Non-food gardening–otherwise known as ornamental gardening :)

During a break in the rain today I took some pictures of flowers growing my yard and some of the ornamental gardening I did this week.

In my back yard I have a couple of blooming ornamental plants. Most are there from previous homeowners since I’ve been hoping to use as much space as I can for growing food (still working on convincing my husband to let me have more garden beds). I don’t want to plant something only to have it later be in the way of growing food.

Here is a clematis. I planted it two years ago and it died. Or so I thought. It took two years, but it looks like it decided it wants to live. I almost pulled it thinking it was a weed before I recognized it. I’d already pulled and tossed the bamboo trellis it came with so I bought new metal trellis for it to climb. Very pretty.


Clematis and wild voilet

In the background are wild violets. They grow everywhere here…like.a.weed. These ones are done flowering. I didn’t plant them, but I’m not pulling them, either, since they are pretty and edible (both flowers and leaves). Also, barely seen at the top of the photo, is a miniature yellow rose bush. It is the first plant I planted when we moved in ten years ago. It isn’t blooming, yet, so no photo.

Below is one wild violet I found elsewhere in our yard that is still blooming.

Wild violet

Wild violet

And of course, there is the honeysuckle bushes I’ve mentioned in previous posts.

Honeysuckle bush

Honeysuckle bush

I didn’t plant these and they are growing like a weed here. I’m fighting them all over the yard. They grow very tall, very quickly, and try to strangle all the other bushes and trees. And they are very hard to kill. I’ve left one in my back yard just because the flowers do smell very fragrant. All the rest I keep trying to kill.

Also in the back yard is periwinkle.



It is almost done blooming. There was a heavily shaded area where not even the grass grew when we first moved into our house. We planted the periwinkle there and it has expanded to fill that whole shaded area. One little periwinkle plant has expanded to cover a roughly 10 ft by 15 ft area in the past 9 years. Very pretty purple flowers and dark green foliage. I now know that there are edibles that will grow in the shade. So, when I get my husbands go ahead, I’ll be putting edibles garden beds back here, too.

I’m only planting ornamentals in my front yard. We are on a very busy street and I wouldn’t eat anything grown in our front yard. As of this week I now have several garden beds in front.

Phlox and columbines

Phlox and columbine- -and wild violets–in the flower bed.

This garden bed was already here from a previous owner. But all that came up were some very pretty, white peonies and mint. Over the years I’ve added to it. You can see the columbine, two types of phlox, and wild violets in this photo. Also, to the right you can see the leaves of the day lily, but it isn’t blooming, yet. I’m trying to keep the wild violets under control in this bed, but not trying to get rid of them completely since they produce pretty flowers.

Right in front and below that bed I made a small bed for my irises and crocuses (already done blooming this year). I used matching–or as close to matching as I could–bricks I picked up at an architectural salvage yard to build it.



Years ago a friend gave me some irises she’d divided from her garden. They had dark purple lower petals (called sepals or falls) and light brownish/yellowish purple upper petals (called standards). But as it grew in my garden over the years, and expanded to fill the bed, the color of the irises changed to this light purple. Very pretty. (BTW: I had to look up the terms for the upper and lower flower petals for this post. I didn’t want to seem completely ignorant.)

Phlox and hydrangeas

Phlox and hydrangeas

There used to be a very ugly, sprawling, hard to maintain bush here. Last weekend I cut it down. But I didn’t dig the roots out of the ground because of its proximity to our gas line. Too afraid I’d blow our house up. Then this week I planted these hydrangaes and phlox, made a border using rocks I’d pulled out of the ground during all the planting I’ve done, and filled it in with mulch. I didn’t have to do much weeding in this area because the ugly bush didn’t let anything grow under it. As a plus, I’m sure our gas guy is going to be happy to not have to squeeze behind the bush to read our meter.;)

This area has been a pain in the rear to maintain. It is between a crape myrtle (on the right) and some other tree (on the left). It used to be just weeds and small patches of grass that were hard to get to to mow. I decided to do something about it this last week and put these plants there. My youngest helped me put the small bricks (store bought) around to define the area. Then I weeded like a maniac and filled the bed with mulch.

I’m planning on planting tulip bulbs in the area to the right of the crape myrtle (the area is not seen in the photo) this fall. There are daffodils that grow near there that a previous homeowner planted.

Here is some eye candy. This is my front flower garden bed last summer.

Front flower garden last summer.

Front flower garden last summer.

You can see the two colors of irises in front. The ones on the right are the irises I planted from my friend. The ones on the left are what they changed to as they grew to fill in the bed. In the upper part there are tiger lilies, calla lilies, day lilies, peonies, columbine, and phlox…oh, and mint I just can’t get rid of that a previous homeowner planted and wild violets.

This year it seems everything is coming back up. Also, in that flower bed are tulips, pretty red ones with yellow edges and solid yellow ones, but they had already bloomed and gone by the time this picture was taken and by the time I thought to take pictures this year, too. I’m planning on planting more tulip bulbs in there this fall.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m partial to blue and purple flowers. But I’m branching out. I’ve discovered I like a ‘pop’ of yellow, red, or orange in the midst of the purples and blues. And, speaking of purples and blues, I’m not going to force the hydrangaes to be blue (acidic soil color). When I bought them, one was blue and the other pink. I’m going to let them turn what ever color they will. It’ll be a surprise since I don’t know the ph of the soil around them.


Categories: flowers, garden, ornamentals | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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