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What's in the garden?

This garden borders the left side of the backyard. It buffers the fence that is shared with my sweet neighbors. I started to the work on this bed about 6 years ago when we planted a young flowering Pear tree (ornamental) and a young Purple Leaf Filbert (hazelnut) tree.

Two years ago, in the fall, I began measuring and digging for a bed to include the 2 trees and allow for plants as well. Each spring and fall I have planted 2-4 shrubs and it is still a work in progress. Special attention is being given to native plants that will attract pollinators. Another criteria that I keep in mind is to plant staggered bloomers. In other words, plants that flower at different times of the growing season so that there is always some color in the garden.

Late last spring, I planted 2 Hardy Hibiscus's. They both bloomed beautifully, but sadly, never returned this summer. Whether the area was too wet for them, or the winter too harsh, or some other issue, I do not know. I lost them both and it was a real shame because they were truly show stoppers.

At the top of the garden there is a brand new blueberry bush. I have 2 others currently, a fourth was lost to the snacking deer).

This particular one is a Bountiful Blue (Vaccinium corymbosum) variety. During July to August we have dozens of blueberries, as long as we can beat the birds. They are a delight to grow. Bright green foliage that turns red in the fall and dainty white flowers in the spring make them beautiful through the entire growing season. I spray the area with natural deer deterrent once a month and net the bushes in late June, and that's all. Blueberries for days!

There are a few patches of Irish Moss. They are brand new, just planted this past spring, but have already doubled in size. If you haven't put any in your garden, I suggest you take a closer look. Irish Moss is a walk-able ground cover. It is not actual moss. The more sun they get, the brighter green they will be (see photo of moss below tree). It is a perennial that blooms charming, tiny white flowers through the summer. It only grows 1-2 inches in height. I will add more next spring, as it is really lovely and more moss = less mulch and weeds!

Showering the fence in sunshine are my Day Lilies.

Every day in the summer means a new yellow bloom. Did you know that every 2-3 years you can dig them up and gently divide the roots, and plant new plants? How great is that!? It's good for them too.

I have these purple creepers which I love, but are sadly, annuals. I was testing out ground covers this year and I did not want to commit yet. Next spring I will plant a similar perennial variety.

The purple and green shrubs are Wine and Roses Weigela. Pictured, they are about 2 years old and have grown nicely. They feature bright pink, trumpet flowers in the spring.

This is called Hummingbird Summersweet. This one is a shade lover that is thriving in the shade of my Pear tree. Yes, you CAN find a way to fit a shade shrub into a full sun garden. All it takes is some time to study the sun and shadow behaviors in the area of question. This small spot of my garden gets shaded by the house in the morning, the Pear tree in the afternoon, and the neighbor's house before the sun gets too low to matter. The flowers bloom in August and they smell heavenly. The pollinators love them too!

Next, is the Winterthur Witherod; one of my favorites for a few reasons. It is an easy, fast grower with gorgeous foliage and berries. I will be planting 2 more next spring due to their fast growth providing quick privacy. They never seem to suffer from too much rain or too little, always looking strong and bright!

There are a few ornamental grasses throughout and a space for a future garden shed as well.

At the bottom of the garden is my beautiful Hazelnut tree (which has taken on the shape of a shrub).

I have added stones to help contain the mulch during heavy rains. The water rushes down so fiercely that it was washing the grass away. The stones look pretty and they fixed the problem. :)

The bottom half of the garden gets too much rain for really anything to survive (anyone have any recommendations?), even with the big tree drinking away. I use this shaded area for my bird feeder and my hammock. Even though I don't get much time to use it, it is my favorite spot to relax!

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