Bits and pieces

Can it be June already?

Here are just a few things that have been happening around the garden the past week or so. This little tour doesn’t take any particular path, so enjoy meandering along with me…

Catalpa is a native tree in the Northeast. This large, old specimen has beautiful large leaves and flowers that are white with the slightest purple-mauve markings. It’s slow to leaf out, but the fragrant flowers put on a show! The gnarled, mossy limbs and occasional insect holes could tell some stories..
The garden plan I found at the historical society referenced white lilacs. These massive specimens are located in the same area of the yard, and are quite old. They may be Japanese tree lilacs. In any event, they’re very fragrant and late blooming. In your own garden, look closely and you might also see the bones or remnants of a former garden. I’ve always liked working those elements into my design plans. If you happen to discover a forgotten garden gem, why not work it into your plans and keep a little piece of history?
Astilbe “Deutchland” blooming despite the incident with sour mulch. Situated near some of the Japanese tree lilacs, it’s reminiscent of their delicate blooms.
Astilbe “Peach Blossom” is coming into bloom in both our front and back gardens. Once the flowers have faded, they provide an interesting structural element, right through to winter.
Our summer planter for shade this year includes grasses, annuals and a maidenhair fern. Airy and ephemeral is this year’s theme, inviting you to get thisclose to view it.
Beyond our garden, over the past several weeks I’ve worked on the gardens of three of my friends. It’s so much fun to dream, plan and work side-by-side together, whether it’s been a new garden, a refresh or an expansion. Salvia is one of the plants I recommend when the conditions are right — they love sun and attract bees. Here’s the salvia I planted last year in our garden. It will re-bloom throughout the summer, especially if you occasionally deadhead. It’s practically care-free.

The two New Dawn roses at the front of the house are blooming profusely. Still relatively small, around 7 or 8 feet tall, we had to add some wires this weekend to help encourage their continued climb up the front of the house.

Yes, the garden is still very young and the overall scheme needs time to grow. But every little bit of progress, each small miracle of a bloom or a stem nudging ever-closer toward the sun, fills me with immense joy and peace.