Monday, May 05, 2008

A Wider View than Usual ...

I thought that tonight I'd do something I probably don't do enough here, which is to give a more comprehensive look at the garden from a more global (ok, well maybe it should be continental) view. As regular readers know, I've been lamenting the devastating loss of more than half of the masses of tulips we had planted, so here's partial testimony to the extent of the damage caused by that abnormally long and cold few weeks we had last spring.

The tulips are actually performing a wee bit better than we expected them to in these areas, but keep in mind that where you now see a grouping there were once about 20 bulbs, each mass surrounded by a ring of about 20 grape hyacinths as well. A lot of the grape hyacinths seem to have succumbed as well, so overall, this portion of the front boulder bed is looking more than a bit wan this year.

This shot also affords a good perspective on some of the other perennials in this bed (at least the ones currently up). So here's what we have here, from the bottom left to right ... that crowded and happy looking clump of very green leaves just to the left of the tulips are the ever expanding Wood Hyacinths (Hyacinthoides hispanica) you'll in a few more weeks, as it's one of the very last bulbs to join the show in the late spring. To the right of the red tulips, we have an unknown variety (e.g. we lost the tag) of Artemisia, and the closest I've come (not very) to identifying it online is that it may be Artemisia pycnocephala, but I'm basing that entirely on the less than convincing picture in the Wikipedia entry. The blooms they show look pretty much like the ones on this plant. We planted it mostly for garden textural interest than for the blooms, and it's a vigorous grower that we have to cut back in early summer, lest it overwhelm everything around it. We also lost a few of its cousins this year as well, the 'Silver Mound' variety, Artemisia schmidtiana that I've been patiently tucking into spaces in the rocks out front. I will definitely be replacing those, because they've fast become one of my favorites among the Artemisias.

And to the right of the Artemisia in this photo, you'll find yet another clump of Wood Hyacinths. Directly behind it, and more to center of the bed, you can see a (still) very short plant coming up ... well this is some kind of minor miracle that I really hope pans out this year. It's a (reputedly purple) 'Turk's Cap' lily which I had given up for gone as recently as last year. But here it is! I'm hopeful we'll see something out of it this year, because they are a truly beautiful lily, and that's quite the praise coming from someone who's not really a fan of many of the fancy lilies cultivated today. I am hoping that in this case, the old garden adage of: the first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, the third year it leaps. This is its third year here and I sure would love to see it do some leaping ...

Further back are tulips, of course and that maroon-purply-red mass of leaves is the ever expanding, and soon to be thinned out Lysimachia a friend gave us back in 2004 telling us that it was 'Yellow Bee Balm,' well that didn't quite pan out obviously once it got going, and now we fear that it may try to rule things out there, so it's soon due to meet the shovel or ax! It does have its merits, growing into a shrub like monstrosity with interesting foliage and very pretty proliferous yellow flowers. Beyond that, you can see the beginnings of the Woodland Garden, with that planting of Daffodils and Hyacinths which should look familiar as it is the one I featured in a post last week. Further beyond, you can see our Hollies (1 Male, 2 Female), behind which is an assortment of ferns, Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) and two species of Ligularia dentata, and Ligularia stenocephala which are now up but far from blooming stage yet. There are also several 'Alpine Blue' (Aquilegia alpina) in front of the hollies and when they're blooming you'll see them here. Of course there's a lot more going on than can be seen in this shot, but I'll plan on trying at least once a week from now on to get a 'documentary' shot up here so we can all gauge the progress over the coming months. Stay tuned ...

4 comments:

FARfetched said...

I like this wide view — they give us a little context to put in the close-up shots.

I need to post a pic of the front flower garden (the one with the pampas grass in the back) as it stands. Mrs. Fetched has put me to work two weekends in a row, "helping her" plant stuff, and it's looking pretty good.

You mentioned bee balm… I have a lemon balm that I thought I'd lost last year but is really looking good now. Maybe it's taken 3 years for it to get properly established, and perhaps I can look forward to it spreading out a bit.

The mint plant is finally starting to take off, and I'm going to be covered up with sage & oregano if I'm not careful!

olivia said...

Agree w/ FAR - love these wider shots that give us a bit more perspective.

I'm sorry to hear that the tulips didn't revive after last year's hit, but the ones growing in the garden here are beautiful specimens!

LOL FAR - like the thought of having an herb garden explosion ... :D

boran2 said...

It is nice to pull back a bit and see a bigger piece of the landscape. It's nice to see how things fit together.

I hope that it "leaps" this year for you.

I love the red tulips to the rear.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Folks! Glad you liked the idea of wider views... I'll try to do one every week then, as long as something interesting is going on.

FAR, I'm still chuckling at you worrying about a mint! Fret not, my friend, as I said over at your place, once a mint settles in, it's there for the duration and tough to eliminate. I think if your lemon balm is what I imagine, it too is a mint, as is Bee Balm, so there are tons of them in various forms (so are those pretty coleus you probably plant too!) There are worse things than being overrun w/sage and oregano! Just try Daturas, hehehe *evil laugh*

Olivia, it's disappointing but we'll survive ... we were by Frank's this weekend and his losses are far greater than ours (and he had 700+ I believe!)

B2, glad you liked. Maybe I can get a good shot of the whole house from the front and you can do a painting? LOL (j/k) Actually some woman in the neighborhood a few years ago thought it was an interesting subject of the back of our house (so NOT) and laundry on the line. Well she took a picture, and a few months later walked by with a finished painting done from the photo. The back of our house is hardly attrctive ... 2 windows and overhang or two and LOTS of stucco wall! go figure... lol