In late July and early August you will find my garden at its happiest. Everything is starting to bloom and my garden hasn't been destroyed by lack of water, or the trampling of little feet. (Who am I kidding, my kids both have giant feet!) It's pouring down rain here today, so I thought a little garden tour was in order.
I'll start with one of my absolute favorite plants. Meet Annabelle.
Annabelle Hydrangeas are known for the big mopheads that they produce. There are so many flowers on these plants that I am forced to cut more bouquets than I have places for in my house. I know, it's a tough problem to have.
Annabelles love lots of water, like all hydrangeas, but they are not fans of the pounding rain. I'm dreading what today's rainstorm is doing to them right now. I usually gently shake them off after it rains, but I'm sure I will have lots of broken branches. The rain makes the mophead very heavy and pulls them to the ground.
I planted some basil up near the house this year, and it has been very happy there. That corner bounces the heat around and it acts like a little mini green house. Keeping the old watering can there reminds me to keep it watered. I tried purple basil there again this year and it didn't last. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong with that variety.
My vegetable garden is very herb heavy this year. I noticed that most of the "fun" fruits and veggies haven't worked very well, so I decided to plant what I know works well in this space, considering what we use the most.
This year's garden is very basil and cilantro heavy. I use those two herbs a few times a week.
We planted lots of lots of lettuce. Some varieties are kind of wilty, but the Romaine lettuce is pretty crisp. We eat a lot of chicken Caesar wraps this time of year.
I finally have a few zucchini starting! See that little baby right there?
My hubby's request this year was a couple of blueberry bushes. I have two bushes that didn't make it through the winter, so I bought this one in early Spring. The blueberries are ripening! A few more weeks and we'll be ready for
some blueberry cobbler a small handful of berries.
My dahlias make me happy. (Thanks Carpooler Michelle!) You are supposed to dig up dahlia tubers every year, store them indoors, then replant them in the spring. I don't have that much patience, so I leave them in the ground and feel lucky when they don't rot and actually produce beautiful flowers. Again, I'm not looking forward to seeing what today's rain has done to this pretty flower!
I have several varieties of hydrangeas around my yard. This one is changing. This is the only stem on this plant that produces this type of flower. They rest are lacecaps. I talked to someone at Wight's Nursery about why this is happening and she said it is not possible to have a plant change from a mophead to a lacecap. I listened politely, but I have the proof right in my yard. I have no idea why this plant (along with a few others) are mutating this way. Weird.
This little area by my shed, along the fence, has been my most recent garden project. The fence is really ugly, so I needed things to hide it. It get very little sun, if any at all, and it's slightly sloped. This is only year two for these plants, so I know they will fill in in another two years. It's filled with hostas, and a few other shade perennials.
Last years I added three honeysuckles and I love them! I just need to figure out how I'm going to attach them to the fence so they will cover some of the ugliness.
My little wagon, in front of the shed looks like it needs a bit more fertilizer, but the flowers add a little color.
The front of the house is starting to bloom as well.
These are the plants we stole from the cemetery. Ok, we didn't really steal them. We bought them in the first place, and took them down to the graves of my step-dad, father in law, grandpa, and grandma. After a week, the cemetery workers come around and collect everything to put in the dumpster, regardless of condition. So, my mother in law runs down just before they are about to toss my pretty flowers and collects them for me. Isn't that good thinking?
*Funny side story - One year my mom, grandma, and I went down to the cemetery to pick up the plants before they were thrown away. There were lots of people around, so when my mom and grandma went to get the plants I yelled from the car, "That one's pretty too! Whey don't you grab it too!" My mom was mortified and I was cracking up laughing.*
Here are a few more hydrangeas from the front of the house. The top one was supposed to be a white mophead, and over the years this is what it has changed to. I'm tellin' ya, it's weird!
I bought a little Blue Star Creeper a few years ago, and it has taken off. I love that you can walk on it and it bounces back. My house NEEDS plants that bounce back. The front yard is home to the basketball hoop. The Blue Star Creeper sees lots of action.
Finally, we have the hanging baskets and window boxes. I try to get these planted a little before Memorial Day. They are tiny little starts when I buy them, and fill out nicely by July. I will plant these baskets as long as I live and I don't ever think I will change flowers. I plant Bacopa, Geraniums, and Petunias every year. I think they make my house happier.
I guess they make me happier too!