The rain last week did wonders for the garden and it’s become as lush as last year. Lush is sometimes code for overgrown, so I spent some productive time trimming and weeding this weekend and I’m happy to say it appears to have paid off. With pictures taken at precisely the right moment, from just the right angle, within hours after the lawn was mowed and edged, the yard finally looks nice. I guess it’s about time considering we’re about four months into the growing season.
I’ll try not to dwell on all the flaws I see. The front border has much less color from annuals this year because of beetle attacks and a dry spell, but there’s enough which has come along regardless. From the street side it’s really filled in, the usual perennials and random sunflower make a nice barrier between us and the road.
From the lawn side there’s also a good amount of perennial color, but not as much as I’d like. I do prefer my plantings on the brighter side 🙂
Speaking of too much color, it’s not an official policy but in general I don’t have many daylilies in the garden. I don’t like the way the leaves on so many of them look all beat up by the end of the year and for that reason got rid of most of them. That may be a-changin’ though. I spotted this one next door and there’s a good chance I may rationalize an emergency dividing, so I can sneak a few pieces over onto my side of the property line.
I’ll have to be sure I don’t give in to the temptation of bringing a few bright daylilies into the tropical border. It’s supposed to be all big leaves and bright colors thanks to explosive, non-hardy southern plants, not steady reliable things like daylilies.
The top part of the tropical border is again nearly overwhelmed by 8 foot tall sunflowers among other things. This year I thought for sure I’d have the upper hand after pulling nearly all of them up but of course with more space the remaining plants grew even bigger. I guess I could have worse problems.
The lawn isn’t the only thing enjoying some maintenance love. I pulled out the hedge clippers and started doing a little trimming and was able to re-meatball all the lumps of yew along the house. I don’t completely mind trimming hedges, but rounding off the same yews every year just to have the same yews rounded off every year seems incredibly pointless, so by the time I got to the big one at the end I was more than a little bored. We’ll have to see where this ends up.
Out back the potager is particularly lush. I’ve been relentlessly pulling sunflower, verbena, persicaria, and amaranth seedlings but plenty remain. Through July I still pretend to be the one in charge, but by August I lose the urge. From here on things will be getting messier and messier, with all kinds of halfway attractive flowers sprouting up and taking over as the phlox fade or the vegetables are picked.
I do like my phlox, but experience has shown they don’t like me. The list of named varieties which have perished in this garden is pretty embarrassing, so of course we won’t talk much about that, and hopefully more observant readers won’t notice that I again spent a decent amount of money on new ones earlier this spring. They’re not dead yet which is a good sign I think.
From further away the phlox look colorful at least. Close up the foliage looks abused and there are plenty of other issues, but the flowers keep coming, and it makes me wonder if they think this is their last hurrah before they kick the bucket. I hope not, but I’m not going to fool myself into thinking they like it here.
One last phlox photo. I wonder if they’d like me more if I dug up a whole new bed and devoted it to even more phlox and more new phlox? A few more reds would be nice and how much room do a few tomatoes need anyway?
I’m sure by September I’ll be wishing for fewer phlox and more colchicums. Maybe. Hopefully it’s not chrysanthemums though since I’m this close to yanking most of them out in spite of the fact I needed bunches of them just a few years ago. I hope not everyone is as fickle as I am.
Happy August and have a great week!