I neglected this shrub bed for many years, only weedwacking it clear of weeds every once in a while. Last summer I bought a new riding lawn mower which did not mulch. Then I had to buy some sort of grass collector and opted for a lawn sweeper. Now armed with an abundant supply of grass clippings for mulch I tackled the shrub bed. Gardening work is never done but the bed certainly looks better and has been much easier to care for.
Here’s the first big bloom of June. This is from a store-bought peony I recently planted. Pretty and fragrant too! Peonies can grow quite large (3-4 ft. x 3-4 ft.) and will need the support of a peony ring if you wish to keep the huge flower heads upright. Some people like the sprawling effect. They bloom from early to mid-summer. Peonies can live for 20 or more years in the same spot! They don’t like being kept wet but are otherwise easy to grow. Planting is the key. Plant at the same level it was grown in the pot. Too high or too deep and it won’t grow.
This is one of my very favourite perennials – euphorbia (cushion spurge). It starts out with the bright yellow/green flowers seen below as it assumes its 2 ft. x 2ft. summer shape of a perfect half dome. Its perfect shape is an accent in your garden during the summer as it just stays green. Come later in the season each flower becomes speckled with yellow and orange buds. Soon the whole plant is afire in a lovely fall colour. It prefers a hot dry sunny spot.
I had the best of intentions for doing a lot of work in the big perennial bed this season. So far, I’ve only been in to do a thorough weeding once and have been picking away at it ever since. The main problem this year has been the fairly constant rainfall with a big hail storm a few nights ago.
It’s mostly lupines putting on the big show at the moment.
Here there’s a glimpse of blue catmint and salvia, the brilliant red of Maltese Cross with pale yellow lupines.
I only planted these garden phlox a few weeks ago. Looks like they’ll be happy in this spot.
Shrub rose time is here. These are the latest batch of blooms. They’re starting to look a little ragged. It’s one of my favourite parts of summer – wandering around the property in the evenings collecting roses.