Green with a Side Order of Green

Finally, spring has come to central Maine, to my home on the edge of the woods. I won’t say things are abloom in my yard. That would be going too far. My garden’s brief blast of color comes in middle June and lasts through July.

Instead, what I have is green, green, and more green. But as my blogging friend Quercus once reminded me, green is a color, too. Yes, it is, and when you live by the woods, green is what you mostly get in the spring.

I only had one fatality over the winter, a Jacob’s ladder, which I miss very much. Still, when you consider how cold it got one weekend in February50Β°F below zero with the wind chill, so cold that the house cracked and snapped in protest—losing one plant isn’t too bad. I consider it a minor miracle that I didn’t lose more.

In Maine, May is the time to get cracking in the garden, to remove the blown-in leaves from the beds, to add compost and fertilizer, to move and divide plants. By the time June rolls around, the plants have grown to the point where adding much of anything is difficult and dividing and moving seem like a bad idea.

Therefore, out I go most every nice day, and despite my creaky knees, I am making good progress. Twice a week, Clif goes to our transfer station (aka the dump) to get free compost for me. And very good compost it is. For years, I’ve been getting compost from the transfer station, and, so far anyway, I have had no problems with pesty weed seed invading my beds.

The next few weeks will be busy ones for me as I get the gardens sorted. Blog posts will be short, but I will be sure to include pictures that document the progress of the green and growing things in my beds.

For starters, here is the picture of our woods, which is about 60 feet from our patio. I wish I could give you a better idea of the expanse of green that comes to the edge of our yard, but this picture, at least, gives some hint of it.

Here’s a view from the front. Green with a side order of green.

And here’s a side view.

But look a little more closely and you get bits of white.

And what’s this? A flash of purple in the back garden?

Yes, indeed. A lovely sign of things to come.


59 thoughts on “Green with a Side Order of Green”

  1. Spring! I see hostas and heucheras, sweet woodruff and Solomon’s seal, ferns and that lovely dark purple bearded iris (is it a dwarf or standard size?), a brunnera, and yew shrubs! Anything else didn’t have enough detail to identify. I love seeing your woodside gardens. Sorry about the Jacob’s ladder πŸ˜”.

    1. Thank you, thank you! You have a good eye. I have finally come to appreciate my woodside gardens. After all, can’t have a cottage garden when you live on the edge of the woods.

      1. What growing zone are you? 3 or 4? I was thinking about all the great shade stuff in Jason’s back gardens and the chicago Go look at some of what he has that you like, check out the zone, and see what you can add. I think there is a lot of choice to expand your gardens.
        As I recall, Garden in a City is where I ” met” you!

      2. We’re Zone 5. Jason’s shade gardens were indeed wonderful, and I have admired them over the years. So sad that he’s gone. Sigh. Unfortunately, I have dry shade, which really limits me. Over the years, I have lost so much money buying shade plants that just won’t grow in my yard. A landscaper friend came over, took a look at my beds and suggested hostas. I went with her suggestion and have never looked back. They thrive in my dry shade beds, and I have come to love their ripple of green.

  2. Since green happens to be my favorite color, I love this post, Laurie! Yes, we all take Spring whenever we can get it. I imagine you have a shorter growing cycle where you live, so you really have to hop to it and get things prepped so you can enjoy when the other colors pop out!

    1. Yay for green! It’s taken me a while, but living on the edge of the woods, I have come to appreciate this color. Can’t expect to have a cottage garden with such a shady yard. Yes, I expect our growing cycle is shorter than yours—May through September.

    1. Yes, joy, joy, happy, happy! Onward, despite those creaky knees. Lucky for me that I am really good at bending. Can practically touch my head on the ground. πŸ˜‰

  3. Your garden is absolutely blossoming! I love all the green plants and ferns amongst the trees, not to mention your beautiful purple Iris.

  4. Interesting that you can get your compost for free – we have to pay for ours from the dump. The gardener here (aka Mr, Tialys) always worries about weed seeds and, also, whether anybody has used pesticides or similar in their discarded grass cuttings. It obviously works for you though and everything does indeed look green and gorgeous

    1. As far as I know, there are no grass clippings used in the compost at the town transfer station. Instead, this being Maine, sticks and branches are used, which makes a beautiful compost and no doubt is the explanation for the lack of weed seed.

  5. Green is gorgeous and a sprinkling of flowers when they arrive will be a bonus – like sprinkles on a cake! Lucky you getting compost free – here it has shot up in price and I am only using my own home-made stuff.

  6. I love green, and it usually brings along a little white or purple with it. I smiled at your creaky knees reference since I’m reading and writing while using ice packs on my back. But, who can resist being outside this time of year? πŸ™‚

    1. It does, it does! So sorry about your back. Hope it feels better soon. Yes, this is the time of year to be outside. May is the merry month of gardening in northern New England.

  7. Oh, I’m so excited for you. I know that once that spring garden gets going, all you want to do is to be out there working in it. It’s the best – listening to the birds and moving your body while tending to the earth.

    Speaking of birds, have you heard of the Merlin app? My daughter showed me and now I tell everyone. It identifies birds by sound. I got it a month ago and have a list of over 30 birds that are regularly in my yard but I never knew. REALLY fun! It’s free from Cornell Ornithology.

    1. Thanks, Jodie. Such a beautiful time of year. I have heard of the Merlin app, but I’ve never used it. Your description and experience make me think I should remedy this.

      1. I’m telling everyone I know about it. The last time Laney walked into a room we all applauded to thank her for showing it to us. lol You’ll LOVE it! And I have a crappy phone & it works great.

  8. I love spring greens. There’s a short period here where newly-leafed trees provide a whole range of greens for us to enjoy, and it’s as enjoyable as the flowering trees that also arrive. When I read about your winter temperatures, it seemed unbelievable that you didn’t lose more; I’m really glad that you didn’t.

    Your title probably made it inevitable that I’d remember this song from my high school years. A lot has changed, but green is still as appealing!

    1. I, too, love spring greens. Yes, as enjoyable as flowering trees. It does seem unbelievable that I didn’t lose more. I think it’s because we had a good insulating layer of snow. Without that snow, I expect I would have been crying buckets over the loss and devastation. Thanks for sharing the link. Never heard that song, but green is indeed still appealing.

  9. Living in the forest, we have come to appreciate the changing shades of green in Spring as much as the Fall colors, just in reverse. We start with the red beds and seeds of the maples, then the light to chartreuse greens of opening leaves, until about June when the full summer, dark greens shade us from the Summer sun.

    BTW, if you wish to see more photo images of our gardens, I post those on Instagram (o_mans_view), as I have pretty much maxed out my media files on wordpress, which requires the slow process of deleting something from a dozen years ago before I can post new pictures…

    1. Yes, living in the forest makes a person appreciate green in all its wonderful shades. When spring gardening settles down, I will check out your pictures on Instagram.

  10. Love all the beautiful green and gorgeous flash of purple!!πŸ™‚ One of the things I love about blogging is enjoying everyone’s beautiful gardens and flowers. Amazingly, we are still having frost advisories in between warmer days, but I think tonight might be the last one of the season.πŸ™‚

  11. As we have discussed on my recent green post, there is nothing wrong with green with a side order of green. But a few added colors will also add cheer, so I’m wishing you many.
    Enjoy the holiday weekend,

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