On the Events page I’ve given you a hint of what my work-in-progress looks like as I get it ready for Applewood Garden Club‘s Great Neighbourhood Gardens tour July 14 in Mississauga, ON, but here I thought i’d give you a little preview with its best foot forward. Without the wheelbarrow and the plant trimmings, I mean. All the pictures on this blog were taken Friday, July 5, so we can expect the garden will look reasonably similar at tour time.
I’ve been working hard to make the garden look good for its day in the spotlight, even though it got a good going over for the Flamborough Horticultural Society’s tour in late May. But gardens can change and look unkempt in even a few weeks, so I’ve been at it again. I’ve been deadheading, weeding endlessly and of course viewing the garden with a critical eye. Why can gardeners never stop changing things? I’ve removed some perennials (we’ve lost a couple of trees over the past three years, leaving some shade-loving plants browning in the sun) and I’m putting in evergreens and shrubs to cut down on work. And I’ve introduced some new perennials. Why? you may ask…well, just because.
One of the newish ones is Monarda didyma, above, more commonly known as bee balm, in luscious scarlet bloom above in front of black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) ‘Black Lace’ My son gave me a clump of the bee balm three years ago from his garden and it’s thrived–I give away rootlets every year. Matthew didn’t know its cultivar name, but I think it’s probably ‘Cambridge Scarlet.’
Big betony (Stachys macrantha), above, isn’t new to my garden, but I’ve added more because I like it so much. It’s a member of the lamb’s ears family, but you wouldn’t know it–no velvety grey foliage. Instead, it has tidy rosettes of crinkly green leaves (which are’t showing here), and spikes of pinky lavender flowers. An underused plant, in my view.
I made this flagstone path last year. It was fomerly made up of just a few stepping stones but now it serves as a standing space to hang up laundry–our portable umbrella clothesline is inserted into a small ground receptacle at the centre of the stones; you can barely see it beside the urn. I’m quite proud of this pathway, by the way. It also leads off to the right to our gazebo and it was a lot of work. For a while I was thinking of going into the pathway-making business.
Taking centre stage beside the path in the front right now is the purple smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’). I love its vibrant colour, its feathery “blooms”, and their staying power–they turn buff as summer advances, then fade to almost nude in fall. In fall the leaves also turn, taking on some orangey hues. The tree grows fast and might get out of bounds, so we trim it back in early spring every year.
So graceful and lovely, and a feature of my front garden for a week or so in early summer, pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida) is an under-appreciated native prairie plant. I hope it’s still has some blooms July 14.
This my vegetablle garden and is the last of the preview pics I’ll let you see–for the full tour you have to buy a ticket.(For tickets, check out the AGC’s website, at top.) I grow my vegetables in pots in the driveway because I have little space in my perennial beds for more than a few clumps of lettuce. They also get strong sun from the west, reflected off the brick of the house and the garage door. Tomatoes are my specialty.