Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Full Monty - June

I once taught eighth grade special needs students at a school with an indoor pool. One day after swim lessons, a male gym teacher approached me with a look of concern furrowing his brow. "Um, Mrs. S, so-and-so wouldn't put his clothes back on and is running around the pool buck naked. We need you to go get him." "I'm not chasing a naked male student! You go get him!" I shot back. Did I mention the student was 6 ft tall and 16? I waited in the hallway with the girls who were giggling so hard snot shot from their noses. It was truly outstanding!

I decided this year, in the spirit of a student I will never forget, to just go naked - the full monty. Instead of only showing carefully angled close-ups, or some of the cropped shots I posted last year after several plants died in a drought, once a month I'll show the garden exactly as it is. I go Full Monty around the first of every month. Enjoy!!


The Front Garden
 A 'Pearle d'Azur' clematis climbs the columns in the front of the house while a chickadee nests in this house. Tradescantia, daylilies, phlox, and obedient plant grow at its base.

 A dwarf spirea and coreopsis 'Sunshine Superman' grow between the steps and the clematis. The old birdbath was accidentally knocked over and now the spirea is full of flat glass marbles. Oy!

 The clematis clambers over anything in its path, including my containers. A pink impatien peeks out from under clematis leaves.

A bunny lives in the dwarf abelia in the front yard. It's been dining al fresco on my toad lilies. 'Endless Summer' hydrangea grow under the window. The abelia's leaves will turn pink, cream, and green as it gets hotter. They are still spring green right now. 

 A long row of trailing lavender lantana grows alongside the front walkway. Lantana laughs off heat, drought, and utter neglect. Plus, the pollinators love it!


The Yuck Side

 The rainbow leucothoe (left) in front of the lilacs looks like a space alien.

  The Big Daddy rain barrel in the back corner can hold 156 gallons.

Meet Fred, the world's biggest bleeding heart. That is only ONE plant!!

The Dry Side

 This garden is full of heat loving plants that always looks their best when the rest of the garden is hooked up to an aquatic IV.
 Salvia 'Plumerosa' (I think!) is a very early bloomer that sprawls and flops while the other plants are still sprouting. It's quite a hog! After its first flush of blooms, I cut it back hard to keep it it line.

I love its fluffy purple flowers.

 The dogs have been going on safari in this part of the garden! Ugh! The milkweed and  perennial snapdragons have been trampled quite a bit. The snapdragons need to start biting back!!

Perennial snapdragons are the host for the little buckeye butterfly. Last fall, they were covered with caterpillars.

Veronica spicata 'Ericka' - New foliage is red before slowly turning green.


The trumpet creeper is filling out and should be covered with orange flowers within the next few weeks. I keep it pruned into submission or it would take over. It's constantly waging war with my garden and has invaded my neighbors grass. Oops!

The Dog Run Garden


It's officially summer when we put out the hammock. Even the dogs like to lay in it.

The wine cups are some of the earliest bloomers. The enormous mound behind them is seed grown rudbeckia triloba that I forgot I had sown until they started growing and squeezed out the more mild mannered 'Goldsturm'. Holy cow! They are about 4 1/2 feet tall and haven't even bloomed yet!

 I just added some variegated sedum to the garden. The burgundy knautia bloom all summer.

The Stella d'Oro's have just started to open.


This picture is taken from inside the dog run, which is almost invisible at this point. Daylilies, 'Chocolate' eupatorium, and a huge clump of various monardas grow well here. The daylilies are being shaded by the monster rudbeckia. A wren has taken up residence in the red bird house.
  

Lucy hangs out in the dog run near the cup plant, a southeastern native. It's leaves form a cup where they meet the stem. This will put up three foot stalks of yellow daisy-like flowers with seeds that are loved by the birds. I've seen birds drink from the water caught in the little "cups". Lucy is a beagle/basset/golden retriever mix that was nearly put to sleep at a rural pound before being rescued by the no-kill shelter I volunteer for.

The Back Garden




 The scabiosa and pink knautia have already started blooming. White dianthus is still blooming in the corner. This bed is full of asters, agastache, coneflowers, helianthus, geraniums, sedum, dalea, and ornamental oregano.

The clematis along the back fence is still blooming. The pink clematis blooms first followed by the lavender.

 The Chester Thornless blackberries are devoured by the birds every summer.
  
 Spigellia marilandica, a native wildflower, is thriving in the moist shade near the blackberries. I've also heard them called Lipstick plant.They attract hummingbirds.



Spigelia grows between pink Persian Cornflowers and white balloon flowers.

 Red Maltese cross grows near the 'Etoille Violette' clematis. White gooseneck loosetrife is trying very hard to take over. Ugh! I pulled a ton of it last fall!! Grr....

Tradescantia near the crepe myrtles. Blackberries grow on the other side of the crepe myrtle.

I think the asters suffocating under the helianthus and bigroot geranium need a new home in another spot in the garden!


The River Birch Garden


The epimediums are so happy in the dry shade here, they're muscling out several other plants.

The beautiful variegated brunnera and most of the tiarella died in the drought last year. I've filled their spot with a chrysoganum 'Quinn's Gold'. It's hard to see in this picture.

The Dogwood Garden


My columbine are still blooming! I replaced my giant blue concrete bird bath with a much lighter red enamel bowl with wrought iron stand. Whenever I tried to clean the concrete bowl, I usually ended up dropping it in the garden. It weighed a ton!! No more crushed flowers when I clean the birdbath. Hooray!


Yellow helianthus are already five feet tall! They weren't this big last year! I took three small shrubs out of this bed to give the interior plants more sun and it's really paying off.

 The milkweed is getting ready to bloom. A heavily pruned sweetspire 'Little Henry' is in the front.

 Another sweetspire, geraniums, yarrow, coneflowers, lilies, and more fill this bed.

I wonder how long the columbine will keep going!!

The Rose of Sharon Garden

To help solve the problem of germinating bird seed, I cover the area under the feeders with large flat rocks. This gives the ground feeding birds a chance to eat and helps reduce the amount of seed that grows between the plants.

 For my birthday I bought a rock! Diamonds don't impress me much but I'm a sucker for an awesome rock.
 The pink clematis and 'Sceptre d'Isle' rose will bloom for several more weeks. Geraniums and phlox grow between the rose and the patio. The Rose of Sharon is covered in tiny buds.

White heart leafed asters and blue plumbago grow in the dry shade under the Rose of Sharon.

10 comments:

  1. I love these grand tours, it's great to see the whole garden growing as you see it, not staged for a photo. I love that little red spigelia marilandica. I tried several times and failed to grow it, but still want to try one more time if I can find damp enough shade for it.

    (I like your birthday rock too. Truly a gem)

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  2. love the full monty :) there are wild blackberries all around here and have been wondering if i could transplant some into my yard. it would be a prickly job but your's are gorgeous.

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  3. OMG, I love, love, love your honesty! Lucy looks like a sweetheart! Time for hammocks and lemonade. Cheers!

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  4. What a beautiful, *real* garden you have TS! Not everything does well all the time and at the same time. I'm just amazing you can keep up with all of it. Love this post! And I agree with Beth, Lucy looks like a love bug and hammocks do announce the arrival of summer!

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  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this tour, and the one on May 1st (which I also just took!). You have so much growing on! All really wonderful plants! It looks really terrific...all of it. I keep taking photos of my yard, but putting them all in a post is so much work that I don't seem to ever get around to doing 'the whole yard'. I think I'm saving them for 'smaller' posts but then time passes, those particular flowers get out of bloom, and I take more photos--all the while, never posting my whole yard! I really need to set aside some time to do something similar...if for nothing more than my OWN records;-)

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  6. Phew! winded just reading. Fun tour. who's your paid gardener. Did your potted rose come out of burned leaves syndrome?

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  7. Greggo - My rose is doing well although the first 3 buds weren't the color they were supposed to be! Either they sent me the wrong rose, or the fertilier burn temp. changed the color?? I'm curious to see what the next buds look like!

    Laurrie - You're very punny!! :o)

    Cathy, Beth, Diane - Lucy is a complete lovebug with a truly hysterical vocal range. Last night she was making monkey sounds while barking. Too funny!

    Katie - Ummm, how many Pots of Doom did I borrow from you?

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  8. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Your garden is much neater than my jungle (where chaos reigns supreme). The great thing about these full monty posts is that it is like taking a stroll through your garden. I find that you get a better overall sense of the garden. I don't like visiting blog posts of nothing, but closeups and so I have been trying to keep this in mind when doing my own posts.

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  9. I want the sunshine and I want the hammock. If the little dog curled up at my feet in the sunshine and hammock, that would be okay too.

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