The light in my backyard garden tonight was magical, as we quietly slip out of the first week of June. I’m not used to having much sunlight back there. There used to be a towering Manitoba Maple in the corner of my yard, stealing ALL of my space and my sunlight. It was taken out last September, so this is the first spring I can enjoy the western sky in the evening. Now and then I miss the curtain of leaves and privacy it gave, but I LOVE seeing the sky at night.
Tonight I took a tour of the pretty growing things back there:
First off is the Stella D’oro daylily, giant lambium, azalea, huechera and a big daylily in the south bed flanking the deck.This little space used to be filled with rocks and prickly, thorny rose bushes that would grab and hold onto your sleeve when you walked by. I hate roses!
Taking a step back, just behind this bed and tucked under a lilac tree, hugged close by thick sedum, is a heritage peony from my Grandma’s house. My mom dug it up when Grandma passed away, and planted it in her garden. When my sister bought her house, my Mom gave her a piece to plant, and when I moved in, she brought some here for me, too. It has bright fuchsia blooms that should be popping open soon. It stands and greets you when you come through the south gate. Everyone called my Grandma Toots or Tootie, if you are wondering about the caption. I smile every time I see this plant start to grow.
Here is another view of the south side of the yard, looking back toward the house. The pergola is old and decrepit. I am going to give it a bit of love this weekend so it doesn’t stick out like such a sore thumb compared to the other side of the yard. On the right you can almost make out a new Monkshood I just put in. I don’t love this plant, but my hairstylist gave me a few plants the other day. I’ll give it a try…he does good hair so I need to keep him happy. You can also see some white Anemone starting to bloom and a couple of variegated Hostas in the lower left corner.
Swinging around you can see the huge trunk of another Manitoba Maple that shades a good part of my yard. It’s a beast of a tree, and makes a huge mess with sticky pods, aphids, etc. But it’s been here longer than most of us have, so it can stay. Behind it are some Siberian iris that never bloom (too shady) a whole pile of Hostas, and some sweet woodruff.
At the end of the deck is a narrow bed that used to house a mess of ugly, prickly Mugo pines. I pulled them all out a couple of years ago and made a pretty, leafy bed. Up front are a couple of Hostas from my parents in BC called
“Orgasm” CLIMAX (thanks for pointing out my error, MOM!) and a variegated variety I can’t remember the name of, some day lilies in the middle and some new sage tucked in the back. Behind these is the bed that surrounds the pond. Right now there is some creeping Jenny, Mosses, Hostas and a couple of tall Sedums in there.
The plant anchoring the north corner of the pond bed is a giant white Peony from the previous owners. It got to stay when I moved in:
To the right in the photo above you can see the corner of the new north bed. This whole side of the yard was planted in May after we took out the aforementioned Maple tree. Tucked in at the edge is some lime ruffle hechera, a “guacamole” and “Sum and Substance” hostas. These should all be giants by the end of the summer.
Behind the Hosta is a big false spirea that I inherited from the previous owners as well. Behind this shrub is the happy little flowerbed that was created where the tree was removed. Oh, and an amazing pergola that deserves it’s very own post (and better photos!) in the near future.
The new bed had a trio of spider wort — worst name ever for a plant — but it has the prettiest, little purple flowers and spiky chartreuse leaves. I think I love this plant more than lilies. Beside the empty vine ladder is some Overdam Feather Reed Grass…similar to Karl Foerster, but a bit different. Nestled in front of the other vine ladder is a white Astilbe, a struggling Niobe Clematis (on the ladder) and a big cheap Boston fern sitting in a pot on the old tree stump.
On the other side of the pergola is a trio of Stella d’oro dayliles another clump of Overland and a less struggley Niobe Clematis.
To the right of the pergola, and the first thing you see whe you come through the north gate is a small Centre Glow Ninebark:
The final stop on the tour is back behind the pond where a beautiful grove of ferns live. I put in some red heuchera at the base of these to provide a bit of color (it’s very shady and dark back there). There is also a big patch of Irish Moss and Thyme. Right at the back of the yard are two “Incrediball” Hydrangeas. If all goes as planned, these should have some huge white flowers sometime this summer.
Tucked in behind the ferns and crawling up the side of the waterfall are some sedums, feather reed grass, chicks ‘n hens and some periwinkle. This is struggling in the shade and rock pit back there. (Another whole post will be on the rock quarry that used to be in my back yard that I’ve been remediating for the past 4 summers).
Here is one other view of the pond, bridge and waterfall. I’m going to do something fun in those pots this weekend:
Ok, that’s it. That’s my garden.
This flower post probably bored the hell out of most of you. Sorry about that.
If you are still here…see you around next time!