Sunday, March 6, 2016

Early Spring In The Front Yard

The front yard, particularly the walkway to the front door, is already looking really nice! Of course, there are always things that can be improved, but in the moment I am pretty happy with this part of the garden. Let me take you for a quick garden tour and show you around!

I am especially pleased with this little corner bed, which is closest to our front door. From the left to the right: Daylily 'Gentle Shepherd', salvia 'Mystic Spires Blue', rosa 'The Prince', Martha Washington geranium 'Regal Elegance Purple Majesty', Martha Washington geranium seedling, white cyclamen, variety unknown. Most of the front yard was fertilized and mulched at the end of the winter and that really made a difference in the vigor of the plants this year. Let's have a closer look at what is growing in this bed.

White flowering daylily 'Gentle Shepherd' is said to be slow to bulk up, and that is true for mine, but at least it is growing happily and has made one new fan. I can't wait to see it blooming for the first time this year. Do you notice the small plant to the left of the daylily?

Here is a close up of it. That is a paperwhite narcissus! I didn't get them in the ground before February, which is way to late to plant them according to the book, but I could either let the bulbs die or put them in the ground then and I decided to give it a try. There are about fifteen bulbs of paperwhites in the front yard. I am curious to see how many will come up and maybe even bloom.

Rosa 'The Prince' looks as good as never before. I am really hoping for a great spring flush.

I still love my hand painted Portuguese jar, but it is covered a little bit more than I would like by the Martha Washington geranium 'Regal Elegance Purple Majesty'. Maybe I should prop the jar up a bit, so that it is more visible. The geranium is doing great and I expect to see many blooms this year. It has a truly wonderful dark purple color.

Judging by the leaves this is another Martha Washington geranium (it is growing to the right side of the one in the photo above), but I haven't planted it. I guess it is a seedling or the Martha Washington geranium 'Regal Elegance Purple Majesty' has found another way to propagate itself. I am anxiously waiting to see what the bloom color will be.

My white cyclamen is blooming generously. It grows for years in this container and blooms reliably each year. A happy no fuss plant. You can't ask for more.

Opposite to the bed shown in the first photo of this post I have two other Martha Washington geraniums growing in blue containers. The name of the variety is 'Regal Elegance Rose Bicolor' and it is also a very lovely one.

I wasn't aware of it before I took the photos, but this one has set buds already. It only will take days for them to open and I am looking so much forward to seeing them, again.

This is an incredible narrow and therefore difficult to plant bed called "The Hell Strip" to the left side when you leave the house. It is doing well so far, too.

In the very front corner of the photo above I have planted stachys monieri 'Hummelo'. The snails are going after it like crazy and didn't give the plant a chance to grow new leaves. So I put out Sluggo (the little white kernels), an organic snail deterrent, to keep them in check.

I have a second salvia 'Mystics Spires Blue' growing in the "Hell Strip Bed" opposite the salvia 'Mystics Spires Blue' in the corner bed featured in the first photo of this post. This one receives more sun and warmth and the plant is much more developed than the other one. Both salvias grow through obelisks to prevent them from flopping over later in the season.

This is a kind of miniature pelargonium, which I cut back only in February. Sorry, but I can't remember the name. Hope it will come back properly. It also lives in the "Hell Strip Bed".

The middle of the bed that runs along the walkway to the house is planted with two roses 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' to the very right and left. I had added two verbena bonariensis between the roses and the Pygmy Date Palm last year in autumn, but one died almost instantly, the other was struggling for the longest time, but seems to have grown in now.

Here you can see the verbena bonariensis more closely. I tried to find a replacement for the one which died, but so far no luck at the local nurseries. 

You walk up to this island bed as you leave the house and walk towards the street. A pretty Pygmy Date Palm lives here. At the feet of the palm is blue flowering penstemon planted. It is struggling because of the root competition with the palm,...

...but since I have fertilized and mulched the bed, I hope I can get one more year out of the penstemon, but eventually it has to be replaced. 

Right before you leave the house you pass by this scene. To the left there is rosa 'Pretty Jessica' planted and to the right rosa 'Marie Pavie'. The latter is full of buds, even though you can't see it well on the photo, and is about to bloom very soon. The white flowering pelargonium in the container on the column looks pretty ugly with its brown leaves.

Close-up of the white pelargonium. I never could get it to look better than on this photo and I don't know the reason why it constantly is making these brown leaves. After two years of trying I am seriously thinking to get rid of it and replace it with another Martha Washington geranium 'Regal Elegance Rose Bicolor', that I still have on hand.

Looking at the middle part of the bed running along the walkway to the house from another direction. I like the height that the obelisk adds to the bed.

View from the street towards the front door. The front yard is mainly green at this time of the year, but I like it this way.

Besides the cyclamen and the white geranium, the dianthus 'Floral Lace White' is the only other plant blooming right now. I thought dianthus would be an annual, but they came through the winter like a charm and were flowering more or less prolifically since they were planted last spring. Pretty amazing!

This last shot shows the walkway to the house as you enter it from the street. Do you see the white dianthus that I just discussed blinking through the trunks of the Pygmy Date Palm?

To me it looks like the front yard is off to a very good start into the season. Now I sit back and enjoy watching things filling in more and wait for the roses and other plants to start blooming. Life is good!

See you in the garden!


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  1. Looking good Christina and can only get better as the plants continue to fill out. I love all the palms!

  2. Hi Christina, your garden is certainly off to a great start! I particularly like all the blue containers; the Martha Washington geraniums look especially nice. 'The Prince' is living up to its name!

  3. Deb, I love blue glazed terracotta containers. I would get quite a few more, if they only wouldn't be so expensive. But I might splurge this year and buy another one or two. I think they add so much to my garden.

  4. The front garden looks good, Christina! Mulch always makes everything look neat and tidy, doesn't it? Hopefully you got some rain this weekend too - that should also give everything a boost.

  5. Du hast ja viele Sachen, die auch in unserem Garten wachsen! Stachys zum Beispiel. Wie schön, dass man bei dir schon soviel sehen kann. Es hat gestern angefangen zu schneien und nun liegt das Zeug hier!


    1. Sigrun, it often surprises me too how many things I can grow in my garden that grow in the gardens in Germany and England as well. Many plants are quite adaptable!
      Sorry to hear that you had snow, again. It is time that spring is moving in in Germany, isn't it?
      Here we had rain yesterday and more to come today (at least according to the forecast). Yay!

  6. Very good start indeed Christina, things are coming along very nicely!

  7. L'entrée du jardin dans cet état est d'une élégance particulière et le charme du lieu opère. Je suis admirative des éléments du décor et de la fraîcheur des plantes en particulier le feuillage du géranium sain et opulent..une merveille, je serais ravie de voir l'évolution de cette variété et surtout la couleur et la forme des fleurs.
    Belle soirée...jocelyne

  8. Se ve muy lindo, me encanta. Besitos.

  9. Your frontyard looks great, The view to your frontdoor behind the palms is wonderfull. Your garden is nice and tidy and everything looks so fresh, especially the roses. I'm really looking forward to spring now, I want to see at least foliage on my roses, but this morning we had snow........

  10. This looks altogether wonderful! Green is wonderful! So glad you shared your tropical paradise.

  11. It looks beautiful. It's a lot of work, but worth it. xoxo Su

  12. Everything looks beautiful, Christina! I love the little palm in your front garden and the white cyclamen in the blue pot. Your gardens are so neat and tidy. A lot of work, I know, and it is paying off with healthy and lovely gardens around your beautiful home. xo Karen

    1. Thanks, Karen! Putting down a thick layer of mulch really helps the plants to get through the summer heat here. It keeps them cool and feeds them slowly. I just wish I could mulch the whole garden every year, but it is too much work and quiet frankly too expensive. So I do only some beds each year and rotate, which ones get the mulch. So far I get by with this strategy!

  13. Your blue spheres I have never seen before. They look great together with te two pots you have showed earlier. It also add a lot of colour to your garden. Love the sunshine also....... groetjes,

  14. Liebe Christina,
    hier ist leider noch alles sehr kahl :-)
    Da ist es herrlich bei dir alles grün zu sehen.
    Aber was die weiße Pelargonie hat - keine Ahnung.
    Vielleicht ist irgendwas in der Wurzel?
    Wäre schade drum.
    Das Mulchen bekommt deinen Pflanzen jedenfalls sehr
    gut und ich wollte ich hätte so einen ordentlich
    bestellten Garten :-) Hier siehts noch aus wie
    Kraut und Rüben :-))
    Ganz viele liebe Grüße sendet dir
    die Urte :-)

  15. Your garden is sunny and inviting, Christina! I like how you use blue color here and there. I wish we could live closer - I could bring you a load of Verbena b.. Mine seeded profusely. In return, you could give me some of your sunshine!

  16. Tatyana, I read elsewhere that verbena bonariensis can seed prolifically up to the point where it can become a problem. Well, that is certainly not the case in my garden, instead I am still struggling to get them established, so I would take a load form you any day. I definitely could give a little bit of sunshine, too. Especially, in the summer we have more than enough of it :-)!

  17. Very nice garden you have Christina. It is so nice to live in a tropical region. We still have snow. Your blue pots add a nice accent to your entrance.

    1. thel day, welcome to my blog and thanks for leaving your nice comment!

  18. What a lovely entrance you got! Looks nice and warm, too. Daylily 'Gentle Shepherd' is not the fastest grower with me either. But beautiful flowers!

  19. Your roses look so beautiful and healthy. The geraniums too, which at first glance I thought were Heuchera.