I've always felt the perfect garden should be interesting year-round. That's pretty tricky to do—even my “three-season” garden really only has much going on from April–September: a mere six months. During spring and “fall” (late summer really) the dominant colors are purple and yellow, with touches of white.
So when these pictures were taken, the Japanese anemone, perennial sunflowers, and rudbeckia (black eyed susans) and goldenrods were going full bore, the ironweed was at peak or just past and the new england asters were starting to peak. (Now, exactly two weeks later, they're at peak.)
Lots and lots of goldenrod and perennial sunflowers. Both are very, very weedy, so I've pretty much ripped them all out, secure in the knowledge that plenty of them will return:)
Last year we had a drought, which was lovely for sitting on the deck and doing beadwork, because there were hardly any mosquitoes. This year we had so much rain I didn't have to water until I started transplanting, this fall. The garden got very weedy 2010–2011, and this year I accepted that I would have to get very aggressive to get things under control—so pretty much all the really weedy spready stuff is out.
More perennial sunflowers (which I'd like to replace with grey-headed coneflowers...someday), framed by red monarda (beebalm) seedheads and some early blooming new england aster.
But I took pix first;)
Catmint in the foreground in another that I entirely ripped out, despite its appeal to hummingbirds and all sorts of pollinators. Behind the mint there's Japanese anemone, goldenrod and some asters.
This mound of stuff is supposedly my rain garden—the trench I dug on the north side of the property to keep all the water from spring storms from pouring into the neighbor's property. Ze reported it worked reasonably well, but the acid test will be next year. This was all very pretty, but some of the less agressive stuff, such as the veronica or milkweed, was lost in the shuffle.
Japanese anemone. Yes it's weedy, but it's also drought resistant, as long as it gets part shade—making it perfect for much of my garden. Plus, I adore the form.
In fact, the Japanese anemone in the last shot now really gets too much sun, since the neighbor removed some large shrubs, necessitated by the new fence (which is very handsome, and means I can get rid of the dorky concrete blocks and utterly stupid ‘farm fence’ on my side.) This lot, however, gets almost exactly the right amount of sun, seldom needs watering. They're just overgrowing the astilbes and woodland geranium, that's all.
Black eyed susans need more water than echinacea, but they also tolerate more shade, which since much of my yard gets part sun, endears them considerably to me.
Because of the unusual levels of rain, everything grew (and flowered) spectacularly this year. (Well, except the hugelkulture/produce mound-garden, which was surrounded by sunflowers, and eaten up by groundhogs.) Next year will be the real test of my various rearrangements. New for 2014—plans for large sections of garden that are not two-meters-plus in height! Seeing how stuff will come out is what makes perennial gardening so endlessly fascinating.
siberian squill (wood squill, woodland hyacinth—Scilla siberica, in the lily family), last week of april; grape hyacinth, first week of may. 07may2013
Unless otherwise noted, text, image and objects depicted therein copyright 1996--present sylvus tarn.Sylvus Tarn