Minnesota has what I consider to be the ideal climate for gardening. You scoff, I know. Especially those of you in more southerly climes. But, let me explain. Our growing season is pretty short. We can’t plant our annuals until at least May 15, and this year it was even later. Our average first frost is in late September. That’s it. Four and a half months. That is about perfect for me. By mid-August I am already growing bored with gardening and I’m ready to be done for the year. Apparently my gardening attention span is really short as well. It’s a perfect fit.
Today I thought I would take you, dear reader, on a short tour of my garden.
The lilac above is part of a lilac hedge I am working on along my rear property line. I put these in 3 years ago, and they are just starting to get nice and tall. I need them to fill in a lot more though, so I’m hoping to prune them this year and encourage them to get bushier.
I garden mostly in the shade. I have a lot of really large trees in my yard, which works well for me. I much prefer shade, and not having central a/c in my house means the trees help us stay cooler inside.
My buddha was purchased at Home Goods a few years back. He is holding up pretty well outside and has developed a nice patina. He is nestled in with my Maidenhair Ferns. I love these because they are so delicate and airy looking.
This is Cossetta. I purchased her at a garage sale of course! She seemed pricey in garage sale money at $80, but truly she was a bargain. She is wearing her tiara and presiding over the hostas and bleeding hearts.
I just purchased this bleeding heart. It has the bright chartreuse foliage that I love. I don’t know the official name of it off the top of my head, but if anyone is wondering, leave me a comment and I’ll go read the tag. As I was editing my photos for this post, it became apparent to me just how much I love bright lime green.
This is partly because I love the color, but also because these bright colors really pop in a shady garden. If you look closely at these photos, you can see that I use Cocoa Bean mulch in my gardens. I like how dark it gets, which also makes my bright green foliage stand out. It can get moldy in damp weather though, which can be slightly unpleasant.
I focus much more on foliage than I do on flowers. Most perennials have such a short blooming season, so I pick plants for their foliage so they look good all summer. Of course, I do have some favorite blooms too, like peonies, hydrangeas and irises … none of which are blooming quite yet. I have a cutting garden out behind the carriage house that is full of these. When they bloom, I don’t feel guilty cutting and bringing them inside because that’s what they’re there for!
This gargoyle is guarding the brunnera. I love the delicate blue flowers on this plant. Too bad they are nearly done for the season already. This is supposed to be Brunnera Jack Frost. If any of you know plants, you are now wondering why this doesn’t look like Jack Frost. Turns out you are supposed to keep cutting back the leaves that revert to the original green of brunnera. I didn’t know that, and never cut them back and now I have nothing but plain green. Do any of you grow the Jack Frost? Has the same thing happened to you?
My friend Sue brought the gargoyle back from a trip down south. She had purchased one for herself, and she just knew I would want one too. She was right of course.
Saint Francis of Assisi hangs out in my fern glade. This is under a heavy canopy of trees and the ferns have filled in a large area over time. Works for me, I don’t have to do much with this area except keep beating the ferns back into submission. Saint Francis is watching over the ashes of our first dog, Buck.
To conclude today’s tour, I’m sharing the topper on my fountain. My neighbor, nnK, gave me this. I think her mom brought it back from Mexico, or something like that. It just happened to fit perfectly at the top of my fountain.
This concludes today’s garden tour, I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll try to remember to take you on a few more over the course of the summer as the garden changes and new things are blooming.
For now, I am headed back to the workshop to paint a couple of mid-century pieces that have been patiently waiting for their make-overs.