I’m Sue Webel, and I garden in North Canton, Connecticut, Zone 6a. I previously submitted some pictures of my relatively new garden in September 2020 (Making a New Garden in Connecticut).
Since then I’ve continued to develop the garden. In October 2020 we hired an excavating contractor to clear stumps and brush from about an eighth of an acre in the back garden and move some of the rock “inventory” into formation to form the base of an informal stone wall. A good portion of my 2021 garden time was spent developing, planning, and planting that area. A DIY firepit project located smack in the middle took longer than anticipated and forced me to extend the garden portion of the project into 2022 and no doubt beyond. But we all know how that goes.
Here are some highlights of my 2021 garden.
May in the front garden features Cornus mas ‘Variegata’ (Zones 4–8), Euphorbia polychroma (Zones 4–8), Phlox glaberrima ‘Triple Play’ (Zones 3–8), and Filipendula aurea (Zones 3–8). With the exception of the Cornus mas, this garden was newly planted in spring 2020 after a walkway replacement.
Here is another section of the front garden in May. The Spirea ‘Ogon’ (Zones 4–8) is just past bloom and creates the perfect foliage foil with one of my favorite perennials, Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’ (Zones 4–8). By some stroke of luck, I managed to catch the fleeting flowers of Camassia (Zones 4–8) blooming in conjunction with an Amsonia (Zones 5–8).
Paeonia ‘Bartzella’ (Zones 4–9), Cercis ‘Ruby Falls’ (Zones 5–9), and a variegated Weigela (Zones 4–8) round out this vignette from June. When I started the garden, this area was heavily wooded. Everything was removed except the Weigela, which I now use as a reference point for where the edge of the woods used to be.
In July I happened across this happy jumble of Cephalanthus ‘Sugar Shack’ (Zones 4–10) and Sanguisorba ‘Dali Marble’ (Zones 2–9) with a peek of Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ (Zones 5–9) in the back. After two drought years in a row, 2021 brought plentiful rain, which made the Cephalanthus very happy.
The abundance of July in one of my older back gardens
I decided if I’m going to grow daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids, Zones 4–9), I’m going to focus on later-blooming varieties and/or partner them to complement other plants that are not daylilies. ‘Peconic Autumn’ is a lovely cultivar that blooms from late July through August here. The hydrangea is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ (Zones 3–8). The variegated shrub is Hibiscus syriacus ‘Purpureus Variegatus’ (Zones 5–8), which is a bit of an oddball. The dark red flower buds swell but never fully open.
In September, tropical abundance peaks on the patio. I grow lots of tender plants in containers and in the ground. Many come inside before frost and get stored dormant in the basement or are grown as houseplants until they can escape back to the garden in May. The Tetrapanax (Zones 7–10) seen in back of Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’ (Zones 8–10) has been hardy in the ground in this protected spot.
I captured this shot of one of my cats enjoying the garden on a foggy morning in mid-October. May fall always be this kind to my garden.
By November, hard frosts have usually reduced the garden, especially the tender annuals, to mush, yet here we get this peek at our new firepit area through a large Salvia elegans ‘Golden Delicious’ (Zones 8–10 or as an annual) on November 2.
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