In line with the pollinators theme, I found this BBC video on tracking bumblebees – quite amazing stuff:
While much of this blog seems to focus on flowering, it is in itself not the raison d’etre for the garden. In the garden we are attempting to create a haven, where the whole is greater than the some of its parts. If you consider that in Zone 3b our green season is barely 4 or 5 months long, it seems a bit odd that we should focus only on the blooming plants and ignore other aspects of a successful garden. Your typical perennial blooms for only a few weeks, so it is important that the garden be so designed that there is a blend of planting and features that allow the garden to be enjoyed even if all flowering should fail. While flowers certainly high-light the garden, the overall success depends on the base planting design and the ‘bones’ of the garden. The use of foliage and structure are key.
An evolution occurs in the life of the gardener. In time the focus on flowers diminishes and a recognition of the importance of the foliage increases. While many struggle to find flowering combinations that co-ordinate, the real challenge is to co-ordinate the colours, texture and dominance of the foliage that will remain after the flowering has ended.
We have a west facing front garden, and the last few days have had me futilely railing against the winds. They flatten the new growth on roses, blast awry the budding peonies and snap the blooms of lilacs. Garden photography – the records of blooms and bugs must wait awhile.
[Pictured - Rosa glauca (pinks), Persicaria polymorpha (white) and Helenium hoopesii (orange)]