Monday, July 19, 2010

Ooo...preeety flowers

I figured it was high time for another tour of the garden so you can see where we are now that it is mid-summer. Feel free to go back and see the progress we have made since we first planted and since the last time we checked in a couple of months ago. Believe me...with a baby around it certainly would be very easy to just ignore the 'grounds' of our home...but that has been made impossible by my husband who (bless his heart) is a perennial do-er, you know, the kind of guy those dumb 'go out and get something done' commercials for Home Depot are for, and my Mother-in-Law, who came to visit for a week and took it upon herself to plant some annuals and mulch 2/3 of our garden making it look all beautiful thereby totally inspiring us to continue and finish mulching the last 1/3 that she would have done if we had given her more time and stopped saddling her with grandmother duties. Phew.

So...without further ado...a tour of our garden.

This little Rhododendron lives outside our front fact this photo is taken from the front porch looking a bit to the left of the main walk to our house. We relocated Rhody from the back yard last year when we re-did the lawn back there. She's doing ok, but we might need to put her back where she can get more sun. Not sure on that one. Really...she's my husband's responsibility since (gasp) I don't really care about her.

Turning to the right, you see the path that leads around to the side of our house. We are forever thankful for the person three owners back who installed this gorgeous path and garden. When we first moved in, the place had been neglected for years and was totally husband wanted to tear it all out and put in lawn! But I convinced him to have a nursery come and clean it out a bit and wait a year or so before tearing anything out and boy are we glad we did.

Looking back up the path to the front of the house:

The garden area in the center has really taken off. Most of the items in this middle ground we have planted ourselves...but these cone flowers have always been there. They attract butterflies; though to be honest, I haven't really seen a lot of butterflies around.

We planted some Silvermound as ground cover a few years ago with the intent to split them and replant every few years...but they need more sun than they get. Half of the garden is shaded by the cherry tree, so we may move things around to have a more shade type ground cover closer to the tree and save all the Silvermound for the full sun areas.

These gorgeous flowers are called Garden Phlox...and they are beautiful. They started blooming very soon after the Day Lilies faded, bringing some beautiful color into the garden. One of our goals in planting was to have color all throughout the summer, and I think we have succeeded in doing that.

I have to admit, I am a little disappointed in the Speedwell...they are supposed to get between two and three feet and have tall purple and pink shafts that attract butterflies...but ours are only about a foot high and the shafts themselves are only about 6 inches and, as previously mentioned, I have yet to see any butterflies. Oh well...maybe next year...

At the lower end of the middle garden is a separate area that we have designated our herb garden. Many of these were planted around the whole space, but we have relocated them all here. There is a GORGEOUS sage plant as well as chives, oregano, rosemary, thyme and lavender. We also have a mini-field of mint up closer to the path around the house but we try and keep them sequestered so they don't take everything over!
The Peonies that were so gorgeous in June have all lost their floral lustre, but continue to add beautiful, full foliage to the side wall of the house.

These Lilies are HUGE. We have to split this plant, but I need to do some major space planning before we do that, so it might be until next spring before we get to it. In the meantime, they have totally taken over our Hydrangea plant!

Here's one of the Petunia plants my MIL gifted us with:

You can see how big those Lilies are in this well as a glimpse of the sexy gardener :)

Over in the other part of our yard the Basil is growing beautifully...

I am going to take out the peas since we harvested them and I don't see anymore growing and getting rid of the pea fence will give me better access... our HONKING HUGE TOMATO PLANTS!!

I can't even get over how big they are...and they are just getting bigger and bigger and bigger...since taking these pictures the ones in front are now all over the grass! We need to get more stakes and tie them back before they hurt themselves!

mmmmm....what the heck am I going to do with all the tomatoes!

See...WAY back in there, there are some big ole' tomatoes!

Also way back in there is what they refer to as Dog Vomit Slime Mold. I know. Gross. Apparently it is actually a fungus that is a delicacy in Mexico. I don't care. It's gross and I hate it. It grows near wooded things (like mulch and trees) when there is too much moisture. And once the spores are there, they are always there. Ew. We didn't mulch this area, but I think there was mulch in the compost we used. Bleh. Thankfully it is harmless and won't eat our plants.
Oh yeah...and more proof of the too-much-moisture. A lone mushroom.

Ok...moving back over to the Hydrangea. Hydrangeas are not full sun plants and ours is in full sun so we HAVE to water it. Sadly, we were away for five days during a huge heat wave and our hydrangea suffered dearly for it. So, now we have a soaker hose and are hoping to at least get the plant through the summer and maybe relocate it where it isn't so bright.

Dead Hydrangea flowers are not on my list of inspiring things to look at.

Lastly, we turned our compost. We have a fun little tool that you pierce into the base of the compost and then as you pull it out, the wings are supposed to open up on the side of the shaft of the tool and you can aerate your compost that way...but so far it doesn't work very well...which is annoying because I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't look so promising. Instead, the best way to turn the compost, is to actually turn it into a new place. Fortunately, our compost is set up where we can easily move it back and forth from one area to another.

So there you go...the latest comings and goings of our garden.

How are your garden spaces holding up this summer?


  1. So jealous of your beautiful garden! I would live outside in my yard if ours looked like yours! Sadly, not only do I have a black thumb, but we rent, so the hubs doesn't want to put any effort/money into making our yard look nice.

  2. Our front garden is definitely looking prettier, but by no means as gorgeous as yours. And I know what you can do with those tomatoes! Bring them over here! ;-P

  3. The garden I had planted in exchange for some web design last year came up gangbusters this year, but I'm having a hell of a time keeping up with the invasive violet something or others. Still, I edged it myself! Your stonework is so pretty, the plants are looking great. Love those purple phlox!

  4. I'm impressed. I can't grow a thing! (both space-wise and ability-wise)