Friday, May 31, 2019

Farewell to Our Moist May

The news is all about how wet our May has been. The most wettest in 10 years. The official measurement for here was 7.25" but in my home gauge I had 6.5" of rain. No matter how you look at it it was wonderful. I don't remember such a rich feeling in May before. Oh yes, May is almost always a fine month but this year it was juiced up.
As the sun goes down this evening it has an eerie glow. They say it is because of a big fire up in Canada. The smoke has spread a thin grey veil over our area. Hopefully it will be gone by tomorrow. 
At the CISMA native plant sale I found that they had an Eastern Agave. This little beauty is  a native and supposed to be hardy in our area. Of course they are supposed to have full sun and good drainage. Hmmmm  As you might remember if you read my blog often I have expressed the lack of full sun. I plan to find out if there is enough sun here for them. I wonder if they will lose their speckles of Madder Brown if they don't get enough sun.
 I bought 3 of them and planted in 3 different places.   The one below looks the best so far. It gets morning sun and is in a sandy soil.
This one gets mid morning sun and the soil is loamy.
This one gets afternoon sun. A long time but the soil is a bit heavy. I will be anxious to see which does the best in the long run. They seem a bit delicate just to look at and handle.  
I wanted to show my Multi Blue Clematis one more time. It is giving a second flush of flowers at the top of the plant. Which has grown to the top of the trellis. I don't know how far it will stretch out but I hope it will go over the top of the arch.
Last but not least the Jack-in-the Pulpits all grew so tall this year. Several have these seed heads forming. I always like to see this. May they reproduce with great vigor.
I hope your May was as pleasant and your garden has responded so well.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Sweet Spots in the Garden

As I was sitting here on the patio this afternoon I thought about how nice a few places in the garden are looking at this time. I thought I would show you and I will be able to look back at this lush when the heat and drought sets in later.  All of the tropicals on the patio are loving this hot wet weather. They sulked a couple of weeks when it was really too cool for them at night. We don't have to worry about that now.
The very fragrant honeysuckle 'Scentsations' is in it's glory. Even standing way over here I can smell it.
If you look over to the left you can see the unnamed red rose blooming quite well despite the dead limbs up the middle. I am wondering what in the world happened? I hope it isn't the dreaded rose rosette disease that is happening in a lot of places. 
The double blooming mock orange is showing nice with the pink flowering spirea and yellow rose. Do you see that tiny blue bud down in the center left? Just across the path you can see what it will be. 
This is our native iris, Iris virginica sheveri. It is such a beautiful blue. 
If you look close you can see that it is attractive to pollinators of all sorts, ants and bees seen here.
Another native beauty is the white Penstemon. It is blooming like crazy now. The bumble bees really like this one too. 
The Oak Leaf Hydrangeas are gearing up to bloom like mad. 
Do you remember the Waterleaf that had taken over this flower bed? You can see that here if you didn't see it before. It has now been tamed. You can see the other plants beginning to spread and grow. 
The mouse trap is filling with it's denizens. Geranium Biokovo has been blooming up a storm. On the left that dark leaved plant is the small Ninebark Little Devil. It is actually blooming also but it is difficult to photograph. 
I don't know what Blogger has done to our photos but if  you click on the photos they will show up on a slideshow and not be so fuzzy looking.
I will leave you here. I hope you had a lovely long weekend. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Circle Trellis and Around the Garden

On Mother's Day I was delighted when Annie gave me a Circle Trellis to be used by our newest gate. 
 She is such a sweet girl. My Dearly Beloved got it set into place for me.
I think it makes the gate stand out even more. After that holly on the right gets finished blooming I will give it a good cut back and it will all be even more visible from this side.
I got the rose, Golden Showers,  tied up right away and as you can see it has started blooming. 
This is from a rose that died to the ground this winter.
I think it is an amazing come back. A few more buds to come too.
This rose doesn't have a fragrance but the double mock orange right next to it makes enough fragrance for both of them. It is also beginning to bloom.
Down the path toward the Forgotten Corner the huge Viburnum dentatum ‘Arrowood' is blooming up a storm too. It is making a natural arch right beside the cattle panel arch. These blooms are beginning to fade making what looks like tiny snow flakes on the moss.
Just off the patio where the path splits the Honeysuckle standard is blooming it's head off. 
At times like this I wish this was right outside of the patio doors so I could see it more often during times like this.  It seems that I want everything right outside the patio doors. We know that won't happen.  I will have to give the standard a hair cut after it blooms. It really set a lot of blooms with all the rain this spring.
 Another plant that has done it's best this spring is the Variegated Weigela. 
Do you have a plant or two that is performing it's best this spring?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tell the Truth Tuesday - A Tale of Two Corners

Alison over at Bonnie Lassie started a blog meme about unsightly areas in our gardens. Everyone has them. I believe the thinking about this is to encourage us to fix up what is messed up. This Tuesday I  have a dilly to share with you, my compost area, a tale of two corners of the garden.
As you can see in this westerly corner of the garden is where I have had the compost pile for several years. My previous dog dug a big hole here. I decided that I would move the compost pile here to fill the hole. Our neighbor didn't mind because there were a couple of UGLY sheds here that blocked their view from this site. 
Yes, I had to raise the sides and lock the gate to keep our present dog (Annie) from helping herself to snacks from the compost. It wouldn't be bad except that watermelon and cantaloupe rinds don't digest well for a dog.
As you can see in the above picture to the right there is a lilac shrub that is sort of spindly. It has been in this spot for some years. I planted a River Birch tree way too close to it so after my neighbor took down one of those UGLY buildings they could now see into our garden. Also this opened up more light into this area. 
So I enlisted my Dearly Beloved to move this huge lilac into the area where the compost had been. I am hoping that the lilac will enjoy its new home by filling out and having many more blooms than it has had in the past few years. Mother Nature has certainly helped the process along by having plenty of rain on the subject. Plus I won't feel like someone is watching.
I spread a lot of the compost along the back fence where a more natural garden is forming. Don't look at those posts that I used to keep newspapers down to kill off the grass and weeds. I will eventually do away with those. So this side of the garden is looking a bit more tidy.
Now for the Easterly Corner.I have tried over the years to have a raised bed garden in this corner. The only thing that has flourished in this corner is the Grape Vine on the arch over the entrance. There just isn't enough sun here for veggies. I don't call this corner the Forgotten Corner for nothing as nothing has ever come of this. 
I used the posts that were used as tomato cages to form the Anti-Annie area.
 I  moved the 'keep out Annie' cage to the far end. This will be where we bring our scraps and there will be plenty of room for leaves in the fall. 
The poor neglected boxwoods here got a good trim.  
So this is the end result. A much more tidy Forgotten Corner and a much more useful corner. I am looking forward to the plants all along the fence line growing up. The neighbors that have that pool will never notice because they are rarely outside until it is frying hot to use their pool and that isn't often. They won't notice the difference. I imagine that Annie and I will be the only ones that notice. 
So now as I look across  the garden this corner isn't too much of an eyesore. It will improve with age no doubt and I will have plenty of compost to spread. 
How about you? Do you have an area you are working on this spring?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Natives, Garden Visitors and More of the Iris Parade

This morning I read Jason's post over at Garden In A City. He wrote about his 4 favorite spring native flowers. He then asked what was our favorite spring flowers. I bet that the four native flowers he wrote about aren't his very favorite. I certainly can't claim that any four are my favorites it is just the timing that is so right for these. 
In answer to his question I popped out into the garden to see what is blooming right now. Sure enough one of my favorite spring flowers was blooming up a storm. This Appendaged Waterleaf Plant is such a good foil for the dark yellow Irises and the native honeysuckle.
While the blooms look delicate they are quite a hardy plant. The more rain the better for these. Another one of the reasons I like it so well it is a good nectaring plant for bees. Like most natives it is quite gregarious and will plant itself in places you didn't know they were anywhere around. They are easily kept in bounds with a bit of pulling or dead heading the blooms when they start making seeds. Well worth the effort.
The Iris Parade is continuing. As you see here 
and here the native Columbine mixes well with almost everything. They too seed around but are easily removed if they clash with your color scheme.
A little closer look at this Iris with the Columbines. 
This yellow and purpley blue seem to be a theme. 
There is always one that stands out. This big white one of my favorite Irises. I think it looks like an over grown Orchid with those ruffly edges. This was a pass along plant so I have no idea the name of this. 
Speaking of favorite Spring visitors to the garden, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak always makes me happy to see him. 
He had his mate with him but she was a bit camera shy. 
Another couple that dropped in to check out the bird offerings was Eurasian Collared Dove,. Nonnative but a pretty bird. This is only the third time they have been in the garden. The previous sightings were single birds.  I think he was interested. 
She must have thought the area was too busy because they didn't stick around and have not returned. 
I am awaiting the next wave of flowers in the garden. The ants are busily grooming the peony buds, encouraging them to bloom.
So what is your favorite native plant of the moment?

Friday, May 3, 2019

April Showers May Flowers

April sure did live up to the old saying of April Showers Bring May Flowers. We got more than our share of rain in April. I am not complaining because the garden and everything in it has responded well.
Come on in and have a quick look around.
The grass paths are green as can be. Every plant around is greening up too.
There is a bit of whimsy on the patio this year.  I don't normally get too excited about tropical plants but since we went to Costa Rica this spring the Cloud Forests, Rain Forests and tropical plants in general gave me the inspiration to try to make the patio a tropical paradise. It is coming along. 
The green plastic parrot planter reminded me of the Green Macaws we saw. 
Some of the other paths are looking quite jungle like.
It is just so comforting to see all this green after a long winter.
 Flower beds are filling up. Golden Alexander is so pretty with it's color of sunshine on a cloudy day.
 Out front there is lots of blooms happening.
The Iris parade has begun.
The weeping spruce is making cones. 
I hope you all are able to get out in the garden to watch all the early spring commotion. Just sit back like Annie and enjoy the surroundings in between chores.

Color Changes and seed planting

There has been a slight change in the color wave. A little more purple and some white. A few new visitors to the garden. This magnifice...