Foliage Follow-Up

Hosta 'Sun Power' with Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra', Persicaria affine, Carex plantaginea, Acer palmatum, and Rosa glauca at Hayefield.com

Those of you who follow Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of each month, probably also know about Foliage Follow-Up, hosted by Pam at Digging on the following day. I can barely get my Bloom Day posts done in time, so I don’t usually get to participate in Foliage Follow-Up on the scheduled day, but I figured I’d bend the rules a bit to have an excuse for showing off some leafy highlights from this season so far.

Let’s start with the most distinctive foliage color in the spring-to-early-summer garden: the yellows and yellow-greens…

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – June 2014

Side Garden mid-June 2014 at Hayefield.com

On the whole, the weather over the last month has been just lovely for gardening here in southeastern Pennsylvania: not too hot, and not too humid, either. The fairly regular rains have been a blessing, as well—I haven’t had to water the garden once since I finished planting about three weeks ago—except for the deluge we got two days ago. Continue reading

On Gardens Left Behind

Side Garden with Arkansas bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii), 'Axminster Gold' comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum), red campion (Silene dioica), and 'Latifolia Maculata' boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) [late May 2014] at Hayefield.com

Side Garden at Hayefield with Arkansas bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii), ‘Axminster Gold’ comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum), red campion (Silene dioica), and ‘Latifolia Maculata’ boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) – late May 2014

Hearing that several of you are in the process of leaving your current gardens and starting over in new places has gotten me thinking about the fate of gardens that are left behind, either by choice or necessity.

What happens to a garden in the absence of its creator depends a good deal on the person or people who are left with its care. If they are non-gardeners—and yes, though it’s hard to remember, there are lots of people out there for whom gardening is not a consuming passion—they may think of buying the house, rather than the landscape, with the idea of turning the garden back to grass as soon as possible.

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – May 2014

Spiraea x vanhouttei 'Pink Ice' at Hayefield.com

Thank goodness for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day! If it weren’t for the need to occasionally stop and take pictures, I doubt I’d have taken the time to really notice what’s going on in the garden over the past month. Things are looking much tidier now, but it’s taken a lot of weeding and clipping and pruning to get them that way. (By the way, you can see larger, clearer versions of the images by clicking on them.)

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Picture This – In the Frame

Courtyard arbor with Fallopia 'Lemon Lace' framing Eutrochium maculatum, Amsonia hubrichtii, Sedum rupestre 'Angelina', and Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose' at Hayefield.com

When you’re photographing plants and gardens, it’s natural to focus your attention on what’s in the center of the picture. Taking a few seconds to consider the “frame”—the edges of the image—before you shoot can help to enhance the entire photograph.

One thing to think about is the orientation of the image: whether you hold the camera in its normal position to take a photo that’s a horizontal rectangle or turn it 90 degrees to shoot a vertical one. Broad garden shots, large drifts, and low, spreading plants tend to lend themselves to horizontals…

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – April 2014

March sunrise at Hayefield.com

What a difference a few weeks make. Not long ago, we were experiencing the still and quiet of winter, along with the glorious sunrises that seem to happen mostly in the colder months. The first stirrings of spring, in the third week of March this year, came as distinctive sounds: the pre-dawn and pre-dark buzzing and twitterings of the woodcocks in the meadows and hedgerows, and the chirping of the spring peepers and other frogs in the vernal pools and wetlands that are common in our neighborhood.

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Holding Patterns

Holding Beds at Hayefield.com Summer 2003

The snow seems to be gone for good now, so I’m finally making progress on the garden cleanup I didn’t get to tackle last fall. The work is so routine now that it leaves plenty of time for contemplation. It’s easy to start dwelling on the various planting and design mistakes I’ve made over the years, but that’s a poor frame of mind to be in at such a promising time of year, so instead, I try to focus on what I’m happy with. I’ve come up with lots of things to be positive about, but overall, the best decisions I’ve made for the garden have been related to creating an abundance of holding beds.

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