Welcome to the latest of the few and far between updates of the gardening adventures as a brand new Fairegarden comes to fruition. It has been one year since we pulled up stakes and moved house from southeast Tennessee to east Tennessee. Saying that there has been a lot of work done is an understatement. Most of that work has been in the gardens, front and back. There are still unpacked boxes in the house, but all of the gardening equipment and decor has been sorted and accounted for since day one. Naturally. There has been some success with the plantings. Shown above: Echinacea purpurea backed by Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ in a blue pot and Veronica ‘Royal Candles’.
The last post was published in January. Nothing much was happening outside in the garden until May. Only a few bulbs had been planted the fall before because the beds had not yet revealed themselves to me. Among those initial bulbs were fifty Allium albopilosum syn. A. christophii planted in 5 quickly dug holes.
The Alliums front the bed created that runs along the property line with our next door neighbors. The row of lavenders can be seen at the left. As is painfully obvious, this bed was still a work in progress.
One of the plus points of these Alliums is how attractive and long lasting the seed heads are. The dried flowerheads are now gracing the front porch in a large container. When they are no longer pleasing, they will be composted. Seeds that drop out can be sown and will readily germinate, growing to flowering size in a few years.
Some of the lawn at the very back has been allowed to grow on unmown to be a lawn/meadow of sorts. It is hoped that we can have something similar to what we had at the old house, which can be seen by clicking here. It was interesting to see the plants that were contained in the weedy lawn, ready to spring up if allowed. A pleasant surprise was the large stand of fleabane, Erigeron ssp. I wish that this plant was more highly regarded and not thought of as a weed by so many. It is beautiful, easy to grow and a pollinator magnet. The spring blooming lawn grasses were also quite attractive. They were cut down with the hedge shears when they became unsightly. Ornamental grasses and daylilies have been added to this meadow to be. More things will be added as we see what can withstand the competition of the myriad grasses and weeds over time.
As May gave way to June the back gardens, which had been the initial home to an assortment of plants that were brought from the old garden last summer, written about here, started to shine. The plan was to consider height above all else in placement. Most, but not all were spot on. The Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’ has been a highlight and is still blooming in August. The hummingbirds adore it. Mountain mint, Pycnanthemum muticum, Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ , Asclepias incarnata and Eryngium yuccifolium are also in the tall section and have performed well.
Only a handful of the over one hundred cultivars of daylilies which we grew were brought to the new house. Of those, one standout was this unnamed Hazel Dougherty seedling. What a beauty!
Three of the fifteen seedlings from my own crosses were deemed worthy to be brought to the new place. #4, #15 and #12 all made the cut. This is #4. It was a good year for daylilies.
July shows some progress in the front entrance area that was written about last January. That story can be seen by clicking here. Heavy rains have proven the boulder and rock assortment to be up to the task of resisting washouts.
Planting continues in the back gardens. There was too much reliance on annuals for this to be considered a low maintenance garden, but the African blue basil was certainly pretty and a pollinator favorite. Perhaps next year one or two will be added rather than the six that took up so much space this year. Trial and error, baby steps, a garden is never done, all those cliches apply here.
If we squint just right, it almost looks like a real garden already. The featured plant above is Agastache ‘Rosie Posie’. I hope it turns out to be perennial, even if a short lived one.
Pollinator visitations have been plentiful, including hummingbirds and butterflies like this little skipper supping on Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’. There are several large milkweed plants ready for monarch caterpillar dining pleasure, but so far there are no takers. We are not on the migratory flight path, but hope to see some stragglers this fall.
There have been lots of seed sowing attempts to help fill up the new garden more cheaply if not more quickly. Rudbeckia triloba has been stellar, as has the Eryngium yuccifolium, both very easy to grow from seed. Saving and sowing seeds is something I love to do but alas, no greenhouse means outdoor sowing will have to do. So far, it has.
Thank you for following along in this ongoing saga of the reestablishment of the Fairegarden. One year into it, the payoffs are being harvested. May there be more to come. Onward.