Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Untying the Knot Garden

The Knot Garden is no more. It all began last year when the Euonymus was deemed an invasive plant and had to come  out. 
While I cogitated about what to do here this winter the severity of the winter removed some of the boxwoods. This gave me even more to think about.
This area is looking quite bare especially after I pulled out the dead and dying boxwoods. I realized I didn't really like seeing the shed as I entered the back garden through the side gate. Thinking about this I decided I needed a whole new look with  a small tree here.  Oh, and all of these lycoris squamigera have to be rehomed.
I found a sweet little Dogwood 'Celestial  Shadow' and planted it in the center of the Circle Garden. I found the dogwood just as the full moon was about to happen this month. I hope this is a good omen for this tree and it will grow well here. Now all of those boxwoods need new homes and the huge Daturas have to go.
Voile, the Circle Garden. Around this circle there are six paths that converge here.
I moved a few big rocks into the circle. Each path has a different view of the circle. This dwarf Thuja, below right and I have lost the information about which one it is, has been half hidden under an Oakleaf Hydrangea that spread. I hope it likes it's new home. 
I made it so there is some nice shrublet or rock or both to see from each path as you approach the Circle Garden. 
The  Serbian Spruce is one of my favorites.
I left a couple of the boxwoods in place. The largest rock I had to have my DB help me move as it is so heavy I can't budge it by myself. 
The other rocks aren't so big but they hold their own.
A lot of empty space here. While I like the less is more idea in theory empty space makes me nervous. 
I am pleased by the way this is looking.  When  you enter from the side gate you can no longer look straight through to the shed so I am pleased with that and as the 'Celestial Shadow' Dogwood fills out it will block even more of the shed.
My most often seen view of this area is from the kitchen door. 
I have to say I like it yet, those empty spaces keep nagging me.  I doubt these empty spaces will be here for long. If I find some more dwarf conifers I would be tempted to plant them here, or some sort of ground cover. We will see what shows up.
Do you like those open spaces in your garden? Or like me are you compelled to plant up those empty places?



Friday, August 17, 2018

August Planting

I was walking around the garden the other evening trying to get pictures of the big moths that come to the Datura. I didn't have any luck finding moths. All I found were these late working little bees. 
In the near darkness one sees their garden in a different light. The Hosta blooms  clearly show up and most have a light fragrance more noticeable than during the day.
As I walked along the back perimeter of the garden along the chain link fence that I keep trying to hide I was jolted into the fact that I had not developed the ribbon of a flower bed I started to create last fall. I pulled a few of the violets to see how hard the ground might be here. To my surprised they came out easily. I wasn't going to donate too much blood to the mosquitoes so I decided to wait until the next morning to work on this area.
While I have rarely, if ever, thought of August as a month to do much planting this year the last week of July and this first part of August is receiving the rain we should have had in June and first part of July.  Being a highly unusual year for weather has brought me to this point. I have made a new planting. 
I bought a selection of wildflowers that I have been wanting and got busy planting. Hairy Wood Mint, Northern Wild Senna, Blazing Star Liatris, Spotted Beebalm and a couple of grasses, Little Blue Stem and Switch Grass.
This area isn't full sun but it is the most sun I have in the back garden. We will see how well these plants adapt or if they even can adapt. I really hope this Spotted Beebalm Monarda punctata is quickly becoming one of my favorite plants. It adds color and an exotic look to the garden. The hummers and bees really like it too. You can click on the photo to see the spots and the exotic orchid-like parts of the blooms.
As I got about half way through in this area my Dearly Beloved must have noticed a slowing down of my progress as I dug and pulled on all those violets. He came out to the rescue. So all was planted.
In another spot in the back garden I had some rather thugish pink campanula that I wanted to remove. I was tired of having to keep a constant vigil to stop it from overtaking everything in it's path.
After my DB removed the offending plants I jumped in to plant this section with more of the Liatris.
Happily we have had an 1 1/2" of rain since we got these into the ground. All of the plants are looking quite happy out of the small pots they were in.
Have you dared to plant up an area at this time of year? I would love to know if your planting survived the typically dry hot August weathers.


Friday, August 3, 2018

August Arrived

I looked out the front door the first of August to find 1 6/10" of rain in the gauge. It takes only minutes it seems after a good rain like this to make everything look a bit perkier especially in August when it is typically so dry.  
I looked out the back and found that the rain had made the Surprise Lilies all bend over.
The Surprise Lilies pop  up in a lot of places around the garden. Sometimes worming their way into odd places.
 Sometimes all neat and tidy like a bouquet.
However you look at it there will be plenty to fill a vase for some time.
The big established Clethera in the back has it's fans too.
There are oodles of bees and other pollinators working over the flowers. Nothing is sitting still long enough for me to get pictures. I like to just stand here and sniff the air as the humming and buzzing goes on.
I can't wait until this newest little Clethera is fill with pollinators. The blooms are supposed to  be pink. We will see as it ages if these flowers indeed turn pink. It is in more shade than the big plant.
There are other plants to entice the bees and butterflies. Asclepias-tuberosa-butterfly-weed is a magnet for any of the butterflies that zip by.
I went out the other evening hoping to find moths coming to the Datura.  It was not to be. All I found was a late bee collecting pollen. The lightening bugs were flashing and the cadydids singing but no moths.
The above photo I took in June. I didn't use it but I sure like the look. Is there anything in your garden you are particularly liking now? 
Have a great weekend.