The garden photobomber strikes again, this time peeking out of a bower of purple coneflower and ‘Color Guard’ yucca.
A wider view shows that I was being watched as I photographed the pond garden. Early summer is a pretty time here, as the coneflowers color-coordinate with the ‘Colorado’ water lilies in the pond.
A ‘Wilson’s Yellow’ daylily has snuck into this planting bed somewhere along the way. Do you ever forget that you’ve moved a plant from one spot to another, only to be surprised later? Yeah, I didn’t think I was the only one.
Purple coneflowers have long been a favorite of mine. These prairie natives are like vanilla ice cream — simple, classic, and crowd pleasing.
These came from seed collected in my former garden, and they were one of the first plants to grow in my new garden. Stripey ‘Color Guard’ yucca and fall aster foliage distract from the coneflower’s stork-like legs.
Here’s a wide view of this bed, which screens the base of the elevated deck and curves around the sunburst stone path that surrounds the stock-tank pond. I try to keep these bamboo muhly grasses (Muhlenbergia dumosa) clipped for a more manicured look, and they’re due for a haircut. In other parts of the garden, however, I let these grasses grow tall and bushy.
After several redesigns here over the years, I finally exercised enough restraint to run a curving line of ‘Color Guard’ yuccas backed by bamboo muhly, emphasizing the circular geometry of this area. Small limestone boulders I collected throughout the yard casually edge this bed.
Purple coneflowers add summer color at one end, ‘Peter’s Purple’ monarda at the other. Sheared balls of ‘Winter Gem’ boxwood mark the four “doorways” into the pond garden.
Looking up the hillside path toward the gate — the ‘Blue Ice’ Arizona cypress just keeps growing, beautifully screening the house next door. Every time I walk by I brush its needles for the Christmasy scent.
Heading the other way, toward the far side of the back garden, I stop to admire a second bloom stalk on a soap aloe (Aloe maculata). The hummingbirds will be happy to see this. Moby the ‘Whales’ Tongue’ agave (A. ovatifolia) stretches his flukes in the background.
And looking back toward the stock-tank pond
Wandering out front, I’m happy to still be happy with the new front door color.
White skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens) softens the edge of a steel pipe remnant-turned-planter for a trio of ‘Burgundy Ice’ dyckias. Two of the original three didn’t survive the winter, so I replaced them. A painted metal heart made by Bob Pool adds a little love (and color).
The curbside garden along the front of the house is looking particularly lush and happy, but our long, cool spring has delayed the flowering of the autumn sage (Salvia greggii). It won’t be long; the first hot-pink flower has already appeared. Meanwhile, the pale-lilac blossoms of Mexican oregano are feeding the hummingbirds, and the grassy foliage of purple fountain grass (replaced annually), garlic chives, and Mexican feathergrass adds softness and movement. Everything out here must, of course, be as deer resistant as possible, and grassy or strong-scented foliage is the ticket.
Looking left, I pause to admire my neighbor’s streetside garden, which I planted for her a couple of years ago. Because this bed receives more sun than mine, her autumn sage is in full bloom, along with ‘Peter’s Purple’ monarda and Jerusalem sage. A hummingbird darted in while I was watching for a sip from the monarda blossoms.
This is the view from the street, looking toward my house and new fence, with a two-year-old ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave growing quickly in the center of the bed. The large red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) at back was already there when I planted, and I simply incorporated it into the new bed. Sadly, whenever it flowers the deer devour the bloom stalks, but at least the foliage is striking.
Thanks for joining me for a garden stroll today!
All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.