Peak bloom time

The new deck bed hit its peak just before we left on vacation. It is gorgeous, even if I do say so myself. The bed is in its second year, we put in in last year; prior to that it was more lawn to mow.  The two cultivars of monarda grew as though they were on steroids this spring, much taller than I’ve ever seen them, and (cough) extremely vigorously.

In this bed clockwise from the left are yarrow cv. Terra Cotta, drumstick allium, just beginning to bloom, monarda cv. Marshall’s Delight, golden glow not yet blooming, monarda cv. Raspberry Wine, shasta daisy, mountain bluet, lamb’s ears, lemon thyme, behind that coreopsis verticillata cv. Moonbeam and behind it coreopsis grandiflora cv. Domino, then Knautia in front of the Marshall’s Delight, flax flower is hidden in there, as is a catmint and in front a huge lady’s mantle and more thyme.

I LOVE monarda, especially the Raspberry Wine cultivar, but perhaps it is too vigorous for this space? It does provide some privacy when we’re on the deck, and lots of entertainment from the bees and hummingbirds. In this photo you can also see the hyssop, back left, just beginning to flower. That is also just too tall for it’s current spot, it is shading out the gold flame spirea below it.

Also on steroids is the grapevine, which we are not pruning very effectively. We want both shade for the house and grapes. I need to do some research and learn how best to prune it. It provides so much shade the house was feeling like a cave.  Dan gave it a good whack job the other day, but I’m sure there are more effective pruning strategies!

Next up, a look at the front garden beds.

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14 Responses to “Peak bloom time”

  1. El Says:

    How very pretty, Ali. You’ve done a great job figuring out height with your plants. I looove your monarda. I have quite a bit of it myself and I always think it grows best when it’s crowded, like in your garden. If it has carte blanche to grow it tends to not be nearly so dramatic. That said, it likes to take over!! And late winter is the best time to prune grapes, as you can really see what you are doing then. Whacking it now surely won’t hurt it though.

  2. Farmgirl_dk Says:

    Oh, Ali….it’s beautiful. Great job. Your pictures belong in a magazine…you have a gift for perennial plantings!
    Monarda…sigh. Good ol’ bee balm…as much as I love it in other peoples yards, I steer clear, as it *always* develops powdery mildrew in my yard, which it generously then transfers to my other plants in close proximity. Grrrrr.
    More pictures, please :-)

  3. Don Says:

    Oh that flower bed is fabulous! It only took two years to get that? I am definitely going to copy. Thanks for the post and the pictures. You must be so proud and you should be. I’m proud of you.

  4. Perennialgardenlover Says:

    Your front bed is gorgeous! It looks so established for only being in it’s second year. Thank you for sharing. You did a marvelous job with your plant combinations :)

  5. Meg Says:

    Ali, I love it! I agree with El–you have everything laid out so well. I don’t know what the hell stuff is when I plant it, so I inevitably end up with tiny little flowers buried beneath huge daisies and coneflowers … ah, well!

  6. don Says:

    BTW, I have finally done the six random things about me post. Thanks for the impetus!

  7. sugarcampny Says:

    Ladies mantle is especially aggressive I have found out. Plants I put in three years ago in the front garden were getting way too big. I dug them up just yesterday and put them in a new location where they can expand as much as they want. Some job to dig them up. I`m predicting you will be doing some of the same pretty soon. Your garden is quite beautiful. Congratulations!

  8. Twinville2 Says:

    Picture perfect! Your flower garden is just exploding with color while one’s eye can’t stop moving all over and through the beauty! I’m impressed that it’s only your second year with that area. You should be proud. It’s lovely :)

  9. Kathryn and Ari Says:

    Your gardens are so lovely. I’m envious! Thanks for allowing me to share them vicariously.

    What a bounty of a summer we’ve had! I just spent the better part of the morning shelling peas and listening to Saturday NPR. I love these lazy summer days.

  10. Lynn Says:

    Ali…your gardens are stunning!!!!! WOW!

    I enjoy your blog so very much. You and Dan certainly are an inspiration for someone like me that only dreams of having a green thumb!!!

    I tried your recipe for banana ice cream and it was to die for!!! We added walnuts & chocolate and it was so much better than what ‘those guys from Vermont’ sell.

    Take care!!

  11. sjones71 Says:

    Holy crap.. gorgeous.

  12. Ali Says:

    Thanks for all the compliments, I greatly appreciate them! Of course, if you were here in person you could see the flaws, like how the monarda completely overshadows the all but invisible flowering almond, bush cherry, Japanese beetle-covered rose bush, clethra and beach plums!

    One reason the garden at two years looks so full is that I used mostly divisions from my existing gardens, not tiny little purchases from nurseries. AND I planted lots of vigorous growers like the monarda, mountain bluet and lady’s mantle –which will have to be divided next year. I wish there were a dwarf lady’s mantle, that would be nice, eh?

  13. Laurie Ann Says:

    stunning gardens!!! I’m just learning how to garden and it was wonderful to see yours in full bloom. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Kathy Says:

    Wow is right. It has filled in with grace and beauty. Even more so than last summer when I enjoyed it while having my morning coffe.

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