The backyard garden at the end of May is pleasant and lush, with inviting colors, textures, diversity of plants, and sounds of birds, elevating this morning’s walk to a remarkably satisfying experience for this gardener.
Chrysanthemum, silvery Dusty Miller, Sweet Pea combine with soft leaves of Eastern Red Columbine.
The tradescantia (Virginia Spiderwort) wake up the early morning garden with intense blues, but close under the strong sun by midday. The pink yarrow and white rose campion mix well and the tall blades of iris add balance.
Nearby a lantana has sprung to life and soon will be covered in multicolored clusters of red, yellow and orange.
Stachys (Lamb’s ear) brightens the back corner between some irises and a gardenia. The gardenia will soon add its unique fragrance to the garden.
The Liatris spicata (Gayfeather) earlier seemed terribly crowded by the irises, but as its bloomtime approaches it stands tall.
Verbena bonariensis frequently draws American goldfinches to the garden. It is surrounded by a foxglove, shasta daisies, tradescantia, a rudbeckia ‘Irish eyes’ and gardenias.
The meditation circle with its labyrinth still has more mulch than plants. Five bonariensis await planting within but I am hesitant about whether they are a good choice. Meanwhile the penstemon and angelonia have worked out great. The thyme lacks a strong presence, though it grows fine and has bloomed. The candytuft bloomed a rewarding second time.
Many more plants are tucked and packed into this small backyard haven, making each morning’s walk new and interesting as they transition through life.
After a week of extreme heat, with temperatures reaching into the nineties, last night’s cooling breezes and this morning’s crisp air were welcome. Despite the prediction of rain I broke my rule against watering and gave some plants a good drink. Still only 66 degrees by lunchtime, the heavy rain started suddenly and continued steadily until early evening, and streets flooded in Chapel Hill. The garden’s meditation circle flooded near the entrance and in the middle, draining pretty well afterwards, but leaving a stark contrast to its bleached-out look under the severity of the sun earlier in the week. After a rosy-clouded sunset, the rains returned.