What caught my attention in our backyard today

Even though our property is on the small side, I go exploring every day—sometimes twice a day—to see how things are coming along. Changes are coming fast and furious at this time of year, and I’m finally making a systematic effort to document as much of it as I can.

110428_hosta_june lamium
While our climate isn’t really conducive to hostas, they are among my favorite shade plants so I keep trying. This is a cultivar called ‘June,’ surrounded by a sea of Lamium maculatum .’Purple Dragon’.
This hosta ‘Sagae’ just came up a few weeks ago—really late because of the cooler than usual weather. To the right is a variegated farfugium (Farfugium japonicum ‘Argentea’) just planted this spring.
My favorite shade-loving grass, bar none: Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’). After four years in the ground, it’s finally put on some size (about 15 inches high).
Meadow rue (Thalictrum aquilegifolium) starting to bloom
First flowers on this columbine ‘McKana’s Giant’ (Aquilegia caerulea ‘McKana’s Giant’)
Trailing nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) in all their glory.
They reseed reliably every year.
Nasturtiums in our backyard succulent bed.
‘Black Lace’ elderberry (Sambucus nigra ’Black Lace’). Planted three years ago from a 4” container, it’s finally coming into its own. Very difficult to photograph because of its purple-black foliage against the redwood fence. It’s just now starting to bloom, and the flowers are stunning.
‘Black Lace’ elderberry flower head.
This is one of my wife’s favorite plants.

I can’t wait to see what I might discover tomorrow!

How often do you check for progress in your garden?


  1. Love the look of the Lamium carpet, but doesn't it need consistent moisture (or am I thinking of another plant)? Glad to see my Hakonechloa isn't the only one that's a slow-grower. I think I'm going to have to get a 'Black Lace' now -- it's beautiful!

  2. Alan, yes, the lamium likes moist soil. It receives the overspray from a lawn sprinkler. It has now formed a thick mat that locks in the moisture.

    We have two Black Lace elderberries and they're both doing really well this year. They take pruning/shaping really well.

  3. Your garden is beautiful. The nasturtiums look really colorful and beautiful against the wall of the house. My favorite photo is the hosta with surrounding Lamium...stunning. I check my garden every morning to see what's blooming and what needs tending. Sometimes I check it in the afternoon as well. This is such a wonderful time of year because there is always something new blooming or leafing out.

  4. Sage Butterfly, thank you for your kind words! Glad to know that there are other gardeners out there checking their garden for progress at least once a day.

    The lamium is beautiful but it's a quite vigorous, especially at this time of year. I have to regularly hack it back to keep it away from the hosta and other plants.

  5. Your garden's looking beautiful Gerhard, especially like that Lamium :) I agree they can be vigorous but easy enough to keep in check with twice yearly hacking back.

    I check the progress of the garden up to several times a day, just not good at taking plenty of photos recently.


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