Sep 11, 2014

End of the Summer Yard Roundup

This has been a good year for the yard, like it's been a good year for the garden. Many of the plants we put in over the past few years have reached their mature size - if anything things have become a little overcrowded. I like to think of it as "full" and "lush." Like our blackberry/raspberry/sweet pea (and uninvited wisteria from the neighbor's yard I have to get rid of) bramble. It's a little wild, a little messy, but it's so full of vines and flowers it's also rather charming. You have to ignore the bottom of the bed where it's a little shaggy because we had to pull all that back and out for the driveway sealing.

On the other side of the forsythia bush (to the right of the photo above) we have lilies and mint that have also gotten a little wild, though mint is really hard to tame. I didn't plant it but I do love fresh mint, so we keep it around. The blossoms also smell really nice when you walk by. The grapevine came over from my neighbor's yard (like the wisteria) on the other side of the fence - I should probably pull it up before it goes crazy.

Over by the deck the crepe myrtle tree looks beautiful. It completely recovered from the winter and has been blooming since early July non-stop. I love the hot pink blossoms. The quince next to it (that was spectacular in the spring) is even bigger and I'm hoping for another great show in a few months. I still can't believe both the quince and crepe myrtle were little twigs barely hanging onto life a few short years ago. The autumn joy sedum and butterfly kisses echinacea are there temporarily, they will end up in the mailbox garden soon. Between the quince and what these will grow to at full size, there isn't enough room in this small bed for them

I trimmed the knock-out rose bush very heavily last year, so we didn't get as many blooms on it this year while it recovered. The strawberry plants and peonies have been happy all summer.

To the left of the strawberries and peonies I definitely over-planted this small space not realizing how big these two peonies would get at full size. Last year they were  big, but not this big! They also are suffering from a little powdery mildew and look past their peak, but I think they're okay. Between the irises, the perennial snapdragon, the hellaboris, the autumn joy sedum and the two mini-dahlias, there's barely any breathing room over here. Luckily the hellaboris likes shade in the summer and will be the first to bloom in the spring, long before the peonies wake up, so it can stay. The mini dahlia bulbs have to be dug up after the first frost and I'll put them somewhere else next year. The sedum will probably also get moved. I think once those plants are moved I can also keep the snapdragon over here.

Moving down the line you can start to see why I think the garden needs to be rearranged. It's just a patch of one plant, then another, thrown together in a time when I just wanted greenery along the fence. The giant bleeding heart is yellow but still hanging on, which is very surprising since it usually dies back completely in the heat of July and I'm left with a bare patch of dirt (but this was an unusually cool year). The gladiolas were beautiful when they bloomed in August but are now past their peak. The anemone next to it has become so huge I'm going to break it up and plant some of it in the front mailbox garden - it's become hard to mow around it.

The hostas came up by themselves when we stopped mowing the garden beds here just to "see" what these plants were (like the quince). We quickly realized we have full-sized hostas trying to come back through the grass. They are back to full size this year and huge now, I had to widen the beds significantly over here in the spring and they take up the whole space.

Next to the hostas are gladiolas, delphiniums, and a hydrangea that won't bloom because it's now in full shade from the red bud tree. Then more glads then the astilbe. Even in the shade things are very lush, even if they aren't blooming (I need to trim that tree back).

There's astilbe and lilies, blueberries and the fig tree to round off this side.

The bushes we planted a few years ago are getting very tall now. They are doing a great job of hiding the chain link fence with a wall of green and providing some great privacy. They will grow to about 8 feet and some of them are 6 feet now, others about 4 feet. 

So that's our yard at the end of the Summer. We've had some good growth this year and a lot of plants are now full sized which is really nice. Of course some things are past their peak in these pictures, but I actually think that's a good thing - we've tried to enrich our backyard's landscaping with 3 seasons of color. It starts with the crocus (and soon the hellaboris) in March and goes all the way through to October with the plants that bloom until Fall like the anenome, echinacea and dahlias. It's really nice to always have something in bloom for the extended season and I really like perennials since they come back year after year.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you've got quite the green thumb! I remember some of these plants being teeny tiny!