Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Midsummer Night's Garden

Ok, so it's a technically a bit later than Midsummer, but it's approaching the middle of summer here in New England, so I thought it was a great time to see where the Handyverger garden is at.

Firstly, I wanted to update folks on how the outdoor rug is holding up.  The answer is - fantastically!  We've had rainstorms off and on, and I've been really impressed with how quickly and completely the rug dries up.  I was really concerned about lifting up the rug and finding hordes of centipedes and sowbugs making their home under it.  Turns out that's not a problem at all!  Whew.  I recently gave it a quick hosing down, and this is what it looks like now.

Pretty much as good as new!  You may wonder why there's a pot on top of one of my pretty peacock blue chairs.  That's my tomato plant. I haven't been able to harvest a single tomato off it.  Why, you ask?

That's why. Apparently, chipmunks love tomatoes as much as I do, and that's saying a lot.  I'm on the verge of letting Karma outside for a snack.  (Just kidding.  Mostly.)  I read somewhere that hot pepper flakes will deter them.  That's my next effort, since apparently they don't mind climbing up on a chair to get their snacks.  Argh.  Creeps.

Onward and upward, though. My pineapple sage has grown into a large, lush plant, as predicted.  I can't say how much I adore this herb!  It's a lot of bang for your buck: you can use it in cooking, but it also grows into an impressive plant.  Most recently, I used it in a fruit salad.  It was delicious - even the cats agreed.  Counter-surfer Lancelot decided he needed to taste test it.  Turns out sage is a cat-safe plant, so no calls to Animal Poison Control ... that night, at least.

Don't the violas peeping up at the bottom of the larger plant look just darling?

The pink Million Bells are doing quite well, too, as are the basil and petunias I planted.

 These are Phantom Petunias.  The purple is a dark, velvety plum.

A closeup of the gorgeous Phantom Petunias. 

These are the Pinstripe Petunias I'm so in love with.  They're challenging to photograph, it turns out.  I'm going to have to try to get a good picture in the sunlight, because this just doesn't do them justice.  They're definitely this dark, though there are lighter veins of purple that don't show well here.

Here's one of my containers.  That's a Hot Lava coleus in back, with a tri-color potato vine draping over the edges.  Nestled deeper in the pot is an ornamental pepper.  I adore ornamental peppers - I can't resist buying them come late summer, along with mums and other early autumn plants.

Eee!  They're so cute, the little peppers!

So, for the quick walking tour...  
This is the view you're greeted with when you climb the steps from the driveway.

It's a little blurry, but I wanted to give you a sense of the path.  We do need to trim some things back, but I think the wildflowers are just so magical.

This is the view looking back toward the driveway.  The flowers that have fallen over are a HUGE oregano plant.  The bees love it, when it's in full bloom, and I'm all for making honeybees happy!  The plant in the foreground is catnip.  Surprise, right?  The white stones are the beginning of a project to make a more formal bed with the wildflowers there.  I only bought a few bags of the white marble chips to see if I liked the effect. Turns out that I do, but I haven't been able to complete the project.  Stupid money. Stupid reality!

Opposite the coneflowers, catnip and oregano is more of the wildflower garden, which is in full bloom.  The yarrow is fading out, but the black-eyed susans and coneflowers are in their glory.  

I'm so proud of the ground cover plants here.  Near the top, under the largest bunny, is my patch of woolly thyme, started from a tiny plant years ago. It transitions into another thyme right near the light in the middle. There is also some oregano growing near the bunny on the bottom.  

I cannot believe how much coneflowers spread.  We have them all over our front yard!  I think separating them and moving some elsewhere in the yard is a project for this autumn.

Here are a few more of my containers... I'm completely in love with potato vines, too, it turns out.

This is a Marguerite potato vine, along with a Marginata Magenta Madagascar Dragon Tree - and marigolds!  These marigolds were a super-cheap find at Lowe's, since the 6-pack annuals were nearing the end of their viability.  Aren't they cute, though?

And here are the steps to the front door.

 I think the slate steps need a good power-washing, and I can't wait to paint my front door, but the plants certainly do make things more welcoming.

So, there you have it.  How's your garden coming along?

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Thank you for mentioning the chipmunks and tomatoes! I am so done planting tomatoes. This is two years in a row that I have gotten zero tomatoes. It is so bad, that the chipmunks have actually been gathering seeds from underneath our bird feeder and storing them in the soil around the tomato plant and now I have little shoots of corn stalks popping up. Crazy! Thanks for all your comments on my blog. I'm now following you. Have a great weekend! Angela