Continuing Progress in the Back Garden
Flowers continue to bloom and fade, and little creatures come and go, and I keep chipping away at cleaning up the back garden so I can feel guilt free about focusing on the shed garden this summer. Now that it's June, the proportion of sun to rain has increased, though we still have little spatters here and there.
But with the increase of good weather, and the decrease of children's schoolwork, I'm starting to make bigger strides out here. The herb garden I put in a few years ago had gotten kind of ragged. Originally it had herbs, decorative and edible flowers, mint, parsley, strawberries.... It looked amazing for the first year or so.
But, some things died, and some things had to go, and this year it was looking sad indeed. I cleaned it up, spread some compost and splurged on some new starts.
The parsley had all died off, so that all got cleaned out. I added more sage (I didn't realize I had so much already!), new parsley (both flat and curly), more oregano, and for fun, some tarragon.
The pineapple mint had died, so I divided the peppermint (my favorite) to make more of that. I kept the spearmint and lemon balm, though. And checked to make sure none of the mints were spreading out of their little enclosures.
I wish there was a way to keep the toys from spreading, too! :-)
I probably shouldn't keep the peonies in here if I'm going to keep stuffing more herbs in, but for now they're so happy and blooming. Still more to come!
I bought a couple of things for the garden next to the Gazebo Thing, too. It's been getting choked with weeds every time I turn around, so I thought I'd better finally plant something there to try and win the battle! You can't really see them, but I added a beautiful dark blue lacecap hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) and a frothy Goat's Beard (Aruncus dioicus).
I also finally mulched and planted up the new bed outside the family room window!!! The idea was to make this a hummingbird and butterfly garden, too. Or possibly in place of the one by the Gazebo Thing. That one has been very successful, but we can't see it from the house, so you have to camp out in that corner and hope you see something. Which of course is a great thing to do, but I'm very excited to be able to see the amazing wildlife right outside the window. I think we'll be able to get closer, too, since the animals won't see us.
I got some starts for that area, too. Another bee balm (Monarda didyma), some hummingbird mint (Agastache), Meadow Sage (Salvia x superba) and Beardtongue (Penstemon mexicali). I also added some yarrow (Achillea millefolium) for it's long bloom time. I have also heard that some birds like to use it for their nests. It was a mix so hopefully I got lucky and got a color I like! :-)
I couldn't resist the pincushion flower (Scabiosa caucasica) or the coral bells (Heuchera). We saw hummingbirds visiting the coral bells right there in the nursery!!
The whole garden is starting to come together. It almost looks like someone lives here!
Although... dun dun dun!!! Don't look the other way!
Do you grow herbs or wildlife attracting plants in your garden? What are you favorites?