May is quickly passing by and I’m busier than a one-legged grass hopper in a jumping contest. But I’m never too busy to share my gardens with you. Besides, I live out in the country and no one comes to see all my hard work, so I gotta show somebody!

So here is a portion of my gardens, mainly the north side of the house and part of the east side which is the front. The north side is new this year. On a whim, I decided to plant some beautiful new specimens I got from some very generous friends of mine and decided to call it my Friendship Garden. That’s got a ring to it, doesn’t it?

I’ve taken so many photos of all the gardens in the past week that I’m going to break it up into a few posts so you don’t lose interest. By the way, at this writing, these photos are not quite a week old. You wouldn’t believe how much everything has already changed!

Are you ready? Let’s go!

I’ll start with the Friendship Garden…

New makings of the Friendship Garden

New makings of the Friendship Garden

It’s desperately in need of mulch now since the resident weeds have declared war on me and I’m horribly outnumbered. In fact, I think they are growing faster than I can pull them. Little bastards.

In the back are two hostas that will get very large. ‘Sum and Substance’ (planted in the back on the left) and just to the right of it is another large hosta called ‘Frances Williams’. I’ve probably planted them too close together, but I can always move them. I like to pack them in for a full, lush effect.

I usually buy a new heuchera (coral bells) for myself each year since they do just fabulous in my gardens. This year I bought two!

‘Fire Alarm’

Coral Bells 'Fire Alarm'

Coral Bells ‘Fire Alarm’

and ‘Grape Expectations’

Coral Bells 'Grape Expectations'

Coral Bells ‘Grape Expectations’

You totally understand why I had to get both, right?!

Patiently waiting their turn to get planted in the Friendship Garden are variegated Artemisia also called wormwood and another lime green hosta that I can not for the life of me remember who gave it to me or it’s name. The Artemisia was given to me by my friends Ruth and Tom who have one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen in person. I have photos and I’ll share those sometime soon.

variegated Artemisia

variegated Artemisia

lime green hosta

The variegated Artemisia will get tall, like 5 or 6 feet tall I’ve read. That’s good because I’m planting it as a screen so you won’t notice my compost pile further down the hill. That’s the plan at least.

Just in front of the Friendship Garden is a garden I’ve planted years ago around the electric pole. It puts on a spectacular show of coneflowers when they bloom.

coneflowers in full bloom

Blooming coneflowers from the summer of 2014

Also my Mrs. Bateman white clematis is growing up the pole, or it did. I moved it and some tulips earlier this year when I found an orange plastic ribbon wrapped around the pole indicating they are going to replace it. You’ve seen the electric company change out poles right? Yeah, they don’t give a sh#! about your beloved plants or hard work at all. So I moved it and hopefully everything else will survive the trampling they’re likely to get. I’ll be standing there with my hands on my hips watching every move they make.

rhododendron

rhododendron with new growth

This little rhododendron was planted last fall. It is supposed to have red flowers. It didn’t bloom this year and I’m not sure why but I certainly hope it will make the pole exchange.

Another plant around that pole is a native. This is False Indigo (Baptisia). It’s a couple years old now and my friend Amelia shared it with me. I think it’s just gorgeous and keeps getting better. It will outgrow the space, but since it has a taproot to China, I’ll be moving all the other plants that are around it when the time comes.

Baptisia or False Indigo

I’ve been digging out bunches of hostas that are all volunteers gone wild, and I’ve been moving them to the north side of the house. They are pretty, but plain green. Their flowers are tall and lavender – quite stunning when in bloom, not to mention the hummingbirds love them. I’ve decided when I run out of room to plant them along the house, I’m going to start lining the woods with them. Why not, right?

north side of house with newly planted hostas

north side of house with newly planted hostas

I decided to use the existing leaves as mulch. This is a fairly steep hill that has moss growing on it. It gets pretty slick, I may someday make steps. I think that would be beautiful leading down to the lake. My husband says I’m getting the yard cut up like a miniature golf course. He’s not too fond of mowing around things and hates weed eating even worse. He’ll live.

oakleaf hydrangea

oakleaf hydrangea

Before you head down that hill, you have to pass this side garden that I’ve got my oakleaf hydrangea finally taking off. I bought this for myself for my birthday I think a few years ago and spent like sixty bucks. A lot for me to spend on a plant, but I wanted it and they were really hard to find locally for some reason. So I plunked my money down at a very reputable nursery and planted it within days. Then it all but died. I had one sad little stem that was left alive. I wasn’t about to give up and pull it out and finally a couple years later that one stem has now become the main plant.

Here’s another plant given to me by my friend Lynda. It’s a spiderwort (Tradescantia) I think it may be ‘Sweet Kate’ but I’m not sure. Lynda has shared a lot of flowers with me. I trade with her, but I think I’m getting the better end of the deal. Last year she gave a bunch of new iris’s. But they didn’t bloom this year, so I’ll show pictures when they do. Isn’t this a fantastic color combination?!!!

lime spiderwort

Guess I lied. Here are the only two iris’s I’ve got blooming besides the siberian iris’s. This beauty is one from Lynda.

two toned purple iris

Next is a detail of the front entrance garden with lantern. This pretty and upright fern was from Ruth and Tom. They just call it the Spring Fern, because when it heats up in the summer it dies off until next year.

detail of front entrance garden with lantern

Take a few steps backwards and this is what you see… the front of my home. In all it’s scraggly ferns from last year and junked up porch glory. To give you an idea of where things are, directly to the right is the electric pole garden and just a little further past that is the new Friendship Garden. My greenhouse and Studio Gardens is to the left of the house. (psst… wanna see my greenhouse? click here to see many posts with my greenhouse photos after you’re finished here)

front of cedar house and porch

Here is a little close up of the front shade garden on the right.

detail of front entrance garden front of house shade garden

Well I think that is all I’ll share right now. I’ll show you more in a day or two. I don’t want to wait too long, it’s already time to go out and take new photos of all the changes! Until then, keep pullin’ those weeds!

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