When it comes to cottage gardening, I am attracted to blues, white, pinks and yellow.
If you were to ask me what is my favorite season, without a doubt I would answer fall, but spring comes in at a very close second. This time of year everything is covered in pollen, and we Southerners know heat and humidity are right around the corner. What’s to love? For one, cottage gardening — the glorious dogwood blooms — and knowing what beauty lies ahead doesn’t hurt.
There is a long perennial bed along the top of our driveway. I’m not a good judge of distance, but I do know it contains 132 plants. Even though I had numerous shade perennials at our last home, this was the first “full sun” garden for me. Currently, Benji is enjoying the bed more than I am.
My plan for this week is to clean out the terra cotta pots and hit the local garden centers for supplies; potting soil, ferns and annuals. I usually do a mix of annuals in each pot, but last year went the semi-easy route; semi, since I transplant everything. None of that “just drop the plastic container into the pot – it will hide it.” Even the ferns get transplanted, and they thank me by growing prolifically through fall.
One of my favorite plants I repeated at our new home is the deciduous Chaste tree. Many visitors ask me if it is an overly large Buddleia, or Butterfly Bush, as its fragrant violet blooms have a vague resemblance. There is a Shoal Creek variety at each front corner, and I love watching the hummingbirds and butterflies visit. They are fast growing, heat tolerant and have an extended blooming season that last from late spring into fall. It is a perfect plant.
The star of the summer is no doubt the perennial bed, and in a few weeks it will look like this! Many of the plants, such as Scabiosa Butterfly Blue Pincushions, bloom all summer. As you may have guessed, I am attracted to blues, white, pinks and yellow. No red or orange is allowed. In this photo, Salvia Caradonna and Achillea Moonshine Yarrow are blooming alongside Splendens Sea Pink, Salvias Blue Hill Sage and White Meadow Sage. Deadheading become tedious at times – this photos does not show even half of the bed. I try to do a bit each morning so that it doesn’t get too far ahead of me.
The grand finale of the bed is the Rudbeckia Goldsturm, otherwise known as Black-Eyed Susan. The large flowers create a glorious display of deep color from mid-summer to early fall. I enjoy watching the American Goldfinch dart in and out as they dine on the seeds of the black cones.
I can’t do a post on our garden without mentioning more of the wildlife we enjoy seeing. Clockwise, from top left: White-tailed Deer fawn, Luna Moth, Silk Moth, Canadian Geese, American Toad, Grey Egret, Tree Frog and a Green Lizard. We also have beavers, otters, fox, coyotes, bobcats, owls, rattlesnakes and more. The rattlesnakes I could do without.
See more of our Alabama Stone Cottage.
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