Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Random acts of gardening

Sometimes I just want a lot of color in my yard, fast. This spring I grabbed some common annuals like geraniums and petunias at the local nursery for the defunct tulip containers. I even bought myself a pot of spill-fill-thrill at Kroger's. And that's okay. Not every plant has to be the latest-and-greatest or native or whatever. There are no gardening rules.

According to my SO, the front yard is now a "riot of color". A neighbor commented that my backyard must be a work of art, presumably based on what he sees out front. HA HA! It's a mess, but it's my mess. My SO did ask the other day if we are ever going to be done buying mulch/compost/potting soil. Um, NO.

One reason the front yard looks so colorful is the volunteer Canadian columbine that keeps popping up all over. It originated from a handful of plants I bought from Spring Hill Nursery oh-so-many years ago, a purchase that keeps on giving. There are fancier columbines, but I'll stick with this old classic.

Canadian columbine

Clematis 'Niobe' is supposed to grow 8'-12' feet tall and bloom all summer, but so far, it is lucky to even be alive. MY goal was for it to climb the front porch trellis, but it and the rabbits have had other plans. Maybe this year I will prevail.

Clematis 'Niobe'

In the backyard, I have been rearranging plants, moving some sad hostas to more shade and a few "ditch" lilies to more sun. Last year we whacked a couple of forsythia shrubs to the ground. They are still growing, but maybe I can keep them under control. The third forsythia received its whacking yesterday, so I finally planted the mountain mint I received at last years Garden Bloggers Fling, kind of behind where the forsythia was.

Catmint 'Six Hills Giant'

The above catmint is meant to fill the area behind a witch hazel, in front of some "ditch" lilies, between the forsythia and some viburnum. The variety is 'Six Hills Giant' and it does get big and wide.

Speaking of big and wide, 'Betty Corning' is again outgrowing its restraints. I need to come up with a better idea for supporting these. The blossom time is just beginning.

Clematis 'Betty Corning'

Another plant in need of proper support is the honeysuckle vine. It is making do with the privacy fence, but I would like to do better. One idea is mounting a trellis on the fence, to give it something to grab onto.

Honeysuckle 'Alabama Crimson'

Some iris came with the house and somehow I have managed not to kill it over the years. There is some in the hosta bed and some near the deck, and neither clump blooms much anymore. I keep saying, Come August, I will thin and transplant it, but August is also very hot and humid. I'm easily discouraged.

Iris of unknown origin (came with the house)

About the time I bought the above mentioned columbine, I also purchased a climbing rose. Over the years, I have often contemplated getting rid of it (and sometimes its thorns seem bent on getting rid of me), and yet it prevails. I think it has finally found its true calling, though.

Climbing rose of some sort

An arch! I have long admired archways in other gardens, but could never figure out how to pull one off in my own yard. Well, maybe I'll just try training this climbing rose to make my archway dream come true.

Incipient archway

It is my understanding that the climbing rose blooms best on horizontal branches. We'll see how that works out.


Sweet Posy Dreams said...

Love that catmint! Does it want to take over everything like other mints? Your yard is looking good. My iris are not blooming yet, nor the honeysuckle; it didn't even have much in the way of buds last I checked. We've had a coolish spring so far in northern Illinois.

Jason said...

I see we both like Columbine and Catmint. So how big does your 'Betty Corning' grow? I have three and they're all pretty young. I keep them in tomato cages for now.