Garden Rethink

I’m worried about my flower garden. With the exception of a couple trays of annuals, it has been on autopilot the last two years. Five or six years ago, we did a large planting with some hummingbird sweet bushes, evergreens, a small Japanese maple, and a lovely butterfly bush. But the hummingbird sweet bushes have died, one by one (I pulled one up), and the viburnum is spiky and weird. Nearly all of my thyme has withered or has been overtaken by that scamp, oregano, and the rosemary didn’t make it over the winter. And just last week I had our landscape guitarist pull out the butterfly bush, which had gotten huge and leggy, and now I have no main attraction for the hummingbirds.

We *must* have hummingbirds.That will be my focus for the sunny end of the garden. I think I would like another sort of bush as a centerpiece.

Still, I haven’t been able to dedicate a lot of thought and energy to the project this season, what with finishing and editing this novel. But I was captivated by the garden center at the Rural King today. It’s time…

We’re in Southern Illinois, so we can’t have things that are too delicate (recall the rosemary from above?). I’d love to hear what your garden is like, and to get your thoughts on what we should plant.

(Caught the brief blooming of the Lily of the Valley plants in the garden. Their season goes by quickly, and if you blink you might miss it.)


(I love Gerberas)


(Barkwood Scotchbroom. Hummingbirds might like. Do you have any experience of it? I think the hummingbirds would like the shape of the blooms.)


(Azaleas are just okay here. Though my rhododendron always struggles. Their blooming season is too brief for hummingbirds.)





(I miss Virginia’s dogwoods so much. Too big for the garden, but wouldn’t they look lovely by the pond?)


(Veggies and herbs. So many choices…)



Let me know your ideas. I need your inspiration !


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2 thoughts on “Garden Rethink”

  1. skyecaitlin says:

    Hummingbirds are a sign of good fortune or good ju-ju!. I adored my vegetable garden and did well with several types of lettuce, pea pods, zucchini, squash, green beans, red peppers, green peppers, chili peppers. yellow peppers, and of course, tomatoes ( New Jersey, what else)? Herbs, spices: basil, basil, basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.

    Impatiens are quite lovely to behold and they travel; mums, lilies and marigolds.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Wow–your vegetable garden sounds impressive, Skye. I once grew lettuce and cucumbers, but with 2 little ones, I wasn’t up to more. But I’m never without herbs. They’re useful, easy, and the deer don’t bother them.

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