Ahhhh, finally! Summer is here for us Northern folk. It has been a really long Winter and we are in full swing here with our flower gardens. We are a little bit later than usual with getting our veggies in this year, but I have faith that we will get it done soon enough to have a good harvest. We’re a little late with our gardening this year since we had lots of preparations going on for our son’s college graduation and then nearly a week long trip to the races. While we feel a bit behind, it was really lovely to get home after our trip and see so many things so lush, and green, and in full bloom.
A couple of years ago, we did a post about our gardens and landscaping and we thought we would give you an update on that landscaping so you can see how quickly perennial gardens can really mature and look great after only a couple of years with so little work. We’ve done a lot around the outside of the house this year, but the gardens have really blossomed beautifully and made our yard a really lovely place to hang out. We’ve poured a concrete patio this Spring and we’re waiting for it to cure for a month so we can stain it. This patio already looks beautiful next to our big door yard perennial garden. We can’t wait to put an outdoor sofa, table, and hot tub out there to relax and enjoy the space. We’re empty- nesters now and with our youngest a Junior in college, we’re in that stage where we’re trying to make everything we do outside of working about relaxation and fun! Shouldn’t it be? Of course it should be.
One thing we have learned to do in this yard is to recycle plants and other resources that easily expand what we already have- and cheaply. Our favorite eight plants that thrive, propagate quickly, and provide lots of staggered color in our landscaping are (in order of growth in Spring):
- Hosta– These have grown so well in our yard that we have broken them all up and transplanted them all over the yard.
- Lavender– Lavender smells SO good and grows really well without practically any care.
- Dwarf Lilacs– These little bushes are now about 10 years old in our yard. I think we will actually trim them this year.
- Iris– I can’t get enough of Iris. They are the first green stalks to peek out in the Spring and they stay green all Summer.
- Chive– This plant is like a bad haircut if you let it have its way! Our grandson loves onions so he yanks them out by the bunch and eats them in the garden. Then loves to breathe on us :-) He thinks it’s funny.
- Asiatic Lilies– This year we will actually be moving all of these lillies to a planter edge we hope to build around our new patio. We’ll see how hardy they are!
- Primrose– You will need to thin these every other year or so. They are lovely from Spring to Fall.
- Campanula Glomerata (the purple flower in the pic)- This is one of my favorite flowers. So much so that we have purchased 60 plants and started a garden of just Glomerata. We hope they will flower beginning next year! They look and feel like silk flowers.
Most of these, we couldn’t kill if we tried. Which is a good thing. Because, if a plant needs any real care to survive, it has come to our yard to die. Perennials do the work for us. They wake up before the last frost and survive it without us having to cover them. They pop out with rich, lovely green softness from under the muddy mess left by Winter. They explode with color, each in their own time and hues and aromas. We don’t even have to lift a finger except to thin them from time to time, and even then, we love to spread the joy of these plants by sharing what we’ve thinned out or building another garden area in our yard. We even fantasized this week that we would get rid of our entire acre and a half yard and just plant perennials all through the yard so we wouldn’t worry about the grass being too high when it’s too high to mow!
This year, when they leveled the ground for our concrete patio, there was a lot of dirt removed. We were going to spend over $200 to top off our veggie garden beds since we last filled them 6 years ago when we put them in. Well, this dirt we had left over was once a garden area itself with old mulch and some Hosta, Bleeding Heart, and Primrose. We built a frame and attached wide screening to one side and screened the dirt over a wheel barrow and poured it into the beds. You can see the process in the gallery below. It is really beautiful dirt made even lovelier by the fact that it was FREE. Now that things are topped off, the veggie plants have gone in. (Yes, we realize the end of June is late for this, and the latest we’ve ever waited, but it’s warm right into early October sometimes here so we have lots of time for some great harvest.) My pea and bean sprouts came up a couple of weeks ago! Woot!
So, check out our last post about our gardens and landscaping to see how small all these plants were when we first planted them. Then check back at the gallery on this post to see how quickly these gardens mature and provide years of no work and just plain exquisite aromas and views. Gardening shouldn’t be a chore…let the plants work for you…they just need a little care, and thinning, and admiration from time to time and they will give you tons of joy for years to come!