One of the best things we did when we moved here was to put in a huge garden in the back yard (along with a pool). After five years of gradual improvement and maturation, I am happy to say that our back yard has gone from this . . . .
|Our back yard in July 2010, before construction and landscaping.|
|Back yard at the end of May 2015.|
Two weeks ago, we had clouds of purple phlox. (You can see them to the left in the pool picture.)
Those flowers have faded, leaving behind the lacy green foliage. The irises are also all but finished, but they were gaudy in their moment.
|The irises kept falling over (I think they need more sun), so I clipped them and brought them in for my first bouquet of the year.|
Poppies also have the most beautiful sex organs (as my friend Shelley calls them). That purple, pin-cushion ovary/stigma (yes, I had to look it up) looks like a piece of furniture from a harem's tent.
And when the flower is in fuller bloom, you can see that the stamens start getting a little disorderly. I'm guessing they've had a few insect visitors.
My peonies are in close competition with the poppies for flamboyant display.
|I love those clinging raindrops.|
Did you know that peony blossoms won't open without the ants?
|Keep working, little ants!|
The first time I saw ants on my peonies, I hosed them off. They came back, of course, and the plant blossomed with florid excess. I clipped some, including a couple of buds, to bring into the house, but the buds never opened as I had washed off all the ants.
So now I only bring in the open blossoms -- the ants don't seem to like them so much.
Elsewhere in the yard, my creeping thyme has finally thrown on its purple robe.
We have plenty of green in the back yard, but no grass -- nothing to mow -- but after the flowers die, the thyme provides a really soft blanket of green that gives a slight aroma when you step on it.
The snow-in-summer provides a soft cloud of grey and white.
I will say: I prefer this kind of snow to the type that mounds our driveway all winter.
What have you got in your garden?