right now

right now

Jun 2, 2010

My forgotten perennials...

Usually just the vegetables get all the glory around here, but the unsung heroes of my perennial garden deserve some praise too! Before I even dug the first vegetable bed, I started my perennial gardens. I selected my particular perennials for their ability to attract, feed and shelter beneficial insects, encourage pollination, and survive with zero interference from me. Of course, the first 3 years have been consumed with correct spacing, filling in gaps, and moving plants around to get it right, but for the most part, I have succeeded. All any of my perennials need is a cutting back the dead growth for spring. I let them self seed and spread and I finally after 5 years can just go out to my own yard and dig when I feel the need for more plants! So, this post is for my perennials, they work hard to keep the beneficials where I need them, and create the wildlife watching I am so fond of every morning as I walk around my little "estate in the 'hood"!


Clematis, Gaura, Iris, Ornamental Grasses

Same plants - this particular area is a favorite of my doves, bees, butterflies and a few skinks


From atop the kids' fort - yarrow, ornamental grass, creeping juniper, mazus, salvia, catmint

More Clematis

Hummingbird Garden - lots of salvia, catmint, ornamental grasses, clematis. I am so lucky to be able to have so many salvias overwinter here, it is definitely a top choice for the hummingbirds, I usually have 6 or 7 every morning and have never had a hummingbird feeder!

My new hammock area. This is where we took out a hurricane damaged sand cherry tree and in true lazy girl fashion, decided to cover the stump area with slate, a dry "faux" riverbed and a hammock rather than try and dig through roots to fill in the empty garden space with plants. It is hot as Hades to lay there right now, but there is Hops scrambling up that support that will train across to provide some shade. They grow about 30 feet in a season, so hopefully by the heat of August I will have a shady spot there!

I know some people think that a garden just isn't a garden without annual flowers, but I honestly just don't have the time and don't understand all the work that goes into them for such a short lived existence. I personally am very happy with only perennials, and am content to have just vegetables as annuals!

Pathway from the main firepit area to the vegetable garden. On the left is the hammock area again, the right is a mixture of yarrow, salvia, mazus, ornamental grass, Russian sage, creeping juniper and catmint, all favorites of the bees and ladybugs, keeping them near the veggies where I want them, I have noticed the ladybugs seem to go to this area in the fall, so I am thinking they may overwinter there or in the timber cracks of the beds back wall, bonus!

One of my front yard beds in desperate need of some attention... the front is always forgotten!

Ladybird update: her 2 eggs hatched yesterday! I had to shoo her out to water and she flew 2 feet away and puffed her feathers at me until I was done, then it was back on the nest!

I have major tomato drama going on here today, and I am dealing with that in 95 degree humidity, so I am sure I will be able to write about that soon, just not right now, as I am not a happy camper about the tomato nonsense that is unfolding here and the 3rd shower and gallon of DEET that I already need again....


  1. Well, who knew? LOL! Your perennials are absolutely gorgeous, as is the whole yard. You do have a magic touch with design!

    Don't even think I want to know what's going on with your tomatoes, as I'm sure it's not good! Hope it all works out.

  2. I am with you. I have a few bi-annuals, and some annuals that self-sow, but perennials are the way to go IMO. I used to fill my whiskey barrels with some of the pretty A's, but now they are designated for edible landscaping.

    Good luck with the blog re-structuring! I am very curious about those tomato woes....

  3. So gorgeous! I agree you have a magic (green!) touch! I'm all about the perennials but I'm yet to figure out which are the best/lowest maintenance/beneficial for our area. I love our old poppies, peonies, lupines etc -- very old garden feeling, but they are being dessimated by beetles! I love your intentional habitats too. Very nicely done.

  4. Beautiful! You have so many wonderful established plants here. I'll have to make a bigger effort on the flower front later this summer.

  5. Thanks everyone, it was pretty hard work the first year digging out all that grass and spreading gravel by hand, but has been worth it! It gets easier every year, of course the same can't be said of the vegetable garden, the bigger it gets the more work there is, and keeping it "simple" never seems to be an option!