A look around: back yard

The Monarda that I was going to remove a few years back is in bloom, and I'm sure glad I didn't clear it out (although I doubt I could get it all out even if I wanted to now).

Rather than show you closeups of the blooms and how much the bigger bees love them, I'll show how this plant really adds to this area of the garden -- just a little look around.


I should mention that this is 'Marshall's Delight' bee balm, with a little patch of what must be a seedling volunteer because it's a lighter color. It's on the edge of what I call my "prairie beds", just across from my fenced veggie area.

In the photo above we're actually standing at the bottom of the prairie looking at the pond. The veggie beds are to the left.

Moving forward toward the pond and turning around to look back where we were just standing, we see this:

The Phyllostachys nigra bamboo dominates above, while the Pleioblastus fortunei variegated bamboo does so below. The bee balm adds just the right amount of color, doesn't it? There's a peach-colored rose there too, which just looks white in this lighting. In the midground is 'Grosso' lavender, just finished blooming.

Let's go back into the prairie, up the hill near the top:

Now the nigra bamboo is just out of frame to the left and you're looking at the veggie beds in the background -- you can see some tomato stake poles sticking up, but otherwise the view is blocked by the enormous dog bane. How much larger will that thing get?

There's some 'Karley Rose' Pennisetum in the foreground, with just a little bit of the dark-leaved 'Vertigo' grass and some Nepeta next to it.

Moving to the left to get a different angle...

All the same plants as in the previous shot, but you can see some of the butternut squash which I'm growing outside the fenced veggie area... it's just next to the purple Monarda in this photo.

Turning to the left...

Now the Ph. nigra comes back into the shot, with the 'Morden Sunset' rose and the variegated bamboo. In the foreground though you now see the Ratibida, which works so well here. The 'Karley Rose' is now on the right and the Monarda is out of frame on the right.

Let's go back to the top of the prairie (three photos up), but turn to the right:

There's the Fargesia 'Rufa' bamboo that I pruned recently, with an unremembered variety of butterfly bush on the right which is one of my oldest plants. Plain green canna at the bottom of the frame. I'm always amazed at how much the canna rhizomes grow by the end of the summer!

Here's an overview of the prairie area (as always, click for larger version):

There's so much green, that bee balm color really helps, doesn't it?

How about some random shots of other parts of the garden now...

That Musa basjoo is really looking great -- nice contrast to the small-leaved bamboos:

I have several more Colocasia that I'll be moving back here for even more big-leaved contrast.

How are things looking in your garden this summer? (Or winter for my friends in the other hemisphere)


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sandy lawrence –   – (July 17, 2013 at 11:53 AM)  

Alan, everything looks spectacular. So glad you resisted digging out that bee balm! The coneflowers are very nice, too. Are they on two levels or are those two different varieties to give you that staggered height look? I like the white variety intermingled with the lavender color of the taller E. purpurea.

Alan  – (July 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM)  

Sandy: the Echinacea are on two levels -- the lower one was a volunteer. I've been planting white varieties to replace (eventually) the Shasta daisies. The coneflowers are better. :)

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (July 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM)  

It's SO LUSH. I never get used to that!

That Musa basjoo is phenomenal. The leaves look perfectly pristine. Remind me: You *do* haul it inside every winter, right?

Alan  – (July 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM)  

Gerhard: we haven't had any hail this summer, nor really bad storms to shred the leaves. No, I don't need to bring the basjoo in -- it stays in the ground and gets covered by 2-3 feet of leaves.

Barbie  – (July 17, 2013 at 2:47 PM)  

Glad you didn't get rid of the bee balm - it looks fab!!! I love the whole look with the big leaves and the tall bamboo and the colour and the height! I love this look. AND the grasses - really great!

scottweberpdx  – (July 17, 2013 at 6:09 PM)  

It totally does...and oasis of color amidst all the lush greens!

Lisa  – (July 17, 2013 at 10:34 PM)  

You may have mentioned this before, but how big is your yard? Looking at these photos, it seems you have acres!

Keity  – (July 18, 2013 at 4:48 AM)  

The bee balm looks gorgeous! Really nice post with fantastic photos. Your foliages are beautiful, love your prairie! And the bamboo reminds me of Japanese garden:)

Alan  – (July 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM)  

Thanks all!

Lisa: My lot is about a third of an acre if I remember correctly. It's a 1970 suburban lot, back when cramming as many houses into a subdivision wasn't the only goal. It's in a hilly are, so some of the lots are bigger than others.

Anonymous –   – (July 23, 2013 at 6:24 AM)  

Alan, Your landscape is lovely, your creativity impressive and your photos do a wonderful job showcasing your work and passion. The only thing that would be better is being able to walk your landscape in person to add sound and touch.

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