Turning a corner

Do you ever round a bend in your garden, maybe coming from a direction you don’t usually, and gasp at how pretty it looks? I hope so because it’s the best, most giddy feeling. Yesterday I walked up to the North Garden from the water side of the house, not my usual route to the garden, and even though it was almost too hot to care, I was amazed at its colors and exuberance. When the garden was redesigned this past winter I was a little nervous about the new corner bed by the stone bench, imagining that those right angles might feel a little harsh. No longer. Now I can’t believe there ever wasn’t a bed and path there. I’m thrilled about how everything has grown in so quickly and am head over heels for a few of our new plants too.

I never really appreciated yarrow until we planted Achillea millefolium ‘Pink Grapefruit’ in the herb bed a couple of years ago. Now I can’t get enough of its clouds and wouldn’t mind seeing them in every garden. There are enough varieties and color choices that we could really shake it up. The one in the North Garden is ‘Terra Cotta’. It’s more golden than I thought it would be but just orange enough for true love.

Turning that corner in the garden I was also able to re-appreciate a couple of plants that I’ve become bored and annoyed with. Long leaf speedwell (Veronica longifolia) is one. I can’t stand that it needs hooping to stand up straight and absolutely hate that we forgot to do that this year. But look at how sublime those blooms are in this monochromatic combo with Geranium ‘Rozanne’. I’ve had just about enough of that one too because we planted it in so many gardens (food for thought regarding my current obsession with yarrow) but removing her is not an option because she’s too darn perfect and willing to bloom for practically ever. As for the speedwell, we’ll have to sacrifice a few flowers and try whacking it back maybe next week. (Annie at Annie’s Annuals recommends offing it 10″ from the ground for a later rebloom.)

Has your garden surprised you lately? What are the plants you’re especially thrilled with right now? Are you patting yourself on the back for making excellent choices? (Or kicking yourself for missed opportunities?)