Garden 337

A cottage garden in an urban setting

Coral Bells

Today in the front yard I planted a wonderful array of coral bells.  They have such wonderful names.  Palace Purple.  Marmalade.  Peach Melba.  Creme Brule.  The palace purples have been there a year now, and they are lush mounds of deep red.  When I saw the other colors in various garden centers I knew they would be perfect for that odd little area just beyond the brick.

This is the third summer for my front garden.  The boxwood are doing beautifully, as are the white dome hydrangeas that were planted a year ago.  The pana rhododendrons are in bloom right now, but I worry about these.  They don’t look as fit as they should, though you wouldn’t know it from the gorgeous deep pink blossoms.  The other rhodies have long since bloomed and are now busy sending up new growth.

It is the back yard gardens that are developing and changing the most, though.  I planted white asiatic lilies today, and a beautiful pink climbing rose.  I nestled two red astilbes amongst the hostas that I transplanted last fall behind the garage.  The kousa dogwood will provide more dappled shade there, and I hope the red will draw my eye to that corner.  I have foxglove and hollyhocks sitting in the wheel barrow, waiting to be planted.  And there are three white coneflowers that I don’t quite know what to do with, as well as the white phlox.  Did I buy too many white flowers, I wonder?  The foxglove and hollyhocks will add color, as will the threadleaf coreopsis.  And there will be the caryopteris and the butterfly bush.  And the lavender.  Oh, how I love hidcote lavender with its deep purples.  And I must transplant the purple coneflower that is in the front under the bald cypress. Or is it a dawn redwood.  Whatever it is, the purple coneflower are lost underneath it and need to move.  And I must move the rest of the pinks to the spot under the old dogwood.    I think it’s a red twig dogwood that is so old that it has forgotten how to make red twigs.  Even the new suckers that are coming up from the base are green.  But the tiny flower clusters tell me it is really just an old red twig that has hugged the batter fence for perhaps 90 years.   It might be as old as the house.

Such a treasure this house is.  Cozy.  Quaint.  Solid.  Englishy.  How wonderful it is to take something that was so shabby, with such a wild and untended garden, and turn it into something that makes everyone smile with pleasure.

About Me

I haven’t always been a gardener, but I have always loved gardens. It has taken 16 years to get my gardens into the shape they are today. And, I’ve had help. I’m 74 years old, have rheumatoid arthritis, and had a late stage cancer six years ago. I am, though, intrepid. I’m the kind of person who plods along, tailoring my goals as I go. Last November I had a long overdue knee replacement surgery and I’m hoping this spring, summer, and fall will be able to maintain and find even more joy working in all of my garden beds. Full disclosure, though. I have a garden guy who comes once a week to work in my gardens.


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