Last week I promised that I'd take you on an as-it-is garden tour. I've never done this before because I hate people to see the garden unless it's looking in tip-top shape, which, frankly, it rarely is. But I figured after I showed you this, the state of my garden couldn't shock you that badly (and unlike that other post, there is no underwear that has to be Photoshopped out).
So you know, I did no preparation whatsoever for these photos. I just took the camera outside and started shooting. So there are shovels and empty pots laying around, piles of weeds and general riff raff. This is how the garden would have looked if you came over unexpectedly Sunday morning.
So here we go. There are a LOT of pictures so I'll try to keep the chatter to a minimum.
This is what I call the "Main Garden," only because it was the first garden. It extends off the patio on the front of the house.
Overhead view. The serviceberry tree anchors the southeast corner and the large shrub you see is the 'Limelight' hydrangea.
Ground level view.
This is the center of that bed, arguably the focal point area and yet it has a big hole in it. I do this all the time: I save the "good" spots for something really special and then I never put anything there. I have planted a bunch of zinnias and nasturtiums there so hopefully that hole will be filled in later in summer.
On the corner by the apron in the driveway I have a mini rock garden area. The rocks came from Mr. Much More Patient's parents' house. I had to pull the larger one out farther this year because the boxwood was eating it. I just pruned the boxwood back into meatball shape (I love meatball boxwoods, so kill me) and you can see all the clippings just laying below it.
Two favorites: Veronica 'Royal Candles' and a nasturtium. I actually pulled that one out of the window box because it was threatening to take over. I plunked it in the garden there and it seems to be perfectly happy.
This is the backside of the Main Garden, looked at as if you were standing by the garage. Until last year the three hostas on that corner were huge and beautiful. This year, two are not at all happy. I think they needed dividing and I let it go too long.
I cut the purple smokebush WAY back this year and it is only now starting to revive. Several main branches appear to be dead so I need to prune those out further. Hopefully it will recover fully by the end of the summer or by next year.
I know I go on too much about nasturtiums, but I love this little shot of cute little nasturtium babies in the Main Garden waiting to fill in that hole.
To the left of the Main Garden is the new garden I put in three years ago after installing the path. That garden (the terraced garden or deck garden in The Impatient Gardener speak) is in its leap year and boy, has it leapt. I need to do some serious pruning in fall and early spring there, but overall I'm thrilled with it.
This is the overhead view. The Main Garden is off to the left of the path, the path and the gardens to the left of it were new.
View from the deck side.
Creeping jenny can be a be aggressive, but I love how it brightens up this garden, especially with the dark-leaved dahlias there.
This gingko ('Gnome') is a favorite and it's doing really well.
View from the other side (the oxalis weeds are taking over in that lower bed!)
The Oso Easy roses are in full bloom. They are beautiful! Not particularly fragrant, but gorgeous nonetheless.
That's a whole lotta hydrangea there! There are three regular Limelights planted against the deck and then three 'Little Limes' mixed in there, not to mention an Incrediball next to the bottom of the stairs. They will all need a little pruning for shape early next spring.
On the other side of that staircase I have a small bed that sort of mimics the other side, with an Incrediball hydrangea, 'Elegans' hosta, 'Paradigm' hosta and an unhappy small dogwood tree. That's the hosta I moved (and divided, the other half is on the other side) before our renovation and its certainly no worse for the wear.
Bed on the left side of the path as you walk towards the garage.
Bed on the right side (and the paddleboard, which was put to good use over the weekend).
Looking back the other direction. Very happy with how Picea engelmannii 'Blue Magoo' is growing up .
Next to the garage I have a small island bed that I originally planted to hide the propane tank. The tank has been gone for a few years now and the island bed looks really stupid. I didn't even really edge it this year because it's due to be completely redone. Plus, with the big birch tree gone, it's getting way more sun that it used to. There are three buckthorne 'Fine Line' shrubs planted in back. The one on the left is essentially dead, the one in the middle is being strangled by a clematis and the one on the right looks like a shaggy monster. Not so sure about that plant.
This is the clematis that is currently hosting a family of cardinals. Can't wait for the babies to arrive!
Behind that I planed three large viburnums. That area is so weedy that I just keep throwing down cardboard and covering it up with mulch when I have some to attempt to keep the weeds from taking over the world.
Now we switch over to the west side of the house. This was a pretty shabby bed when we bought the house and I've pretty much redone the whole thing other than the peonies.
It's a little more formal that I usually get in the garden, but I do like this little area in front of the fireplace planted with a witch hazel, heuchera 'Black Beauty' and Hackonechloa 'All Gold.'
Before we move on, let's just take a quick look at the patio area.
In the corner by the main stairs to the deck I planted a cardoon (I am loving cardoons this year), as well as a few random annuals I had including a 2014 Proven Winners introduction Superbells Pomegranate Punch. It definitely serves to brighten up that corner.
Next to that is a more utilitarian container area with Hudson's tomato, a pot of basil (some of which has not recovered from its very cold and wet start), a hosta I have to plant yet, some sedums and a pot of spearmint.
If you need to know why you should never, ever plant mint directly in the ground, just look at this plant. It's only been in there a month or so and the runners are actually pushing dirt out of the pot they are so agressive. Mint is good stuff but don't let it get loose!
The window box was looking a little better before I pulled out the nasturtiums. I planted small new ones in that are more of a trailing variety so hopefully things will fill in a little better now.
Going up the steps by the front door I have more Pomegranate Punch along with Mexican feather grass and Superbena Royale Iced Cherry. I think I should have planted something yellow in there with the Pomegranate Punch.
On the other side of the front door stairs are a few more decorative pots that are finally starting to come into their own. Everything had such a slow start.
More Pomegranate Punch and Superbena Violet Ice make a good combo in that container.
On the deck the mandevilla vine is starting to do it's thing and everything else is filling out. I like this riot of color in this container. The deck really needs it with everything else being white and gray. That ficus in the background is where the robins are living.
Now we move onto the circle garden, west of the front door. This was a derelict vegetable garden when we bought the house and I made it into the alien landing pad (at least that's what it looks like on Google maps).
Google maps view
The poppies are everywhere. I resolve to be better about deadheading them this year.
I need to do a post on Egyptian walking onions. I am absolutely loving them. They just crack me up.
I should have waited a couple days to take a picture of the 'William Baffin' rose in the center of the circle garden. It is so beautiful right now.
I love these little 'Orkney Cherry' geraniums, but whatever that weed is will be the death of me. It just keeps coming back and coming back and coming back.
My little chive hedge is growing nicely. I think it might actually work.
Now we move into the more "naturalized" areas of the garden. This is sort of behind the house. This is a newish garden area where the cedar tree was removed from this spring.
A 'Venus' dogwood that I'm doing a little zone pushing on.
That bed flows right into this one, which I've been sort of working on for awhile. Mostly it gets cast-offs from other parts of the garden. I do love the climbing hydrangea though.
Clematis 'Niobe' is showing off in there.
A new Japanese maple I planted. It better grow quickly or it will be eaten!
To the left of that path. This is a true shade bed.
I like to keep this area feeling very natural so back by the tree I let the lilies of the valley run free.
I like this little combo.
Goatsbeard is a great shade plant.
And off to the back 40, happy home of the veggie garden.
This new raised bed holds onions and kale.
The obelisk bed (could we possibly call it anything else with that huge green thing in there?) has zucchini, goji berries, climbing nasturtiums and even a sweet pea.
The goji berries haven't grown much but they are blooming! Pretty little purple flowers.
There's a baby zucchini in there!
Now we're in the main veggie garden. OK, yes, there is a weed problem on the ground. I'll deal with it sometime. Probably. And of course there are also a few plants waiting for homes hanging out there too.
We had our first pea this weekend!
I plant this garden very intensely because I amend the soil with lots of good compost and worm castings. This is Swiss chard and beets.
So there you have it ... a true-life tour of the garden. I know you'll look past the weeds and stuff all over. Right? Promise?