It has been a while since I posted pictures of the garden, a couple years actually, but I wanted to share with you some of the plants and fruits that I have going this year.
I bought this Buddha statue at Target about 10 years ago. It is resin (plastic) but still looks really great after an entire decade in the garden. ‘Catlin’s Giant’ Ajuga groundcover is in the foreground, along with annual begonia. A variety of native woodland irises (iris cristata) is just to the statue’s right with the short sword shaped leaves. In the far back is an evergreen yew. Behind the statue you can see the larger sword shaped leaves of a bearded iris and a chartreuse leaf spiderwort. I think the large boulder the statues sits on is ideal for creating some additional scale and impact, so the statue feels grounded and connected to the earth. Some black Mexican river stones around the statue also lend a nice effect.
A Steuben Grape on the arbor leading from the driveway to the patio. It is a little too much for this arbor and I haven’t cut it back yet this summer, so it looks a little out of control. The gate has bamboo poles spray painted black zip tied to the gate, extending above it, so the neighborhood deer don’t jump through the gate (the metal portion of the gate is only the bottom half) Looking through the gate you can see my Celeste fig and some other perennials in containers.
I made this tripod to elevate my impact sprinkler (which is on a timer) The tripod is made from very heavy bamboo and the sprinkler is screwed very securely to it at the top. The legs were also pounded into the ground about 6 inches or more. It is amazing how much force a sprinkler has as it pulsates, but this thing isn’t going anywhere, it is very sturdy, and the added height allows the water to go over the shrubs and evenly water a large area.
I took the time to label the plants in this picture because I thought is was a good illustration of using foliage color and texture to create interest in a shade garden. There are few plants that bloom for a long period in the shade, so relying on foliage is a good strategy for having a beautiful shade garden throughout the summer. This is a mixture of native, and non native plants. The coleus and the flowering torenia are annuals, but the rest are perennials that come back each year.
This shows our serviceberry tree about a week after the fruit was ripe. Unfortunately, due to the late freeze this year we had very little fruit set…but usually between the two trees of this size we get up to 9 pounds of berries. Well hope for better luck next year.
This North Star Cherry is about 3 years old and this is the first year we will get cherries off of it. Right now they are looking beautiful….just starting to get ripe (if you follow me on facebook you know that I ended up netting this tree to keep the chipmunks from stealing the cherries….and yesterday I harvested about a pound and a half of cherries….)
This year I am trying tropical Mandevilla in the wall baskets….I hope they get enough sun to bloom well…they get about half a day’s sun facing east….I absolutely love having drip irrigation on my planters because things do so very much better when they don’t dry out so much during the day.
My apple trees are about 4 years old now…maybe 5…the fruit isn’t ripe until the fall, but it has set quite a few apples this year. I wonder if I’ll get any or if the wildlife will take them all again this year?
This is the Kousa dogwood in the shade garden, it isn’t native but it is actually a lot hardier than our native dogwood in situations where there is full sun, shallow soil, and some drought. Did you know that the fruits on this tree are edible? They are, but they aren’t the greatest things I’ve ever tasted. Not bad as an addition to the morning smoothies in moderation though, and I love eating a variety of things from the garden that you can’t find at the grocery store.
This hosta and native fern have both been in these containers for about 4 years. I don’t take them inside or cover them or anything during the winter and they come back great each year, in fact, every year they look bigger and better!
I really love my garden!
These blueberries have also overwintered in containers outside for a few years now, and last winter the temps got down below any we had seen for over 15 years, so definitely below zone six and solidly into zone 5 temps.