The Birdhouse: A West Virginia gardening journal

The height of summer

All the beds are in full bloom. It’s cool to see the things finally taking shape. The beds by the house and driveway are finally looking full and “planned,” and the bog garden is pretty cool. Lots of native plants coming up now that the stilt grass is under control. God, that stuff is evil. Still pulling up armloads of it every time we come out.

Some of the native wildflowers: two kinds of monkeyflower (mimulus ringens, I think it’s also called Alleghany monkeyflower), one about 5 feet tall and growing in a clump by the drainage ditch near the driveway, another very very small, under 6″, growing in the storm canal on the other side of the driveway. It’s pretty.

Tall monkey flower growing by the driveway.

Tall monkey flower growing by the driveway.

Tall monkeyflower growing along our back yard border.

Tall monkeyflower growing along our back yard border.

Also the Pennsylvania smartweed I mentioned before. And the seedbox is now blooming–though the plant guides are right–it’s not much to look at. And the lobelia cardinalis that I planted. As well as a couple of plants I do not know:

It’s all quite fun. And the things I planted in early July are finally getting their footing– the image at the beginning of the entry shows the transition between the bog garden & the driveway bed, the morning after a good rain. Below is what the garden looks like looking across the garden, toward the road, from the driveway bed. It’s interesting, but maybe typical, that all the colors that are actually there get lost in a long view.


The bog garden, seen from the edge of the bed by the shed (looking down the driveway). I hate that satellite dish, but Matt says it’s anchored in “real good,” as they say here.

Without some things to “pop” and give the garden some focal points, nothing really shows up at all. So the volunteer rudbeckia stay. Hopefully the pickerel rush (left) will spread–it definitely provides a different shape to look at. And hopefully the winterberry holly continues to grow (it’s barely visible in the back of the bed, to the right–and hope on hope, the berries will actually show once frost strikes.

The swamp milkweed I planted from seed continues to do well, but I don’t see any blossoms yet. I seem to recall that they are very late bloomers–August-September. So that will be cool. I can’t wait until next year to see how the blue flag iris & the cattails do. They should help provide some color/interest in May-June, which are kind of dead months right now. You can’t even see the cattails up close this year. By next year there should be five good-sized clumps along the drainage ditch.

Here is a before/after comparison:

Also really thinking about planting some blackberry & raspberry bushes along the edge of the backyard. The blackberries across the street are ripe now–delicious.

This entry was published on July 28, 2014 at 3:04 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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