Mine is a landscape garden grounds.   Most rooms differ one from another.  Most of the structure is managed by conifers…..after all, the winter landscape  in Minnesota is as long as  Spring, Summer, and Autum put  together…….six months if you really want to know.;

Color is very important and is highly valued in my grounds.   But it is only equal to texture and secondary to form, both shape and size.

I control color in a number of areas, both by what I have planted, and what I allow to remain as perennials and shrubs gain size and territory and/or produce progeny which appears elsewhere in the sodless grounds.

With the exception of about four border trees which occur at neighbors’ properties, all ot the plantings of trees including conifers, shrubs and perennials are either what I have planted or have derived as progeny from what I have planted…….or progeny from God knows where which I have allowed to be displayed  on some stage or another on the grounds despite their unknown origin.

As I have written before this list includes bloodroot and several species of  thalictrum and interrupted fern.    I have only 8 minutes of mowing demanded about every six days during lawn cutting season.  With the removal of sod,  one can pick and choose the beauties from the ugly, the sick and the uncontrolable, the worst of which are tree seedlings.

Conifer seedlings are usually  highly prized.

Even though we are still running about four or five days ahead of the usual seasonal garden schedule  at my grounds, the following ‘bloomers’ usually show their colors around the 4th of July.  Most are already in full bloom.

Evening primrose…..only the Oenothera fruticosa….the one that likes to show up whereever there is no sod.  It has been in full bloom for two weeks already.

Ligularia, the Rocket…..which also likes to seed itself where ever there is space, is in full spikes and just starting to show its yellow….a prize in any landscape garden.

Astilbes all, especially the thousands of Astilbe chinensis which have seeded throughout my grounds due to reliable artificial watering.   Some even grow from tree logs.

Astrantia….an unfortunately unpopular  garden perennial in our area for its lack of shocking color of bloom, but a wonderful woodland perennial which makes any shaded area not only interesting, but appear  authentic by Nature.

Stachys Humelo….I got this plant from fellow landscape garden ‘nut’  Nancy Birrell, and is one of the showiest…..Does best in full sun, or full sun for five or six hours.    Can be divided.

The Hemerocalis (Daylilies” are all on the opening side of the day’s lily.   Colors are great.   Most can manage good sun if there is reliable watering.    Textures are generally lousy to look at except for use in a landscape  garden, where the strapping leaves, even the dissheveled help add to their notice aside pitxy foliage conifer shrubs.

My baneberries are already in shiny fruit…..God knows where they came from, but the garden displays both the white and the red.     It is a valued plant in the idealized landscape shady areas.

Echinacea purpurea is an old reliable and is popping out its first blooms.   Most of the cultivars don’t last long in my grounds…..perhaps it is the regular watering, or they are not  designed to last more than a year or so.

Most of my lilies are Asiatic, and some are still in excellent bloom.   In the woodland there is a vast oozing mass of ever larger growings of native tiger lilies….another gift from God knows where.   They will be in full bloom by the 4th.

Gooseneck Lysimachia in the sunnier areas is showing its goosefeathers here and there   If you give it space its show is spectacular…..If you don’t give it space, it will creep somewhere  anyway, so much so, you might learn to hate it.   It will tolerate shade as well its cousin Lysimachia punctata which is blooming here only in the shady areas.   It has mostly finished its display here  in the sun.   Since both are spreaders  which is  special when you have allowed them to show off,  confine them to their space….Start at about 15  square feet for the spectacle.   Two or three plants is all you will need before the three year wait.

Celandine poppies are still in bloom. and will continue into September.   They are valued and can always be pulled in areas where they have seede too aggressively.    I have hundreds mostly in the shady woodland settings.    I received my first Celandine four years ago from landscape garden star, Susan Schneiderhan.

Moonshine achillea is at its best and has been for a week or more.   Foliage is highly valued besides the long blooming yellow florals.

Dwarf Shasta daisies, Dwarf Platycodons, and Veronica Royal Candles are  in full bloom.

Raspberry and the Scarlet Monardas are beginning their show as are some of the seedling Garden Phlox…….which  seed by the thousands if you let them.   I recommend that you do.   The seedlings  will last much longer in your grounds than the newnames,  and many do not get the mildew problem.   You can always cull the colors you don’t want.

Caradonna Salvia flower stalks and Kobold Liatris are  about to open as is the Goldsturm Rudbeckia planted in full sun….a bit early for all three.

White Persicaria is still in bloom….and the red blooming clumb  is threatening to open by Independence Day.

Moving on to the shrubs, the most important in  bloom now are the Japanese spiraea,  the hydrangeas, and the Hypericums. ….on my grounds, anyway.   You can name your hydrangea, they are all about to bloom, but Anabel has been showing off for over a week.    I have on huge clump that is a knockout.    Anabels are usually more spectacular in  deeper shade and where the soil is rich and water reliably available.   Quick Fire and Twist and Shout are worthy newbies…both do best in good light.   Tardiva and Pink Diamond are the bigger reliables reaching ten feet or so , if you let them.    They do manage well in shade.

Years….years and years ago when I started playing in my present garden sand box, for an assortment of reasons I started playing with Spiraeas….gumball,  Japanese white,  the Shibori, and the like.    The bumalda spiraea, the Anthony Waterers,  Goldflame freely seed themselves.   And there is an area on my grounds where I let them do so.    They all have been in terrific bloom this year….just terrific.   Some are dwarfs.   Others have chartreuse foliage.   I prune them back to keep them from taking up too much space.   I allow other weedies (the ones which spread)  to spread themselves among the spiraea….the Rocket Ligularia,  the Celandine poppies and Oenothera, and even Valerian and certain Hostas.    

I allow these  spiraea seedlings  to go where they want.   I can always pull them or transfer them elsewhere.   I value the color they provide this time of the growing season in the shade or sun, by the way.

Of the best colored foliage woodies I like best in my grounds are:   Red Obelisk Beech, Paperbark Maple….the trunk color all year round…Centerglow Ninebark grown in full sun,  the colored barberries with Carousel and Golden Ruby terrific reds, and the burnt orange Rheingold Arborvitaes when grown in full sun, and a new one on the market, Fire Chief which is supposed to do the same burnt orange show.    I add these for they, too, are bloomers in their own way via their foliage…..and they usually  keep their ‘bloom’ all growing season long if grown in at least half day full sun.

There are so many shades of green and yellow, turquoise, gold  leafed shrubs available for garden display these days, I would run out of life time to list them all.     In Minnesota usually the more important ones are those conifers which are so essential in framing and forming interest in  the landscape garden in winter.

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