these photos). I need to trim it back a bit I think in order to encourage regrowth. Right now it is sadly bent over.

This is another gift from my boss, an inkberry holly. It is a native New Jersey plant and has beautiful glossy green foliage.

Another small adddition -- the garden hose caddy -- but I love how it just makes things look neater and more finished.

Now we're in the back. This is my herb garden and the two leafy plants in the foreground are strawberry plants we put in the ground this spring. Unfortunately the little critters that abound in our yard loved the berries every bit as much as we did, and we only got to taste a couple. Better luck next year hopefully. These guys look really healthy!

I am in love with my herb garden. From left to right you see chives, rosemary, and thyme. The vine behind is the same clematis.

More of the herb garden. On the far left is cilantro, then basil, and then a huge oregano plant.

My foxgloves from last year's seeds. I got some white and some dark pink.

This is a hedge rose I planted a few years ago. It has never bloomed, but this year it's grown considerably and I am hopeful for some flowers.

A pulled back view of the bed -- knockout rose bush, foxgloves, ornamental grass (another gift from my boss), and on the right is veronica.

Bee balm (another gift from my boss).

My lilac which hasn't bloomed for two years in a row now. Not sure what to do about it. It's huge...just doesn't want to flower.

The last of this year's peonies. You can see what I mean about the rain's damage to the flowers. This year was by far the best for this peony plant. The blooms were gorgeous!

A pulled back view of the bed -- from left to right peony, lilac, bee balm.


This is the back part of the bed leading up to the garage.

Some gifted ornamental grass.



Coral bells. These had originally been in the front beds and weren't doing so well there. Since I've moved them they are thriving.


Now for the veggies. Tomato plant. I actually have three in the ground right now.

Red pepper plant.


My ever-spreading raspberry patch.



The honeysuckle bordering our neighbor's yard.

It smells amazing.

So that's the garden as it stands today.

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