July 16, 2011

Pictures of Lily

Two weeks ago, I wrote of working in the inner and outer sidewalk beds of our garden - the seemingly never-ending series of small chores that are part and parcel of gardening.  At the time I wrote that piece, I perceived the garden as being at or near its seasonal peak.  Boy, was I wrong.
This morning, I walked out to get the Sunday newspapers and was confronted by the image at left: a clutch of two dozen yellow-white lilies nearly five feet tall - taller than the oyydendrum growing next to it.  Framing the lilies, a blaze of red/purple astilbe.  Neither plant was in bloom last week.  It's astonishing what can happen in a garden in less than two weeks.
The balance of this relatively small garden area is now in its full mid-July bloom cycle.  The second photo, looking up the front sidewalk, shows the joy of texture and color (double click on any photo to see it at full size).  On the left side of the walkway, there's persacaria 'Painters Palette' and 'Red Dragon' that are thriving and close to four feet high.  Next to them is a yellow-gold variegated artemisia that requires constant attention to keep it from taking over the area.  On the right side of the sidewalk is a golden helenium that, for the monent, dominates the site.  Closer to the camera are sedum and huechera.
Farther up the sidewalk, white and purple Stokesasia (Stoke's Aster) have come into bloom and, beyond them, coreopsis 'Moonbeam'.  A week ago, there was only greenery.  Long blooming purple geraniums are in the foreground, together with the pygmy pine planted earlier this month.  Both the Stokesaia and coreopsis will be cut back after their initial blooms.  We'll get a few reblooms from the former perennial but the coreopsis will put on another, shorter display in September.
Looking away from the house along the perimeter of the outer sidewalk bed, a series of small pleasures show themselves.  There's a striped tiger grass and a Weigela 'My Monet'.  The tall purple plume is a thalictrum rochebrunianum 'Lavender Mist'.  We've continued inching out into the lawn to accommodate the maturing (and spreading) perennials.  Now, as we add more structure to the site, the bed needs to expand to allow for things like our pinus sylvestris 'Hillside Creeper' to more fully establish itself.
Perhaps most remarkable in all of this is that the elements of the bed's late July bloom cycle are already in place.  The hibiscus is showing buds and the Belamcanda Chinesis (blackberry lily) has grown to nearly five feet in anticipation of its own display.  There are tiny panticles on the oxydendrum that will become vividly white by month's end.

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