Thursday, May 26, 2016

garden stroll ~ late may

Good thing we got a lot of gardening work done this week and that I took photos then, because now the rain (and heat and humidity) are here. 

This is the south side of my house with the path that leads to the patio. It's mostly shady due to the neighbor's overhanging trees, so perennials such as hostas, pachysandra and lilies do wonderfully as ground cover in this area with minimal work. We've never had to purchase hostas. They've all been divided transplants from neighbors and friends. I haven't spruced up the patio area yet except for some new cushions, so I'm not going to show you this area yet. I still need to re-spray paint the ottoman and side table and plant some more annuals in pots for the baker's rack.

Privacy fences are boring and ugly and I'm a bit limited in what I can do since it's our neighbor's fence, but I've hung a few things for visual interest. I found this planter at Home Depot and filled it with petunias, dianthus and ivy.

Parsley graces a tin butterfly planter.

On the north side of the house...remember this plain area that I was determined to spruce up this year? This is where Brian put a trellis and planted clematis for me for Mother's Day. Since this area gets a lot of sun, we decided to plant tomatoes and zinnias here, too. 

Brian dug out a rectangular area, we planted the tomatoes and zinnias, and then mulched. We obviously still have to add some kind of border. See the planter on the left with the bamboo in it? It's growing like a weed. I've read that people plant it as a "living fence" since it grows quickly and tall, but it's terribly invasive. It can take over an entire backyard! I'm glad we dug it out of the butterfly garden and put it in a container.

These weigela bushes have been on the north side of our house since we moved in 26 years ago - planted by the previous owners. They had a lot of dead area this spring so they needed pruning. Hopefully, they'll fill back in with new growth later this season. In the meantime, I'm loving the beautiful spring flowers on these bushes ~ and so are the bees! 

The flowers usually attract hummingbirds too, but I haven't seen any so far this spring.

Pots o' color in different areas around the yard...

I just made this planter yesterday. The big plant is a citronella plant, which is in the geranium family. I originally thought that it would help deter mosquitoes, but from what I've read, the plant itself does not deter the mosquitoes. You have to take some of the leaf, crush it and rub it on your skin. That's the deterrent. Oh well, I'm willing to try this because I don't want to use DEET on my skin unless absolutely necessary. (I've made homemade mosquitoes sprays from natural ingredients in the past and they haven't worked well.) Also, from reading about this plant, some web sites say it's a perennial and you can put it in the ground so that it will come back every year, and other places say you have to dig it up and bring it indoors for the winter. Maybe it matters what variety it is? Sheesh. I'll have to do more reading later.

I have my herbs in various places...
Basil - including a purple variety - went into this planter.

I'm keeping the salad greens, dill and cilantro in a more shady area on my front porch, though the heat is already taking a toll on the poor greens on the left.

A little herb garden in the back of the house has mint, lemon balm, chives, thyme and newly-planted tarragon.

Also, in the backyard, my lilac bush blooms are already dried up. They sure don't last long!

The only thing blooming in my butterfly garden right now is Columbine...

After last night's storm, the sun broke out for a few minutes and I immediately said to Brian, "I bet there's a rainbow." I went outside and sure enough, there it was. :-)

Have a wonderful weekend! 
For those of us in the US, it's Memorial Day weekend, with Monday being the actual holiday. We remember those men and women who died in active military service. 


  1. Melanie, that path with the beautiful hostas is the very first picture I remember seeing when I first visited your blog. The whole area there is just a lovely side garden. I love the weigelas too (did I spell them right?). They are one of my most favorite flowering plants, the color is so sweet.

    I hope you have a pleasant holiday weekend,

  2. Everything is looking so lovely, Melanie! All your hard work has paid off!! Where did you find the citronella? I was looking for one...

  3. oh your garden is lovely! I always enjoy seeing the variety of plants and decorations in gardens. The heat here is always a challenge to growing flowers but I try every year!

  4. You have a lovely garden, every part of it. I especially love weigela bushes. I had two huge ones years ago, but they were removed to make room for the play area.
    As for rain, we have had several inches just since Monday, and more rain all weekend. Put a damper on our junking plans (pun intended).
    Have a lovely holiday weekend!

  5. Your garden looks lovely. I love the weigela bushes and have to check them out to see if they will grow here.

    Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

  6. You sure have a lot of lovely blooms to enjoy.

    Your weigela bushes are wonderful.

    Have a great long weekend ~ FlowerLady

  7. Your garden looks gorgeous, so many different things to see. Happy Memorial Day.

  8. Your garden looks fabulous, Melanie. I am a huge hosta fan and yours are so lush!!

  9. Everything looks just wonderful, Melanie. I love all you have done in the garden area. If those are chinese bamboo they are terribly invasive and took over behind my mother's house. You cannot kill or get rid of the darned things and they will kill anything in their path. The weigela beside the house is WONDERFUL. Hope it fills back in for you, too. xo Diana

  10. Gardening, my favorite! Everything looks lovely, of course!

  11. Melanie - Your yard looks wonderful.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


  12. Everything looks lovely! Can't wait to see how it progresses over the summer!

  13. Hi Melanie, I loved all your little garden spots. You are going to love having a clematis, such a sweet gift from your husband. Blessings for a nice holiday weekend, xoxo, Susie

  14. My gosh~~you have an abundance of gorgeous flowers. I love the new beds you've made and yay going ahead and putting a few things on that face. everything!!! :)))

    You asked about the salad and quinoa. Other then the salad mixed with dressing and a few other things wit additions, the quinoa was alone as were other elements.., maybe with a sprinkling of Mrs. Dash. The whole idea behind these salads were 'bowls' served in so many restaurants in Vancouver. Everything was sort of separate and then you could eat it that way or sort of push it together It was quite interesting! It a great presentation and so good!


  15. I always love strolling through friends garden area looks lovely and I always like shade garden because I find them soothing!

  16. Your gardens are just beautiful, Melanie. I put in a few hostas this year. I will jump for joy if they turn out to be anything like yours!

  17. Looks like a lovely and inviting garden! Loved my visit!


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