Archive for The Garden Path

Ah…Spring!

back garden path

Here we are again..it’s Spring and we are on the garden path. To be exact, we are on the back garden path. This is the area of our gardens that sits above our back patio. In the foreground you can see a circle of flat(ish) rocks that form a little area where we have a metal fireplace for bon-fires. We have a garden bench that will go next to the fireplace when we get the energy to haul it off the front porch, where we keep it (relatively out of the elements) for the winter.  To the left of the path is the mulched area that is under the bird feeder and that goes up to the treeline beyond which is woods. (and the animal cemetary) On the left of the path is a line of Hostas which, you may remember, I divided last spring and planted all over the neighborhood. As you can see, they could be divided again as they grow well there! The path itself is small red rock and (especially after a rain) it looks so pretty between the lines of green. The right side of the path is the bank that rises up from the patio below. That bank is covered with Creeping Myrtle, which right now,  is covered in tiny purple flowers.

Here’s the back birdbath (we have 2 others).  It’s next to the woods and conveniently,  right next to the back  bird feeder…a sort of one-stop plaza for the wildlife! Notice the circle of transplanted Hostas from last year!  In the background you can see an old fashioned “tiller” and no, my hubby doesn’t use that kind in the garden! It’s just a decoration. =)

Bleeding Hearts

Also in the area of the feeder and the tree line, because they do so well in a partially shaded environment, I have these gorgeous Bleeding Hearts. If you have them in your garden, take a look at them up close. They are so beautiful with the droplets of moisure showing through the tender transparent part of the blossoms! What a treat for the eyes!

a profusion of plants and textures

One of our side gardens is pretty shady. The whole mound is mulched so a lot of the mulch is just bare texture which I love to see in a garden as it gives it some visual interest. In this particular shot you can see where the Lilies of the Valley are just marching right through the Euonymus fortunei, Emerald Gaiety. And what have we here? A lovely baby pine tree has taken root right in the midst of  it all.  I don’t know if I have the muscles necessary to dig it out and transplant it but I guess I’ll have to try or “deal” with it when it gets out of hand!! =(  Here is another bird bath for those discriminating birds, squirrels and chipmunks that might like a little more privacy….=) Notice, again, the hostas! lol!

flowering almond

I am so thrilled with this flowering almond bush that I transplanted from it’s former location on the back bank where it just did nothing for two years. Since I relocated it, it is such a happy, pretty little shrub! If something in your garden is just not thriving, move it to a new local and you may be surprised at what happens!!

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Sunflower Patch

Sunflower bud

Sunflower bud

You know that Fall is can’t be far away when the Sunflowers start to bloom. The Donald planted a nice little patch of them..where else but up in that hodge podge garden on the back bank! They really do look pretty there peeking out from behind the over bloomed Bee Balm though.Sunflower

I always think of the Sunflower as that little voice reminding us that Summer is winding down and we’d better enjoy these last warm days while we can!sunflower bed

Tomato wilt…

medium sized tomatoes

medium sized tomatoes

All around the county you hear folks complaining about their tomato leaves curling up and dying. The Donald’s garden is no exception. As you can see, there are no lush leaves surrounding the lower tomatoes on these vines. That’s because the wilt starts at the bottom and works it’s way up. He picks off the wilted leaves when they become too much of an eyesore but, as you can see, the tomatoes are still growing pretty nicely.

mini tomatoes

mini tomatoes

Even the small varieties like the grape and cherry tomatoes are subject to this leaf wilt. While at the Farmer’s market recently, the Donald asked the Master Gardeners about it and they said that he would have to get rid of the soil and disinfect the pots next year and start with fresh soil. That sounds like a pretty easy solution to me but I guess that’s a lot of potting soil to replace when you think about it!! Oh well, the potting soil companies have to survive too. Small price to pay if you are serious about getting rid of the wilt. Happy gardening!

Garden Journal

Trumpet flowers

Trumpet flowers

I keep a Garden Journal of when the perennials bloom each year in my gardens, anything new I plant and the locations, how many annuals I purchase each year for the pots and the cost of those annuals, etc. I’m pretty good at writing in the journal in the early spring and summer when the excitement of new growth is still high. Then I tend to neglect writing down when the later spring and autumn plants begin to bloom. This year I am trying to be more consistent! Here is a classic example of two beautiful plants pictured above and below. The trumpet vine, which you can see growing on a white arbor that my son-in-law made, has a heavy, woodsy trunk from which the shoots spring forth in abundance each year and within the past week (first week of August) has bloomed gloriously! In the background, you can see the Bee Balm also in full bloom. The Hummingbirds and Bees just love these plants and being located so close to the hubby’s veggie garden, they are a real plus for pollination!  This is the eye candy which is the reward of your gardening efforts!

Trumpet Vine & Bee Balm

Trumpet Vine & Bee Balm

A visit to the garden..

A visit to the garden always starts with the proper attire and tools!!

Garden shoes & hat

Okay, let’s go! Up the garden path…

Garden Path

This path of red gravel, bordered on one side by Hostas and the other by the bank of Creeping Myrtle, was one of my first landscaping marvels! I was so proud of myself when I dug this path into a dusty clay bank at the “birth” of our back garden!

Bee BalmThe Bee Balm is at the very top of my loosey goosey back garden. This garden is home to anything that won’t grow anywhere else or the “over flow” from other beds and has become a wild profusion of Coreopsis, Trumpet Vine that  escaped from the trellis, Vinca vines, Italian Basil run- amuck, Siberian Iris, Wild Strawberries and Bearded Iris..just to name a few!!

Wagon of flowers

At the back of the patio, I have this wonderful old wagon that my Step-Dad gave to me just before he died. My husband has faithfully restored it for me and I love to fill it with flower pots each summer. This year, with all the early rain, a lot of the old fashioned variety of Snap Dragons didn’t make it but as you can see I still have Snap Dragon hybrids, Bocopa, Nicotania, Lantana, Petunias and my favorite…Verbena. It’s a nice backdrop for patio dining.

Hanging verbena

As I said, Verbena is one of my all time favorite annuals and I couldn’t resist hanging this big one next to the shed.

Front garden

Here we are back at the front garden. Here I have three kinds of Coreopsis. The tall gold one, the meduim yellow and a pretty pink one that grows close to the ground. The Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea purpurea) grows like crazy here and I have to keep it in check! The Rhododendrons like this location as well.

Bee on coneflower

To end our walk in the garden today, here is a honey bee working busily at a cone flower. Hope you enjoyed the gardens!

God, the Gardener

Queen Annes Lace and Tiger Lilies

Queen Annes Lace and Tiger Lilies

On our road, we are lucky to have many varieties of wild flowers. Among them are the beautiful Queen Annes Lace, which is an herb of the parsley family. It’s a common weed but widely naturalized in North America and the Eternal Gardener has seen fit to team it up with the hardy orange Tiger Lily on our road.  It’s as lovely an arrangement as Martha Stewart herself could come up with! Some other wild flowers on our road are  the very fragrant and multi hued Honesuckle, Mock Orange (again, very fragrant), Creeping Myrtle, a wonderful ground cover with shiny dark foliage and purple flowers in spring, Crown Vetch (which I hate as it is very invasive if it gets into your gardens) , Daisies, Buttercups and a host of others as well. We also have rasberries, blackberries and strawberries growing wild along the road. The strawberries were especially abundant this year. One summer when my son was very young, we looked up wildflowers in the library and with books in hand, we set out to discover what we could identify in our area. I wish I could remember the names of all those flowers we studied back then! There is a major brook flowing near our home that is fed by a big dam and there is abundant flora and fauna along it’s banks to study. Guess I should revisit those banks and see what is still there and what may have taken root since those long ago summer days…..

Shade Garden

Don’t you just love to walk around your gardens in the early morning with a cup of coffee in one hand and your camera in the other? I took these shots a few days ago. Enjoy!

Hanging Plants on Patio

Hanging Plants on Patio

I have this awesome plant holder that my clever son-in-law made for me. It’s on our back patio and every year I hang a variety of potted plants on it. There are a few favorites that I feel I must put out there each year because I enjoy them so much. The Fuchsia is one that I love for it’s beautiful and colorful blooms that look like little lanterns in pink & purple. Another that I favor is the bright blue lobelia that performs a knock out show for me all summer long.  Diascia is a real show off too with it’s dainty, deep pink flowers. I also have a bright yellow Lantana, A  white, cascading Bacopa , a single Petunia and a hybrid called Supertunia that has double blooms. Because of all the spring rain this year,  I did loose a Superbells Calibrachoa hybrid and the Bacopa is a little leggy too. But all in all, I love looking out there and seeing the shed peeking through all those colorful blooms.  It’s very enjoyable to eat a meal on the patio with the nice backdrop of posies and my hubby’s wonderful tomato plants! (you can see a few tomato plants to the right of the hanging flowers)
Shade Garden

Shade Garden

I love our little shade garden. We expanded it a bit this year and though you can’t see them in this shot, some of those many Hostas I transplanted ended up here, bordering one side of the shed. It’s also a great spot for the antique bird bath.  A garden angel, who is tucked back into the far corner, keeps watch over the little visitors to this shady haven. This particular shot has our neighbors house in the background.

A Patch of Mint

A splash of useful freshness

A splash of useful freshness

I have a nice patch of mint, a few different varieties, growing by the shed. It’s kind of shady there but the Mint  is doing well. Mint generally likes a sunny spot which is probably why mine is not taking over the whole yard!  Some folks prefer to plant Mint in a bucket to prohibit root growth but mine has free range and so far I love the pretty waves of bright green that come up each year since Mint is a perennial. Here in the North East, summer is the season to enjoy this fresh herb in your iced tea or, if you are more imaginative,  your Mint julep! You can dry the leaves and use them all year (those Bearded Iris  you can spot in the Mint patch are going to be moved to a sunnier spot in the fall). My garden is a work in progress and always will be…=)

A gift from my garden…

Strawberry Pot experiment

Strawberry Pot experiment

I had this nice strawberry pot and decided to do something different with it this year so I planted a lacy leafed Coleus in the main part of the pot and in the little “side pockets”, I planted pretty green & pink Polka Dot” plants. What a nice combination it makes! The plants really compliment each other.