A sense of timing helps when designing a garden. I’m lucky to have volunteered with the great Edith Eddleman and Doug Ruhren at the JC Raulston Arboretum years ago. More recently, I went to a garden-design workshop by pollinator guru Debbie Roos. They are all attuned to how the flowers, leaves, and stems change through the season. Grouping complimentary or contrasting colors and forms creates garden synergy. This week, I was lucky to have that magic going on in Sun Curve and on the Dry Stream Bank.

Sun Curve

I’m happy with the groupings of new native plants with sentimental favorites. We’re lucky to have pink and white peonies from my beloved mother-in-law’s garden. The striped canna was an expensive collector’s plant when I started eGarden.com in the late 1990s. I splurged on one then and it has rewarded me by multiplying. The orange flowers will attract hummingbirds in the summer.

Pond and Bog Garden

This is a peak time for the bog garden, with the Pitcher Plants still flowering and the new pitchers coming up. The whole water feature enjoyed the torrent of rain we had earlier this week.

Dry-Stream Bank

The red and yellow flowers of Indian Pink are in full bloom on the dry-stream bank at the foot of the black trellis, which has a red square of glass in one section as a tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright. The combination is glorious, especially with the Green and Gold behind picking up the yellow top of the flower. These two are both powerhouse native plants for this area. Weirdly, there is a blue plant with similar leaves that I thought was Indian Pink when I bought it. Cherokee Sedge is blooming, a short evergreen grass that takes part sun to shade.

trellis with red glass square and Indian Pink

Hellebore Hill

The hellebores are on the way out, with fading flowers and brown, opened seed pods. They aren’t native, but do bloom for months and support bees early in the season. The rhododendrons are taking over the glory, despite the vigorous growth of invasive Japanese honeysuckle. The pink rhodo is about nine feet tall. I’ll clear out the vines and show you its magnificence next week.

Other Backyard Blooms

A scraggy but persistent white Rhododendron blooms near the north fence. The Bluestar is still blooming in the rain garden, where Blue-Eyed Grass is starting to flop. A few Irises and one Foamflower continue to bloom. The last Sweet Betsy flowers have dried brown tips.