A Very Good Growing Year

I readily admit that Mother Nature has more impact on the success of my garden than I do. The evidence this year is clear – I followed my normal care routines, but despite some weird weather, new plants and old have done remarkably well. Let me show you – Mother Nature and I are both bragging a bit!

New Plantings

If the rabbits left the new plants alone, then they did really well – robust foliage and great blooms.

Bee balm (Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’) was new this year and I added several Anise hyssop (Agastach foeniculum ‘Blue Fortune’) to an existing clump
Downy skullcap (Scutellaria incana) was a transplant from the back of the border to the middle.

Second-year Plantings

Last year I planted a couple of new areas and overhauled a third; they did fine last year but they were clearly new plantings. This year, not only did everything come back, the plantings began to fill in nicely.

In the shady corner, the oak-leaf hyndrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) doubled in size, the wild strawberry (Fragaroides virginianum) covered the ground layer, and the white wood aster (Eurybia divaricata) filled in nicely
The Glory Garden had about 50% new plants last year and some more this year. From left: False sunflower (Helopsis ‘Tuscan Gold’), Bee balm (Monarda didyma var.), Blanket flower in front (Gaillardia ‘Arizona Sunset’), sundrops (Oenithera sp.), lavender and an heirloom red rose in the back, and a cloud of beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis).

First Time Bloomers

Two of my established plants bloomed this year for the first time – what a treat!

Ninebark shrub (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Coppertina’) has grown well, despite being in the shade, but this year it had delicate pink blooms.
There is one cactus native to New England, the Eastern prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa). It was a thrill to walk by the pollinator garden and see these glowing yellow flowers.

Established Plantings

The established plants did really well, too, with more blooms and more growth than other years.

The sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) has survived since its 2016 planting (which hasn’t been easy), but this year had double the flowers of any prior year.
Same with this native rhododendron (Rhododendron maximus var.) – a lot of growth and prolific flowering


And in the fall, the berries on all the native shrubs were plentiful.

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’) was loaded with berries last week. We will see how long they last!

There was a lot to celebrate and be thankful for this year!

One comment

  1. Kathy, everything looks terrific! Thanks so much for all the educational information you provide (and the photos).


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