While going through pictures the other night I realized I had taken hardly any outdoor/garden pictures so far this year. The boy has definitely been hogging all the camera time, but also I haven't been quite as wowed by our garden as I was last year. Most things have been doing reasonably well, but it has been H-O-T here, and extremely dry, and we've had some pest problems, so in general our backyard isn't quite as tropical and lush as it was last year. Anyway, I went out there with my camera this evening and here's the rundown:
We had cannas in every corner of the yard last summer, but after a very cold and snowy winter, only the ones up against the house made it. Just as well, because we wanted to reclaim some area for other plants. These here are undoubtedly overcrowded, and shorter growth and fewer blooms seem to be the result.
Once again, the "volunteer" sunflowers (from dropped bird seed) have grown much better than the sunflower seeds I purchased. These in the corner aren't as big as last June's roof-scrapers, but some have multiple flowers and are quite pretty. As soon as they are done I want to pull out this garden and all its weedy growth and return it to the lawn - the corner location makes it too hard to tend. Also in this photo: petunias that are suffering from the heat and my failure to dead-head, and geraniums that had to be moved off the fence, also because of the direct sun and extreme heat. They are doing better now with a little shade.
The blooms are spent now, but our astilbes bloomed this year, and they were gorgeous. At the far end of this shot is half our vegetable garden. The other half is in the raised bed that Don built back in March. We started off with zucchini, green beans, and carrots there. The carrots are still growing, the green beans are pretty much done (but we did have enough for several dinners), but the zucchini plant got demolished by... something... Don reported it suddenly and completely wilted while the kids and I were away. We did get one big zucchini before it bit the dust, and I made zucchini bread this week.
Anyway, in the veggie garden shown above we have tomatoes that are doing well despite some mysterious wilt early in the season, and a ravaging by four huge tomato hornworms a few weeks ago. Some green peppers are coming along, as is the basil (I've already made pesto). Glads are in the corner but they don't seem terribly enthusiastic.
The 2010 Most Enthusiastic Flower award goes to this Mum. I planted a bunch of mums in front of our first house in Rhode Island - when we moved across the neighborhood there I dug up this mum and a little rose plant and they lived in pots for the next three years, even surviving the trip to Maryland. This spring I thought I'd clear up some clutter by putting them both in one big planter, not expecting much from either. But this mum completely exploded in its new digs! The poor rose has been completely taken over, and I now feel a bit foolish for combining the two. Also tried a few freesia bulbs in the front of this planter - one bloomed, but they, too, were completely taken over by the mum.
Stayed tuned for an interior tour in an upcoming post - we've made some big changes!