24 May 2011

Front Gardens in Mid May

It's amazing how quickly plants fill in once the weather starts to warm up! Last week we had several rainy days but this week has brought nothing but sun. My plants are finally looking good!

I've been working on our front garden with hope that it will get to the point where I can sort of ignore it for the rest of the summer while I tend to other problem areas. In looking over this spring's photos, I'm pleased with how the front garden is progressing.

I took this photo in mid April, after I had cleaned out the bed and covered it with a fresh coat of mulch. Not much was happening at that point.

By early May, the plants were up and the ground cover (Chinese dwarf astilbe) was finally spreading. This ground cover took a few years to get established, but now I'm finally pleased with how it looks for the most part. I will say that without significant watering, it will dry up and look like it's been hit with weed killer. It needs a little bit more shade than we have right now in this bed, since we lost a mature tree a few years ago.

And here is what the garden looks like today. The ground cover is filling in well, and the hostas are finally opening up. Last week, I added a few annuals (begonias -- not my favorite but they do well in this garden) to fill in the gaps.

The Japanese maple tree (our second replacement tree) is now on its third summer and FINALLY looks alive. I hope we can remove that ugly stake one of these days.

Other than the fact that Spouse got a little carried away with his Round-Up duties and sprayed a few perennials he thought were weeds (the perennials --not Spouse! -- have since been replaced!), I'm happy with how this area is looking. I'm striving for a woodland garden feel -- not too formal and with a variety of texture and color.

Here is the area along the front of the house as you approach the above garden. We brought the hostas with us from our old house many years ago and you can see that they are doing well, but they're long past due for dividing. This area also includes a huge patch of Lily of the Valley (one of my favorite woodland plants!) and a vinca ground cover which has finally taken off after several years of limping along. The large bush in the foreground is an oak leaf hydrangea which will be beautiful when it blooms later this summer. The leaves grow to the size of dinner plates!

With these areas at least somewhat under control, I'm finally focusing on the back gardens. It seems that a novice gardener's work is never done...but that's OK with me!

1 comment:

Heather said...

It looks great! I still have lots of work to do on ours, but we're getting there!