Saturday, June 8, 2013

How does my garden grow!

Please! Please! Come right in! Welcome to our oasis.

It's been two years since we started planting our garden, and I think it's finally starting to come together.  The plants are maturing and settling into place. We've moved some plants around, to suit my fancy.

The northwest corner
Some of the shrubs have had minor setbacks, but the purple sand cherry and the dogwood have really made themselves at home. The hydrangea struggled, then died. The magnolia (more pictures later) suffered a fungus attack and all but died.

The stars of the garden right now are the snow-in-summer and the mother-of-thyme.

Mother-of-thyme (with snow-in-summer in the background)
The flowers will soon fade, but the foliage will last, giving a dusty-green cloud to the border of the pool, and soft green along the paths.
You can see clumps of mother-of-thyme under the hammock.
We planted those last year; they'll take a while to mature as they're in a shady spot.
I've got oregano, sage, chives, parsley, thyme, and basil.
Also a rose bush and lavender in the back corners, for colour.
I also read something about roses being good for herbs. Or maybe it was the other way around.
Next year, we hope to add a tomato or some lettuce.
The herb garden was a pleasant surprise. Everything except the basil survived the winter! I didn't think parsley was so hardy, but there it is. (The herb garden has a perfectly sun-drenched corner of the yard.)
I don't usually let my herbs flower, but the chive flower matches my colour scheme, so . . .
The poor magnolia
We trimmed the magnolia back last summer, almost to the ground. It seems to be doing much better this year, so we'll see how it goes.
Magnolia buds
My poor iris!
The iris broke out in a nasty fungal attack. I've trimmed off most of the blighted leaves and sprinkled it with sulfur, but it seems to have taken a toll on the plant. But it's not dead yet!

And now for a little flashback. This is what the back yard looked like when we moved in.

July 2010
The northwest corner.
The flowers are "mallow" an invasive weed.
October 2010
After the construction of the pool.

Looking towards the southwest corner (where the hammock now is).
Starting from scratch.
July 2011

The garden border was made of ditch lilies and spiderwort - also known as weeds. But they were free and helped us fill in the blank spots without going broke. (You can see small, newly planted  clumps of snow-in-summer under the weeds. Now that the lilies and spiderwort are gone, the snow-in-summer can really shine!)
Day lilies (ditch lilies) at left, spiderwort at right.
(Though I did not take any pictures of them today, the clematis are still there.)
These weeds were fine, but they hid everything behind them and under them, including the snow-in-summer. With the help of my son, the day lilies have been moved back along the fence, and the spiderwort has been eradicated. We hope.

My plan for this year is to bring in some hollyhocks and some poppies. Also some phlox.


  1. Beautiful!! I wish I had the vision (and motivation) to do a nice flower garden! They are always SO beautiful! I do veggies/herbs every year. The motivation is home-grown organic veggies, and they require little "vision" in terms of placement and design. I've had little luck with my veggies, though, every year (and yet I keep trying...). Perhaps I would be better to move to flowers? Or maybe it would be best to just give in to my black thumb... :P

  2. Thank you, Diane. I've never had much luck with edible plants, except for basil, which is why I've ventured into an herb garden.

    My first flower gardens were all annuals - impatiens, to be precise. They were easy, could handle shade and neglect and produced flowers all summer long. Very gratifying. I didn't start doing perennial beds until I inherited one.


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