Tuesday, May 15, 2012

East Side of the House

My last post on this area of the yard was a month ago, for Foliage Follow-up.  I decided to link in to that again here, and Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  I am in Nebraska, zone 5b.  We are still a few weeks ahead of where we were last year.

Since a month ago, a number of plants have grown tall and/or bloomed already.

The comfrey does a great job hiding the meter, but the foliage gets a bit ratty after it blooms.  I cut it back the other day, and saw some new stems and blooms.  I put the cuttings on the compost pile, because they are really good for it.  I've put the leaves in a bucket of water, and left it for a few days, and watered with it before.  I have been doing a fairly good job cutting the spent iris blooms off, but see I have some to do.

I really like the blooms of comfrey.

I like rue blooms and foliage, and so do swallowtail caterpillars.

The purple milkweed is still a bit spindly at two years old.  I hope it sends up more shoots.

I am enjoying the zig-zag goldenrod, and planted a small start in the front garden.

This may be 'Purple Rain' salvia.

This amsonia is almost finished blooming.  I think it is 'Illustris'.  It is different from the 'Tabernaemontana' I have.  I will trim it back by about a third when it is finished so that it will be bushier.  It is an optional thing.  Some like the seedpods.

This is a salvia nemorosa of some kind.

This is a bloom cluster on the amsonia above.

I have been thinking about moving one or more of the clumps of spiderwort to my garden across the street.  They sometimes die back here, and leave holes.  The lambs ears are looking good this year.  The candytuft is about finished.

This iris is one of my favorites.  It has narrower leaves and smaller blooms, yet larger than the kind I think is Japanese iris.  There is a wimpy geum, and some coreopsis blooming.  There is another spiderwort clump on the right.

The hoary mountain mint looks a bit different to me this year.  I'm not sure why.  The volunteer baptisia is finished blooming.  That's the egress window behind these plants.

We are heading north, still facing west.  The clump in the middle is 'Wichita Mountains' goldenrod.

I'm not sure what kind of yarrow this is, but I think it would like a dryer, sunnier spot.

Still, it sure looks nice next to the catmint.

I have been trimming back the Russian sage because this wasn't the best spot for it, and it gets too tall for the area.  The bleeding hearts still have their foliage.  The amsonia hubrichtii on the right is finished blooming.

This is dwarf comfrey.  I cut it back after it blooms, and it will bloom again like the regular comfrey does.

The hellebore foliage is looking good.  The rudbeckia 'Goldquelle' that I knocked on a door to ask for has some kind of insects eating on it, but I think it will still bloom fine.  In front of these two, the Virginia waterleaf is finished blooming, and has been deadheaded to prevent lots of seedlings.  The leaning amsonias are a spready kind that I don't remember the name of.

I always forget the name of the coreopsis here.  It gets around 18 inches tall, and full of yellow blooms.  There are a number of daylilies all through the bed.  The fence is where the house ends, and the back yard begins.

This is one of the areas I'm thinking about making some changes in.  Some of the plants are a bit crowded, yet there are bare spots.

This penstemon is hidden by Japanese iris foliage, just to the right of the daylily on the left in the photo.

The yellow blooming lovage, that looks a lot like golden alexander, since they are both in the carrot family, is almost finished blooming.  The bear's breeches help it stay upright.  It looks like the bear's breeches are going to bloom this year.  I was going to put a bucket or something around the clump to keep it from spreading too far, but didn't get it done.  I hope it behaves itself. 

I was disappointed that the bird bath I bought at the farmers' market last year has rust.  I need to see if there is a safe way to clean it.  Larry had put it a bit to the right, but it was hiding a plant I wanted to see, so I moved it to this spot.  I'm thinking I don't like it there, either, so we'll need to find a different place for it.

I posted a photo of this euphorbia last month, and Spurge thought it might be 'First Blush'.  I'm glad it seems to like this spot, since I just got it last year.  I am hoping once the daffodil foliage dies back, this will grow over the area.

The amsonia tabernaemontana and baptisia will be finished blooming in a week or so. 

I sure do like them together.

The scabiosa, 'Mongolian Mist' was our arboretum's 2004 GreatPlants(tm) Release.  It sure is doing well this year.  I don't remember if I got the goldenrod trimmed back, but it and a few others are getting ready to bloom quite early.

It sure is a pretty bloom!

I like the foliage on the globe thistles.  The foliage by the fence is the baptisia, rudbeckia laciniata 'Hortensia', lead plant, and daylilies.  The amsonia hubrictii has been in this spot a couple or three years.  It had a few blooms.  That's the goldenrod in the lower right corner.

Oh, here's a closer view of the rudbeckia, also called outhouse flower and the lead plant.  In front of them is a pitcher sage.

I'm thinking about taking out the liriope, which is in the right side of the photo, because it spreads more than I like, and the foliage looked terrible in early spring.  The butterfly bush by wheelbarrow was supposed to be a dwarf one, but if I hadn't cut it back, it would be 6 feet tall.

The hollyhock foliage is looking pretty good so far.

Speaking of foliage, I'm not sure if I've mentioned that Larry likes to point out that the lovely grass is what makes the flower beds look good.  He has been using Milorganite for fertilizer, and goes around almost every day with his weeding tool, so that makes me happy.

I am normally one of the first twenty to get my GBBD post up, but when I went to get the link earlier, saw that there were 95 entries already!  Wow!  Well, I should be one of the first for Foliage Follow up.  I hope to get a lot of the posts read to see what others have blooming.  Right now, Larry and I are going to ride our bikes around the neighborhood to see a few gardens close by.  I was diagnosed with osteoporosis a number of years ago, and haven't been on my bike since, due to being afraid I may fall and break a bone.  Well, I have had a few other falls, and did not break any bones, so I have decided I am going to get back on the bike and just stay off of busy streets, which I don't like to be on anyway.

I am pretty sure it is spring most places.  I hope you are enjoying your outdoor time.


  1. I enjoyed the foliage as much as the blooms! Liked the different textures. I planted Baptisa this last fall bare root. They are so small. Therefore,I like seeing yours bloom. I have seen many native Baptisa's blooming in the right-of-ways and ditchbanks this year also.

  2. Lovely plants!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  3. Wow Sue ~ what a difference a little time makes. Your gardens certainly have awakened and are beautiful and lush.


  4. Sue, you have everything looking very good....I can't believe how many different plants you have and that you can remember what they are!

    I love the new scabiosa. They don't do well for me here. I have tried several different varieties and after one year, they are gone.

  5. I agree--the Amsonia and Baptisia look great together! Glad to hear you're getting back on that bike. But be careful! :)

  6. Happy belated GBBD Sue! I am just now snooping around on other gardeners’ bloom day posts. You have a great collection of blooms this month. As greggo commented, I also like all the textures. I have thought of growing Candytuft in the past but wasn't sure how it behaved in Zone 5 and if it would look nice during the seasons it wasn't blooming. Have you been happy with it?

  7. The weather temp is perfect at the moment.


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