June 6, 2011

A Closer Look

Usually I show you the garden from up on the back porch - the forest through the trees, so to speak. But down IN the garden has an entirely different view.  This week, let's take a walk around the garden while I highlight a few plants.
That frothy green mound close to the camera? That's our new GREEN Japanese maple. Isn't it cute? The feathery leaves provide a nice contrast to more substantive plants nearby, and the branches tend to aim toward the ground, creating a droopy but airy effect. I think it grows to 10 feet tall? Don't quote me. Behind and to its right is rhubarb. I planted it last year, which means we can start eating it next year. Rhubarb likes a few years to get settled in before you start pulling stems for pies and compote. I've heard rhubarb is fussy - so I'm very pleased it seems so happy.
My goal is to have the beds FILLED with plants. Remember, this garden is only two years old, so I still have 'holes' with plenty of mulch showing. One trick? I put pots in the garden to cover empty spots while I wait for everything to fill in. (In two more years, I'll probably whine about the lack of space.) That's coleus and purple sweet potato vine in the red pot. In front of the pot? A plant I HIGHLY recommend: heuchera (a.k.a. coralbells.) Heuchera comes in many colors, is as hearty as a Cuban sandwich, and is one of the first plants to perk up in the spring, providing highly cherished color after all those months and months of brown.
This is the back left corner of the garden. This part of the garden sits under not one, but TWO Norway maple trees, so everything here needs to be drought tolerant, shade loving, and willing to live through 2-3 hours of hot late afternoon sun. That's a lot to ask of a plant.

I LOVE the anise hyssop bush closest to the camera. They are a pretty chartreuse, smell lovely, and bees and butterflies dance around their long-lasting pink flowers in late summer. I've heard hyssop spread like crazy, but haven't experienced that (yet.) Behind the hyssop, I created a hosta menagerie, putting three different kinds of hosta in a clump. Not sure about the effect (yet.)

That's all for now!  More garden in the next post. In the mean time, I'm happy to answer any questions you have about plants in the pictures!

9 comments:

  1. It's looking very nice and full. My hubby's garden aspires to be your garden! LOL

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  2. So beautiful! Hopefully we'll start on our tiny backyard in a few months, mostly with tropical plants, of course :) Your yard can be my inspiration!

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  3. love your style, its natural, not fussy. I have a steep, dry bank that gets baked (not in a fun way) every day. any suggestions? I need something low maintenance and cheap, kinda like my ex-boyfriend.

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  4. So pretty! Even though we have a ton of space to plant, a large lot is overwhelming. I miss our yard in town for that reason. But I'm slowly filling in planting areas. I love your garden, it looks great and very healthy!

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  5. Wow! It looks so good!! I hope ours looks that full and lush someday soon!

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  6. A green Japanese maple? Interesting! Everything looks so lush and healthy... I'm jealous. We have several shady areas around our house, and I really want to plant some hostas, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I've heard they're pretty foolproof. Last time I looked at the hosta bulbs, there were so many varieties that I got overwhelmed.

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  7. It looks so nice and green! I kill plants, lol, so I'm in awe :)

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  8. Amanda - hostas ARE practically indestructible. The only thing they won't tolerate is lots of sun.

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  9. Ahh Holyoke is smiling upon you :)

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