Monday, June 1, 2015

Color in the Garden!

My Hubbers & I have been spending a lot of time working in our backyard lately. I tend to keep up with the flower beds but when I have a project on my mind he steps in to lend a hand and some muscle. He's great at that!  One of those projects was adding color to the fence areas.  We live in town, fences separate us from the neighbors' properties.  All nice and good, but fences are pretty ugly, dull brown. So I bought some spray paint and put my man to work, painting a few trellises and an obelisk. Before they were all shades of brown or black and they just blended in with the fence.  Now they stand out and are a nice complement to the colorful flowers.

Our backyard basically has four sections with the swimming pool dominating the space in the center.  On the right of the pool we have a small grass area (soon to be reduced as we are adding a brick patio and arbor later this year) and flower beds, behind the pool is a smaller flower bed and there is a brick walkway and flower bed along the east side of the house. Today I'll share with you the flower beds around the grass area.

I like to do the majority of my plantings with perennials so that I'm not replanting every season. However, many of my perennials were getting old or died over the winter so this spring I have done a lot of pulling out of old plants and planting new.  While I wait for them to grow, I supplemented with some annuals. This is the coneflower (Echinacea) area.  Normally it would be a few feet tall by now and blooming.  Don't know if we'll get any blooms this year or not! Soon to be growing on the newly-painted blue trellis is a black-eyed Susan vine.  The shoots are just starting to peek out of the ground! It will bloom in late summer until the first frost of winter.

In the back of this area are hollyhocks.  They are a biennial plant so we won't have any blooms this year. Next spring we will have stalks of colorful flowers. Gardening does require a little bit of patience, but the results are worth it!
Each year I grow a small patch of sunflowers; this year I planted a mammoth variety, the flowers will be huge. They are growing rapidly and will probably get as tall as our brick-faced wood-fired (pizza) oven.  I don't tear them out until late fall, letting the flower heads dry so the birds can feast on the seeds.
The butterflies love the zinnias and they are beginning to bloom.  Soon, we will have butterflies fluttering all over them and landing in the shallow bird bath for a dip of water.

Speaking of butterflies, I'm attempting to attract more Monarchs to the yard.  They need milkweed to feed on and form their chrysalis.  This plant is the only one that survived the winter but I planted more seeds so hope to have more emerging soon. I've purchased a Monarch butterfly kit for my granddaughter, we will feed the larvae, watch it turn into a caterpillar, chrysalis and, finally, a butterfly.  We will release them in the garden.  She loves to work in the garden with me and is excited to grow butterflies!
This beauty is a mandevilla vine.  It's a tropical plant so it may not survive the winter, we will try to protect it.  We have one in our front courtyard that we enjoy so decided to introduce one to the backyard.

The morning glory is starting it's upward climb on the obelisk.  It reseeds itself each year so I just wait for the leaves to start popping up in the spring.  They reseed everywhere so I do admit to having to pull them from the most unlikely places!

I love to attract birds to our yard, we have an abundance of hummingbirds, finches, doves, sparrows, and bluejays. Most of the plants we have were planted to attract the birds but we do feed them, too, with various feeders throughout all parts of the yard. They love this little water fountain and can be seen drinking or bathing from it throughout the day.
I love to have things of architectural interest in my gardens, I think they add a lot of character to the areas. I have birdhouses, cement figurines, watering cans, wine barrels and benches as a few examples. A geranium grows in an old pot that was my Grandma's.

Keeping up our yard takes time and effort but I find it very relaxing.  My career involves sitting at a desk, being on a computer and dealing with clients all day long.  It's very therapeutic to turn off the brain and do physical labor in the dirt. I also find it relaxing to kick back in a chair, with a glass of something refreshing to drink, a book or stitching project and just enjoy what nature and I have created!

I am linking up with Inspire Me Tuesday!


  1. Oh Julie, I so much enjoyed seeing your garden. Thank you for sharing it. A garden is a work in progress, my Spring annuals have bloomed out and I am in the process of planting some summer annuals but in the meantime the roses, hydrangeas and daylilies are putting on a show. My yard, front and back, is so big that it takes me forever to do the things I want to do but like you it is much needed therapy. Your garden is beautiful and I hope you will share more of it as things grow. BTW, I planted a mandavilla last year but it did not make it through our winter.


    1. Hi Carolyn! Yes, you are right, a garden is a work in progress. I like that, though, always something to change, a new flower to plant. I get bored with the same thing so gardening is a very good creative outlet!

  2. Your yard is looking terrific! We are just at the beginning of planting/growing season here in Wisconsin, so I loved looking at all your colorful blooms. Have a wonderful week! Jane