Archive for ‘perennials’

March 23, 2012

A Warm Welcome

Welcome back, Spring!  Emerging from my winter cocoon last weekend, I was happy to find you beat me to the punch, and found your way onto our little acreage before me.  Evidence of your arrival is all over the place…

Well, hello there..

Creeping Phlox & Crepe Myrtle

Hydrangea is back!

Clematis & Lilies

Hey, Baby Peony!

July 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – July

Well, here I am again for July’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.  Thanks to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this fabulous monthly theme.  Wander over and check out many gardens that will impress and inspire you!

It has been hot.  Oppressively hot, and I have been concerned I wouldn’t have much for this post, but as I am learning, there is always something going on in the garden.  All the real action is happening in the front garden right now.  The Echinacea purpurea and Rudbeckia fulgida are loving this heat, and I am grateful to come home to this colorful carnival everyday.

I planted these coneflower and black-eyed Susan plants last year after returning home from a trip to Ontario where I saw them growing in abundance in many front gardens. Before then, I don’t think I even liked coneflower very much!  I can tell you though, it was love at first sight when I saw them in combination with black-eyed Susan.  For them too, I mean, can’t you just feel the love…


…and the butterflies share in the love too…

I have a small bed where I planted two Coreopsis ‘Full Moon’ plants, originally thinking they would be on the smallish-side like the ‘Creme Brulee’ I have growing beneath the mailbox.  Well, these two have grown to diva proportions. They are spilling out over the wall and crowding some marigolds that have come back from last year. An azalea and a couple of boxwood shrubs are in the back, but have been blotted out from view.  I hope they are okay!  This fall, I will be relocating the ‘Full Moon’ prima donnas to the other side of the house to give them the room they demand…ahem…I mean, deserve.

Coreopsis 'Full Moon' & French Marigold Dwarf

Garden phlox is so old-fashioned and comfy-cozy in the garden.  I love it so much, I must have more.  I only have two plants, and I am already making plans to expand for more.  I love the delicate blossoms on the long stems that sway in the breeze…when there is a breeze, that is.

'Robert Poore'

Last, but not least, these little flowers have popped up all over the place in the weedy, rocky no-man’s land underneath the back deck.  I have no idea what they are or where they’ve come from, but they are very pretty and sweet in varying shades of pink.  They remind me of some kind of petunia.  Except for one hanging basket I had on the deck years ago, I have never grown any petunias.   So, where did these come from?  Like I said before, there is always something going on in the garden, isn’t there?!

Another mystery!

Sitting pretty in no-man's land

June 14, 2011

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – June

I am very excited to be joining Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day this month.  GBBD is a theme for garden bloggers to write about what is blooming in their gardens on the 15th of every month.  Since I usually like to keep a record of what is going on in my garden, this is a perfect opportunity to share.  It is also interesting to see what is in bloom in other parts of the country and world.  Take a moment and look at what’s going on this month over at the host of GBBD, May Dreams Gardens.

A huge source of pleasure this season is this little Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Dooley’, and let me tell you, it is a real trooper. For a couple of years, I waged a battle against this area of the flower bed.  Perennials previously planted in this spot had been lost due to terrible soil and poor drainage, which I could not seem to remedy no matter what I tried. Someone suggested I put in a hydrangea in this spot since they are known to tolerate such deplorable conditions.  To my satisfaction (and relief), it seems to have worked! The acidic soil is evident in how the blooms change from pink to a dark blue as they mature.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Dooley'

This is the second year for the Hemerocallis ‘Black-Eyed Stella’ and Clematis ‘Jackmani’.  I love the color combination of these two.  I broke down and bought the trellises after spending a huge amount of time last year building my own out of bamboo and fishing line, only to have a Moonflower grow to mutant proportions and bring the whole thing down.  I am lucky it didn’t take out the clematis at the same time.

Daylilies and Clematis

A single purple coneflower bloom graces the front bed.  Can’t wait for the rest of his buddies to show up…

Echinacea purpurea 'Ruby Star'

A Coreopsis verticillata ‘Creme Brulee’ at the base of our mailbox is the first thing to welcome us home.

Street-side and sunny tickseed!

Last month my friend and neighbor “D”, left a bucket of primrose on my doorstep.   Having reseeded itself and spread in her garden, she dug a bunch up to share with me.  The note she left on my door instructed me just to “dump the bucket” wherever, and it would grow.  Me being me, I planted each individual stem/root, one by one.  A couple of weeks later, they were withered and pathetic-looking.  I instantly regretted not just dumping the bucket, figuring I must have somehow screwed it up in my careful approach to planting them.  Then this week, much to my surprise, I found these sweet blooms poking up from the ground.  From the little research I did, these look like they could be Oenothera speciosa.  It was a thoughtful gift, and one that will always make me think of her when I see them.  I have been trying to figure out what to get D in return, but now, I have an idea…

A friend's gift

May 4, 2011

May Blooms

May blooms!

Well, sort of.  A quick assessment of the garden on May Day, revealed a few perennials making entrances, albeit small and quiet ones.

The foxglove is just beginning to open. These bloomed all summer long, and I am hoping for more of the same this year. Foxglove is a biennial, so I will be curiously tracking the ones that bloomed last year to see what they will do. Who knows? Maybe they’ll surprise me.  I planted several that never came to bud, so I anticipate they will bloom this year. We’ll see.

The Dianthus in the front bed is just getting fired up, as are the two geraniums in the background.  Coneflower and black-eyed Susan are in between, quietly waiting for their turn this summer.

The big surprise was the verbena.  I wasn’t so sure it would be back this year, but was happy to find its leaves poking up from the ground, off of what appeared to be dead stems.  I hadn’t noticed any buds on it before but found it flowering all of a sudden.

And last but not least, the lettuce is looking tasty!

April 29, 2011

Preparing the Peony

As I did my evening walk around the garden tonight, there was a most welcomed sight…ants! Ants all over the peony. The sight of insects crawling all over a plant can be unsettling; however, sometimes it can be the result of a unique natural partnership, as it is in the case of ants and peonies. A friend of mine once told me never try to get rid of ants that seem to infest peonies, because without them, the buds won’t open. Peony buds are coated with a sugary substance that ants will eat. Once the substance is eaten away, the buds will open. My neighbor was unfortunate to learn this lesson the hard way. Getting rid of the ants, her peony buds never opened and she went an entire season without a single sweet-smelling, gorgeous blossom.

Ants taking care of business

Ants are welcome in the garden; ants in the kitchen are, well, another matter…

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