DH and I don't do a lot of gardening but we have been working on the flower beds this weekend. We put in a large rock bed on the east side of the house 2 years ago and last year added the bench and a few plants
We planted the coral bells - 4 varieties last year and they are doing very well in that spot. This year we added the hostas along the retaining wall.
The green-leafed coral bell closest to the bench has blooms already. A friend at work gave several plants of that variety from her garden about 15 years ago (2 houses ago) and they did wonderfully in that bed. We had a coral haze all along the flower bed for about 2 weeks in May. I left most at that house but had about 3 or 4 at the second house - unfortunately we were only there 2 years and I never found the 'best spot' for them - but was able to bring one along to this house. I think I have found the spot. I am looking forward to splitting that plant next year and filling in more of the bed with them.
We tried a few ferns but there was too much morning sunlight for most of them. One did survive - I guess it was shaded by the bench and another one behind the bench at the base of the shepherd's crook, has a small sprout coming up.
In the 'bare area' on the right of the photo, I planted some lilies from the same friend at work who gave me the coral bells. She called them canna lilies but when I looked those up on the internet it had bulbs pictured and these were more like iris rhizomes. I read up on calla lilies and these sound more like those rhizomes - so I am anxious to see how what they are. I planted several here, 7 or 8 scattered throughout the rest of the bed and along the top of the retaining wall. We also put some out in the far end of the yard next to the weeping willow that we planted last year. They have to be dug up in the fall so we can always change their locations next year - for now I am hoping they will fill in between the perennials.
At the other end of the retaining wall, we placed 4 of these blue flowers. I believe they are delphiniums - they were not labeled. We had some delphiniums last summer and they did very well in this area but did not come back this year. I was reading up on them today and one article said they can be annual or perennial. These pots were marked as perennial. Behind these and along the top of the retaining wall we have a butterfly bush, flowering plum and several burning bushes.
We also made a semi-circular bed around the mailbox last year. We love this rock - it has a lot of deep color when it is wet. We had the center juniper plant and some grasses last year but the grasses did not come back. We added some more juniper for ground cover and alternated some white and pink flowers around the outer edge. (Can't recall the names but I did keep the information stakes so I can learn them).
Last year we also put in some rose bushes, just outside the kitchen door. We had roses blooming all summer long so I think we find the right spot for these :-). Look at all the buds on these - can't wait for them to burst open!
We will have red, pink, yellow and orange roses again this year.
And while we were shopping we could not resist this beautiful fuchsia hanging plant for the front porch.
Don't you love the purple and pink blooms? One gardening article compares them to ballerinas - I can see them spinning in the tutus.
We put in a rock bed on the west side of the house (along the garage) last year and will have to start thinking of what we want to plant there- but that's another weekend and paycheck :-)