With beautiful weather like this, the gardens are thriving! Everything is bursting with bloom; the grass is emerald green; the skies are a gorgeous background, and all is good! I'm not sure the Cottage Garden has ever been prettier. I know the roses there haven't, and the fragrance is heavenly. With the new wooden stepping stone path and fresh mulch, it's lovely. I just put in a few annuals for even more color, although with the roses, hardy geraniums, wine cups and bellflowers galore, it's pretty full already. I noticed several daylily buds are fattening, which will steal the show once the roses are gone.
The Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden is all planted and mulched and being visited by numerous species. I found my first swallowtail caterpillar on the parsley this week. I have deadheaded some of the Dames Rocket, which were so spectacular this year. I love them, but I like other flowers, too, and Hesperis matronalis can seed so heavily that it chokes out other things, like the American columbines that are important, too. The same is true for the Shade Garden, which also had a lot of fragrant dames rocket that now needs deadheading. I also need to remove that blasted aegepodium, which was once variegated, but reverted to green and is threatening to take over the farm! Across the lawn, the Purple Garden is a happier place, with a huge mound of deep purple Jackmanii clematis, a pretty tub of annuals, deep purple iris and lots of other flowers coming along nicely.
The Crafters Garden finally was planted this week, with strawflowers, statice, German statice, sea lavender, hoary mountain mint, Mexican Bush and Blue sages, nigella, larkspur, etc. I dug out LOTS of bittersweet and bayberry...they both want to take over the entire area! I wanted room to add a couple of things that used to live in the (now abandoned) Dye Garden, woad and weld and soapwort. The golden hops needs to be encouraged to stay in one area, and I planted a gourd to go over the trellis. Just need the globe amaranth, but it is still pretty small to face the real world. Maybe next week.
The Children's Garden got more color this week, with blue morning glories, unicorn plant, some cheery marigolds and Thumbelina zinnas. I forgot to plant the dwarf snapdragons, so that's on today's list.
I'm not sure I'll ever get the Moonlight Garden exactly the way I want it. I wish now I hadn't made it so large! We did add some flat stones in the center, and I'm gradually clearing out weeds and grass and planting perennials a section at a time, but it feels like before I get the area I'm working on done, the first area I did needs attention again! I just starting putting on some mulch here and there as I plant.
You should see the beautiful apricot foxgloves in the Sunrise Garden! I just adore them! The showy primroses, Norton's Gold oregano, orange violas and verbascums are pretty, too. There's just a little work to do there, and the paths need new mulch yet, but this garden nearly always makes me smile. I'll add some gaillardias and I'm debating about putting in some of the gorgeous golden elders, Sutherland Gold, too. And, I've set aside some Carolina Moonlight baptisias. You're probably thinking "Shouldn't those go in the Moonlight Garden?" and I've been debating that, too, but I've decided theiir pale yellow blooms will be better in the Sunrise Garden, and their pure white cousins, the Prairie Baptisia can live in the Moonlight Garden instead.
There's still some mulching to do in the Folklore Garden, and I want to add motherwort and a few more "herb" herbs, and maybe a little more color now that the mysterious nearly black columbines are gone. The Creeping Germander is nearly finished, too, and I will miss its gorgeous true blue mass of flowers.
The Fairy Garden and Enchanted Forest have been neglected for a month, and its beginning to show. I never got back with another load of mulch to do the rest of the woodland path, and I'm waiting to do more with the Fairy Garden until my grandchildren from Germany come to help. I think Eleanor will be great at "decorating" with all those tiny plants and furniture.
And now, you're thinking "she hasn't mentioned the Lavender Field" and you'd be correct. I almost hate to talk about it because we're so far behind there. I tore out a lot of old plants last autumn, but ran out of time before replanting. The oil pipeline (Marathon) that runs under the property is scheduled for some work, and I've been told I'll lose all the plants in that area so I'm trying to get some of every variety in the south half into the north half. Meanwhile, the lavenders don't care that I'm behind, or that I'll have to quit working there as soon as their blooms begin to attract bees, and some of them are beginning to color up. The new stone has been delivered, so the push will be on to get the planting done this week!
So, now you're caught up....I wish I were! But, I'm having a grand time and loving every minute of my time in the gardens!