Monday, August 26, 2013

In bloom: Sweet Autumn Clematis

You enter my backyard through an arbor -- that is, until August and then you have to enter my backyard by hacking through Jumanji, the killer Clematis and her henchmen: a swarm of killer bees.

I first wrote about Jumanji in 2006 when I was such a newbie gardener, I didn't even know what it was. Sometimes it's way funnier being in the dark.

Now I know it's a Sweet Autumn Clematis and that this Sweet Clematis killed the other Clematis I had growing here (probably a Nelly Moser which I liked a whole lot better). I didn't plant either of these, I inherited them when we bought the Money Pit 8 years ago.

I swear that this Clematis only started looking like a sheepdog after we lived in the house for 2 years, so either I'm doing something right or doing something wrong. In the Spring, I hack it down. And I mean HACK. I'm not gentle or caring when it comes to the Beast. Then it slowly grows to magnanimous size -- should I be shearing it back again?

Anyway, let's just say you know it's August around here when you can no longer get to my backyard through the side entrance. Although it's not successful at keeping the meter readers away.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

In bloom: Allium 'millennium'

This is another perennial I purchased this Spring from the Arboretum Sale for my new butterfly garden. I've never planted Allium before so I may be jumping the gun here saying that they are in bloom because ... looking at pictures online, they seem to have a globe shape flower and as you can see from my pictures, these guys look like they are just starting off.

 Oh well, I still like the way they look mid-bloom.

I waited another week or so and now the blooms look fully open. Still gorgeous.

Allium Millennium so far is a petit flower and does very well against my patio and partnered with the Lesser Catmint. I have yet to see a butterfly in my butterfly garden however ...

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Backyard: The Kitchen Window Garden in July

This PicStitch is just so much fun ... I had to do aother one for July to see how this garden has grown.
This is a more dramatic change than June was:
  • The white impatiens have filled in finally!
  • I added some ground cover geranium between the boxwood and impatiens. 
  • And I transplanted the Pinky Winky Hydrangea that was in the Vegetable Garden for added height against the attached shed (that was supposed to get removed but we decided against).
  • The sedum on the left hand side have grown almost taller than the boxwoods!
The only thing ... I ended up digging out all the tulip bulbls to plant Pinky Winky so they need a new home...

Friday, August 02, 2013

Front yard: from garden bed to grass ... sacre bleu!

The front yard is a work in progress. We have 2 different landscape plans and have not decided what we are doing but... we did know that the large garden bed closest to the street would have to be converted to grass.

I know ... "Make landscape not lawn," right? 

The beautiful curbside garden in 2006
In this case, we had to make a sensible decision and that was with two little kids (now age 3 & 1) the front area was tipping the scale to "unbearable." I can't have a garden I call "My Neglected Garden" -- and if I do, it probably shouldn't be the garden closest to the curb.

Once the trees came down the garden grew wild (2012)
I tended to it up until our son was born in 2010 and then things just got out of hand -- ground cover wars, weed trees, our beautiful Plum tree finally succombed to the Black Knot, and then the Blue Spruce became sickly. What was once a pretty area with solidago, goatsbeard, and peonies became a garden nightmare.

And let's not forget it's about 15' x 30'!

Everything got ripped out (2013)

So we finally called in a landscaping company to rip everything out, regrade the area, and install sod... ugh. More grass to maintain is not my first choice but in this case, it will have to do.

And grassed up (2013)
And it's not as if my house is lacking in any plants, trees, or shrubs!