"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A quiet morning.

I love these rare mornings when it's quiet and all I can hear are the birds singing.  They were very busy at the feeders and in the Dogwood and Weeping Cherry trees.  Our front yard is very sunny in the morning so I thought I'd see what was happening there.

Lavender and the Pink 'Flower Carpet Rose'.

Black-capped Chickadees found this feeder in no time.  I saw a hummingbird at the 'Jacob Cline' this morning too.  Of course it was gone before I had the camera ready.

Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam' is one that will bloom all summer now.  This one is easy to divide.  I've just cut into it with a shovel and dug out a division and moved them around the yard or shared with other people.

Verbena bonariensis has reseeded itself around.  This one looks good anywhere and the hummingbirds and butterflies love it.

Oxalis crassipes 'Rosea' another easy one to divide.  I was given a clump about 10 years ago and have shared it with lots of people.  It blooms spring until fall, sometimes into winter if it's a mild one.  Thanks Grace, you are right, this is the correct name!

The weather is beautiful this morning and is supposed to stay that way all week.  
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Something old, something new.

We're back from my daughter's soccer tournament.  We had a great time and she played really well.  Unfortunately the team didn't make it to the playoffs, but they still had fun.  The tournament was in Bellingham which is about an hour and a half drive north of Seattle, just before the Canadian border.  I wish I had taken more pictures.  It's absolutely gorgeous there, and anyone visiting the Seattle area should make the trip up there to visit.  I passed so many beautiful gardens and nurseries while we were there, but we didn't have time to stop for pictures or shopping.  I read about a place called Tennant Lake Fragrance Garden which is wheelchair accessible and plant labels are in braille.  Everything is planted for texture and fragrance.  I definitely plan to return to visit it sometime.

Here are some sites I found when we returned home.  First the "old" plants, most of these have been in the garden for quite a few years.

Echinacea 'Magnus' is close to blooming.  This one has reseeded around and blooms it's head off until fall.

Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue' is just about in full bloom.  I'll show the whole shrub and area it's in soon.  It's turning into the bird hangout of the front yard.

Hydrgangea 'Preziosa' has such prettily marked flowers.

Monarda 'Jacob Cline' is at least 4 feet tall already and just starting to bloom.  This variety is mildew resistant.  I've already seen mildew starting on some of the other Monardas that haven't even bloomed yet.  I've read several places lately to use milk to get rid of mildew.  Just spray it on apparently.  I'd love to hear if this has worked.

Daphne 'Summer Ice' in it's second bloom already.  The whole side of the backyard smells good from it.

And now a few new plants from the great 2 for 1 sale I found last week.

Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' is one I've had before but it didn't survive the winter.  It's so pretty I had to try it again.

Astillbe 'Maggie Daley' is a very interesting mix of purple and red.  I planned to put it with some red flowering Coral Bells, but it looked terrible.  It found a nice spot in another space instead.

Masterwort (Astrantia) 'Sunningdale Variegated' is really unique.  It's supposed to bloom into the fall.

The other old is me.  It's my birthday today and I told my daughters all I want to do is "play" outside in the garden with them today.  
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

They're back.

The other morning I heard lots of noise outside, I knew it wasn't the Chickadees or regular visitors we've been having.  I looked out the window and found the Bushtits have returned.  They were regular visitors all winter at the suet feeder, but we haven't seen much of them lately.  It seems they have returned for the suet and some bathing.  There were probably 10 that kept flying in and out of the waterfall.

This looks like the one in charge with her helper.  The birds were going all the way under the large stone.  Maybe they wanted privacy.

Just standing around.

Room enough for two.  There was a third trying to squeeze in too.  I've seen Chickadees in this before and only one fit in.  This just shows how small these guys are.

I guess they decided one at a time was more comfortable.

Hope you are all having a great weekend.  I won't be around to visit until tomorrow, we're still busy with the soccer tournament of my daughter's.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Fertilizer Friday - Odds and Ends.

It's Fertilizer Friday which is hosted at Tootsie Time every Friday.
It's been cool, cloudy and windy here for the last few days and some of my poor plants are looking a little bedraggled.  I'm surprised at how much needs watering even after the rain we had a few days ago.
Not much new is blooming, but I thought I'd find a few flowers that were looking good.

Here you can see just how many flowers are blooming on Clematis 'Jackmanii'.  I can't seem to get the real purple color they are to show up in a picture.

Water lily 'Sioux' has a permanent supply of fish fertilizer in the pond.

Peach-leafed bellflower (campanula persicifolia) a reseeder that shows up in lots of interesting places, they do surprisingly well in dry shade.

Here is the littlest gardener standing at what she calls her garden.  She helped me plant these Nicotiana that we started from seed.  I know it's way over planted, but that's what you get when a 2 year old is helping.  She waters them and is very proud of them.

This is what she was trying to see.  She was almost shocked to see that flowers had opened in her garden.  These are a very pale shade of pink.

Bachelor Buttons 'Blue Boy' another one started from seed.  I think they are so pretty, I just love the color.

Breadseed poppy started from seed.  These are almost finished blooming.  I have them growing in our "driveway garden" and our neighbor loved them so much she asked if we could plant more in her side of the yard.  Of course I said yes!

Another Peony poppy.  They don't seem to last too long in bloom, just a few days.  Luckily there have been quite a few.

I'm sure by the beginning of next week I'll have some new blooms open.  My daughters and I went to the nursery where they were having a 2 for 1 on almost all of their plants.  Of course we couldn't pass up a deal like that!  Let's just say the butterfly garden is filling up quickly.  I'll be sure to share them as they bloom.
I'll be pretty busy this weekend with Sweet Pea's first soccer tournament of the summer, but I'll be by to visit soon!
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Is that all you do?"

This is what the neighbor across the street said to me the other day as I was working in the yard.  I tried to explain that I actually enjoy working in the garden.  He just looked at me like I was crazy.  He then said, "you're making us all have to keep up."  I think he was joking, but wasn't really sure.  There aren't many people on our street that seem to enjoy gardening.  They are usually out there doing the weekly mowing, trimming a few shrubs or doing some occasional weeding.  Our next door neighbor is always doing something in his yard, in fact when he's not out there the littlest gardener asks where he is.  He's pretty much the only other person that seems to find it enjoyable.

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium)

Later that day I started thinking about what my neighbor said.  What else do I do?  Do I have a problem, am I addicted to gardening?  Obviously I spend the majority of my time with my family.  I also spend time driving my daughter to soccer practices and play dates and household chores have to be done.  Getting together with friends or family is something I like doing when I have time. 

Nasturtium 'Whirlybird Mix'

I guess a lot of my spare time is spent on garden related activities, but I have thought about why that is too.  Working in the garden is a time I can think about things that are bothering me, get some exercise, breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the birds and trees and flowers.  I can feel, see and touch nature and that makes me feel really good.  Many times I don't think about anything at all except what I'm doing at that moment.   I've often told my husband after spending a couple of hours outside that I feel like I just came back from a really good therapy session.  I feel renewed and ready to handle whatever stresses are going on in life.

Peach-leaved Bellflower (Campanula persicifolia)

Another great part about the garden is that many days our whole family is out there.  We can talk, help each other or end up in a really good water fight (which somehow I always lose)!  My girls have learned so much about our world and why we need to take care of it from being outside in the yard.   

Erodium (who's tag blew away during the wind yesterday)

Gardening is not all I do, but it's a big part of who I am.  It makes me feel good on the inside as well as seeing how pretty it looks outside.  It's so rewarding to see how all the hard work we gardeners do pays off.  I think if more people found the enjoyment of gardening and didn't see it as "work" they would find that it's so much more than digging holes and dragging hoses around.  It's a time to experience the world around us and release some stress.  

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A colorful morning.

I walked through the garden this morning to see if I could find any new blooms.  There wasn't too much that was new, but the buds on quite a few plants are really  close.  My "lazy gardener" dahlias have buds on them already.  I also noticed that quite a few of the dahlias I planted last year have come up too.  I just planted some cheap ones from Costco because I knew I wouldn't be digging them up.  I'll be interested to see which ones came back because I saved all the information for them to remind me which one is which.
It was surprisingly mild outside already.  The weather is perfect for gardening, if I have time today.

Clematis 'Ville de Lyon's' flowers seem to be getting larger.  It has a lot more buds to open still.

Cupid's Dart (catananche caerulea) is beautiful in a full sun area.  This blue flower is really trouble free and blooms until fall.  It really doesn't need much water.  It lives in the driveway garden, where you have to be tough to survive.

Penstemon 'Sweet Joanne' is starting to get going, she also lives in the driveway garden.

I showed the first bloom of this Coreopsis several days ago.  I had just moved this to it's new spot in the hot driveway garden early this spring.  It looks the best it's ever looked and has really helped to brighten up the area.

Another of the tiny Oriental Lilies.  I noticed the littlest gardener's nose was yellow yesterday while we were out, so I knew which plant she'd been smelling!

Another of the low growing blue Veronica.  I seem to have several different varieties, none of which I can find tags for.  This one is pretty compact compared to the others.

Some of the hostas have started blooming.  I couldn't get too close since this is at the edge of the pond and I didn't want to risk balancing with my new camera.  I've said before I know falling into the pond one day is going to happen.  I've lost my balance too many times and almost gone in, and I don't want to be holding anything important when it happens.

Astillbes are covered in buds just about to open.  As I knelt down to get a little closer a neighbor cat that must've been napping under all of the leaves jumped out and surprised me.  Nothing like getting your heart beating really fast first thing in the morning, maybe I don't need the coffee now!

This Red-breasted Sapsucker was visiting the apple tree.  I ran to get my camera and he had hopped in the bird bath by the time I got back.  There must've been another one in the yard calling to him.  I read that their calls sound like a cat meowing, and that pretty much describes the strange call it made.

Here it is when it noticed the calls.  Maybe it's partner was warning it that I was getting too close.

I read in Garden Gate magazine last night that summer is the perfect time to divide a lot of plants.  I was surprised to read Oriental Poppies on that list.  I know they don't like to be moved.  I've been wanting to move mine, but was afraid to.  If this is correct not only will I be able to move it, but I'll have two to move.  What plants do you feel comfortable moving in the summer?
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Front yard garden in June.

I don't think I've posted many recent pictures of the front garden so I thought I would share some of the front border.  Everything looks so healthy and green since we've finally gotten some rain.

This is the same shot as the header picture, which I need to update.  I'm waiting for more flowers to bloom here first though.  In front of this area is a wide and long area of grass that I'd love to get rid of.

Looking down the border from the entry to the walkway.  This is one of the areas I'm doing some rearranging in.  It still has some work left, but so far I like how it looks.  On the right is another area of grass.  One day I'd like this to be a paver "courtyard".  For now the girls still like to have this area for wading pools and sprinklers to play in during the summer.

Something bright yellow caught my eye.  I don't think I've ever seen such a yellow spider before.  This plant was tagged as Agastache, but I think it looks more like Veronica.

About midway down.  The peonies have finished and the poppies got knocked down by the rain.

About halfway down looking back up the other direction.  Lots of flowers are full of buds here, another couple of weeks and there will be a lot of pink and purple.

I've been looking at a bed to expand in the front yard.  Hopefully sometime in the next week or two I can get started on it.  I was mentioning to my oldest Sweet Pea, that I might need to call the company that marks where the different lines come through the yard.  She said, "Let me guess, you're going to add another flower bed.  I know how you think Mom!"  Then she offered to help with the digging.
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