Here at Henbogle, we are watching the slow snow retreat with glee, even though that means we are deep into mud season. Mud abounds, but the grass in the yard is beginning to green up, and in the sunny bed behind the house, tulips and crocuses are emerging from the cold soil.
Brisk winds and clear dry days have significantly shrunk the backyard snowpack, leaving exposed several big garden projects. Two new garden beds await planting, this triangular 21x17 foot bed next to the new deck, and another roughly
roughly triangular bed just across the path from it by the old deck.
By the new deck, the tentative plan calls for a row of small deciduous shrubs, all fragrant, next to the house and the deck, with a couple of columnar junipers marking the house corner (where the anise hyssop stalks are now). I'm considering a dwarf fothergilla v. Mt. Airy, clethra v. Ruby Spice (for in front of the a/c), and mock-orange v. Blizzard, and in the corner by the deck, a butterfly bush v. Honeycomb, all low-ish growers which should just come up to the bottom of the row of windows, providing good bird habitat yet not blocking the view, and providing sweet scents for
the loungers on the deck.
I've also got two low-growing junipers, bright yellow-green varieties, and 3 false cypresses in the same yellow-green foliage in inventory which could go in there somewhere, I'm still thinking on it. Eventually, we want a small water feature in here, something low maintenance that will provide a splashy drinking/bathing spot for the birds -- not a pond, but something with a bit of running or dripping water.
In front of the woody shrubs we'll fill in with perennials, the majority from dividing my existing stock. I'm thinking coneflowers, rudbeckia, monarda, coreopsis, phlox, liatris, scabiosa, veronica, the hyssop.... hmmm, better add some contrasting non-upright shapes!
Of course, we also need to replace the grapevine trellis with something that will be more permanent and provide some shade in front of that big SW facing picture window. The grapevine arbor crashed down this winter in a big windstorm, much to my dismay (not another project on the to-do list!).
Looking at this mess now, with all the cardboard (to kill the grass) it is hard to imagine it will ever look good, but on the other hand, anything will be an improvement compared to this!