Entries in May garden (3)

Sunday
May272018

Weeds and World Problems in the May Garden

An established moss path is low maintenance, but it does need to be kept free of leaves and debris, and it needs to weeded once in a while. Weeding my moss paths in the woodland garden is a mindless, repetitive chore, and I enjoy doing it.An overview of the May woodland garden

I use a thick old canoe cushion to protect my knees while kneeling, and I take my time. I like to do this after a rain because weeds come up more easily. I use several types of weeding tools, depending on the weed. One of my favorites is a fishtail weeder that is perfect for popping small weeds out of the paths and for getting up the tap roots of plants like dandelions.The main moss path in the woodland garden

When I am weeding I let my mind drift. I listen to the birds. I make a mental list of other needed chores and plan future projects for the garden. I think about people I know, and in general I mentally solve the problems of the world as one weed after another succumbs to my efforts. If only world problems could be so easily eliminated. World problems do, after all, have some resemblance to weeds.A favorite view of the little bridge in the woodland garden

Summer arrived this month, and the air is thick and warm and laden with moisture. The woodland garden is a deep green retreat from the hot glare of the sun. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to enjoy sun rays that filter through the canopy. We have had plenty of rain this past week, and often the light sparks off leaves still wet with raindrops. I can almost imagine myself walking in a primordial paradise, except for the weeds, which quickly bring me back to reality.

More views around the garden this month:

Here is a view across the front lawn.The woodland garden is in the small valley on the far side of the drive.

Views of the front garden

A view across the lower front lawn near the entrance to our propertyA tropical storm is headed our way in the next day or so. Lots of rain, and more weeds coming! 

Happy gardening to you; and, while we can't solve all the world's problems, may we each do whatever we can in our little corner of the world to make the world a better place.   Deb

Sunday
May142017

My Beautiful May Garden

What makes a beautiful garden?Color, certainly. Healthy plants. Proportion and balance. Variety. Movement and flow, repetition. Fragrance. All those things, but much more. A beautiful garden can be humble or grand. It is highly personal. For me: a peaceful atmosphere, comfort, birdsong, memories, a little whimsy.

May is a beautiful month! I want to be outside every day, tending my garden. I love Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), which is in full bloom on the arch by the patio. The intoxicating fragrance is a delight whenever I walk under it. I can also catch a whiff of rosemary. Nearby, pink 'Anthony Waterer' Spirea is blooming.

Coral drift roses line one edge of the patio, along with bacopa and a silvery artemesia:

On the patio table is a ceramic green rabbit, a souvenir I brought home from Hills and Dales Estate in LaGrange, Georgia, a very grand and gorgeous garden!

Here are more images of some of the flowers in my May garden:1st row: 'Penelope' rose; 'Anthony Waterer' spirea; Lichnis coronaria, commonly called rose campion. 2nd row: Yarrow; Calibrachoa; 'Snowflake' Hydrangea. 3rd row: Rosa palustris, also called swamp rose; Coral honeysuckle; Gardenia Jasminoides 'Kleims Hardy', a dwarf gardenia bush.

As much as I love flowers, I am also drawn toward colorful foliage. I purchased a variegated geranium without even knowing what color the blooms were; the leaves are spectacular! It has started blooming now, and the orange blooms complement its foliage perfectly. Near the steps leading from the patio to the arbor garden are two 'Francis Williams' Hostas, Japanese painted fern, and an interesting plant with variegated arrow-shaped leaves, 'Red Dragon' Persicaria. I have placed an unlikely companion next to one of the the hostas: a red poinsettia, left over from Christmas and still looking good! 

Clockwise from top left: 'Francis Williams' Hosta with poinsettia in background and a neighboring branch belonging to Edgeworthia chrysantha; A variegated geranium; 'Red Dragon' Persicaria and 'Francis Williams' hosta; 'Red Dragon' Persicaria and Japanese painted fern.

I have featured 'Tropicana' Canna lily a number of times over the years. Its bold colors hold up well to the hot sun that bathes the front of our house in summer:

The stone steps leading down to the much shadier woodland garden are located across from the front parking area. One of my favorite views of the woodland garden (shown many times on this blog!) is seen from the bottom of the steps. Moss paths tie different parts of the woodland garden together and give it a peaceful, quiet atmosphere:

The white birdhouse in this photo was home to a family of bluebirds, recently fledged:

I put this little woodland sitting area in last year. It is near an area featuring ferns and native azaleas. Moss and ground covers will soon carpet the ground around the chairs. That is an old iron magazine rack holding small potted begonias. The blue flowers are Tourenia fournier, also called wishbone flower. It is my newly discovered favorite annual for shade. Tourenia comes in various colors. The cobalt blue blooms of this one are fabulous. I also planted lime green Scotch Moss (Sagina subulata), Creeping Jenny, and wild violets in this area. :

More plants in the woodland garden:1st row: Japanese felt fern; 'Whitewater' weeping redbud; Hardy begonia. 2nd row: Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red'; bench next to fern glade; Polystichum acrostichoides, a native fern also known as Christmas fern. 3rd row: Hellebore whose red blooms have faded to green; wild violets; Woodland rabbit with Colocasia.

This beautiful Bird's Nest fern (Asplenium nidus) stays in the woodland garden until cold weather arrives. It spends the winter inside, but it flourishes outside when the weather warms:

What about you? What makes you pause in a garden? How do you define beauty? The wonder is that I have seen many beautiful gardens, and they are all different!

You may also enjoy my previous post, Seven Elements of a Beautiful Garden.