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Sunday, June 18, 2017

June Joie

In spite of so much rain and gloomy skies this June month, my yard is sure bright, cheery and lush.  And last year's drought is officially over.  Let's take a little tour.  I love the large blue pot above nestled in a shady nook in the long border with giant japanese painted fern, variegated jacob's ladder, hosta and persicaria surrounding it.  Hundreds of tall white flowering tobacco seedlings cover the ground among these plants, gifts from last years blooms.  I have neglected the fine weeding here because I don't want to disturb the seedlings until they are large enough to hang on while I pull out the unwanted invaders.  I have thick patches of foxglove babies doing the same thing in other parts of the long border where I have to wait to fine weed until they can also stand on their own while I do it.  I am finicky about having weed free flower beds so it's agony to let it look a bit unkempt here and here until it's worth doing to save the desirable plants and thin them out too.

Last year some creature ate all the oriental poppies just as they were about to bloom, but this year, thankfully, none were devoured so right now they are huge and lovely.  Just look at those deep purple eyes!
I love the globemaster allium against the weeping purple beech bush here.  I am definitely adding more globemaster next year - the 12 in the front yard border have been blooming on thick strong stems for about a month - they are glorious!
 This picture is in about the third week of May and I thought they looked wonderful then but look at them below a month later - thicker, fatter, rounder, taller - these are winners!

That whole semi circle was last year's remodel - every summer since we bought this property I have been undoing the landscaping that existed.  Most plants in the yard seemed to be planted without thought to light needs, bloom time, mature size etc.  One of the mistakes many people make (and I've done it myself a time or two) is you go to a nursery where every plant is blooming and compact and you plant a border and next year you find that nothing is blooming at the same time like it was when you planted it and then you find as you let things grow that they start blocking your windows, over taking their plant neighbors or blooming all at once and then there's nothing but monotonous mid green the rest of the season.  You need all different sizes, textures, leaf color, bloom times etc for continuous visual interest. You can see examples of that in the above picture.   And don't ignore the mature size indicated on the plant tags!

 Cranesbill in front of Astrantia.

Josephine clematis
 This is a newly "remodeled" border that I will talk about in my next post -  a fun post that will feature a bunch of recent before and afters.

 Kitchen patio area - this area gets a lot of shade except for the hot spot in the middle of the stone by the table so I put sun loving annuals and herbs for a continuous punch of color.

The "trees" in that flower bed are lilacs that bloomed heavily and for a very long time this spring.  I prune them heavily to keep them leggy and see through.

 This Christmas cactus up in the Ocean room is confused about the month.
The driveway island border from the third floor.  Those tiny dots of color around the perimeter of that border are supertunias.  They were started from seed so I am counting on them getting a growth spurt soon when the real heat kicks in and creating a color carpet all the way around.

 These allium are in the island border but you can't see that they are there when looking from three stories above.

 This is the "golf porch" bed I put in last year - it's looking lovely with all that texture and color variety.
 This picture was taken in late May - it has filled in substantially since then.

This border above and  below used to be sparse grass among the very tall and old oaks and maples that run along the stone wall that separates us from the golf course.  We cleaned out the grass, cut an outline and mulched it heavily to create a clean line.  Hosta had been planted all over the yard mostly in hot sunny areas by previous owners so I moved almost all of them over to this border that gets a half day of shade.  I call this border the wild border since lily of the valley, lady bells and lilies run rampant.  I also plant things over here temporarily when I have moved them from other parts of the property.  Like evergreen shrubs I am not sure I want to keep.  

 Above and below are excellent plants for continuous color with no bloom necessary.  These are exciting new varieties of Barberry.  The green version of this plant is considered invasive in New Hampshire and you can't find or buy the burgundy version anymore at nurseries.  I found these three - cinnamon, citrus and tangelo- through Home Depot online.  I found them at other mail order nurseries out in the west but they were prohibited to ship them to New Hampshire.  Home Depot did ship them and they came just like this - big and healthy.

Look at the color of this Azalea!  It is growing in a yard down the street from our house.  We happen to have a small one growing in the wild border and once it gets big enough, I am going to prune it to grow in to this tree shape.  

 This rose is called Bulleye and it's smothered with blooms right now!
 This is the first yellow peony developed.  I bought it last year and it's already covered in big fat buds.  This one was the first to open.
 Geum is so cheery and has a long bloom time.
 A peony that I had planted a couple years ago was finally covered with buds for its first bloom year ever.  I accidently broke off a branch of the teeny tiny buds and almost cried when I did it but I put them in a little vase of water and they opened up a few days later - I didn't know they would do that when the buds were still so tiny and immature.

So here is what is going on in the garden over at the original Yellow House.  I have been over there almost daily doing yard work and painting rooms as I prepare to put the property on the market later this summer.  You will see befores and afters in my next post.  My son Heath and his wife Emma rent the barn apartment and they have made a pretty garden this year with their stock tanks.  Also, the roses in that border below are what were once ramblers that grew thirty feet each and just grew in to each other a made an impenetrable and unprunable wall of  pain over time.  A couple years ago I cut them all down to the ground thinking I would dig them up but the root systems were so deep and thick that I couldn't so I left them in the ground.  I discovered that cutting ramblers down each year after blooming does no harm and they just bounce back and stay a manageable shrub size with a heavy bloom.

Those are the ramblers now shrub sized and getting ready to bloom.

This is Rosamundi - one of the oldest named roses in cultivation - from the 1600s.  She is a once bloomer and smells amazing!

The 14 fruit trees are loaded over there too!  As are the blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.  I hope I can harvest everything one more time before the place sells.
 Apples - four trees
 pears - two trees
 Peaches - three trees
 Apricots - two trees.  The plum tree and two cherry trees are full of developing fruit as well.
I mulched this border along the cottage rental "Arizona" style as my son Heath calls it.  It's pea stone and moss.

And to end this post, here is a picture of my love, my husband of five wonderful years who helps me with yard work both here at our home and at the old yellow house property as well.  He hates yard work more than any other activity so I always make fun of his whining as he does it.
I love you Dan Man!  Thank you!

Stay tuned for a dining room before and after, a newly remodeled shrub border along our drive way and some freshening up in several bedrooms at the old yellow house.