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Friday, July 26, 2013

New Shade Garden - 2 month update

As you may remember reading, in May 2013, I cleared out an overgrown area full of English Ivy to make room for a new shade garden in my front yard. (You can re-read that post here.). By now, it's the middle of July and things are growing well, filling out and blooming. So far, they seem happy in their new spot. Have a look at the progression below:  

May 8
The Kwanzan cherry tree above began to drop its petals, creating a beautiful pink carpet on the shade garden. Little plants were still getting settled in their new homes. 

May 28
By the end of the month, the Phlox 'Home Fires' and Aquilegia 'Biedermeier' were blooming!

June 15
A month later, the plants were really starting to take shape. 
In the far end, I have Tricyrtis 'Tojen', Ghost Fern, Astilbe 'Peach Blossom', and Hosta 'June'. Towards the middle, I planted Hercherella x Rosalie, Japanese Painted Fern, Phlox 'Home Fires', Polygonatum Varigatum and Hosta 'Great Expectations'. Continuing forward, I planted Brunnera 'Jack Frost', Dicentra rosa, Hosta 'Mouse Ears', Aquilegia 'Biedermeier', Anenome sylvestris, and Heuchera 'Obsidian'.  

June 23
The cute, little Hosta 'Mouse Ears' is in in bloom with lovely purple blossoms. 

July 17
Really filling in now. The Brunnera finished blooming and the foliage was doing well, but suddenly the leaves died off. Thankfully there are new ones coming up, so I'm hoping it will come back and thrive. 

I'm so happy it is doing well and really excited to see it flourish next year. 



Friday, July 19, 2013

What's Blooming: July 2013

It's been hot and humid for the past few weeks here on Long Island. Between the heat and the mosquitos, tending the garden has been a challenge. Thankfully there are lots of carefree heat-lovers in bloom making everything look lovely. Here's what's blooming in my garden this month:

This is such a beautifully colored daylily. I love the yellow center and it's magenta petals.

The purple coneflower (Echinachea) is a nice compliment to the yellow Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia). Behind them is the wispy, purple Russian Sage.

 I planted this Knockout Rose only two months ago. It is coming along nicely and I just love the color of the blooms.

On the left is Rudbeckia "Cherry Brandy" and on the right are more Black-eyed Susans. 

This Hosta is just coming into bloom. The stems are nice and erect with a lovely purple blossom. To the right, is Yarrow and more Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'.

 The Crape Myrtle is starting to bloom!

Hot pink Hydrangea is in full bloom by the front door.


Nestled between the boulders in the backyard are various succulents (above and below)



Begonia "Dragon Wing Red" is nestled among the variegated Liriope by the back fence and flanked by Annabelle Hydrangeas. 

My vegetable garden is in full swing! Lots of green tomatoes, ripe cucumbers, carrots, beets and string beans.

So that's what's going on in my part of the world. Be sure to check out what else is growing around the country over at May Dreams Gardens "Garden Blogger Bloom Day" list.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Liatris: A Vertical Form in the Garden

Liatris is a wonderful plant to add to any garden for its form, texture, fragrance and ability to attract wildlife.


The vertical form of the liatris is a welcome compliment to many of the daisy-like flowers that are in bloom this time of year. I often see them alongside echinacea (coneflower) or rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan). In the photo above, I love the mixture of purples and whites but also the contrast of liatris's strong vertical form against the wispy nature of the Russian Sage in the background and the big foliage of the montauk daisy. 

To me, the flower spikes of liatris remind me of fireworks just before they explode in the sky. Each spike blooms tiny flowers from the top-down (most other spikes bloom bottom-up). They come in purple, white and various shade of pink. It's lovely fragrance attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Even when not in flower, it's grassy-like foliage looks handsome nestled among the neighboring perennials. Give it lots of sunshine and It's easy to grow and care for. What's not to love?