Friday, May 30, 2008

The Yard Explodes

Our backyard explodes with color every Spring. I have many perennials that I look forward to seeing each year, such as the orange Helianthemum and Blue Lithodora that look so COOL together. We get some hot sun in the back, so I have incorporated succulents into the rockery, which also look pretty awesome. I have also planted a lot of evergreen plants, to provide interest during the winter or dormant times for the perennials. I try to stick to plants that can tolerate full sun, and any type of soil conditions for our hillside. On ground level, I have planted various annuals and perennials. I have to water those more, so that's why they're not on the hillside!

This purple guy is an African Daisy. I have a few planted in my lower flower bed. I couldn't resist taking a picture right after I watered today.

This is one of the succulents I mentioned. I have GARGANTUAN ones. Joe got some from a co-worker, and they love our backyard. I tucked them all over, in between rocks and boulders. They turn red in colder weather, and in the summer, they are more green in color. This one is in a cluster of them, and it's probably four inches across.

These next two pics are from my shade garden (it used to be in full sun until my flowering pear tree grew tall and created the shade!) I love it, though. It allows me to try out new kinds of shade plants. This one is called "Bleeding Heart."

This one I got as a starter from my mom's old house, and I've had it in the yard for several years. I can't remember what it's called, but it has the most adorable, tiny flowers that look like little bells. I have other plants that I received as babies from my mom's old house: Lady's Mantle, the Bleeding Heart and some other native plants. I think it's fun to get "hand-me-down" plants and remember the people you got them from. I have some beautiful, white, vanilla-scented irises that I got from my friend, Dave.

Last weekend, after Joe and I had finished cleaning up the yard for Spring, I spent the day planting annuals in the beds and in flower pots. My favorite, favorite thing is to plant geraniums in clay pots. I just love the look. I plant Vinca in the pots too, so they will cascade down the side of the pot. They're a perennial evergreen, so they can be used year after year. Here's a geranium:

In the past, I have used this antique baby bathtub and enamel container as mini rock gardens with succulents planted in them. This year, at the nursery, they had some displays with the same idea, but they also incorporated mini trees. They look like little Alpine gardens - so CUTE! I had to try it myself:

I LOVE these. The plants are all succulents, except the mini trees and some Woolly Thyme. The trees are only supposed to grow an inch in ten years! Aren't they cute?

Well, that was a long post, but I get excited about gardening. I even love weeding. I love experimenting with new things. The only thing I don't like about gardening, is when parts of a tree get a disease or die off, and I have to prune them way back. It almost makes me cry, because I remember how beautiful it was, and how long it took to grow that much. I had to cut a big hunk out of a perfectly shaped Japanese maple in my front yard this year. It had frost damage, and I had to do it. I always think about God and how he has to "prune" us sometimes. I wonder if He has the same feeling - knowing He has to do it, but it's a little sad and painful.....


Chelle said...

Those are beautiful! what a good gardener you are! :)

Julie said...

Your yard is a testament to what a friend of mine said one day, and that is that God must have a big sweet tooth!!! He made so many wonderful things for us to enjoy! That statement made me cry, and I will never forget it!

Organized Chaos said...

Very impressive! Can you fly to VA and help me with my new yard! It takes me a few years to figure out what things grow well in a certain area and then we move!

The Girls' Moma said...

Wow, what beautiful plants and flowers! Thanks for posting that. I love to garden too, but I know more about annuals. When I get a place I'll live in for more than a couple of years, I'll start studying the perennials!

Jodi said...

Thanks for all the compliments! I am coming to love annuals for the fact that you get color out of them the whole summer long. Perennials come back every year by themselves, but they only flower for a certain period of time. This year, I'm using much more annuals to keep the color going. I got these AWESOME ones called "wave petunias" that I put under a tree. They spread out like a thick carpet of color all summer long. SO cool.