A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Can't Stop the Music, er Posting

Okay, I lied. I'm posting from work WITH pictures. But that's only because I can't seem to stop taking pictures of my gardens. So I brought my camera to work tonight. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I'm going out on a limb and post some pictures of my "landscape". Please leave the room if you cannot contain your laughter. Sarcasm is also not appreciated. I get enough of that from my neighbors.

Ahem. I live in a Cape Cod (not nearly as nice as Kasmira's ) so my "back door" is on the side of my house. This is what I see when I walk out my back door:

These are my oldest gardens, virtually unchanged since they were planted eight to ten years ago. Here's a closer look:

The Cosmos Garden:

From right to left: the Japanese iris that always blooms last, purple coneflowers that were given to me when I moved in (Kasmira, they were a single like yours, did nothing during the drought years if I could get one flower I considered it a good year, but the past few wet years they have begun to multiply and bloom beautifully) then pinks interplanted with Bachelor's Buttons, Queen Ann's Lace, Cosmos and Cleome, Shasta Daisies that were purchased as a plant, Black-Eyed Susans that were also purchased as a plant and have become a real nuisance, then the Apothecary Rose and Harrison's Yellow.

Here's the Shade Garden. I should call this one "What's Wrong With This Picture?" Can you guess? Look closely.

If you are wondering what Liatris are doing in a shade garden, you guessed correctly. Liatris like full sun but can tolerate light shade. Except for a couple hours at dawn and in the early evening, these plants sit in deep shade all day. And they are doing great! They multiply and bloom every year. I got them eight or nine years ago when a friend's son was selling perennials to raise money for something. I signed up for half a dozen liatris thinking it was half a dozen roots. It was actually half a dozen BAGS of them. I had liatris coming out of my ears! I planted them literally all over the yard in all kinds of conditions. Gradually they all died out except these. You can see by the huge bare spot occupied by the gnome what trouble I have finding things that will grow here. The weedy things around the birdbath are scraggly Lily of the Valley and three hellebores that are actually doing quite well. I have ordered more. I've started adding ferns hoping they will like it here. I don't know what kind of hosta that is. I got it when I attended a gardening class this spring. It's much too big for this garden but I hate to move it because it is doing so well. I'm hoping that when the ferns grow, it won't seem so out of proportion.

The butterfly bush started to bloom a couple of days ago. It didn't take long for the first butterfly to show up:

I think this is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. I couldn't get a good shot of him because the wind was moving the branch and he was opening and closing his wings.


At 9:57 AM, Blogger crazygramma said...

That is a great shot of the butterfly.

At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have liatris all over the place, too. It grows huge in the sun but it's pretty in the shadier areas, too. And it seems to be drought-tolerant, which is great for me.

I think I have the same hosta - the huge lime-green one in your picture. I transplanted one where it could spread out its leaves and I enjoy watching people point to it when they go by. One more plant is squished up against my house and I'm thinking of where to put it. If its the same plant you have it can take some sun. Mine gets pretty intense morning sun and is doing great.

I wonder if my birdbath would be used more in the shade. It's in a spot that gets afternoon sun right now and not a single bird has used it.


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