What’s New In The Front Garden?

Changes in the garden accelerate as we reach mid-summer. Every few days seems to bring something new. Let’s take an overview of the state of the Front Garden.


Here’s the view from the front door. Last year I worried that Culver’s Root ‘Fascination’ (Veronicastrum virginicum) was in decline. However, this year one of the clumps grew back greatly expanded and we had more blue spires than ever before.


The Daylilies have just started to bloom, mainly ‘Eye-yi-yi’ (there really should be some kind of oversight over Daylily cultivar names). But whatever you may think of ‘Eye-yi-yi’ as a name for anything, it’s a highly dramatic flower.


Please notice Borage (Borago officinalis) is now growing in the Driveway Border. I moved some Borage seedlings over from the Herb Bed, which was much harder to do than I expected. It turns out that Borage seedlings are very delicate, especially when exposed to strong sun. I was successful only after the third try, and then only after I covered the seedlings with paper towels during hot afternoons.

We intend to let it seed itself around as it pleases, the dainty blue flowers making a nice contrast to the mostly hot-colored perennials.


The Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is still going strong. This plant has really settled in and there are several substantial and growing clumps. I really love the shape of Milkweed flowers.


The Rose Milkweed (A. incarnata) should be blooming in a few days, but the others have a while yet to go (those are newer plants).


Oh, and the Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) has begun blooming. This one looks pretty happy.

The others planted further toward the house are getting squeezed by the spreading perennials – I may not be able to plant the Tithonia back there much longer.


Over on the Left Bank, the Asiatic Lilies have come into bloom. These are the remains of a “naturalizing mix” I planted over 10 years ago. They may have naturalized for a while, but then they went into a slow decline. I need to think about what to do if they disappear altogether. Plant some more, or try something different?


‘Raspberry Wine’ Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) is blooming profusely in the Sidewalk Border.


It’s the first of our Monardas to bloom.


Here’s a view of the house from the sidewalk.


I have to close by mentioning that Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ keeps blooming up a storm on what Judy and I like to call the Great Wall of Purple. It makes me happy just to look at those masses of purple blooms.

What’s new and exciting in your garden?

35 Comments on “What’s New In The Front Garden?”

  1. I so enjoy seeing your planting combinations, Jason. The borage is going to look lovely with all those oranges. Your neighbours certainly have a feast for the eyes as they pass by your house. And your clematis – it’s looking fabulous! We have poppies, cosmos and rudbeckia looking great at the moment although the drought we’re having is a challenge. The rudbeckia were planted a couple of months ago and will hopefully settle in and bulk up for next year.

  2. I know borage only because I found some growing in a vacant lot. A friend who eats a lot of weeds (so to speak) got me to taste the leaves (cucumber!) and the flowers, which are very sweet. You could make an entire tea party out of the plant.

  3. Hi Jason
    Everything looks so wonderfully lush where you are ! .. We have not been getting any rain and none foretasted for the coming weeks .. but thank heavens for the sprinkler system or my garden would be totally fried.
    I have that same veronicastrum as well and it gets very tall indeed .. not as tall as one of my thalictrum (over 9′) which is ridiculous but fascinating.
    I have read borage is a great companion plant .. I didn’t know it was so delicate as a seed.
    It looks so pretty in your photo.
    I have a blue/purple ? wall too .. Warsaw-Nike is going on and on .. you have to love a plant like that !

  4. Wow, I’m impressed that you were able to move the borage seedlings! I tried that a couple times this spring but it didn’t work out (but then I didn’t think to protect them for awhile!).
    I’ve often used the exclamation, ‘Eye-yi-yi’ many times, but never saw it written out before! Most modern cultivars have ugly names, it seems!

    • There are a lot of plants burdened with awful names. I think that Eye-yi-yi is a pun related to the eye of this particularly daylily flower. Mostly people write the exclamation as Aye-yi-yi. Regarding the boarge, it was only on the third try that I finally had some success. Now that those plants are blooming I expect no more work will be needed.

  5. Hello Jason, I love the spires of the Veronicastrum. I think we had some in our last garden. The strange season and long hot, dry weather means things have finished up early and the flowering is winding down. We have Crocosmia Lucifer in flower with its intense red flowers and to counter that, we have Agapanthus coming into flower too, with it’s cool blue. Beyond that, there’s not much else until more borders are planted with late-season flowers.

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