Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: We’re Back!

It wasn’t until I had lots of empty ground to fill with my choice of plants that I learned the difference between annuals and perennials.  Now, that we are starting on our fifth summer in our own house in the country, we are enjoying the fruits of our labor; the perennials are back and they’ve brought friends.

Perennials on the bank
Our Junipers are filling in the sunny part of the bank. The Snapdragons on the right come back and had a little color right before the shaded Vinca Vine.

The bank has been challenging to landscape.  Part of the 200 foot long bank gets full sun while the rest is shaded by a tree line.  When we add in the factor of a steep slope, we are limited in the choices that will thrive in that environment.  We have been experimenting with several varieties of shrubs and vines for the last five years.  Just this year I have noticed how much our perennials have grown and spread.

It takes some work.  I spend the early part of the growing season checking on the placement of the new branches of the Junipers, so I can get maximum coverage.  I also placed some rocks in the banks to prevent water creating ditches in the bank.  I am not always successful.  This morning I noticed a couple of missing plants washed away by the recent heavy rains.

Red Hot Pokers
These Red Hot Pokers are the pride of my lily collection. I started with four blooms but now have seven. There are many more small plants surrounding these that will bloom next year.

One of the best reasons to work on the bank is to have friendly neighbors stop to comment on the progress I’ve made since we began.  We don’t get a lot of traffic, but during the heat of the day while I’m sweating and working, it is so nice for my work to be noticed.  Just yesterday, a neighbor stopped and asked where I got my Red Hot Pokers, also known as a Torch Lily.  I was impressed that she knew the name of the lily that I planted at the top of the bank two summers ago.  I offered to give her a couple of them for her yard, and she invited me up to her yard to “shop” from her selection of perennials.

I’ll be back!