Around the yard

It has been a busy stretch here at Henbogle, with lots of visits with friends and work on the house — it is painting season again!  The hot weather has arrived and the flower gardens are looking good as the summer begins to heat up.

The astilbe in the front beds are beginning to bloom in shades of pink, red and white.  The hostas have all become gargantuan and need dividing, maybe this fall we will divide them and add them to the bottle tree bed.  Maybe.

In the front bed, my cat Mercedes likes to escape and munch on the Golden Japanese Forest Grass, Hakonechloa macra cv. Aureola, new last year.  I hope it will continue to grow despite its frequent clipping.  I really like the similar coloration to the hostas in that bed, yet contrasts with their leaf shape and form.

Along the driveway, the lavender is coming into bloom.  Not pictured,  further down the drive to the end is a low hedge of Russian Sage, another purple bloom, with finely cut leaves and dusty foliage.  This plant is a sun lover and is becoming unhappy there as the beech tree in front shades more of it.  I will need to find another plant with similar growth habit that is more shade tolerant for that spot.

Across from lavender along the drive, the lavender’s purple blooms are echoed in the Jackmanii clematis on the right, and a new clematis, whose name escapes me tonight, although I do have it somewhere.  The remainder of the bed is filled with sedums, rose campion, lamb’s ears and a sad looking catmint.  Why sad, you ask?  Why, you’d be sad, too, if Mercedes, her tummy full of Japanese Forest Grass, decided to roll on you and later tease her sister Ocho about it.  The Ocho escaped and rolled even more.  Sigh.  At one time it was lovely.  This bed is due for some bark nugget mulch today to keep the splashing to a minimum so we can paint that side of the house.

Moving into the backyard, the Holly bed is mostly golden yellow right now with a few remaining magenta accents from the last of the peonies.  A bunch of yellow loosestrife catches the eye, but I want to move it closer to the deck in front of a purple ninebark, to better show of the dark purply leaves of the ninebark.  What to replace the loosestrife with, though, I don’t know yet.  Suggestions, anyone?

Across the pathway by the house deck the knautia macedonia and shasta daisies are blooming as the lambs ear ramps up and the mondarda reaches for the sky.  Every spring I dig up what seems to be a huge amount of monarda only to have it fill right back in by July.  I love it, so I put up with it.  It draws the hummingbirds and all kinds of bees, and who can complain about that? A gold flame spirea, lemon thyme, coreopsis, and lady’s mantle echo the yellow from across the path.

Up on the deck, we have a few planters of annuals, mostly marguerite daisy, portulaca, and geraniums.  I especially like this planter with the added purple fountain grass.  Dan found a basket at the dump and it became this charming planter filled with portulaca and silver licorice plant.

Behind the barn, my sad little cutting garden struggles along through repeated woodchuck snacking.  I’ve been successful in keeping the evil ground hogs out of the veggie garden, but a rather plump groundhog is living under my neighbors garage and has developed a taste for echinacea and my beloved zinnias.  He’s on the list of rodents to send to a better zip code someday.  In the meantime, his munching has left the plants looking a bit spindly.  I wish I had enough for even one decent bouquet of flowers, but no such luck.  I’ve been trying to let hte plants get large enough to withstand the slugs so I can ulch, but the groundhog isn’t helping with that concept.  Oh well.

That’s a quick look at the flower beds around Henbogle.  This time of year, it really does feel like paradise if you can ignore the peeling paint and assorted other home maintenance projects awaiting.

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2 Responses to “Around the yard”

  1. Robin Says:

    Ali, your grounds look absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the tour!

  2. Denise Says:

    Ali,

    I don’t reply much but read all the time…your gardens are absolutely beautiful! I envy your huge hostas and literally all of your gardens!

    The deer have been browsing my hot, hot, hot and dry, dry, dry midwest garden most heavily and I simply got tired of the fight. We’ve had record setting temps since May and when it’s over 100 degrees outside you just give up on ornamentals and try to keep the veggies alive. The deer have pretty much eaten my entire hosta bed, all the leaves off my beloved hydrangeas and just about everything but the goundcover in my front gardens. It frustrates me to no end and I’m ready to throw in the towel!

    It’s refreshing to even THINK of Maine, a place I long to see someday. That and Alaska are on my “bucket list”!

    Thanks so much for the tour!
    Denise

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