Say What?






It’s less than four weeks until 2015!

Do you know where your year has gone? Because I sure don’t know what’s happened to mine.

So I’ve decided to do a rerun on summer 2014 .  .  .  starting with the July garden and repeated whenever I feel the need through this hectic time of year.

As I  flipped through photos of the front garden, I was surprised to see how good it actually looked this year. Usually, it’s the opposite, and I suspect most gardeners feel the same way. We look at photos and only see the weeds, blank spots, or underperforming plants. The glass is frequently half-empty for gardeners, despite our innate optimism that next year will always be better than this one.

Sometimes, though, I think distance lends clarity. Take my front border, for example.FullSizeRenderThis is the front border in July. It faces south and slopes away on the west end—a fact I’ve attempted to disguise with the cedar fence and tall junipers on the lower end. (You can just make out the curving chartreuse bench on the western edge.)

What I like here is the rhythm created by the repetition of form and color.  Many Happy Returns daylily clumps repeat the yellow theme along the bed. Pink astilbes are repeated in the pink blooms of the ornamental grass, which is fronted by darker pink asiatic lilies.  The deep rosy-pink of the Smoke Bush in the background hold things together and the dark red of the Monarda adds punch.  All of these, with the exception of the ornamental grass, are long-blooming, lasting three weeks at least and are very low maintenance.FullSizeRenderThis is the bed that runs roughly parallel with the front border and also along the sidewalk. What I liked here was the deep blue of the Little Bluestem grass against the Chuckles(Ridiculous name for such a pretty rose, but no one asked me.) rose and the way the May Night Salvia, although bloomed out, still provides structure and contrast with the flowing stems of the grass.FullSizeRenderHere’s a closer view of the Helianthus and the Chuckles roses. This has a sort of lush but carefree air that I like.  Again, both these perennials are long-blooming, a trait I look for more and more as I gain experience as a gardener.  Brief beauty is all well and good, but long-lived blooms are always a plus.

So what’s on your plate for the last weeks of 2014? If it all seems like too much, take a minute to soothe your soul by revisiting the lush green of summer with me.

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