Monday, June 23, 2014

Yard roundup for June

This isn't a comprehensive roundup by any means, but reflects some of what is happening around the yard these days. Besides weeding.

First, the purple smoke bush/tree. Simply stunning this year, but impossible to capture with my camera. Every time I look at it, it takes my breath away.

I wish I had given it a bit more room at the corner of the house, as I don't really want to prune it. Plus I'm not sure how best to shape it. Must research.

I hope these blossoms last a long time.

Next, the butterfly weed. I've tried several times to get this established in my yard, and maybe, just maybe, am finally succeeding.

Good timing, because the butterfly bush bit the dust this past winter. "They" say butterfly bush is not good to plant because it does not provide habitat for the butterflies, but they do like the nectar, so maybe I'll replace it.

Meanwhile, I hope the butterflies visit this plant so I can get some good pix.

Pardon the mess, but this bed is also for butterflies: joe pye, swamp milkweed, and cardinal flower. I wasn't sure they would make it through the winter, but they did. They should be liking our recent wet weather. (That is ground cherry in those two pots. They are not thriving, not sure why.)

I keep threatening to move this 'Love Pat' hosta because every year, it disappears behind some out-of-control black eyed Susan. I just can't decide where to move it. Meanwhile, it perseveres. A friend gave it to me, and every time I look at it, I think of him. I guess that is the true purpose of gifts - to keep each other in our thoughts.

These two 'Big Daddy' hostas were moved around quite a bit before finding their current home behind the kitchen compost bin. They don't like the sun at all, so this location suits them well.

I planted this tulip tree in 2009, I think. It's the state tree of Indiana, has never bloomed, is not valued by those who like their trees to provide bling, but I like it. Someday it will provide the West Wing with some lovely shade.

I went through an ornamental grass phase, which I seem to be over for the most part, but my fondness for sedum continues strong. This 'Purple Emperor' is a tall one and the blossoms remind me of hens and chicks.

'Angelina' is a spreader, which I am grateful for because it will help me in my battle with weeds. (That's 'Dragon's Blood' on the left.)

More transients: I have moved the asiatic lilies and daylilies around a lot, too. The most recent transplants like their new west-facing home. (They bloomed the day after I took this pic.)

These corner plantings are also happy. There is 'Clara Curtis' painted daisy to the right. This has become my new problem-solution plant. I moved some to the bed by the front walk and it prospered, so much so it was crowding out everything else. So I tore it out and have been placing it in strategic spots around the yard where it can spread to its heart's content.

I don't know what I was thinking when I bought these three plants, one Alberta spruce conica and two juniper chinensis. They were an impulse purchase, made during a particularly manic spring (Must. Buy. Plants.) Getting them into the ground required the assistance of my SO and his upper body strength. I don't particularly like them. BUT. They are flourishing. I'd like to find a complementary ground cover to fill in the blanks, something the birds would like. (The corner clematis are 'Betty Corning'.)

Here is another rescue. Several years ago, I was looking for winterberry. The nursery I was at didn't have any, but the sales guy suggested some holly (Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess' and 'Blue Prince') as an alternative. Without researching this option, I bought four plants and stuck them under the arborvitae, hoping they would like the shade and fill in the area all around. Ha. Turns out this particular holly likes sun, lots of sun. So this year I am starting a relocation program for them. This is the first one to be brought out into the light.

And that is all, for now.

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