Saturday, May 24
Sunshine, Pathways, Locks & Stones
Today, for the first time since a short, warm week in April, I felt summer! It streamed through my window in the morning and pulled me outdoors, with no thought for any pedestrian pursuits like eating breakfast or brushing teeth. It even made me forget, for almost an entire minute, that I'm definitely not a morning person!
Only when my bare toes had felt the sun-warmed concrete of the driveway, and my tender veggies had made it safely back out into the sunshine after spending the chilly evening inside, did I realize how hungry I was. And since I had Big Plans for the day, I knew I would need a good breakfast.
But first, I wandered outside, coffee cup in hand, checking out the garden. I know that I have showed this simple combination of chives, sage (salvia officinalis 'Newe Ya'ar) and 'Fuldaglut' sedum before, but it continues to thrill me.
The 'Diablo' purple ninebark behind, and the stand of 'Caradonna' salvia to the left (both outside of this frame) really help define the space, but this plant combination alone makes me happy. Spikey, soft, upright, whorls of color... it's all there. And that they are all "humble" plants, two of them "mere" cooking herbs, makes it even more fun somehow.
It occurred to me as I walked around that I might have actually planted my shade garden too tightly. I meant to plant things closely, as my mind rationalized that with dry soil and the gardener's reluctance to water anything not edible, this trick would give the impression of a lush garden anyway.
But I might have taken that a bit too far, as you can see here with the 'Hillside Black Beauty' bugbane and its underplanting of pulmonaria. I thought that the bugbane would look tall and leggy, and the pulmonaria would provide a low, silvery foil, but right now it just looks crammed together. I'll have to keep an eye on this as the bugbane grows to see if it matches the picture in my mind's eye or needs to be moved.
On the brighter side of the shade garden, 'Othello' ligularia is doing its dark, brooding thing next to an unusually lively hakonechloa macra 'Aureola.' The Japanese forest grass sports these lovely red tips each fall, but I haven't noticed them in the spring before.
I'm guessing that our continued cool spell is playing a role in my garden all around. The hakone grass is tipped in red, my zebra grass is already almost 2ft tall and has yet to show much banding... but on the other hand my neglected moisture-lovers, like the ligularia, aren't yet looking as lackluster as they tend to do when it gets warm.
Eventually, I did take advantage of the gorgeous day to get some heavy work done, and as you can probably guess from this post title, my work involved pathways, "locks" & stones.
But concision is not one of my strong points, and I'm never able to edit myself well when I'm as excited as I am about today's sunshine and this current project. This is already a long post... and I have to get to the grocery store before it closes, or I will have nothing to eat for lunch at the garden center tomorrow... so the rest of today will have to be explained in a "part two" posting.
I hope that all of the rest of my fellow garden bloggers were able to take advantage of today's wonderful weather as well, whether working or playing. It really was a nice one--here on the sunny shores of Lake Erie, at least!