Monthly Archives: May 2016

Do, Do, Do Lookin’ Out My Backdoor…..

Spring has come, and practically gone with these warmer temps.  We’ve been sleeping with the attic fan pulling in the cool breezes, listening to the barred owls making whoppee outside our bedroom window.  The butterflies are back-saw a couple of swallowtails today.  I also found a luna moth sitting on an Iris leaf.  Even my digging and planting beside it didn’t seem to disturb it, and when I turned on a sprinkle to water in the new plants, he/she just sat there.  (From the appearance of the antennae, I believe it’s a he.)   The female will soon lay 400-600 eggs on the leaves of the hickory, sweet gum and persimmon trees.   That’s another reason it’s important to keep those native trees in your yards.   As I strolled around the yard this week, here’s what I saw. Most of my spring lovelies are on the downhill side, the late spring bloomers are looking good.


I’ve planted vines of various kinds at the base of lots of my trees-blooms even if the tree isn’t blooming


The rhododendrons are full of blooms. I think they liked the wet winter.


This is one of the newest plantings-the native tiarella and native Blue Eyed Grass. They have been blooming for about three to four weeks.


I have three varieties of amsonia in the pollinator garden. This one is almost white.


The Barbara’s Buttons are just beginning to flower out. They are great for pollinators like butterflies and beetles.


My first attempt at a bog garden has proven quite successful. These Sarracenia, or Pitcher Plants are blooming and the pitchers are beginning to spring up.

Peony DSC_0048

The peonies let you know they are around with their wonderful smell. I guess the ants can smell them too, as they won’t be long in feasting on the blooms.


The arbor is sporting the beautiful Amethyst Falls wisteria, one of our native wisterias. It doesn’t stray from it own space. I’ve had this one for about 8 years and never had to remove a sucker or runner. If you love wisteria, opt for the native instead of the Japanese or Chinese wisterias that you see climbing over cars, fences, buildings, and anything else that gets in its way.

Native Clematis

This pretty little native clematis is rambling along the vegetable garden fence. I love it.

Aruncus, Goat's Beard

This is the first year I’ve had goat’s beard to bloom. Hope it makes a better show next year.

Acanthus, Bear's Britches

Although it’s not native, I love the Bear’s Britches. In a couple of weeks it will have a six foot tall bloom stalk with flowers that look like little purple clam shells.


The new trough I built for my strawberries must be a good thing, because the birds have left a few for me.


The back side of the garage has been filled with the pretty yellow mouse-eared coreopsis for weeks, and they’ll continue to bloom for several more weeks. By then the mountain mint, smooth coneflowers, zizia and a few others will take their place.


Penstemon, or Beardtongue, are a must have flower for early pollinators. Their tubular shape is ideal for many of the pollinators.


I have a bed of non native columbine that I adore, so that’s one bed that I will not be replacing with natives. There are light purple, dark purple, purple/white mixes, pink, corals, whites and yellows.


Another of the columbine.


I finally got my hands on some fire pink. After seeing these all over the hillsides in the Smokies at last year’s pilgrimage, I have been on the prowl for some for my garden. They are peeking from underneath some huge hosta leaves.


I have no idea how these columbines came to be in my yard. They are no where near the others. Just a lucky accident I guess.