Sunny Flowerbed from the Street

Our gar­den is five years old. You can see how it looked here, after we’d spent quite a bit of time sift­ing dirt, weed­ing, and clear­ing out trash, rocks, and gravel. I regret that we didn’t get any spring pic­tures of the gar­den this year, but you can see what it looks like now. The pur­ple phase of the gar­den filled with laven­der, columbine, salvia, bee balm (Monarda), false indigo, Siber­ian iris, vio­lets, and Russ­ian sage is giv­ing way to the but­ter­fly weed (Ascle­pias tuberosa), Core­op­sis moon­beam, Black-eyed Susan (Rud­beckia), pur­ple cone­flower (Echi­nacea pur­purea), and the Shasta daisy com­ing into bloom.

Sunny Flowerbed from our Building

More and more peo­ple are stop­ping to admire the gar­den and com­pli­ment us on how pretty it looks. I am par­tic­u­larly grate­ful we are able to enjoy it this sea­son at all. Our gar­den was almost destroyed last year when our new neigh­bor who now owns the pizza place had ideas of expand­ing his patio seat­ing on all sides of the build­ing, which would have com­pletely elim­i­nated the gar­den in the process. Thank good­ness for the local law per­tain­ing to how close to a prop­erty line one is allowed to build and our land­lord for hav­ing a talk with him!

Purple Coneflower and Salvia


In antic­i­pa­tion of the pos­si­bil­ity of los­ing the gar­den regard­less of the law and our protests, I gifted some of the more unique plants we had to a friend, who needed plants to spruce up her space. I would rather see her enjoy them, than for them to not grow any­where at all. As it was, I had to give up a small sec­tion of the gar­den. Johann helped me work hard for a week mov­ing plants. With how the gar­den has matured, the extra space has actu­ally been good for the remain­ing plants. Every­thing has filled in nicely as the gar­den con­tin­ues to evolve.

Bee Balm

I was dis­ap­pointed when I couldn’t afford to buy new plants for spring plant­ing to finally fill out the very end of the sunny flowerbed. We have done a lit­tle at a time and I had been plan­ning what I would buy since last year. Then I noticed some won­der­ful vol­un­teer plants which appeared as if by fairy magic. Where the columbine had died two years ago and not come back were two new plants grow­ing. One was laven­der. The other was a pur­ply mauve. The pink fox­gloves that hadn’t done well a few years ago with the pre­vi­ously soggy soil in the cen­ter of the flowerbed also left a new plant grow­ing, since I amended the soil with sand. There must have been seeds in the soil all this time just wait­ing for the right conditions.

Shasta Daisy

Coreopsis moonbeam

While weed­ing the other day, I dis­cov­ered more vol­un­teers, which I didn’t want grow­ing where they were, but would do very nicely to fill in the end of the flowerbed. Two bee balms and some pur­ple vio­lets came out of the shade gar­den. Two pur­ple cone­flow­ers and two but­ter­fly­weeds came from the edges of the upper flowerbed in dif­fer­ent loca­tions. A false indigo sowed itself in the crack along the edge of the park­ing lot. After dig­ging for what seemed like for­ever with my weed­ing tool in that tight space, I was able to get the plant out with­out com­pletely dam­ag­ing the roots. They have all been trans­planted and will hope­fully thrive with the extra room to reach full size, if they can sur­vive the heat. It will take time for them to get as large as their par­ent plants, but once they get estab­lished, it will be a beau­ti­ful mix of pur­ple, pink, and orange in the summer.

Butterfly Weed About to Bloom