I finally got the chance to do some serious garden work this weekend. Here's an update.
For years, a small rose of sharon languished in my front yard. It would do well in spring when it got early morning sunlight. But as the giant maple next door filled in, it was plunged into dense shade. It never amounted to much. Last year I got around to moving it to a sunny section in my backyard and it has bounced back quite nicely. I have two rose of sharons. Both produce giant purple flowers late in summer. And the flower display lasts a really long time. Here are some before and after pruning pictures.
One of the things I love about this shrub is that it's a great practice ground for pruning. I feel like a real pro while trimming them. It's as if the shrub has a built-in how to guide. Find the top of the branch, find the leaf bud nearest the top, and snip just above it. Also, eliminate any branches that cross or rub against each other. Easy, breezy pruning. The way it should be.
I have underplanted one of my rose of sharons with ferns. It was an accident really. The ferns were already there, I didn't bother to touch them, and they grew in to make a lovely effect. I pulled out a few ferns that were crowding my astilbe and moved them to this fern corner. Transplanting was not easy. The ferns are so delicate. Their branches snap at the slightest touch. Next time, I'll move these plants before they unfurl.
The heuchera, my red coral bells, are about to open. The red tips look quite dramatic against the dark green of the yew. I need to find these guys a new home. I put them under the yew as a temporary holding spot. But, I can't decide yet where they would fit best.
The first columbines have bloomed. Like my coral bells, the columbines deserve a better spot in my garden. They're growing through the gravel of the driveway. They're hidden behind the winged euonymous, daylilies and lilac and can't be seen from the deck or yard. But it makes for a worthwhile walk to the back of the yard.
I'm not sure if these are violets or violas but I love them either way. I've planted some under my giant fir where they are happliy blooming. I'm hoping they will naturalize and spread blanketing the area in a carpet of blooms.
Here's the first mountain bluet of the season. They always put on great show. I cut way back on the number of bluets I have though. Their post bloom appearance is a bit straggly and they seed like crazy, popping up just about everywhere.
Here's a picture of my yard at my favourite time of day. It's a pretty relaxing scene if I do say so myself. The perfect place to sit and reflect on the day's work.