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What's Growing: A Garden Update

What's Growing: A Garden Update

I've been working on my flower beds for five years now, and I take photos to gauge my progress.

Here's what's going on this spring.

Butterfly Bush and Mums

Above is what my husband calls "pruning the butterfly bush." He cut it to ankle height earlier this spring. Every time I prune the damn thing it threatens to dwarf our house by mid-summer, so it'll probably make an amazing recovery. YOU GO BUTTERFLY BUSH.

The chrysanthemums around it are looking a little scraggly. I might fill those in with more mums later this fall.

Barberry Bush

My barberry bush got little white flowers this spring! I see a lot of people trim their barberry bushes into square hedges, but I like mine au naturale. It's getting crowded by the succulents, though, so I'll probably split those soon.

Snow in Summer

My snow in summer is filling in nicely! I didn't realize it flowered so early in the season. The bare patches used to house pink astilbes, but then we cut down the mulberry tree and they got too much sun. I'd like to plant something tall here. Allium, maybe?


I planted coneflowers last weekend to cover up the area where the mulberry tree used to grow, plus some flowering annuals in front.

Liriope and Sedum

This photo is already busy, so I didn't add any handwriting. The line of greenery nearest the house is mums. The yellow stuff is angelina sedum. The orange plants are caramel heuchera (planted last year and filling in nicely). The purple flowers are rhododendron, and the little grasses are variegated liriope. (I thought they'd be taller by now! They're not developing as quickly as the nonvariegated kind.)

I want to plant a hardy ground cover between the sedum and the mums, but I don't know which kind yet. For now, I'm just letting the sedum slowly take over.


I love the way the different-colored foliage is coming together in this section. I think another caramel heuchera would be perfect for the empty space between the coreopsis and the bear's breeches.

There are two kinds of weigela in the back: wine and roses to the left, and My Monet to the right. Eventually the wine and roses weigela will outgrow that space, but maybe that will give me a good reason to dig out the butterfly bush. Then I can just move the weigela over.

Hostas and Phlox
Hostas and Phlox

I also planted two different varieties of phlox, since I'm not a big annuals person and I wanted something that would flower in the early spring. Freakin' hostas need split again. Stop making more work for me, hostas.

Plant Tags

And finally, here's a photo of the tags from all the perennials I planted, in case I look back at the garden next year and can't remember their exact varieties. Creeping phlox and two each of three varieties of coneflower. Complete with authentic dirt!

What's going on in YOUR garden this year?

Front of House
Art is My Drug

Art is My Drug

Longwood Gardens in Spring 2014

Longwood Gardens in Spring 2014