A Tour Of The Back Garden In Early July

So now let’s take the overview of the garden to the back of the house.

A flagstone path leads to the Back Garden.

Looking through the arbor.

This flower bed lines the hedge on the west side of the yard.

There aren’t a lot of blooms in the back now, but there’s Purple-Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus) and Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica).

I put a bed around the base of this Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum).

Also some years ago, when I was randomly installing raised beds all over the place, I put this raised bed in the middle of the Back Garden, with a backbone of Hellebores along the east side.

At one end there’s a bunch more Indian Pink. And in a happy act of random plant acquisition this year, we added this ‘Porcelain Blue’ Blue Corydalis (Corydalis flexuosa). I think they go well together, and I look forward to the Corydalis bulking up.

Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum racemosa) in the bed at the base of the Silver Maple. Those berries turn bright red, but then the plant tends to flop. And yes, that’s variegated Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium podagraria) mixed in there. I always snip off the flowers, but I’ve given up trying to get rid of it.

I’ve marked off a section of lawn with pavers to create an area where I do not mow. Results have been mixed.

Here’s our patio, adorned with pots full of disease resistant Beacon Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana), Calladiums, and a couple other things.

The ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) are blooming against the new fence that the neighbors put in.

And I have to show you my Maidenhair Ferns (Adiantum pedatum). It was kind of slow to get established but I think it is the most beautiful of the ferns we have.

And here’s our back porch. I transplanted a clump of ‘Raspberry Wine’ Monarda a few years ago and now it’s vying with the ferns to take over this bed. On the back steps we grow various herbs and Swiss chard. They mostly do pretty well despite being in part shade.

Finally, here’s a video Judy took of a Chickadee taking a caterpillar into one of our bird houses to feed the nestlings.

Our back garden is more tranquil than the front. Recently our son David and his partner Meridith visited us, and we had hours relaxing together back there. It’s the kind of space that enhances time with family and friends,

75 Comments on “A Tour Of The Back Garden In Early July”

  1. Judy’s video is great! That certainly qualifies as ‘better than television.’ I remember the Indian Pinks from last year. That was when I found our native Spigelia on the trail to the Big Oak. It’s hard to believe a year has passed. I need to make that trip again and see what’s happening.

  2. Beautiful and tranquil. I find that when I’m relaxing on my back patio admiring the backyard I usually seem to notice things that need some kind of attention and then I get up and do it! I did not know there was a blue corydalis. I have the yellow which has been happily populating all the dry spots on my property.

  3. I think this has to be my favorite part of your gardens . It is a breath of greenery and privacy combined to make it such a wonderful tranquil place to relax and enjoy nature with the plants you have added to beautiful mature trees you have. I don’t think I could truly love such a place without trees , they lend a type of presence and peace especially because the birds and little animals depend on them so much. Maidenhair fern is one of my favorites as well .. the Chickadees are a huge bonus, I love those little characters (great video !).

  4. I love your back garden. So many marvelous textures. I love the Indian Pink. I planted one this spring. What was I thinking??? I wish I had planted a dozen of them. It seems this one is going to bloom again too. WHooo hooo…. Do yours do this? I had luck getting rid of the Bishop’s Weed. I think mine was more contained in the first place. I realized right away that it was a bully in the garden. I still like the bright white it throws in the garden. Your garden looks so inviting. I can see why you use it a lot. Love the chickadee video. I had a pair wanting to nest in our back garden. The house wrens returned just as the chickadees were building their nest and ran them out of the garden. I now have two active HOWR nests in the back garden. One on each side. Rascals.

  5. The garden looks lovely, and just as you said, it looks tranquil and inviting to sit for a while, a place where you can appreciate all the greenery and flowers. I envy you the ferns, especially the Maidenhair ferns, they are my favourites. I also love your white hydrangeas, they tend to be high maintenance in our climate, and need plenty of extra water and shade in summer.

  6. The birdhouse video is great, our birds give us so much pleasure too but we have never attempted a birdhouse so close to a window. I love the blue corydalis, I have already had to make a new area to plant the Ribus odoratus that I saw in your blog last year. I get so tempted by the flowers I see in your garden. Amelia

  7. I have to agree, it’s a soothing place where you can relax away in the shade on a hot day. All the green is a great thing and the maidenhair fern is completely excellent! The corydalis is quite the blue as well, maybe it’s time I tried one again, although the nurseries around here don’t have much to offer in the way of cool plants…

  8. Beautiful and very relaxing, even when viewed virtually. I loved the purple-flowered raspberry and all the shade provided by your large trees. Although I’ve got more trees than most of my neighbors, our warming temperatures have me thinking about adding more. Regrettably, there’s a local “view conservation” ordinance here that allows neighbors to pursue complaints if trees block their views (I removed 2 trees previously in response) but, given current conditions, I’m inclined to plant now and argue the matter later if the foolish residents don’t recognize the environmental impacts of that ordinance at some point.

  9. The Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica) is on my to-get list for next spring, for one of the beds that I’ve decided will be a red-and-yellow combo. I’m looking to get the cultivar ‘Little Redhead’ which is supposed to be a better flowering selection. I already have Enkianthus ‘Summer Hill’, Epimedium ‘Flame Thrower’, and a yellow daylily in that bed, and am hoping to add Enkianthus cernuus rubens next year also. But none of those are summer flowering, which is why I want the Spigelia also. Yours looks great!

  10. Forgot to add, I like your ‘mowing strip’ on the outside of your raised bed. I should do something like that around the similar beds that I still have here. Is anything set into them (like stone pieces, bricks, mulch, etc.)? It looks like it does a good job of keeping grass and weeds from sneaking into the bed.

  11. I enjoyed both tours, front and back. The wide shots are nice and give a more complete sense of the garden and the grand house. As a fan of shade in general and shade gardens in particular, I appreciate the tranquil atmosphere in the back. A stone paths, an arbor, bird houses… I love it all. I remember when you pulled out some of the ostrich ferns and wondered what to plant in their place: Monarda! Excellent choice. I love the color and hight. Your maidenhair fern is fabulous.
    And being able to spot little birds nesting in the back yard is a special kine of magical joy.

  12. The Monarda does really well for you, it looks so healthy and vibrant, and I think you’ve also got it growing in the front. It works really well with ferns. As I have a huge number of Shuttlecock ferns, I am now tempted to try growing some Monarda with them, it seems to work for you. Is the Raspberry Wine variety particularly suited for more shady spots?

  13. Thanks for your post! I’m not familiar with Spigelia marilandica or Chrysogonum virginianum. I looked them up and it says Zone 5-9 native to US. Are they perennial in your garden? Also, where did you find these plants?

  14. Beautiful garden! Have you encountered the leaf tier moth on the Annabelle hydrangeas? I had heard of it but never had it until this year (I live in Oak Park). I love Annabelles – they are a reliable workhorse in the garden. However, after having to cut off so many leaves to try to fend off these moths, I can’t say this is one of my top plants anymore…

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