From Both Sides Now

So you have to be careful about what you say to Judy. One day I casually mention that people really liked her overview shots of the garden and maybe she should do more of those. Next thing you know, she’s sitting on a windowsill on the second story of our house, both feet dangling over the side. Aside from the risk involved, it was a pretty good idea on her part, as we have never had pictures of the front garden from this perspective.

The view from on high: Sidewalk, Driveway Borders and Island Bed in the Front Garden.
The view from on high: Sidewalk, Driveway Borders and Island Bed in the Front Garden.

Anyhow, I think these are the first shots of our front garden ever taken from above. Here’s an overview of the whole front on the east side of the driveway.

Far end of the Driveway Border.
Far end of the Driveway Border.

At the far end of the driveway border, we’re all about orange and yellow right now. There’s the orange of the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) and ‘Eye-yi-yi’ daylilies (Hemerocalis), though I’ve had to cut back the butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) in hopes of another flush of blooms. Then there’s the pale yellow of the ‘Italian White’ sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) and the golden yellow of the yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata).

Looking a bit closer.
Looking a bit closer.


The ‘Gateway’ Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum ssp. maculatum) is still forming its flowerheads. At the far end of the far end you can just make out the blue of the anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) and the first flower spike of my ‘Adonis Blue’ butterflybush (you can click on the pictures to make them bigger).

Driveway Border, closer to house.
Driveway Border, closer to house.

At the other end of the Driveway Border, the biggest drift of color is the lavender of wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). The Monarda goes nicely with the yellow early sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Prairie Sunrise’). There is also a clump of purple tall ironweed (Vernonia altissima) that’s begun to bloom, but it’s not very visible from this vantage point.

The ‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor) is driving me insane by covering itself in flower buds that seem to have no interest in EVER blooming. I’m wondering if this is some new, more sophisticated variety where you just appreciate the subtle beauty of the flower buds without the distraction of any actual flowers.

Island Bed
Island Bed

The cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is now blooming in the Island Bed. So is the sweet Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum), but from here you can just barely see its dusty pink blooms between the cup plant stalks. Another thing you can’t see is that there really are grass paths between these beds, but they are obscured by all the tall plants.

The purple in front of the cup plant is ‘Purple Rooster’ bee balm (Monarda didyma). You can also make out a few clusters of pink swamp milkweed blooms (Asclepias incarnata).  The swamp milkweed blooms later than the butterflyweed.

Island Bed and Sidewalk Border
Island Bed and Sidewalk Border

This gives a pretty good view of both the Island Bed and the Sidewalk Border. You can see that the ‘Northwind’ switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has bulked up nicely, and that there is still plenty of red from the ‘Raspberry Wine’ bee balm (M. didyma).  Orange Zinnias and yellow daylilies bloom on the parkway bed.

The Cutting and Edibles Bed.
The Cutting and Edibles Bed.

On the other side of the driveway, there’s the Cuttings and Edibles Bed. More ‘Italian White’ sunflowers, plus a few ‘Cut and Come Again’ Zinnias (Zinnia elegans). Also lots of parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), plus three tomato plants trained on wooden trellises. Sadly, no caterpillars.

'Egyptian Spice' daylilies.
‘Egyptian Spice’ daylilies.

In the Crabapple Bed to the south, Asiatic lilies no longer bloom around the ‘Donald Wyman’. However, there are apricot-colored ‘Egyptian Spice’ daylilies, dark red ‘Chicago Apache’, as well as more ‘Eye-yi-yi’ facing west.

Actually, Judy took these pictures while I was away at a meeting in Urbana. If I had been there I would have 1) taken a picture of her sitting on the window sill, and 2) asked her if she had gone completely insane. But when I got home, all I could do was thank her for the photos, which I really like.

I’m joining in the End of Month View meme, sponsored by Helen at The Patient Gardener. Click on the link to see more long views and overviews of great gardens at the end of July.

60 Comments on “From Both Sides Now”

  1. What a great variety of color, texture, etc. I admire (envy) the familiarity you have with your plants. My garden interests were late in coming. Sometimes I despair of ever attaining and RETAINING the level of knowledge so many of you have – but my appreciation runs deep 🙂

  2. It pays to change perspective now and then – well done, Judy! Your beds look splendid and very lush. You have a great idea for combining flowers. What is the name of the yellow perennial next to the road? Is it a hemerocallis too? I love the heliopsis and must try to get vernonia, bet insects love it.

  3. How brave of Judy! I dislike heights so wouldn’t have my legs dangling for love nor money. It all looks fantastic, but then it always does. My garden is withering in this heatwave, do you water regularly to keep it all looking so lush?xxx

    • I’m actually afraid of heights myself. In general I only water new plants and containers. I rarely water beyond that unless things have gotten extremely dry. Many of my plants are very good at tolerating hot summers and lack of rain. This year, though, rain has been plentiful until recently.

  4. Clearly Judy has no fear of heights. It is great having an overview of the front garden and if is all so colourful whilst mine seems more frazzled and tired. Thanks for joining in with the meme but I hope Judys new photography habits don’t push your insurance premiums up!

    • M. fistulosa always succumbs to mildew sooner or later – usually in August. I just pretend not to see it and concentrate on the asters and goldenrods. I think it is more mildew resistant than many bee balms but resistance is not total. The same is true of ‘Raspberry Wine’ – good resistance, but you still see some mildew by late summer.

  5. Just incredible – both the photos and the garden! You really have a lot of WOW going on there. 🙂 I’d rip out the grass paths pronto and just pop in some cool pavers and a fun groundcover. Fabulous!! My cup plants are in too much shade. They’re tall but not as lush as yours. What beauties. 🙂

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