Before I begin to highlight a few more front garden spots in my yard let me just say that many of these locations have not been prepared yet for the year. I still need to weed more, mulch more and add new plants in places!
These first few pictures are from the mailbox garden. Pretty much everyone has something around their mailbox, it's almost a tradition. It might even be worthy of its own post. I hope to expand this area quite a bit in the future. Since moving to our house I've noticed a few things about our soil. Up by the road there is virtually no topsoil. It was probably scraped clean of any valuable earth when the house building process began. There is even a good deal of gravel strewn about in this part of the yard. Again I'll blame it on the builders. The further back in my yard you go the better the soil gets. In the very back it is rich, dark, loamy soil characteristic of a forest. Between those areas we have all sorts of variations in between, including clay.
On with the show!
Here you can see our 'Purple Homestead' verbena that has done really well in this location. I need to take a few more cuttings of it. The opposite side of the mailbox also had a verbena but it died off. I need to get a replacement.
Here is the 'May Night' Salvia which is doing great. I'm a little surprised it is blooming this well so early. It may have something to do with the proximity of paved surfaces. They can act as heat sinks and tend to create their own micro-climates.
Here's a view form behind the mailbox. You can see that the posts really need to be cleaned and painted. We have an achillea (Yarrow) of some variety that I don't remember. It comes out pink and changes to white. I think I like it more for its fern-like foliage than the flower colors. You can also see a second 'May Night' salvia behind the achillea. All of these plants are hardy and do well in poor soils.
Here's what the mailbox garden look like right now. It's a mess at the moment but soon it will look better. It's amazing what a bag of mulch can do for a garden! I almost forgot to mention the irises that can be found throughout our landscape.
Apparently out squirrels are quite the gardeners, they seem to have planted an oak tree under our mailbox! I'll have to transplant that tree somewhere else.
Here's the beginning of our Yoshino garden. So far there is a Yoshino cherry tree, several irises and two rocks. As the tree grows I'll expand the garden around it. The bed is in a small fan shape that I thought might look unique with the two rocks framing it on the sides.
It will look better over time, and soon the irises will bloom. I'll be planting some allysum in front of the irises and I will add some salvia from cuttings behind the rocks once they are ready to plant.
Here is a small corner garden between our sidewalk and driveway. This little garden spot is new and doesn't have a while lot planted yet. I divided a huge clump of liriope that was here before us into 30+ little plants. They will line the edge of the bed next to the sidewalk and above them there will be daylilies.
Here's another garden spot underneath one of the two Bradford pear trees. I moved sod to create a small berm or mound then I covered it with grass clippings periodically last summer to add some organic content to the soil and then I added some irises. I didn't mulch it, but I will soon. I've seen it written that irises shouldn't be mulched but I think as long as you don't bury the rhizomes they will do fine.
Now we'll go back to the front sidewalk garden to show you some plants I missed in my last post. Here is one of two $5 butterfly bushes I purchased last summer. It's done really well in this spot. It retained most of it's leaves over the winter, probably because of its proximity to the house.
When I talked about the tulips I mentioned how the white and purple ones ('Shirley' thanks to Mr. McGregor's Garden) began as yellow tulips. Here's one of them before they changed color. Definitely yellow.
Here's a 'Stella de Oro' Daylily. This is one of several divisions I made last fall and it is doing great. I love getting more plants for free!
Here is one of my Russian sages. I think this is the 'Longin' Russian sage. If you ever get the chance to touch one of the leaves of a Russian sage there is a nice, strong smell which is probably why it got named as a sage even though it is not a salvia.
Finally here is a very from the other side. This was taken before the tulips were in bloom and before many of the other plants began their new growth. It does give you a good look at the nandina. There's still a lot of work to do.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Front Garden Spots (Mailbox Garden, Yoshino Garden and other Spots)
Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt and Lowe's and is available for edible garden consulting. Dave gardens organically and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.