A Garden Update

I’ve been planning to share a little update on my Gifted Garden and Rain Garden for a week or so now, but by the time I edited the photos I took to share things had changed some more.  So before that can happen again, let’s get to it.  First up is the Rain Garden, which looked pretty dismal for weeks even when the warmer temps arrived.  Then one day I was driving up the driveway and noticed a good amount of green had suddenly appeared.  Upon closer inspection I saw that 90% of what I’d planted last season is coming back in, which makes me pretty darn happy.  And now that the cat mint has returned Luna is quite happy as well!


I mean like seriously happy.  As in she won’t leave the poor plant alone!  She’s in love with the darn thing!


Even a robin on the branch above the garden can’t tear her attention away for more than a glance through the leaves!



But I digress…. Elsewhere in the garden, the iris that I rid my friend’s lawn of are growing tall and strong.  I haven’t seen any buds yet, but they didn’t have any last year either since they spent most of the season sitting in clumps in a pot waiting for a permanent home.  I’m excited to find out what color they will be.  I’m betting it’s purple like the wild iris around Alaska, but I’d be happy with any color if they just bloom.


Three of the freebie Craigslist lilacs are showing small signs of life with some new leaves, although two are still just bare twigs.  I’ll let them be until the end of the summer before I give up on them.  They have a mystery neighbor that popped up.  I’m thinking it’s yellow yarrow, since the leaves look very similar to the other yellow yarrow I have a few feet away, but we’ll see what it grows up to be when the small yellow bud at it’s top develops.



Another mystery arrival is this grouping of spouts.  It’s in the area where I had mint last year and the leaves look about right for that, so I’m guessing that’s what it is.  For now I’m going to leave it alone and see what we get.


The clematis on either side of the garden are showing momentum after looking dead for months and are even touting a few blooms.  One is certainly bigger than the other, but hopefully they will both take over the tires and provide a lovely natural background for the garden over the next few years.



One of the vincas from the box store came back and is even flowering already.  The other didn’t fair so well.  At first I thought the green was new growth, but it’s been the same for a while now so I’m classifying it as a gonner.  I haven’t decided what to replace it with yet, so for now it can hold the space.



The water iris are slower growing than the other iris, but hopefully they’ll provide some pretty yellow blooms this season.


The speedwell in the back of the garden has some dense growth, so I’m thinking it won’t spread much this season.  The Aluetian speedwell I put around the front of the garden has some pretty delicate purple flowers, but is a slow grower. I planned for it to be a ground cover on the hillside leading to the garden but if it doesn’t pick up the pace by mid season I’ll be looking for something else for next season.



The ornamental onion, yellow lily and campanula are all showing good starts.  I’m thinking they will hit their stride when the warm weather returns next week and start to really fill out.




The columbine has a good amount of growth but no signs of flowers yet.  I don’t remember if this one is yellow or purple, but either would be nice.


In front of the columbine is a forget-me-knot, that I ironically forgot about.  I think this one came from some seeds I got at one of the holiday weekend giveaways at the box store and let sprout in the little cup they came home in before planting just to give it a shot.  Maybe it will continue to surprise me and spread a bit to come back next season even more.


The thing I’m most excited about in this garden is the lady slipper orchid that I acquired on our trip up the Alcan last year.  It seemed to go dormant soon after I got it home, although it had been on the road for several days at that point so I thought it wouldn’t come back.  I’m so glad it proved me wrong and surprised me!


I remember planting things on the hillside above the rain garden, but for the life of me can’t remember what they were.  Some were bought and others were freebies, but I wrote them all off when the builder’s contractor came to do our final grade and bulldozed them even AFTER we’d told him not to go in this area… sigh.  But they’ve poked back up without any water or feed from me so I’m thinking they are my kind of plant. Feel free to leave ideas in the comments below if you think you know what they are! 🙂



Ok Luna, are you ready to leave your cat mint and head over to the other garden?  I’ll take that as a no.  Well, you know where to find me….


Over in the gifted garden there are small signs of life.  In the corner near the back door I replaced something that didn’t come back with a hydrangea and finished off the far corner that never got any plants last year with a lilac.  Both are from local nurseries so I’m pretty confident that they will establish and come back year after year.  This is the first hydrangea I’ve ever had so I’m excited to watch it grow, especially after seeing 5 buds on it the other day!  The lilac had a bud on it when I bought it – hence the reason I picked this one over the others – so we should get some color out of it this year.GardenView




When I went to plant the lilac I found something strange just under the surface.


You guessed it.  That’s one of the dogs’ balls!  Apparently someone decided to bury it here for safekeeping at some point!  Kids….jeesh!


Although some of what I was gifted didn’t return, what has is showing good  signs that it will stick around for the long haul.  GardenYellow




The wild geranium is doing the best out of all the returning gifted plants, and is covered in tiny buds!  Although it’s native cousins in the surrounding woods already have sporadic blooms, it looks like the special attention this one gets will result in multiple blooms!



Now if I can just keep the momma moose and her yearling calf who have been frequenting the easement near the back yard away from my unfenced sprouts I stand a chance of having a pretty yard this summer!  For something so big they sure do blend in well!  Luckily, the dogs tend to keep them at a distance, but that’s only so efficient for things outside the fence.  Wish me luck!




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