Every gardening season has its challenges, and this year was one for the books! Here in up-state New York, during May and June, there was either too much rain (practically raining every day) or days that were hot and humid, which made working outside almost impossible. On an average year, I plant the canna and dahlias tubers around May 1st, but this year, with all the steady rain, I got part of them into the ground around June 15; and ended up throwing the rest away out of disgust. When trying to turn over the soil to plant the dahlias and cannas , it was soo wet, that the next day I experienced back pains; not something a gardener wants to have to go through.
Each Spring I started zinnias and other plants from seed, and buy flats of annuals at a local garden center. With the constant rain, I probably planted about half of the plants that I grew from seed, and just discarded the rest. The annuals that I bought at my local garden center were planted, but they just sat there, not producing much growth, and definitely minimal flowers. The only plants that did well, this year, were the perennials that have more extensive and stronger root systems, and the unwanted grasses and weeds that sprouted with great abundance in the beds and borders.
One more bit of gardening observation… with all of the rain, the flowering time of a lot of my things was pushed back about three weeks; plants that should be in full bloom around July 9th, were doing their thing at the end of the month.
So now that you’ve read my little gardening rant, lets look at some photos of how the garden looks this year.
The two cover photos for this blog post and the three closeups seen above, show the front garden which runs from my front steps for almost 115 feet along the driveway, down to the road that runs in front of my house (click on photos to enlarge).
A topiary bear, created out of a conical yew, basks in the sun on the edge of the bed that separated my land from my neighbors.
Two planters, filled with seasonal annuals, add a bit of texture and color by the mail box.
On the south side of my house, the hydrangea are happily blooming, due to the mild Winter that we had last year. My mother brought the hydrangea from Nantucket, Ma. and Newport, Ri which are plants that don’t do well in my zone 5-4 location (Winters that can go from -20 to-30 degrees below zero), because they were probably meant for a zone 6 and above garden (Winters that run 0 degrees Fahrenheit and above).
We’ve now passed through the garden gate and are in my back yard. The back lawn and garden space is about 125 foot square, and is completely surrounded by privacy fencing. I’ve planted many evergreens around the perimeter of my land so when the gardening period is over, for the year, there are still year-round things to look at.
The above photos show my version of a “Parterre Gardens”; they are on both sides of my back deck/porch, which bookends my patio area. I’ve always loved the Parterre Garden at Bunny Williams and John Rosselli’s Falls Village, Connecticut place, but I could not create mine out of boxwood as they did, because the piping for the pool runs under the garden. Instead I created mine of Dusty Miller, which is an annual, that can easily be pulled out of the soil.
The above four photos show the big border that runs across the backside of my land. This year it is more of a tapestry of foliage than flowers, as many of the annuals have not produced flower heads yet, or have just started to bloom. Oh well, it’s still pretty enough!
The last photo shows two of the large urns by the pool. The large wide mouth planters, at their bases had to be planted twice, as too much rain rotted out the initial plantings in them.
So there you have it, a look at this year’s garden. Even with its challenges, it still looks presentable to me (far from perfect, but presentable to anyone who drives by, or gets to see the garden from close up). I do think that no matter how perfect something looks to others, in the creator’s/gardener’s eyes, there could always be something more that could be done to heighten the visual effect. Oh well, maybe next year I will get it right;-}
Enjoy the fleeting end days of Summer, let’s hope they continue into late September!
Companion posts on Fred Gonsowski Garden Home.com.
When designing a perennial garden, it’s ALL about the Shapes of Leaves 1-15-2011,
How to Plant (Design) a garden..Mass versus Specimen Planting 2-17-2011,
Colored Foliage adds that WOW Factor to a Garden 2-22-2011,
Stagger plant Heights when Planting (Designing) a Garden 2-23-2011,
Grow a Topiary from an Upright Yew 6-15-2011,
Starting a Rose Bush and other plants from a Cutting (Slip) 6-17-2011,
Daylilies..Planting, Dividing and Maintenance 9-9-2011,
Hostas (Plantation Lily)..Planting, Dividing and Maintenance 8-14-2011,
My Hydrangeas Don’t/Won’t Bloom is a lament uttered by many 6-21-2012,
It’s Easy to Grow PUSSYWILLOWS 2-15-2012,
How to Trim a Golden String/Thread Cypress into a Pyramid 3-10-2016,
When Designing a Shade Garden, think Focal Point, Plant Color and Shapes of Leaves 9-4-2011,
Evergreens are Winter Interest in My Garden 1-24-2012,
Some Ideas about Planting Trees by your Home for Curb Appeal 4-26-2012,
Foundation Planting..Laying out Foundation Plants in front of your Home 9-28-2013,
Putting Foundation Plants across the Front of your House 10-21-2013,
Got Grass growing out onto your Sidewalks or Driveway?…Edge it 8-26-2012,
Planting a Garden Room on your Property 2-17-2013,
Some ideas about using Garden Ornaments, they add that finishing touch to a Garden 6-29-2013,
A Way to Garden..A tour of Margaret Roach’s Columbia County Garden in Copake Falls, NY 6-30-2016,
Bunny Williams new Studio at her Falls Village, Connecticut Estate 6-30-2016,
Visiting Real Housewives of New York (RHONY) Dorinda Medley’s home, Blue Stone Manor, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts 7-17-2017,
Martha was there, and so was I, Trade Secrets Ct, Sharon, Connecticut 5-24-2014,
My visit to the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, NY 7-30-2014.