The garden before the black-eyed susans take over

The black-eyed susans are starting their annual invasion. This year the phlox are showing signs of spreading too, despite some mildew and munching by the deer. And those coneflowers!

Bees are happy, butterflies are happy, hummingbirds are happy. I’m happy!

Some shots on what is supposed to be a scorcher of a day:

butterfly on coneflower 2

phlox front

phlox and day lily

phlox and black-eyed susans

phlox, coneflower, butterfly

The lovely crocosmia are now in three or four spots, and they need to be divided again this fall (well, some of those baby bulbs dug out with fingers?).

crocosmia july 19 2015 002

crocosmia july 19 2015 006


side bed with red, red, white

Dividing the amsonia (below)  could add the feathery leaf structure to another spot. More phlox (white!)  needed in the center of the long front bed. Daisies from the side bed could work too.

divide the amsonia in the fall

And I WILL break up the black-eyed susans into sections, promise!



Mid-June in the garden

I’m looking out the window and seeing rabbits in a neighbor’s yard. Just don’t let me see the groundhog! We have at least two, and they have done enough damage in the raised beds.

Still, tomato plants are generally thriving, and I’m hopeful we’ll have some early ones in time for the Fourth of July. Zucchini and potato plants are shooting up. My favorite flower, rose campion, is blooming, as is another favorite, red-hot poker (a little late, I think, but then spring was late and started off cool). And I’m excited about this new red-yellow Rudbeckia that blooms much earlier than the traditional yellow black-eyed Susan. I’m guessing it comes from one of two places where I plucked a flower head and then planted it. I’m hoping it spreads like crazy.

Here’s a look at some of what’s blooming in the garden just a few days before the official start of summer:

Yellow and red Rudbeckia
What a beaut!

red hot pokers

Rose campions are in lots of places:

Rose campion

Rose campion and coreopsis

Rose campion, coreopsis and tiger day lilies

Day lilies above and below:

red daylily
Hope this spreads too

stella d'oro daylilies

The first of the many coneflowers to come:


A faded allium:


A new addition to the hosta collection:

hosta late may new kind

End of summer

Catching up after a hectic two-plus months.

The black-eyed Susans, which dominate the front bed, have been in bloom since mid-July. They’re now rapidly fading, but they kept the garden looking bright. How many can I give to neighbors?

Mass of black-eyed Susans

Phlox, purple coneflowers and black-eyed Susans. Lot of phlox and coneflowers this year:

Phlox and purple coneflower with black-eyed Susans

Ornamental grass and black-eyed Susans (told you they were everywhere):

Ornamental grass with black-eyed Susans

Daddy long legs on a black-eyed Susan:

Daddy long legs and black-eyed Susan

Spider’s web (with foliage from black-eyed Susans in the background):

spider's web

A fall-blooming clematis with a sweet scent, along the deck:

white clematis

in July, one of our three varieties of bee balm:

bee balm

Crocosmia under the mimosa tree:

red crocosmia

The potato crop, which we felt was disappointing. Did we not mound enough? Or do we need to find a fresh spot?


We have a glut of peppers, mostly Portuguese hots, and have had plenty of tomatoes, especially sungolds. But we also discovered some truly sweet tomatoes that look just like sungolds. Now to find out the name of them from the Brit’s colleague!

Leeks still to come. Need to use up all that basil and turn it into pesto. We still have greens, though something gets into the caged bed every once in a while and munches. And we’ll see how the fall crops turn out.

How the Garden Looks Today

Have a day off so am finally getting some shots of the garden. Black-eyed Susans are in bloom and this year we’ve got them scattered throughout the front bed, most prominently at the start of the walk.

Some Alma Potschke asters are starting to pop through:

Caught a butterfly enjoying the garden:


All the coneflowers this year really surprised us. They’ve probably been in bloom for close to a month.

coneflowersSome other flowers:


In the vegetable garden … am wondering where the beans are hiding in this wall of leaves (I have spotted two melons; how to tell when they’re ripe?):


But the first Ramapo tomato is just about ready for eating:

ramapo tomato