Working on shade: new plants!

Coming back from a physical therapy session (pesky shoulder pain!) I drove past SummerWinds nursery and decided to stop. As I said when I posted about this nursery, I don't get out here too often so I took advantage of the situation. The nearly-empty parking lot said I was going to have the place to myself on this drizzly day.

My goal was to find shade-loving plants that would help me continue my work on the bed under the maple. I've placed the plants in the photo above -- did you notice?


It's pollinator time!

The peak pollinator time in my garden is here, and although it will last for a couple of months I want to show you some of the main players now.

Polanisia dodecandra (red-whisker clammyweed) attracts smaller bees, although I didn't see any at the time of day that I took this photo. Such a nice little native annual when planted in drifts.


Questions and observations

This is going to be one of those posts that jumps all over the place. Let's start with a question...

What plant is this? It grows at the border of my neighbor's yard and he says that it looks like "wild rhubarb". I'm usually pretty good at finding plant IDs online, but haven't had much luck with this one.


Trouble bed helped

Since the front of the house just got a bit more exciting with its new door color, I've been looking at the rest of the front yard with a critical eye and found the ugliest part of it.

It's the bed under the maple. I half buried these pots a few years back in order to give whatever is planted in them a chance to thrive -- the soil under the tree is always so dry due to the greedy maple roots.


Finally, some color!

You'd have a difficult time looking at the front of my house and convincing me that it's not colorful, at least during the growing season.

It depends where you look though, and this weekend I finally fixed a long overdue problem.


Another little project

A little over a week ago I did my patio chair makeover test, where I covered a bleh metal chair with cedar to give it new life. At that same time I started another project that although was smaller in scope, it took a bit longer.

Our small tiled table on the deck (which I built several years ago and updated in 2011) did not make it through the winter (I really should have covered it), and sort of disintegrated. No worries, I have a quick fix in mind!


My gravel pile (formerly my dry creekbed)

After a week in which we received somewhere around 6" (15cm) or more of rain here in St. Louis, I now have a gravel pile in my garden.

Of course I did not plan on having this feature, nor do I really want it. It is what has become of a good portion of my new dry creek bed.


What do you do?

What do you do when you see a field of clover on a cool, early summer day?



Revisiting mom's garden

I've been visiting my ill mother in Chicago quite a bit since last autumn, and this past weekend I finally got to see her garden in late spring/early summer form.

She's always grown flowers in these beds between the house and the driveway, and back in 2006 I gave them a makeover using plants from my own garden. On this last trip I brought more plants to fill in the holes that have developed over the past nine years. (How could it have been so long already?)


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