My Favourites Right Now

As I work around the garden, I can't help but stop and smile.  So many of the plants that I've added in the past couple of years are starting to really take off and it just makes my heart sing.  While I have always loved strolling through the garden, my little walks have been especially joyful this year.  So I decided to take my camera with me and snap a few pictures of my mid-June favourites.

Each year, the solitary David Austin rose in my garden just gets better and better - I believe it's in its 4th year now:

'Crown Princess Margaretta'

There is a ninebark (I'm guessing 'Diablo') in the front walkway bed that's been here since we moved in.  One of the branches rooted a few years ago so I dug up the seedling (which was no more than 5" tall) and transplanted it into the west border.  And ta-da!  Here it is now:

From a 5" seedling to a 6' shrub...It needs a bit of pruning but
I'm holding off for now as building bulk as a privacy screen is the priority at the moment.

A few other oldies - as in they've been in the garden for a while - are also spreading the joy.  The next few photos are of plants that were actually here when we purchased the place, so I'm not sure about specific cultivars.

We have several weigela but my absolute favourite is a variegated one, seen below peaking out from the right side of the spirea:

Spirea and variegated weigela in front garden bed

Not only do I love the foliage, but I have to say that I enjoy the pale pink flowers more than the other cultivars with darker blooms.

Variegated foliage and pale pink blooms...
I need more of this one!

There was a stand of iris in a very shady area of the front garden that always produced leaves, but we rarely saw a bloom.  In fact, I couldn't even recall what they looked like.  A couple of years ago, I decided to transplant them all to a sunnier spot.  And wow - do they ever love their life now!

Transplanted Iris in full bloom

There are also a few iris in another shady section that I plan to move soon.  These, however, are not a mystery as they do bloom sporadically each year:

Another iris that's been here since the beginning...

And then there's the rose that has come back each year despite my having done absolutely nothing to encourage it - not even watering during dry spells:

This rose is a real trooper

Now on to the newer plants that I've only had for a year or two.  I've purchased dozens of new-to-me plants and/or varieties so these are only a handful that stood out on my stroll through the garden.  I'll just quickly run through them, otherwise I'll be here all day!

Artemisia 'Silver Mound'

Baptisia 'Lunar Eclipse'

Heuchera 'Lime Marmelade' & 'Forever Purple'

Lemony Lace Elder

This mystery allium was part of a mix

Sedum 'Lime Twister'

Salvia 'Swifty Rose' on the right, together with
Nepeta faassenii 'Purrsian Blue' & blue oat grass

I've added 15 different 💚 hosta 💚varieties to the front garden (at last count) in the past couple of years, but that's a whole other post.  These three along the front walkway are new from 2020:

Hosta 'Banana Kid'

Hosta 'Dixie Chickadee'

Hosta 'Frosted Dimples'

And this year, instead of just one big pot by the front entrance, I decided to plant up a bunch of smaller terra cotta pots and place them along the steps.  They are still sizing up, but one unexpected joy is this tuberous begonia - I've never been a huge begonia fan, but I'm beginning to change my tune:

Tuberous Begonia 'Nonstop Mocha White'

This concrete urn was in need of a plant so I figured I'd try a grouping of sedums & see how it goes.
Sedums picked from the garden and plopped into an urn

These sedums are tough as nails and all of them have been thriving in various containers in the garden for years with essentially zero care (not even watering during our often hot, dry summers).  I may have to pull out the occasional weed or blade of grass that comes up but that's about it.

And lastly is a small mass of green in one of the beds that's slated to be replaced this year.

Self-seeded Parsley

I've been weeding these beds, but leaving a few things like self-seeded calendula and this stand of parsley.  Even though I started 3 new parsley plants this spring, you can never have enough, am I right?  Based on this beds location in that area, it will be one of the last to be dismantled so I have plenty of time to get a few harvests from it.


  1. You must be thrilled by the progress of your ornamentals, they're all looking good. Those irises that you transplanted have done very well, I think they like to bake in the sun in order to put on their best show so they must be happy in their new position. I love hostas but I've given up with them. I tried growing them in pots but still couldn't keep the slugs away, even with various slug deterrents. Yours looks so healthy and I can't spot a single hole in their leaves!

    1. We do often get slugs but usually not until later in the season. In fact, last year a few new baby hostas were totally eaten up, although I'm not sure if the culprit was slugs or rabbits. I'm keeping a close eye on them and do have slug bait ready at the first sign of damage.

  2. Your garden is full of delightful surprises, Margaret. I'd dance for joy if I had a shrub like that ninebark produce a seedling. (Physocarpus is another plant that wont's grow here, where the soil is alkaline.) I love the hostas too, although sadly we're much too dry for them.

    1. After visiting a nursery with dozens of different hosta varieties a few years ago, I've become a hosta junkie!

  3. I have the same weigela both in the garden and on the allotment. Do slugs and snails cause you problems with your host as as yours look perfect?

    1. They do, but usually not until later in the season. Normally the damage is not that bad but I have to be careful when I place out new plants, especially if they are small. I'll be putting down pellets after planting newbies to the garden from now on.

  4. Margaret you have wonderful plants here ! and what a bonus that you do like what the previous owner had planted. Your planted pots are pretty ! .. I am not one for tuberous begonias either but I do like the one you have. No .. you can never have too much parsley ! LOL . And yes, the sedum are so reliable in tough conditions. I am loving that baptisia , mine has been dying out, it is very old .. I have to replace it and yours looks perfect to me. I have Lemony Lace as well, but I transplanted it too much. It has been slow to grow now .. I think it is mad at me ? LOL
    I love doing the walk about, just taking the time to take everything in and enjoy it all ;-)

    1. I heard that you can propagate baptisia by harvesting the seeds (they say that fresh seed is best) as well as by cuttings (probably the best option unless you have the species). I'm planning on trying it at some point as I want MORE! P.S. I also transplanted an elder (Black Lace) last year and treated it very poorly after the fact - didn't even water it in right away, such a newbie mistake! But it's still alive - a win! - and I'm babying it now, so I'm hopeful that it will bounce back. They are obviously very resilient so I'm sure yours will be just fine in time :)

  5. I love your Baptisia! I had a very substantial one but lost it to sewer construction. Last year I planted two but they are slow to reach a good size. In the meantime I can look at yours. I like the Irises and Ninebark too. I've been thinking of planting a Ninebark here.

    1. Ninebark is such a great, virtually no-care shrub. Other than occasionally pruning the one along our walkway has fended for itself since we moved here 11 years ago and doesn't mind the hands off approach at all.


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