Now that it's been just over a year since our front yard relandscaping project, here are some wide views of the recently pared-down gardens. For photos from summer 2010, see here . For photos of the new beds in spring 2010, see here . The perennials are filling in well, but the shrubs and trees are still very small. I expected the English roses (which just finished up their first flush of blooms and are all leaves in these photos) would be 4-5 feet tall this year, but the harsh winter cut them back so much that they're in the 2 feet range.
I was hoping the backlighting would make pretty pictures, but many of the plants look washed out in these photos, sorry. In this view you can see a couple of the giant lavender 'Walker's Low' catmint (Nepeta). The flower spikes are starting to look rough and will soon need to be cut back, but they've given a couple of months of beautiful color so far. They'll start blooming again a few weeks after they're cut back and continue until frost.
The main color this month has come from the catmint, 'Pink Double Delight' coneflowers (Echinacea - in the background of this photo), 'Rozanne' hardy geraniums, and various daylilies. Above is peach 'Frances Joiner'. The daylilies didn't give many blooms last year after being divided up and transplanted. This year is better but still not overwhelming. Next year they should give a great show of both flowers and foliage.
This photo shows a short, flowerless rosebush in the center with 'Big Blue' lilyturf (Liriope) along the bottom right corner. At the center bottom is an 'Emerald Gaeity' Euonymus shrub. Lavender geraniums and catmint are in the background along with some pink coneflowers. To increase unity through repetition, the front gardens have 7 catmints, 6 geraniums, and 4 groupings of 3 catmints in each scattered around the area.
This view shows the bed next to the front patio and steps. In front of the rock is a 'Unicorn' corkscrew rush (Juncus), which visitors always notice and ask about. To the left of the rock is a sadly short rosebush, and to the right is a little 'Green Tower' boxwood (Buxus). Eventually the boxwood should get 7-9 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide, though I might keep it pruned narrower than that. I think of it as my welcome sentry as visitors pass by it on the way from the driveway to the front door.
This photo shows a different view of the same area, with a couple of 'Big Smile' daylilies in bloom next to a 'Rozanne' geranium. Like everyone else, I can't say enough good about the long season of color from vigorous 'Rozanne' - and no deadheading required, hallelujah!
Here is another pairing of coneflowers and catmint, located on the far west corner of the front yard. On the left of the photo, if you look hard, you can see a little 'Coral Supreme' peony. I added two of these to the front yard last fall, but neither bloomed this spring. I guess that gives me something to look forward to for next June!
Here are more coneflowers and catmint on the far east side of the front yard. In the background you can see a good display of pink blooms from the 'Jolyene Nichole' daylilies. At the upper left is one of the 6 baby 'Blue Star' juniper shrubs. It's hard to wait for these slow growers to fill in their space. Eventually they can get up to 5 feet wide, but they're all around 1 foot wide right now. They provide year-round steel blue color for the garden.
I'll finish with a close shot of those elegant 'Jolyene Nichole' daylilies. Overall I'm pleased with the growth the front yard is making, but it has a ways to go before it looks like the picture in my head. Grow, shrubs and roses! Be patient, gardener!