Lawn games

When we first moved in, my husband dug a perfectly good tree out of the yard. It was a bald cypress, and it was small, but still... But according to him, it was "right in the middle of the football field." So out it went, and as usual, he was right and I've been glad ever since. Here are some of the things we've done on the "football field" over the years.

Our newest lawn game is Kubb, which our son in Germany sent us.
Slip 'n' Slide!

Bean Bags and Bouncy Balls
Sometimes we just like to sit and watch the sprinklers run.

A three-and-a-half-minute tour

I took a stroll through the backyard gardens just before sunset last night with my camera set to video. It's a little bouncy, and windy, but you can also hear the fountain, the chirp of cicadas, and the birds singing. In bloom during these last days of June are carefree delight wild roses, false sunflower, wild bergamot (beebalm), fleabane, Canada milk vetch, a few coneflowers, catmint and salvia. The hibiscus (Rose of Sharon) is loaded with buds that will soon pop, and in the arbor garden off the deck, sedums, Dahlberg daisies and purple wild verbena star, along with the purple fountain grass in the large green pot. The prairie grasses are beginning to head out along the fence, too. Oh, and sweet Sundae comes out to greet you at the end of the clip. : )

The first of the coneflowers!

Coneflowers seem like the quintessential prairie flower to me. We have several different varieties of coneflower close to blooming, but these pretty orange-red ones, a gift from our friend Nancy's garden, were the first. They are back between the fence and the tallgrasses, so we have to work to see them, but there are others that will bloom above the grasses soon.

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

The coral bells seem to get more beautiful every year. They have an old-fashioned look about them that I just love. These photos were taken June 20.

This year's flower cart

We've had something different every year in the flower cart my dad built for us as a housewarming gift. We scaled back this year and planted sparsely, but I'm pleased with the fact that the pansies are still thriving and the coleus is finally getting big. A fun surprise: we saved the "spuds" from the sweet potato vine we had in pots last year, not sure if it would come up or not. It's coming in beautifully and helping to fill out the pot. We're eager for it to start trailing out of the pot, as the cart looks nicer with something spilling over.

Pretty in purple

Two new things blooming along the fence line, both shades of lavender and purple. Wild bergamot is abundant this year. Only the southernmost stands are in bloom, but it won't be long before it all pops.
The leadplant is beautiful and larger than last year with more blooms. It's leaf pattern and color are distinctive even before it blooms, but it has one of the most unusual flowers of anything in our garden.

Blooming sedum

We have sedums everywhere, all different varieties. I've lost track of what is what, but this one is in full bloom right now––tiny little white flowers. Just beautiful. But so much of it growing in the crevices of the flagstone patio, that we're digging it up and sharing with friends and family.

Knobby knees and Carefree Delights

The Bald Cypress is getting huge, and putting out "knees" clear out into the grass. It's a beautiful tree all year long, and does well in this rather soggy corner of the yard.
The Carefree Delights are blooming later than usual this year––probably because we pruned them hard, clear to the ground this year. We've seen our local arboretum (where we bought these plants) prune their wild roses way back, and come back vigorous as ever. We pruned everything back hard this year, and the yellow roses have been disappointing, but I think we'll be glad that we pruned them next year.

What's blooming June 7, 2011

Carefree Delight Prairie Rose
 Every day we walk through the gardens and discover new things blooming. Above is Carefree Delight, a wonderful native prairie rose. Below the Butterfly Weed is just about to burst into bright orange blossoms. The yellow clump of flowers below is some form of sedum, we think. Can't find the tag for that one, and it's something we planted several years ago. The main thing blooming in the garden right now is False Sunflower, and it's shooting up all along the fence. Those spots of yellow can be seen from the deck and even inside the house.
Butterfly Weed

Thanks to our friend Susan, we've identified this one: Gray Santolina!
False Sunflower

The garden at evening

Sedum: We love 'em

We have loved having a wide variety of sedums in the gardens and they are really showing off this year, both in the rock garden, and in the pots (which we plant simply by digging up a clump from the ground and plopping it in a pot for the summer). When summer's over, we dump the pots behind the shed, and by spring we have a whole new crop to choose from. Sedums are a great bargain because the spread and multiply each year. Some of our varieties include: Stonecrop, Angelina, Dragon's Blood, Album.