even more plants

I’m still putting together my list of plants I’d like to include in our gardens.

Borage photo Borage_zpsfuofti3e.jpg

I grew Borage in the front garden at our home downstate, and it was so easy to grow, I almost couldn’t believe it. I just threw down seeds and – voila – I had a lovely patch of Borage. It has a lovely fuzzy texture, and the rather delicate blossoms are a beautiful purple color fading to white toward the center. In that zone 6 garden, it self-seeded and came back every year. I’ll have to see if that holds true here in zone 5. It also has a pretty long blooming season, which of course I love. I never tried it then, but apparently the blossoms have a honey-esque taste! It’s also supposed to be a good companion plant for spinach, tomatoes, and strawberries, which I’m going to keep in mind as I continue planning.

Iris photo iris_zpsr764vxuz.jpg

So many gardens contain Iris and for good reason. It’s a lovely bloom and even the foliage looks elegant. Of course there are a zillion variations to choose from, and I’ll likely go with whatever comes my way. I already have one passed along from my mom last fall!

Coreopsis photo Coreopsis_zps7zaryzhy.jpg

Coreopsis is a plant that I happened to start growing downstate because I found a few of them on clearance at the home improvement store. They turned out to be awesome! Some butterflies eat the foliage, and the flowers attract them as well. Speaking of which, they usually have a TON of blossoms which is really striking against the somewhat delicate-looking foliage.

Marigold photo Marigold_zpsvqem9jqf.jpg

For classic annuals, you can’t miss with Marigolds. They also self-seeded in my garden downstate, though I don’t think they probably will here in zone 5. It’s easy to save the seeds, though! These flowers are awesome companion plants and theoretically discourage mosquitoes from hanging around. Given my allergic reaction to mosquito bites, I’ll try whatever I can do keep them away.

Russian Sage photo Russian Sage_zps6d9o5zrh.jpg

Russian Sage is another plant I was introduced to by purchasing a clearance-aisle not-in-great-shape plant. I really dig the way it grows – it gets tall-ish, but doesn’t tend to droop over and isn’t a thick plant, so it provides a nice backdrop for other plants without making the area seem too crowded. It also blooms well into October and attracts bees and birds.

Penstemon photo Penstemon_zpskeoqbrri.jpg

I didn’t grow Penstemon very much – I think I got some on sale somewhere – but I did like it a lot and would like to grow it again. Theoretically it is attractive to hummingbirds!

Verbena photo Verbena_zpsa6t7ohry.jpg

Verbena is another classic that I think will fit in well in my cottage garden. It also attracts butterflies and has beautiful blossoms.

Yarrow photo Yarrow_zpsujriafdb.jpg

Finally for this post, we have Yarrow. Yet another plant I started growing downstate because I found some on clearance, I found that I loved the fern-y foliage and tiny clustered blooms. It attracts both pollinators and predatory insects (who will eat other, less desirable insects).

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cambra!

So I invested in a new camera recently: a DSLR! It’s a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS, and it was featured on Woot! so I was able to get quite a good deal. Hooray!

I’m still learning how to use it – just beginning to learn how, really. We’ve had such a warm winter thus far, I was able to take some photos out in the garden without even getting cold.

back garden

I clearly didn’t ever finish cleaning up in the gardens this fall – there are still weeds out there, but at least some of them are interesting to look at.

back garden

It’s been ridiculous how little snow we’ve had, and how many warm days. The grass, crabby and uneven as it is, would usually be protected somewhat in winter. Instead, we are constantly tracking in pieces of dead grass and there are lots of little muddy spots throughout the back yard. I haven’t decided yet what action we’ll take in the spring. We’ve contemplated having it re-sodded, but I am so loathe to spend such a lot of money on something as lame as grass.

back garden

The Coreopsis looks pretty even when it’s dead!

back garden

The purple wintercreeper is really looking nice on the ugly back fence. Hopefully by next year it’ll be all filled in, but at least what’s there is purple and lovely.

back garden

growing in beside the garage

The garage-side bed in the back yard is growing in for spring. Further down I have a bunch of Daylilies and Asiatic Lilies, but this part has Daffodils, Coreopsis, Tulips, Poppy Anemone, Chives, and more.

garage-side garden

I really like the little bit of green that shows up in the white part of these mostly-pink Tulips.

garage-side garden

Poppy Anemone has quickly become one of my favorite bulbs over the past few years. They’re so pretty, they usually have a bunch of blossoms, and they bring a really vibrant shot of color to the garden. I have a bunch in the front garden and added some to this bed last fall.

Poppy Anemone

Such a happy garden!

garage-side garden