Tom Charbonneau is sharing his garden with us today. Here’s what he has to say about it:
These photos were taken in my Zone 4 garden in Arden Hills, Minnesota. Twelve years ago this was mostly buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica, a highly invasive European shrub), and it continues to be a work in progress. Initially, because I had so much space on a hill, I would buy one of everything I liked—and I liked everything! But from a distance they just had little impact. Fine Gardening magazine, among others, taught me the importance of large plantings and repeating the theme. There are lots of special plants mixed in with the more prominent displays, so that from up close and from a distance there is a lot to enjoy in this cottage garden.
I ordered the daylilies individually from various catalogs and have not been disappointed. However, the deer like the daylily buds, so it’s a challenge. I’ve tried various repellents with mixed results. If the deer are hungry, they will eat anything! I especially like the taller “spider” lilies that poke up over shorter plants.
I keep working to push back the buckthorn, but it is an endless battle. There is a 15-acre nature preserve that abuts our backyard, and it’s awful how invasive the buckthorn is.
The path from the garage to the kitchen.
Liatris (Liatris spicata , Zones 4–9) providing food for a monarch butterfly.
The backyard hill.
A wren house is surrounded by many varieties of hosta, as well as some bee balm (Monarda, Zones 4–10) in the background.
Daylily ‘Wilson Spider’
Daylily ‘Buttered Popcorn’
In the spring, many wildflowers grow at the top of this path, which starts in the yard.
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