When it comes to gardening, I have two very simple goals:
- I want it to look amazing.
- I don’t want to work hard to keep it that way.
I think most of you can relate. We all want our yards to look beautiful – with all-year color and plenty of show-stopping plants. But for most of us, we also don’t want to work very hard.
We don’t WANT to work very hard. We don’t have TIME to work very hard.
I like to spend a tiny bit of time planting and watering, and then I like to let the plants do their own thing. I am not micromanaging those things. I won’t be staking them or petting them or singing to them. I’m probably not even going to fertilize them or think about them until they reward me with their beauty.
Can you feel me?
lazy and distracted hands-off gardener. Card-carrying.
And so far (knock on wood), this recipe for disaster has been working. Hallelujah. I think I’ve finally planted a garden that will meet my goals.
Will someone please get me a medal?
It’s been almost a year since we planted a large front garden for some color and curb appeal. My wonderful, green-thumb aunt provided 99 percent of the plants from her yard and also helped us place them and plant them. I did have to spend some time last fall watering them in, but we’ve really just let them do their thing this year. (We have only done a little weeding and added some fresh mulch.)
Since spring, we have watched in amazement as something new and beautiful popped out of the soil every few weeks.
A garden is such a beautiful gift as a homeowner. It keeps on giving all year.
As we near the end of the season (SOB!), I have really been enjoying all the late-summer blooms. I think they may be my very favorite. (Don’t tell the other plants.)
Here are a few of the favorites in our garden at this time of year:
These are probably my very favorite flowers, and it’s the first time I’ve been able to really grow them well.
What you need to know about growing black-eyed susans: they are super low maintenance, but only AFTER you’ve watered them in. So water them every single day when you first plant them. Overwater them, for goodness sakes. And they will reward you year after year. (These plants truly grow like beautiful, fabulous weeds. And they split and transplant well.)
Any type of coneflower is a winner for me. These attract pollinators and are the perfect hint of purple. Plus, they take very little babying. We spot them in ditches everywhere, so they aren’t picky.
I had to have a few hydrangea bushes after my friend Amy let me pick blooms from her giant hedge-sized versions. (Dreamy.)
So I found these two limelight hydrangeas on clearance last fall at Lowe’s. (Note: Fall seems to be the best time to find great deals on plants. I got some steals in September.
Both plants returned this year but only this one has blooms. But they really are big, beautiful blooms. I’m hoping that I’ll have blooms on both next year, because the white flowers are a beautiful contrast to the other plants. I may even bring another home for the other side of the porch.
This plant has gone crazy! It started as a tiny clearance pot last fall and has already taken over this whole corner. (No complaints here.)
The goal of this plant was to cover some of the utilities and basement window well. I think that by next year, it will be a wonderful show stopper. And it also has cute little purple blooms that attract bees and butterflies right outside the living room window.
This was a random wildcard in the garden.
On a whim, I picked up this fun coneflower that blooms in several different colors last fall at Home Depot. It came up bigger and better than every this year. It bloomed earlier than the other coneflowers. And it even came up in all the various colors. (I wondered if it would come up all purple during the second year.)
If I spot more of this variety this year, you’d better believe they will be coming home with me.
Just like a home, I don’t think a yard has to be “perfect” or even “finished.” Home (and gardens) always seem to be a work in progress. We still have projects to complete around here that will pull everything together – like skirting around the porch and a walkway.
But, this garden has been able to bridge the gap until we have the time, energy and budget to complete projects on our list. It’s been such a joy to see this garden evolve and change all year long. We’ve enjoyed daffodils, allium, daylillies, daisies and more. And it’s even more of a joy since I didn’t have to do anything major this year to make it happen.
This fall, I hope to spend a little time moving a few plants around to better spots and adding some new plants in “holes” I’ve noticed throughout the year. I’d also like to spend some time on the left side of the porch, which needs some additional height to make it feel more intentional.
But until then, I think I’ll just grab a cup of coffee and enjoy what’s already here. And smile every time I come up the driveway.
It feels good to be home.
What are your favorite plants for late-summer?
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