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Friday, August 6, 2010

Garden Update for July through August

My garden has done so well this year which is a sheer miracle and a half considering that though I originally planned to spend all this time obsessing over it and nurturing it, the reality is I was almost busier this year than last year. Last year we got married in my backyard and at least I committed a large percentage of my summer to making my yard beautiful which has really aided, I think, in this year's victory garden. Prior to the wedding I collected alot of seeds and bulbs anticipating growing them throughout my yard specifically for the wedding but by the time I got around to planting everything it was too late so the were all saved until this year. I ended up planting everything and alot of it I just dumped into the ground everywhere from frustration. Now I have an amazing assortment of wild growing in my beds and I am in love with the chaos. My garden is truly transforming into something I am very proud of and reminds me of those magazine pictures I am so fond of.

I was expecting these gladiolas to be a much darker purple - I suspect the heavy clay soil is to blame but my husband is in love with them and their color.

And in this shot you can see the pond in the background blooming with a water lilly. I have high hopes to get a lotus added to the pond before the summer ends.

Hostas, ferns, moss and corsican mint which grows wild now throughout my yard.

Blue hygrangeas remind me of Cape Cod...

My garden of ivy as seen from the clay pots with annuals and mint...

My full woodland shade garden under the cedar trees...

Until we get around to replacing the entire fence on this side we have a bit of unsightly yard from where last year there was the wood fence, then a chain link fence and a whole row of mega ugly arbor vitae that was overgrown and just horrible. The eventual plan here is to replace the falling over ugly fence with something lovely we are sharing the beauty and cost of with our next door neighbor. After that I will be able to plant and be merry. Until then, it is what it is: an empty section of yard with no visual interest. I had an insane amount of seeds leftover that needed to get used or they would just go bad so the solution - or an attempt at one presented itself to me and I planted what I had. I am happy now that it looks lovely and is blooming quite nicely giving that side of the yard something appealing.

These are columnar sentinal apple trees planted a few years ago. We were a touch worried this year because of the odd wet weather to start the summer and the lack of bees but, as you can see, these are growing brilliantly.

Several years ago my friend Christina gave me an insane amount of gladiola bulbs from her front yard since her entire front yard was being dug up. So, I planted all the bulbs in my yard which came up brilliantly the first year. Now, the squirrels have eaten them all and this is one of the few proud gladiolas I have left from her.

Our grape arbor was added to our yard in 2008 a month before our friends Heidi and Robert had their wedding in our backyard. Originally I bought kiwi vines and was excited to grow one of my favorite fruits in my backyard. The reality set in shortly after though for me - kiwis are WAY more high maintenance than I was prepared for. Grapes, at least, look brilliant even when they are not producing and will put on a lovely show in the fall for us.

Feverfew whih I nearly dug up this year by mistake thinking it was a dying weed. The stuff really does look horrible when regenerating in the Spring.

Borage which are a tasty and beautiful addition to salads. Next year I plan to try to candy some.

White passion flower.

Climbing roses...

And as the photos move into August you can see the drastic difference a month makes with the seedlings which are now taking over.


Bachelor buttons...

The grape arbor...

And here are the new flagstones with river rock spread out simulating an english garden path. I bought flagstones in the orange shade originally for $7 per flag piece at Lowes but Home Depot has much larger pieces for $9 per stone which I can buy and then break up into multiple pieces saving me quite a bit of money and I like the sizing much better.

Here is the back side area after I flooded alot of water through everything. As you can see - the path is just in the front so far - I will be buying stone as money allows and slowly adding a section at a time. I will also be setting up a display of stone and a garden bench in the center of the raised planters as well.

We decided to stop using the raised beds as vegetable garden because it is not working anymorwe. When we bought the house five years ago it was the perfect vegetable garden but since then the surrounding trees have become tall enough that we no longer get the proper sun to grow vegetables so every year I plant and plant and never get much yield. Instead we plant to grow food in our regular planting beds throughout the yard. One of the planters was filled with dead or dying veggies so I replaced it with cannas, speedwell, mini bamboo and stonecrop. It looks much better and is the start to what will be even more brilliant garden space.

Sweet peas, my birth flower...

Blood red dahlias and it occurs to me I need to make these amazing flowers a higher priority in my yard along with iris (of which I strangely have none!).

One of the raised containers is filled to the brim with belladonna which grows naturally in my yard in just the last three years as it reseeds itself. I used to pull it but have since embraced this beauty. I did, however, decide that an entire box of white flora and black berries needed a splash of pink.

My purple hibiscus is already putting on quite a show.

More of the pathway. And you can see how large the strawberry patch has become - it is the entire lower half of this photo.

This is possibly my favorite photo.

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