Thursday, May 17, 2012

West Front Yard

The temps sure are all over the place, this spring.  When I started this post at suppertime, it was 90 degrees F.  I am still enjoying the time I have in the garden.   There has been lots of new growth in the area where the tree used to be.  My last post on this area was April 21.  There are still some holes that I may put some annuals in, as some of the native perennials are still small.

Here's the view from the porch.

I took photos of sections, and then close ups, like I have been doing in some of the other posts.  I spent most of the evening outside, so I may not label as many of the plants as I have been.

The clematis on the porch, which needs to be tied up or it will flop, and the plants along the back of the bench were already in before the tree had to be cut down.

The giant fleeceflower is blooming already.  It will most likely get taller.  The plant to the right of the chair is a liatris of some kind.

I really like the heuchera richardsonii, which is native to our area.

I like the switchgrass, 'Northwind' on either side of the path.

Farther in, the golden alexander and rudbeckia maxima are doing well.

The 4 gray headed coneflowers in the front yard are looking awesome, and so far, do not look like they will need staking.  At a local talk about prairie plants for gardens, we were told one shouldn't plant this plant in a small yard.  Well, I won't tell these or the 2 in the back yard that.

Back to the sidewalk, there are a number of native plants.  I just planted the cup plant near the watering can, which is filling up the space the Virginia bluebell took before it went dormant.  I suppose I shouldn't have planted the cup plant, either.  I'm not sure if I like this spot, but I wanted to have a barrier on at least one side of it.

 I had not been able to find any phlox pilosa, but did find this phlox pilosa 'Happy Traveler'.  Later, I found the native kind, but it is taking longer to get established.  There is a liatis and the cup plant also in this photo.

Farther in, the wild quinine from last spring is blooming.  The other two I planted later in the season are not blooming yet.

The native monarda is doing well.  It is an ingredient in my favorite tea, Earl Grey.  (Did you know that in the US it is gray, and in England, grey?)  I have been snipping a few leaves off and brewing them with a plain tea bag, making my own version of it.

This is Larry's sweet potato vine, which is a very fast and wild grower.  I found the name of it awhile back, but don't remember it.  I have been pulling out seedlings, and will be for some time.  It is not a plant I like so well.

The various coneflowers are starting to bloom.

The plant on the far right is a dahlia that I didn't get dug up.  Since our winter was mild, it and a couple smaller ones survived.  I planted a zig zag goldenrod right next to it.  I am hoping it does OK.  I didn't think it would survive being moved again.

I deadheaded the helenium hoopesii, and it has some more buds coming on.  I sure love this plant!

This is a sea holly that survived being transplanted from the curb bed.

Blue-eyed grass:

I found out there are a couple kinds of native larkspur, so I hope to keep these deadheaded so they don't self sow again next year.  I love these, but want to try my hand at a native kind.

See, aren't they pretty?

This is looking back toward the house.

This is back along the path, farther west in the garden.  The grasses here are little bluestem.

I thought this clematis was going to be Fremont's, but it's not.  I do like it, though.

The hyssop plants that survived the winter are doing well.

I really liked the whorled milkweed we had at church before realizing that's what it was.  I just moved these over a few days ago, and am pleased they look like they will make it.  Some of them did not have much dirt on them.

I think I have an amsonia of some kind in each of my garden beds.  This one was a volunteer that I moved last year.

The plant in the middle is a wild senna.  I'm looking forward to seeing how tall it will grow.

I can't think of the name of the goldenrod between the rock and the wood circle.  I was thinking it was cabbage leaved, but couldn't find it doing a search.  I'll try later.  

This is a purple milkweed.

Aster, maybe 'Jim Crocket'.

The gooseneck loosestrife survived the winter in the washtub, as did the dianthus with it.

Poppy mallow?

This is the wild senna that Ben was giving away at his garden tour last spring.  I love watching it grow.  I forgot what kind of switchgrass that is beside it.  They will be vying for space.

The beautyberry bushes were already planted before the tree was taken down.

The plants in here should be getting taller, that is if the rabbits don't eat them down again.

 We will end here, and show the front of the fence in another post.  There is a lot of dirt showing, and I think I'll put some lantana or something in there.

I was thinking about trying to only plant native plants in this area, but wasn't knowledgeable enough to know what plants are native and what are not.  Some I bought from our arboretum thinking they are native, turned out not to be.  I have since found more information, but for now, am going to keep the non native plants that are there.  They are insect and other critter friendly.  Some of the plants attract hummingbirds, so I think I will just be more careful next time, yet not try to be a purist.  I have always been a hodge podge gardener, but yet am constantly learning new things, and making subtle and not so subtle changes in what I want to grow.

Happy gardening! 


  1. Wow! So much to see, so much to learn! Great visit! Inspiring! 8)

  2. Sue, These beds are just beautiful! I love your garden art as well. Sounds like you passed your hot weather our way - it's to be 87 today after a coler day Thursday. Have a great wknd!

    1. Thanks, Beth, we've been moving things here and there, trying to decide where we want them. The front was looking a bit cluttered for awhile. It's still hot here, so instead of passing it, it must have spread out a bit. LOL You have a great weekend, too. I am cooking and serving supper tomorrow at a local outreach center. We usually have around 100 people come.

  3. I'm just amazed how fast your garden turned so lush!!! Just amazing how fast everything is growing. Didn't know about gray/grey. I use grey for masculine and gray for feminine! haha - my own rules! Anyway, I think it would be very hard to be a purist about natives. Insect and critter friendly still sounds good.

    1. Hi HolleyGarden, It's been fun seeing all the growth. Some things are still slower than I'd like them to be, though. I like your interpretation of how to spell grey/gray. LOL Thanks for the words of encouragement.

  4. Every time I visit your site I discover new plants that I want to add to my garden! And I also love how you use upside down hanging basket frames for rabbit protection - SO much more attractive than the chicken wire I have everywhere.

    1. Hi Spurge,
      Isn't it fun to discover different plants? I sure enjoy it. I need some more of those hanging basket frames. I keep moving them around, covering what the rabbits seem to be currently munching on. I have some chicken wire type ones, too. A few days ago, when I went to give some marigolds to some neighbors, they showed me some frames they had made. I want to have Larry go look at them, and if he makes some, I'll post some photos of them.

  5. You have so many unique and special plants! It's great that you have a garden instead of a lawn.

    I hope my fleeceflower blooms. I planted it beside red bee balm. Still looking for signs that my wild quinine seeds germinated. Glad to see what the leaves look like, so thanks for posting that photo.

    1. Hi Freda, I wrote a reply, but it got eaten up by Google. Let's see if I can remember what I said. (I had to cut and paste this when I realized for some reason, I was no longer signed in. I don't recall that happening before.)

      Larry enjoys mowing and hand weeding his little bit of lawn. He says that's what makes the flowers look nice. :o)

      The fleeceflower and red bee balm combination sounds great. I hope your wild quinine comes up. There is a smaller one that is not blooming yet in the first two photos of this post, in front of the bird feeder dealy.

  6. I thing you'll be happy with the little blue if it doesn't flop. Which variety of hyssop do you have?

    1. Hi Greggo,
      I never used to care for grasses, so the only ones we had were what Larry picked out because he liked them. I really love the switchgrasses, and the little bluestems are OK to me so far. I hope they don't flop, but if they do, they will get a string tied around them. A couple of my golden alexanders have flopped. I think it's because we are using the sprinkler system, and they don't like the water hitting them. I can't remember the kind of hyssop. I looked at posts from last summer, and saw that they blooms are salmonish. I didn't name it in those posts, either, but said that it was doing well. I am so unorganized!

  7. I guess I am a Hodge Podge gardener too, because I love the way yours looks. I am sorry you lost a tree, but the garden is looking fantastic. I especially love the way the switchgrass looks on either side of the walkway.

    1. Hi Jenny, Thanks for the nice words about my garden and gardening. You know, I am not missing the tree so much these days. I am having lots of fun seeing how things are growing in the area.

  8. I love how you manage to plant so many natives in your corner garden and they are lovely. I am trying to plant more native plants in my garden. The grass-like plants in the first few pictures look my lemon grass which I am planting in readiness for cooking curries.

    1. Hi Autumn Belle, I would love it if lemon grass was native to our area. I frequently grow a clump in a pot over the summer, but even with our mild winter, the lemon grass from last year did not come back. I don't always remember to use it in cooking, though. I should learn how to make a curry. That sounds good.

  9. You always have the most interesting and unique selection of plants!

  10. Every time I come to your blog, I just fall in love with your garden all over again. I just love all those cool natives you have...and the cool!

  11. You have such an amazing perennial collection, Sue! And everything looks so healthy right now!


I welcome comments and questions from anyone, including those who do it anonymously. Some people find my posts by doing searches, and I like hearing from them. I guess spammers won't even read this message, but I will delete spam as soon as I see it.