|Fall 2013||Early April 2014|
This is the official entrance to our home, although it is rarely used by friends or family who come in the side door off to the left. I especially like the burnt log that is a winter highlight but then is completely hidden during the growing season. The lilac was one of my first plantings and came from my mom (a sucker from one of her lilacs). I am trying to massage this garden to having year-round interest, which is a challenge for me.
|Fall 2013||Mar 2014||Mar 2014|
When we were first building (1980) Mom brought up 6 different varieties of grapes. Not yet having a yard or clear thought on how we would landscape, we simply plopped them in an E-W line onto the side of the hill and built a trellis for them. I wrote down the varieties on a paper plate which I was able to hang onto for several years, but have since lost. All I know is the bottom grape is a concord and the top is some sort of a white table grape. One was lost when a hemlock fell during a windstorm and flattened the trellis, but the rest are still alive and healthy. We are missing one support post, but that grape is holding its own so no particular reason to replace it. We initially just mowed under the trellis, but I've now under-planted with various cultivars of hardy geraniums.
Last year I never got around to hard-pruning the grapes in the early spring, although I did keep them pruned to about shoulder height during the growing season. They actually flourished with this lack of care, and I tossed grape treats into the chicken yard (directly south of the trellis) on a daily basis. This year Gary and I pruned them as hard as we ever have, really getting right down to just the nubs coming off the main vines. We shall see how they fare this year.
|Fall 2013||January 2014||January 2014|
There are actually two beds under the deck, one directly below the stairs and the other under the front of the deck. Due to a deck remodel a few years back, the patio is a bit funky, and we've placed the swinging chair in a rather awkward spot where the old stairs used to end.
The under stairs bed is in part sun/shade and consists of daylillies at the end, an evergreen clematis climbing the trellis, with bleeding hearts filling in behind.
I find that the bleeding heart hold themselves pretty well in this setting and often don't go dormant until early September. I've tried underplanting them with creeping dogwood, but that plant is difficult to get established for me, even though it is a native.
I am hopeful the clematis will fill in and form an evergreen frame up and across the deck, but it is as yet still a young plant. I had problems with some sort of disease with the first clematis (Apple Blossom) and have replanted with a plainer but perhaps hardier variety (Snowdrift). It's showing some brownish leaves though, so might have to come up with a different plant. I suppose I could go with a wisteria - there is certainly enough support for one. Hmmm. I'll give the clem another run at it this season and see how it does.
The bed under the front of the deck is in full sun and is currently planted with croscosmia in the back flanked by shasta daisies, with coreopsis in the front. I mistakenly planted a couple goldish rudbeckias between the coreopsis which is too much yellow/gold at the same time. I plan to yard those out this year and replace with a coneflower of some sort, perhaps a purple one with a gold center. Or asters? Haven't yet decided. Need to also now find a spot for the rudbeckias, although they are always a welcome late season addition anywhere.
|End of season August 2013||Fall 2013||January 2014|
This is a mixed border of herbs and perennials. The honeysuckle has feverfew at its feet, and the crocosmia has lemon balm in front of it as a support plant. This view is from the yard side, and I have not yet cleaned up the herb garden side.
It's nice to be able to get out in the garden in January, although I do find after a couple hours my fingers get a bit numb. After clearing out all the dead stalks and weeds, I was happy to find lots of perennials just starting to poke their heads through the soil. I also saw a couple robins and the aspen grove was alive with birdsong (unfortunately it was the dreaded starlings, but they do make a lovely racket).
The herbs in this section are used in cooking. It is closest to the gate and handy to the kitchen. Sing along with me: Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme..., basil, cilantro, chives, sorrel, marjoram, lemon grass. Oregano is found in the herb flower border across the path, and tarragon is in the astrological section. The lemon grass is potted and will be brought in for the winter. I have twice tried to get bay established, but it has not over-wintered for me.
The metal chicken is symbolic of 'a chicken in every pot' - and reminds me to be grateful for all that I have. It will come in for winter cleaning and storage.
|Before||After fall clean-up|