This bed reaches from the sunporch to the hosta and lily garden in the back corner. It's five feet wide and about 35 feet long. I turned over the dirt for about 10 feet and then gave up. The rest of the lilies were planted in decent sized holes dug out of the hard dirt. My shoulders couldn't take any more digging. I thought about renting a tiller but never got around to it. Three daylilies were planted along the north fence, just inside the entrance to the back garden. They've been mulched and look better now. This was taken just after they went in.
Four of the daylilies were planted up front, at the SW corner of the house. I'm hoping they'll grow up enough to help mask the hose connection. I'll put some other plants in front to give it some depth.
Several daylilies are planted in the maple island. You can't see much of them behind the ferns and hostas. I think they'll get enough sunlight there. I got 3 of each kind of daylily, but I didn't plant them together. When they start blooming, there should be a good mix of colors and styles.
I saw some pansies at a good price at Lowe's last week, so I bought a couple of flats for color and put most of them along the edge of the island for color. I put more of the pansies by the pink dogwood. The scrawny nasturtiums were pulled up. A couple of them managed to produce a single flower, but they weren't adding much to the yard decor.
Did I mention that last spring I bought three witch hazel bushes from Michigan Bulb and that one of them died? Well, it didn't! Just last week I noticed that the stalk has leaves on it! If this isn't a great reason for extreme procrastination, I don't know what is. I can't tell you how many times I nearly pulled up the stick and threw it away. It's hard to see the leaves against the grass, but they're there -- I swear! You can see the top part of the stem where it got so dry that it cracked and fell over. [Poke the picture to see a larger version.]
I'm proud to announce that we got the first beautiful, red, ripe tomato off the plants yesterday! There are probably a half dozen more that are very green but firm and healthy looking. I trimmed back some of the foliage so the fading sun can get to them. If they never turn red, I won't mind. I love fried green tomatoes. I'm just tickled that we got any at all.
I trimmed back all of the gladiolus foliage, which was getting pretty raggy looking. What green remains is mainly weeds. I think I'm going to mulch them well and leave them in the ground, although in Zone 6 we're warned to take them up for the winter. I'm banking on a warm winter and hoping for a warmer summer next year. If they don't do well next summer, they will be history. That one mum is looking good. I think I should get more to edge that flower bed in a semicircle from fence to fence. There are some later mums by the gate that are just beginning to show color.
Here are the hollyhocks. The slightly smaller ones in back (red arrow) were planted from seeds. The larger one up front (yellow arrow) was purchased from Michigan Bulb. They're not all that different in size, even though the seeds were planted fairly late in the season. There's a lesson here. They should make a lovely patch of tall color at that corner of the house next summer.
One of the arbor vitae bushes died. I need to go back to the nursery and find out if they guarantee them. The other one is showing a small patch of browning. I'm hoping it's just natural aging and not a sign of a serious problem.
I noticed the leaves on one of the dragon flowers by the front walkway had some white on it, almost as if it had been sprinkled with flour or plaster dust. You can see some of it on the leaves behind the flower. I noticed the same thing on a friend's flowers when we visited last week but thought they had just dusted it with an insectide or bone meal or something. Maybe not. I need to figure out what this is and if I need to do anything about it. So far this is the only plant I've seen with the problem.