For the past two weeks, I've been unable to use my library. The problem is that a robin has built a best in the thuja occidentalis just outside, and everytime I open the door to the library, it spooks the robin sitting on three eggs. I do not know how robins choose their nesting sites but a western red cedar right up against a house seems like a reasonable choice. The nest is on the 'house' side of the tree and the foliage is quite thick. But the nest is just four feet off the ground and the thuja rises more than 15 feet at this point.
|Our piers andromeda with its new |
pinot noir-colored foliage. Behind it
is the pink rhododendron that just
bloomed this week.
|Looking left, four|
shrubs: ilex, pieris and
The rhodie has repaid our kindness by thriving. It has tripled in size and bloomed prolifically ever since. Behind the pieris and the rhodie in the photo above is the newly-leafing-out oxydendrum. This is the first year it is starting the season with the same branches from past year. In each of the past four years, snow had taken out as much as a third of the existing branch system.
Looking left from the front door you see an ilex (holly) in the foregound; a peony growing quickly; another, much less auspicious andromeda, and a leucothoe. At the corner is a pair of rhododendron blooming white. All four shrubs are great foundation plants for cold climates; all are evergreens and all have thrived with their southeastern exposure. The shrubs have been repeatedly moved as they have grown; the area once sported another ilex and a smaller rhodie. The leucothoe and pieris have expanded into their places.
|The inner and outer sidewalk beds,|
as viewed from the front door.
Double-click on the image to see
On the left, in the outer sidewalk bed, are geranium, heuchera of every color, alchimella or lady's mantle, phlox, and literally dozens of specimen perennials that will make themselves know as the season progresses. There's a daphne Atlantica that is starting to overhang the sidewalk. To its left is a now-golden, but soon to be red Japanese maple.
These beds have undergone a gradual transformation over the past few years. Once almost all perennials, lower-maintenance shrubs have been introduced and less aggressive perennials introduced. I promise to continue to update the images as the season progresses.