I had such high hopes for this gardening season. With the nice spring I felt like I had a real jump on things but now I feel like I’ll never get everything finished and I’m really losing steam. I really wish I could just take a couple days of vacation and just finish it all but that’s not in the cards at work right now so I’ll just do the best I can.
For now … here’s what’s happening.
The Clematis ‘Sugar Sweet Lilac’ is doing amazingly well for its second year. The climbing rose is doing well too despite all of the canes dying back over the winter. This fall I’ll try to protect them more to avoid the cane dieback.
The ‘Coralburst’ crabapple is past its peak bloom time but I sort of love the shaggy look it has right now. It reminds me a little of how all the boxwoods are a little shaggy right now with their new growth. The dame’s rocket is growing behind it. I consider it a weed but not a major offender so I pull it when I’m around and leave the rest. I did some weed burning on the edges of things the other night, so things are a bit crispy in the foreground.
The ‘Venus’ dogwood is blooming for the first time! It only has three flowers, and they are just opening in shades of lime, but I love them.
Last summer I dug up a lot of Geranium macrorrhizum aka bigroot geranium from my sister-in-law’s garden and I stuck it in along the driveway where nothing exciting will grow. I’m so happy with how it has flourished and I can’t wait to divide it and really fill in that area. Anything that grows here needs to be able to tolerate shade, dryness, plowing, snow piles and general mistreatment. This fits the bill.
When we bought the house, one of the few plants that hadn’t been taken over by weeds in the garden was lamb’s ear. I detest lamb’s ear flowers and I ripped it all out. Fourteen years later, I’ve invited it back into the garden, this time as a contrast around the ‘Orangeola’ Japanese maple. I plan to chop off any flowers that try to sneak in there.
Three years ago I volunteered at a garden tour event and the star of the show was a giant Viburnum plicatum tomentosum ‘Mariesii’ that was laden with blooms. It was the most stunning shrub I’d ever seen and I loved that it shared a name for my grandmother Marie. I bought one that was no more than 2 feet tall and wide (I think that’s being generous) and planted it on the edge of the yard with lots of room to grow, which I know it will). It has grown so much since and this year has lovely blooms. It is starting to show the layered habit that I love.
Until I went to a garden seminar this winter, I’d never heard of night phlox aka Zaluzianskya capensis, but I loved the idea of trying to put more fragrant plants near the back door. I grew a few from seed, not really knowing what to expect, but I’m finding them to be one of the most charming plants I’ve ever seen. The diminutive flowers pack a huge scent punch in the evening and are just the cutest things ever.
A big project this spring was replanting a large portion of the patio garden that I cleaned out last fall. I still need to fill in quite a few holes with annuals, but the Hydrangea serrata ‘Tiny Tuff Stuff’ I ordered from Garden Crossings are in (you can see their purple-ish sunburned leaves caused by failing to properly harden them off before planting), Amsonia hubrechtii and ‘David Howard’ dahlias are all in. A new viburnum is in the back of the bed along with a few other plants that are way too small to see much of these days.
A tree peony that I either never knew the name of or lost track of is blooming its head off with huge frilly-petaled flowers. I don’t really love magenta flowers, but it certainly is putting on a show.
I finally found a ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud, which was no small feat as many nurseries don’t like to sell them here because of their questionable branch hardiness. We planted it on the edge of the lawn next to our path through the woods. It’s smaller than I would have hoped, but I was happy to take what I could get. May it live long and flourish.
Rain put a kibosh on after-work gardening on Monday, but the pretty double rainbow it left behind made up for it.