The most interesting plants in the Herb Garden right now are the Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum) and the ‘Italian White’ Sunflower (Helianthus annuus).

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Doubling Down on Tall Plants

In addition to the bulbs, I’ve ordered some new perennials for fall planting. Most of these are for the Front Island Bed. This bed is an irregular oval wedged between the rectangular Driveway and Sidewalk Borders, all three divided by grassy paths.

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The Front Garden at the beginning of August. The Island Bed is pretty much invisible except for the Cup Plant and Sweet Joe Pye Weed in the back. Otherwise the Island Bed is hidden by the Driveway Border to the right and the Sidewalk Border to the left (with the Bee Balm). 

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We seem to have begun the transition from summer to fall, which seems like a good time to take another look at the shady Back Garden.

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The garden’s butterfly population seems to be reaching its peak, especially with the migrating monarchs. I can’t leave or return home without wanting to grab the camera, or at the very least lose myself in watching these magical creatures. A couple of these photos have already been posted on Instagram so I’m sorry if this is repetitious for some of you.

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There are so many fruits on our  ‘Donald Wyman’ Crabapple that the branches are bending under the weight.

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That’s Where the Tall Plants Grow

I have a lot of admiration for writer and landscape designer Benjamin Vogt. His blog, newsletter, and other writings make very useful reading for anyone interested in the intersection between gardening and ecology.

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Our front garden: 8/2015

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At a certain point in August, the garden is swept up in a wave of yellow flowers. This is largely due to what I like to call the Susans, members of the genus Rudbeckia.

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Sure it’s the middle of August, but now is when you want to think about planting bulbs in the fall. Online retailers are ready to take your order. I know because I just gave mine.

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‘Princess Irene’ Tulips

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I always get excited when a new butterfly makes its first appearance in the garden. This happened a few days ago. At first I thought it was a Black Swallowtail, but then realized it didn’t have a “tail” and that the color and markings were very different.

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Red-spotted Purple, upper wings, on Cup Plant

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Recently the staff at the Lurie Garden made some interesting changes to the Dark Plate, which is the partly shaded area east of the boardwalk. The Dark Plate tends to play second fiddle to the larger Light Plate that basks in full sun.

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