1. Glorious April daffodils
The Daffodil Walk that takes visitors to the front porch was glorious. Unfortunately, by June it was a mess; the perennial geraniums I planted in each bed failed to hide the bedraggled, dying daffodil leaves. As a result, I probably cut the daffodil leaves back too soon, so I'll have a weaker crop next spring. I'm thinking of adding petunias. They wont be tall enough to hide the dying leaves but maybe their bright colors will detract from them. I grow petunias in window boxes but not in the ground. I was motivated by a blog posting written by my friend Karen who blogs at Quarry Garden Stained Glass. Her petunias are stunning every year as you will see if you click on the link here. I am going to follow Karen's advice, buy seed and give it a try.
|The Daffodil Walk|
2. May Blossoms on the Weeping Cherry.
The weeping cherry I planted in honor/memory of my mother thickened out and bloomed beautifully last year. I need to do some judicial pruning before the end of March while the tree is dormant.
|May blossoms on Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam'|
3. The Cottage Garden in June
I believe June is my favorite month in my garden: roses, peonies, viburnum, mock orange all bloom profusely. (Compare the next photo taken in June with the first picture above taken today. This is why I enjoy browsing my albums at this time of year.) I'm not so fond of the downtime occurring end-of-June/beginning-of-July when less is blooming. At that point, giant allium 'Globemaster' fill the void ... they always work.
|Roses, peonies and alliums|
|Allium -- always a success|
4. Fourth of July: Red, White and Blue Garden
I can't take much credit for the glorious July Fourth display in the Picket-fence Garden (my grandson calls this garden Strawberry Fields.) The delphiniums self-seeded to make the show work. I wonder what 2017 will bring to this spot.
|Bee Balm Monarda 'Jacob Cline,' Larkspur Delphinium 'Bellamosum,' and Yarrow Achillea 'The Pearl.'|
In the same bed the plant I thought was goat's beard began to give off a disgusting, rotten-meat odor. Research showed I had planted fleece flower not goat's beard. It had to go. I made changes in the fall that you can read about here.
|Fleece flower Persicaria polymorpha -- STINKS.|
5. The Shade Garden in July
In early summer, the Shade Garden came into its own with a mix of foliage plants of various greens and multiple textures. I loved my shade garden and named it Serenity. Notice the past tense. When we had to remove the very large, dangerous silver maple tree, the shade garden became bathed in sunlight while receiving minimal shade from the catalpa tree. Hostas scorched and ferns disappeared.
|Early summer in the shade garden before we removed the tree.|
|Some of these foliage plants were trampled by the workmen and others were sun-damaged|
|The silver maple had shaded the southern end of the Shade Garden|
I am thinking of relocating the hostas, ferns, brunnera and helebores from the southern end of the (former) shade garden and planting a moon garden with sun/part shade plants there. I've already planted a 'Pee Gee' hydrangea and I'm considering 'Summer Snowflake' viburnum, lambs ears, montauk daisy, snow in summer and allium 'Mount Everest.' In the fall I may plant some white crocuses. A moon garden would be tranquil and I could keep the name Serenity. It's exciting to plan a new garden, but I'm still feeling sick at losing shade.
6. The Kitchen Garden
The kitchen garden provided a steady supply of produce all summer and fall. There was a glut of cucumbers resulting in a cache of freezer pickles. Today there are several jars of pickled red beets in the jelly cupboard. We have pounds of onions still to be eaten. We left parsnips in the ground to enjoy when it thaws. This was a good year for herbs, too, in the garden trug on the patio. I will sow tried and true seed varieties again this year.
|A productive kitchen garden|
A part-failure in the kitchen garden was the sunflower -- I forget which variety. The blossoms were gorgeous, then each stem began to fall over. I thought it was caused by the weight of the sparrows eating the seeds. My dear friend Katharine told me she believed the damage was caused by a stem borer. Looking inside a stem, I found she was right. Thank you, Katharine. H.H. burned the plant and removed the soil from the raised box so the infestation doesn't remain over winter. I have yet to decide what I will plant there this year.
|Beautiful sunflower blossoms; deadly stem borer|
|Sunflower Stem Borer (internet photo)|
7. Container Plantings, August/September
The five widow boxes along the tractor shed worked. I over-filled them with petunias that spilled over effectively. The petunias covered the bacoba, so I wont plant it next time.
|Supertunia 'Bordeaux', Supertunia 'Flamingo', purple fountain grass, (bacoba hidden.)|
8. Plant Markers
One of my favorite successes was the beautiful hand-painted plant markers my friends at Bryant Park made. I'll be purchasing more of them for my 2017 garden.
9. Bulb Forcing in October/November
Amaryllis 'Picottee' is the last of the bulbs to bloom. Don't you love its delicate white petals edged in red? My amaryllis project was definitely a success. I'm going to try to keep them for next year.
|Amaryllis Hippeastrum 'Ferrari'|
|Amaryllis 'Picotee' and Amaryllis 'Clown'|
That's a brief summary of some of my year's successes and failures plus some ideas for my 2017 gardens. What changes are you planning for the new gardening season? Or, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, what changes are you making now?
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