High Summer in Alice’s Garden



Alice Fleurkens is welcoming us into her Sweaburg, Ontario, garden today.

It has been a bad year for bugs—thousands of Japanese beetles it seems—and they eat, and eat. It is discouraging, but despite it all we have flowers.

colorful container planting in front of various shrubs and treesLuckily, the beetles leave this elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta, Zones 7–10 or as a tender bulb) alone.

shade garden with various foliage plantsThis garden is under a maple tree. It’s kind of weedy right now because we have been away and have had a fair amount of rain in that time, even though it was quite dry when we got home.

colorful wind chime in a garden bedThe dahlias in this spot have not done well, although some others in different spots got much bigger. I think the rabbits kept eating them in the spring. I have been collecting handblown glass and chandelier crystals. It is fun watching them in the sun.

close up of orange zinniasAn orange zinnia (Zinnia elegans, annual) reaches for the sky.

close up of garden bed with lots of bright pink, red and white flowersMy riot of color in the front garden right now includes some mums; they should be nice next month. I bought them in the fall, and after they were done flowering I cut off all the dead flowers and planted them. Some survived, and some did not.

bucket of water full of japanese beetlesHere’s a two-day catch of beetles. Knocking Japanese beetles into a bucket of water like this is a pesticide-free way to reduce their numbers in the garden. Hold the bucket under the plants and they’ll just drop straight in.

garden bed with pink flowers and yellow ornamental grassI love this yellow grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9), which seems to do great in the sun.

garden bed with red flowers and foliageFoliage and flowers provide color in this garden. The creeping phlox (Phlox subulata, Zones 2–8) has an ant nest in it, and so do many of the coral bells (Heuchera hybrids, Zones 4–8); I’m not sure what to do about that. The ground cover in the bottom left, fleece flower (Persicaria affinis, Zones 5–8), is one of my favorites. It’s low maintenance and easy to control, and it has beautiful fall color.

close up of garden bed with red and green foliageThe grass in the front with the interesting red foliage is ‘Burgundy Bunny’ pennisetum (Pennisetum ‘Burgundy Bunny’, Zones 5–9). A gardening friend down the road gifted it to me.

close up of large hostas in a garden bedHostas are covering the bare bottom of this evergreen. I planted them for that reason, and they took off like wildfire. They seem to love that spot.


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