Hello everyone!  After a winter that was too cold for too long, I’m happy that it looks like spring might really be here to stay, and I am ready to return to the blog-world!

Here is what occupies my gardening thoughts these days:
010Just before winter set in, we had this retaining wall installed on our front hill.  It was far too late in the year to try to plant anything, so now I am tasked with the delightful chore of deciding what belongs in the vast terraced level between the two walls.  My vision is a foundation of evergreens and flowering shrubs, interspersed with sun-loving, deer-resistant perennials and annuals.

For foundation plantings, I’ll include four or five groups of Alberta spruce, dwarf boxwood, red barberry, spiraea, and Cotoneaster.   I know that all of these plants do well in my immediate neighborhood, and I like them all.  We plan to put a row of dwarf boxwood along the bottom of the lower wall, and a small ornamental tree in the lower corner of the terrace.  We’ve hired a landscaper to prepare the bed, procure and plant the shrubbery, and lay a thick layer of mulch over the bed.

My perennials wish list is long, but includes bright yellow Coreopsis, raspberry-pink Monarda, Russian sage, Baptisia, Jackmanii Clematis, and Nepeta.  I’d like to try some roses in there too, such as Sunny Knockout (yellow), but my landscaper advised against it, warning that the area is too exposed to the winter winds.  For constant color through the summer, I’ll plant marigolds, cleome, Salvia Evolution, and zonal geraniums.

I wonder what ideas any of you has?  This is the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken, and I am very open to suggestions, particularly when it comes to shrubbery.  The landscaper will probably begin his work in early June, so that gives me a couple of weeks yet to ponder and dream!

Now, since I missed Bloom Day yesterday (I was actually too busy planting annuals to have time to take pictures and write an entry!), here are a few pictures, taken last Sunday, of some tulips at the height of their bloom.  They came to me as a gift in a variety pack, so I have no clue as to their proper names!016018 20140511_180220022025