Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Garden Review

Just as I think my gardening obsession is waning, it starts up again.  As soon as the garden starts dying in September, I long for spring again.  I'm reading my fifth gardening book since this fall.

It was an extremely dry, often hot, summer.  I pretty much gave up watering.  My excuse will be the porch renovation.  I got off to an extremely late start due to the delay in finishing my living room.  That was delayed due to working on my mother's living room.  Anyway, I pruned the roses too late.  I also decided to prune the Pinky Winky hydrangea to the ground to see if I could rid it of the Roundup damage it suffered in 2008.  It's somewhat distorted, shriveled and droopy.  It was way too late to do that, so consequently it only had two blooms this year.  Last year it had quite a lot for the first time since the unfortunate incident.
The Bloomless Wonder is behind the Stella de Oro daylily.
My mother always tells me I need groundcovers but I need to hear it from a professional to really believe it.  I read the excellent book, The Weekend Garden Guide, by Susan A. Roth, who says groundcovers are your friend.  And that's good, because I have a lot of them.  In the back garden I have thyme from my mother, plumbago, ivy from the birds and myrtle, which I think came from beside the steps to the patio (I didn't plant it intentionally).
A view from the deck of many groundcovers.
Myrtle (Periwinkle)
The beautiful white rose never bloomed and my two new (last year) ones were especially sparse.  In fact, the only ones that performed well were my favorite roses (except Dr. Huey).  I'm going to blame the Brutal Winter.

On the other hand, the phlox and hydrangeas were spectacular.  No powdery mildew on phlox or beebalm because of the drought, just burned foliage.

I did have success transplanting three offshoots of the Lovely Fairy rose and two offshoots of Mom's blue macrophylla hydrangeas.  I also was able to transplant a small piece of deutzia that self-seeded in the front border (apparently I left a piece from my last disastrous attempt).  I think I also moved a couple of hostas.  I really need to document this better.

Started using leaf mold as mulch in the shrub border.  It's just too hard to carry mulch all the way from the front by hand (there's no access to the backyard, even by wheelbarrow).  I just put the leaves in an old plastic garbage can and shoved my weedwacker inside.  It takes a long time because the leaves really compress.

Reorganized front right bed by moving a daylily away from the rose, removing ribbon grass, and transplanting a cranesbill from the Heritage Garden.  My mother bought me an Honorine Jobert anemone, my dream plant, which I planted here.

I really, really love the shade garden.  Is it because it's new?  I'm just in love with those plants.  I love the viburnum, Blue Billow hydrangea, Stained Glass hosta, Krossa Regal hosta and June hosta.  I'm wondering, though, if the viburnum should be fuller.  Does it need to be in more sun?  I bought it in fall 2013.

Here it is this past November.

I truly love pachysandra.
Next year I need to be vigilant about weeds here (well actually, everywhere).  I transplanted some pachysandra but I think it spreads slowly.  Also,  I need to buy netting to put on the oakleaf hydrangea so I can actually see it bloom for the first time.  I'm assuming the deer have been helping themselves to it.

The front yard is very lush, such that I really don't need pots or hanging plants since there's continual color.
Carly loves mulch.
So next year I have to figure out the area to the left, above, in front of the porch.  After paying all that money for the new porch, I don't want to hide it with plants.

This year I'd also like to plant out the tops of the stone walls near the shed in the backyard.  My mom still has plenty of daylilies I could transplant, as well as phlox.  I could use them to fill out the shrub border as well.  She also has a Scotch broom shrub I can squeeze into the border.  I'd also like to take a piece of my friend Sharon's Annabelle hydrangea.  They grow so quickly.  I think the white would look nice next to my pink one.

Again due to the Brutal Winter, the Purple Majesty and Preziosa hydrangeas didn't bloom.  Also, my mom's pink lacecap hydrangea didn't have many blooms, even though the one next to it was covered with flowers.  This may be a "grocery store" variety that's not meant to be hardy.  I'll give it one more chance before I throw it out.
Invincibelle Spirit - a pink hydrangea
The transplanted (from my mom's abandoned garden) Pee Gee hydrangea tree bloomed really well, considering last year I got nothing.
It has many more blooms than when I transplanted it.

It turned beautiful colors this fall.
The Tardiva hydrangea's blooms were disappointing, as it should be prolific.  Maybe I should have pruned it?
May spring come early this year!

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