warm front

We’ve had some really gorgeous days lately, though the temps are getting so high now that it’s almost too hot. It was almost ninety on Sunday and we’ve been in the eighties almost every day lately. It’s summer, I guess.

Dames Rocket and Shasta Daisies in the front garden

This is one of my favorite areas of the garden right now. The Dame’s Rocket shows up really nicely against the Shasta Daisies. You can see the chicory in the background – it is getting insane! I have mixed feelings about it – it’s a good green and has some cute little flowers, but the foliage is so reminiscent of dandelions that it ends up on the weedy side of wildflower. We’ll see. For now I am still filling in the empty areas using sod delivery in Orlando so I’m not inclined to create another one.

poppy anemone in the front garden

The Poppy Anemones haven’t stopped blooming yet!

lavender mountain lily (?) in the front garden

This is, I think, Lavender Mountain Lily. It’s striking against the Artemisia and I love the delicate blooms. I am a bit bummed, though, because I had a ton of it and only two have come up so far. Squirrels may have eaten the bulbs?

in the front garden

Here’s the view to the front door. The white salvia is coming in, and the Verbena is still a beautiful lilac. The Iris by the door are almost done blooming.

foxglove buds in the front garden

Foxglove budding.

new hose storage in the front garden

Hooray! We bought this hose holder thingie a few years ago and never got around to mounting it. Awesome K did it for me on Sunday while I was working. It’s so much better than leaving the hose in a heap on the ground, and it even has a little tilt-out drawer thingie I can use to store the nozzle.

white salvia coming in next to the purple in the front garden

This might be my absolute favorite view in the garden right now. The different colors of salvia make such a nice contrast and the pincushion flower is really starting to come into bloom.



The front yard garden continues to evolve as it becomes more established.

view from the front door

Above is the view from the front door. As you can see, there are a billionty maple tree whirligigs everywhere. I hate those things! We had several really high-wind days and the trees let go of a buttload of them. Luckily with the mulch pathways, not many of them will be able to take root, but I hate the way they clutter everything up.

front garden

Holy crap, until I looked at this photo, I hadn’t realized QUITE how many whirligigs (and leaves from the red maple) had gathered along the edges of the front yard. I need to do some sweeping (or maybe shoveling). You can see in this shot that some of the planting areas are really coming in, while others are still straggly and a bit wimpier than I’d like. They just need time.

view from neighbor's driveway

Here’s the view from the neighbor’s driveway (former evils’ house). I’m hoping the flipper will pull up the rubber border thingie the evils put in – it’s ugly and it’s filled with red lava rocks which I despise. And I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having that six inches or so of driveway back. The Candytuft ‘Snowmound’ can be seen just past the barberry hedge here, and it has been blooming for awhile.

things in front of the house starting to grow

This is the area where I ruthlessly pruned the butterfly bushes and russian sage and whatnot – it’s starting to fill in again. You can see the ‘Evil Ways’ butterfly bush on the far right (bright green foliage). The lilies, iris, and salvia are all coming in in this area. Some of the salvia is already blooming (purple blooms just to the left and up from the center of the photo above) and more should be blooming soon. The sedum is also looking good.

things in front of the house starting to grow

View of the same area, from the other side. The iris and verbena have been blooming right by the front door, which is cheery. I’ve had a lot of things blooming in isolation/not near anything else that’s blooming, but hopefully soon I will have more profuse blooms throughout.


spring has sprung

Like just about everywhere else, spring has come very early to this neck of the woods. Our winter was extremely mild and most of March we’ve had temperatures in the 70s and 80s. It’s ridiculous! Kind of nice, but I miss the transitional weather. I’m a fan of temps in the mid-50s to mid-60s and while we had quite a few days in that range during the so-called winter, I hope next year we have a more traditional spring season.

The first week of March, all my Crocus came up and most of them bloomed almost immediately.

crocus in the front garden

Eventually I would like this entire front border of the garden/yard to be filled with early bloomers. It’s still a little sparse, but they do multiply every year, so I’ll get there eventually.

crocus in the front garden

There was an ant crawling around inside this bloom:

crocus in the front garden

Early onset BUGS is definitely a side effect of this weird-ass weather. There were HUGE swarms of gnats out the other night as I was taking photographs. They were everywhere! Ewwwwww.

By the second week of March, all the Crocus were up and blooming:

early blooms in the front garden

as were other early bloomers like Reticulated Iris:

early blooms in the front garden

and Siberian Squill (which wasn’t quite blooming yet as of this photo):

early blooms in the front garden

Even though the winter was mild, it was wintery enough to destroy the mini gargoyles I accidentally left out.

what remains of the gargoyle I left out all winter

OOPS. I have a little bit of clean-up left to get all the tiny pieces picked up. That’s what I get from leaving a dollar store item out in the elements, I suppose! As an aside, the chopstick I accidentally left out (used for helping Blythe stand up) was completely unblemished.

The second week of March I started picking up leaf mulch from the garden. It’s really early to do this, but I couldn’t help but want to be out in the garden, and I thought it seemed worth risking. Some of the early bloomers were having trouble poking through all the leaves (I put them on a little too heavy in some spots) and I wanted to free them.

There were also a number of plants starting to sprout under the leaves and it was so neat to see them all green (or in some cases all white due to lack of exposure to the sun – even neater! I love science.) when I unburied them.

Here are some Lamb’s Ears ‘Helene Von Stein’ in the process of being uncovered:

front garden second week of March

and a week or so later:

front garden

By this, the third week of March, the Purple Wintercreeper is going crazy-go-nuts! It budded out earlier in the month and now it’s been growing super fast. It’s really filling in under the red maple tree this year:

under the red maple

The Poppy Anemones are starting to almost bloom now, too.

poppy anemone

The Sedum is sprouting, too. I just adore the way this stuff looks at all stages.

Stonecrop 'Munstead Red'

Even with last year’s now-not-so-gorgeous growth sticking out, I still like it.

Stonecrop 'Munstead Red'

The Artemisia is coming back, too:

Artemisia 'Powis Castle'

I have a few different varieties in the front garden. That one is ‘Powis Castle’ and it’s one of my favorite plants. The ‘Silver Mound’ is also coming up all over (I have it throughout the front garden):

front garden

(That Lavender needs a haircut!)

The Vinca is blooming, too:

Periwinkle Vinca

The blossoms on this plant may be tiny, but they are stunning! I feel like these photos look ‘shopped for color enhancement, but they aren’t. The flower color is just that intense!

Periwinkle Vinca

The Russian Sage is also sprouting teeny tiny leaves!

Russian Sage 'Filigran'

Are those not adorable?

It doesn’t look like a whole lot at this stage, but the garden is really coming along.

front garden

I think that this year I will have more fully or near-fully developed plants than babies, for the first time. I’m really excited to see how it progresses through the next few months!


elegant stinkhorn

I didn’t even have to come up with a creative title for this post – the subject matter did it for me. After laying down mulch pathways in the front garden, we’ve had quite a bit of fungus-encouraging rain, so look what I found growing out there:

unidentified mushroom in the front garden

Now, I’ve had mushrooms growing on mulch before, but never one of these! From what I can gather from looking online, it seems to be an elegant stinkhorn mushroom. It really doesn’t seem to smell that I can tell, but I have been pretty congested from allergies lately so maybe I’m missing it. Even so, the red against the black of the mulch is pretty striking!


meet the ‘goyles

I found a couple of neat stone gargoyle figures at the dollar store recently and decided that they would be the perfect first addition of gewgaws to the front garden.

The first one is positioned near the coneflower patch:

gargoyles in the front garden

And the second is closer to the front door, near the Powis Castle Artemisia and next to the Chocolate Joe Pye Weed I recently got on clearance:

gargoyles in the front garden

They’re not large at all and I doubt that many people besides me will notice that they’re there. That’s fine with me, though, because I am the one who will appreciate them the most. I am still keeping my eye out for garden gnomes on clearance!



I noticed recently that there are a TON of seedlings sprouting near the (now-defunct and in need of trimming back) daisies in the front garden.

something sprouting in the front garden

Because of the proximity to the daisies, I’m assuming that’s what these are. Does anyone know if that makes sense – and/or if they’ll have time to grow into anything this year?

something sprouting in the front garden

There’s some Love-in-a-Mist nearby, which keeps self-seeding. It’s so tiny but so pretty!

Love-in-a-Mist amidst something sprouting in the front garden



I transplanted these glads last year and wasn’t sure if they’d survive, but they did! And they’re as brilliant as they were last year.


Aren’t they lovely? I think they make a nice addition to the front garden. The true color is a bit more purple-ish in person than in these photos.



it’s a dry heat

We have had a LOT of 90+ degree days lately, and hardly any rain. I’ve had to give in and run the sprinkler more days than not lately to keep everything from shriveling up and dying. (And some stuff is looking fairly shrivel-y, to be honest.)

Over the weekend I went out early one morning and transplanted some Asiatic Lilies from the garage-side and driveway-side gardens to the front garden.

front garden

I watered the crap out of them and the ground before and after transplanting, and they seem to be doing just fine.

front garden

They had mostly not bloomed before I moved them, and now almost all of them are blooming, so I’m taking that as a good sign.


peach lily

Our neighbor’s maple trees are not, however, doing so well. This is the house that has been for sale since last year, and the trees are definitely missing the attention their former owner used to give them.

neighbor's tree

I don’t know if this is like the tree version of heat stroke or what, but both the maples in front of that house have these spots all over all their leaves. Our red and silver maples don’t seem to have been affected, fingers crossed.

neighbor's tree

As you can see, the front yard is looking much less lush than it did only a few weeks ago. The coneflowers are loving the heat, and the butterfly bushes seem just fine, if a little less dense than last year. The forecast keeps calling for thunderstorms, but we haven’t actually had rain in awhile. Maybe this week.

front garden