Close to nature

Every day, I’m reminded how fortunate I am to have stayed put for thirty-three years, with a garden now chock full of mature trees and shrubs. Still, I’m impatient with new plantings, and unfortunately, not attentive to the care required to nurture tiny perennials that are shoehorned into gaps.

For once, I must agree with my wife. I am not a patient person, but while I might not sit for long, in the garden I slow down. I will marvel at a carpenter bee feasting on nectar from the pink flowered summersweets (Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice, above). I am fascinated by the intricate detail of flowers of the Annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, below).

No matter the season, there is some flower, bark, or beast to marvel over. I cannot imagine the time when I do not have a garden, and even in the heat of summer I wander the garden, relaxing a mind that wants to race through the day.

One of the many lacecap hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) in the garden. While the flowers are not as large and showy as mophead hydrangeas, the stems and flower buds are rarely damaged by winter or early spring freezes.
A bee and a beetle share a flower of mountain mint.
Milkweeds (Aesclpsias) were slow to get started this year, but pollinators will be overjoyed that flowers are opening.
Most flowers of beautyberries (Callicarpa) are quite unremarkable, with berries the main feature, but Purple Pearls has exceptional blooms and berries.
Lantana is an excellent plant for a container on the driveway that is rarely watered.
A seedling panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) grows in the shallows of the koi pond. There is now no question that it will tolerate damp soils.
Blue Mist shrub (Caryopteris) provides delicate sky blue flowers from mid to late summer.
Ligularia is a superb choice for damp ground in part sun.
I have avoided butterfly bush (Buddleia) in recent years as breeders have turned this near weed into a shrub that has difficulty surviving damp winters, but the Pugster (Buddleia ‘Pugster Blue’) series is changing my mind.
Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Sixteen Candles’)
Bloomstruck hydrangea
The tall flowers of Verbena bonariensis sway in the slightest breeze and seed prolifically.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Comcast says:

    Your photos are beautiful!!

    Sent from my iPad


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