Updates and changes inside the house are under our control and therefore, easy to notice and track the progress. Plants however, are a totally different ballgame. Each grows on its own timeline, very slowly changing. So slowly it can be difficult to notice, so I’ve decided to share more frequent garden updates, to track progress. Also, because I get excited about little changes. Even in the month since the last update, each plant looks different, some drastically so.
Along the front walkway, I recently added five Stella D’Oro day lilies, sandwiched between two yews.
I wish the blooms stuck around more than a day, but they’re pretty while they last.
On the far end is a hydrangea that has grown leaps and bounds in the year since I planted it. Small buds are popping up, getting ready to bloom.
Near the front door is a trio of red day lilies (that deer love to eat) along with a group of Russian sage. I cut the sage down to the ground this spring, and they’ve become much thicker as a result.
Last fall, I wasn’t sure the coneflower plants were going to make it, but they’re back and covered in beautiful blooms.
In the back, everything has continued to grow and fill in. The butterfly bush has doubled in size and now has a couple of buds.
Toward the pool house, the catmint that had been battered by the hail storm is bouncing back. A note about catmint, it grows quickly and can over take other plants, but it also does well if sheared back to control growth.
That said, if you have a large, sunny spot to fill, I can’t recommend catmint enough. Some of these have already spread about three to four feet wide. With a steep hillside, I’ll take any and all help I can get to cover as much ground as quickly as possible.
In the above photo, the snowball viburnum has gotten a bit leggy, but I’m going to let it do it’s thing until fall before cutting it back. On the right, the row of Karl Foerster grasses has feathery tops now. In addition to being incredibly hardy, this grass offers great winter interest. Behind the viburnum is the only real shade area on our property, where I’ve added two ferns.
Curly little frond beginnings are beginning to unfurl, which I have to stay on top of spraying with deer repellent.
Not only are the deer interested in taste testing the ferns, they have eaten all six of the hosta plants to stalks. I’m sure they were like, “Free buffet, everyone! Come on over here!” When the hostas were gone (in just two days!) they also nibbled over half of the hydrangea buds off, too. I wasn’t happy after the hostas, but when I noticed fewer flowers, it became war. Feel free to share your deer repelling methods.
Salvia is blooming and adding a touch of pink back here. If deadheaded, it blooms at least twice in the season.
Due to the nature of a rocky hillside, adding plants can be difficult. I’d start digging, only to hit a giant boulder and have to fill back in and try a different area. This area happened to go relatively smoothly, and it is beginning to look lush and colorful.
Near the fire pit, the lower part of the hill has three new lavender plants, a big catmint from last year, a coreopsis, and a red-hot poker.
Red hot poker attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
At the far end of the house, a set of stone stairs lead up part of the hillside. Tucked between the stair treads and the stacked stone wall are various succulents. This hen and chick family looks adorable.
Looking toward the waterfall from the back deck, here’s last month’s shot.
I realize this doesn’t look drastically different, but each plant has grown enough to notice in just a month.
Surprisingly, I’ve added only 15 plants so far this year. There’s an area near the road that I want to address soon, but I’m working on a plan before I start buying anything.