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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June end of the month view.

It's hard to believe June is already over and we're moving into July tomorrow.  It's starting to feel closer to summer, but still we're below in temperatures with many days still just in the 60's and overcast skies.  After reading many blogs from all  over it sounds as if many of us are having either very hot and dry conditions or cooler and wetter than usual.  Many people jokingly say that Summer does not begin in the Pacific Northwest until July 5th, and this year I think many of us are hoping that's true.
The sun broke through the clouds for awhile yesterday so I went out to take some pictures of the entry bed that has been my end of the month view since last September.  Doing this has really helped me look at this bed in a different way and trying to keep year (or most of the year) round interest.

 It's hard for this area not to look good with those huge Hydrangeas blooming!  I haven't done much in here recently, aside for pull some dirt away from the brick along the side of the garage wall.  I did remove some Bleeding Hearts that had started taking over, but I'm sure they'll be back in the Spring since I did leave most of the roots.  There seem to always be some volunteer Bleeding Hearts coming up in this bed.

 Every year I mean to move the one pink Asiatic lily here, and then I forget.  Hostas and Astillbes are beginning to bloom.  Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium) is still blooming and the scent seems to have gotten stronger.

Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue' blooming behind my little girl.  She used to be a fountain, but doesn't work anymore, too cute to just get rid of.  My Mom gave me a division of a big Hosta that I've just planted behind her.  I think it should fill in really nicely here.  The plant to the left is a hardy Fuchsia that should be blooming in the next couple of weeks, although they all seem behind right now.

The end of the month view was started by Helen of the The Patient Gardener's Weblog.  Visit her to see her beautiful garden and who else is joining in.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Front yard border in June.

Finally on Saturday I had a whole day to work in the front garden.  It was so overdue for a good weeding and cleaning.  I still have a ways to go, but I'm looking forward to a couple of days out front this week to get caught up.  You know you've gotten a lot done when you can barely stand upright the next day.  Mowing, edging, weeding, pruning, sweeping, planting and then going out in high heels for the evening will do that to you.
I took some pictures to show how the front border is looking.  It's by far the biggest of all the beds although I guess most of my backyard is also a flower bed as well.

This is my favorite view of our house, I used to have a similar picture for the blog header.  The Japanese Maple on the right is not looking very happy right now.  I'm wondering if it could be all the rain we've had and how wet the ground is still.  I have a few other plants looking a little on the yellow side now as well.

Looking down the front of the garden quite a bit is blooming with lots more on it's way.  To the right of this area is a Weeping Cherry tree and a huge pink Carpet rose.

Further down the bed Veronica 'Lilac Fantasy' is blooming with Lupine, Peonies, Oriental Poppies and Hydrangeas.

At the end of the bed Foxgloves, Red Valerian, Geum, Baptisia, Lamb's Ear and the Foxgloves that I swear are closing in on 7 feet tall.  The very tall plant to the right is Monarda 'Jacob Cline' that will reach far over 5 feet tall.  Coreopsis and Sedum will be blooming later in the Summer.  I've planted Cosmos and Bachelor Buttons here, but no signs of any sprouts so far.

 Back to the other end of the bed, this is along the inside walkway to our front door.  Roses, Spirea, Lavender, Knautia, Persian Cornflower and Campanula bloom.  Coming soon are Poppies, Lilies, Phlox and Nicotiana.  Most of what I've planted here a fragrant flowers.

A bit further down Hydranea 'Preziosa' and 'Endless Summer' are blooming.  The Daylilies need to be cut back.

 Poppies and Monarda will bloom here soon.  I'm still trying to decide what to do with the open space in front.

One of the Poppies 'Imperial Pink' has started to bloom.  I will be saving seeds from these and happy to share.  They were very easy to germinate and there are tons getting ready to bloom.

 The Butterfly garden area has Coneflowers, Liatris and Monarda close to blooming.  The Butterfly Bush will still be another couple of weeks away.

Rose 'Julia Child' blooms along the edge of the Butterfly garden.

I hope you were able to get out and enjoy your garden this weekend.  Nothing more therapeutic than letting your mind wander while you garden.  For some strange reason I had the theme of the Phantom of the Opera going through my brain as I weeded. 
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Friday, June 25, 2010

First Fertilizer Friday of Summer.

Well, it finally feels as if Summer has arrived here.  The sun has been out for several days and the temperatures have finally made it to the mid 70's.  Perfect gardening weather!  I've been doing some weeding and clean up in different parts of the yard and it really felt good to be out there.  The plants have really responded to the warmer temperatures and are looking great.  I bought more Zinnia seeds to sow since I have a feeling the others may not come up.  I've also noticed the Dahlias are very slow to come up this year.  I dug up some tubers to see what was happening and saw that there is new growth, they just seem to be taking their time.
When we first went outside a couple of days ago Sweet Pea was excited to find two of these Dragonflies in our front yard.  We usually see the large Blue Darners here, these ones are a little less common in our yard.  I couldn't figure out what type they were.

 Campanula 'Pantaloons' finally made a comeback.  I planted it two summers ago, last year the slugs wouldn't leave it alone and it never bloomed.  I moved it earlier this Spring and was happy to see it blooming.  The inside is covered in purplish polka dots.

The new David Austin rose 'Lady Emma Hamilton' is getting close to opening.

 Oxalis crassipes rosea surprised me in bloom.  It tends to stay closed up on cool overcast days, something we've had a lot of.  The clumps of bright pink flowers really stand out.

 Linaria has just started blooming.  It reseeds quite a bit, but is easy to pull up in unwanted places.

 Veronica spicata

Yarrow (Achillea filipendula

 I thought it was interesting to see how similar the center of the annual Breadseed Poppies (Papaver somniferum) are to

the perennial Oriental Poppies (Papaver orientale) 'Princess Victoria Louise'.

To see who else is "flaunting their flowers" this Fertilizer Friday visit Tootsie who hosts it each week.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June Pond.

I've been trying to take monthly pictures of the pond and what is happening in and around it.  Yesterday I had a chance to clean the filter out and take a closer look.  With the weather we've had the string algae seems to really be thriving.  I've been cleaning it off the waterfall and scooping out what I can with a net.  Some people will buy a toilet brush and attach it to a pole pond to remove the algae.  Usually once the temperatures rise and the sun is shining on a regular basis I notice a big decrease in the amount.  The fish have been active and looking for handouts from whoever walks by the pond.  I haven't seen many birds in the pond, although the Spotted Towhee that likes our yard has been in the birdbath right by it.

Lots of flowers are blooming around the pond:  Canterbury Bells, Foxgloves, Poppies, Bachelor Buttons, Clematis and Heucheras.  Soon the Larkspur, Coneflowers, Cape Fuchsia, Hardy Fuchsia, Hydrangeas and another Clematis will begin blooming.

Geranium 'Wargrave Pink' grows along the front of the pond, it planted itself there and couldn't have chosen a better spot.

Not much is happening in the pond.  Still no signs of Waterlily buds yet, very late for them.  I lost several plants over the winter and haven't yet felt inspired to replace them.  You can see the fuzzy looking string algae is growing on everything, including the floating roots of the Water Hyacinth.

The shady side of the pond has Ferns, Ligularia (which the slugs have been demolishing), Hostas and Chelone.  They all grow in the shade of the fence and apple tree.

The Clematis 'Ville de Lyon' is tangled up on itself as it tries to grow up  the birdhouse post.

On the left side of the pond there is an area where the liner shows that I've been trying to figure out a way to fix.  I think I will have to remove the path edging and remove some soil from behind the liner, just a little concerned that I may damage the liner that way.  Maybe by next month I will have figured out a way to take care of that.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Making my own sunshine - Monthly garden bouquet.

I really wanted to be sure to join in with Noelle for the Monthly garden bouquet this month, especially since I forgot last month.  I had visions of a bouquet of roses for June, even knew which ones I'd like to put together.  But over the last few days the rain and gloom really started to put me in a mood.  The roses are mostly beat up and the slugs have been feasting on every daylily flower that tries to bloom.  As I walked around and saw the weeds I thought that maybe I just will skip gardening this Summer.  But the more I thought about it, the more I decided that I really wanted to put together a bouquet to cheer myself up. 
So around the garden I went, ignoring the brown roses and weeds and started to get inspired.   I decided that pinks and purples would be my theme this month and found plenty of flowers that fit that description.
I'm very happy with what I was able to come up with:

 I'm calling this my "Sunshine bouquet".

 I'm really just in love with the Canterbury Bells (Campanula medium).  I plan to save seeds and will be happy to share them.

 Campanula 'Summertime Blues'.  While I was out cutting these I found that my Campanula 'Pantaloons' was blooming, but I'll save those for another day.

 Also in the bouquet are Scabiosa (Pincushion flowers), Bachelor Buttons, Nigella (Love-in-a-mist), Clematis 'Jackmanii', Penstemon 'Sweet Joanne' and one Heuchera for good measure.

 And here it is on the dining room table, it really brightened the room up.

So thank you Noelle, you really helped me to find my own sunshine right out in my garden under the gray skies.  Until the sun returns I'll just take the Vitamin D that my husband hinted I should take, he even put the vitamins on the counter to remind me, and keep making my own sunshine by bringing a few flowers in and looking just a little harder for signs of Summer.  Now I hope you'll visit Noelle and her beautiful sunny bouquets and see who else joined in as well.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Fruitful Fertilizer Friday.

Another week has flown by with barely a chance for me to really get outside.  Every time I walk past parts of the garden or look out the window I see something new or a chore I'd like to get done.  Our weather is still not very good.  We've continued to have mostly gray or rainy days with highs still only in the mid 60's.  We've been breaking all sorts of weather records because of it.  I'm starting to ignore the weather forecast since it changes daily and not usually for the better.  Anyway, school is finally out today and so even if the weather doesn't cooperate we still will have time to just relax and enjoy our free days.  School in the Seattle area usually ends around this time and the school district we are in generally starts back a few days before Labor Day.
Quite a bit of the fruit bearing plants are doing really well.  Blueberries are getting close to ripening and the girls have been eating Red Currants even though they are on the bitter side.  The apple tree produced few blooms this year and I'm pretty sure we'll have few if any apples.  I've heard that it's not uncommon for apple trees to have years like this.

Even with the cool weather some of the tomatoes are getting flowers, this is 'Black Krim'.

The 'Desert King' fig tree is full of figs, this first crop is called the breba crop.  The breba crop is grown on last years growth.

So far I haven't had a chance to try a strawberry, the girls have been eating them, but they say they are good.

The two small pear trees each have a few pears on them.  I'm really hoping they'll keep growing so we can try them.
These are more of the Campanulas that I showed a few days ago.  The flowers are different on these, almost like the Cup and Saucer type.

I've been meaning to post a picture of the Nigella or Love-in-a-Mist.  They reseed in the same little area every year.  I love the dainty flowers and foliage.

To see who else is flaunting their flowers today visit Tootsie at Tootsie Time, who is the host of Fertilizer Friday.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day June 2010.

It's a busy week for us around here, so busy that I almost forgot it was Bloom Day.  This is Sweet Pea's last week of elementary school, next year she begins junior high.  So, this is a week full of parties, special assemblies at school and get togethers with friends.  I can't believe how fast the time has gone, but I sure am looking forward to spending time with both of my girls over the Summer.  It's nice being free of school and sports schedules for awhile. 
June is always a good month in my garden, this is the month that many of my favorites are blooming at the same time.  The scent of the roses and Peonies carry, especially when the sun is out. 

An Asiatic Lily surprised me with a bloom today.  I've gotten these so mixed up I no longer know which is which.  Oh well, they're still pretty.

The unknown pink rose is just full of these flowers.  The scent carries quite a distance.

Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) is one of my favorite things blooming now.  The color is just amazing.  The purple to the left is a Baptisia, and they look just great together.

Another real beauty right now is Rose 'Honey Perfume'.  I just love the color of it, and it seems to change daily.

Spiderwort (Tradescantia) has been moved so many times, but I think I finally found a perfect spot for it.

I was surprised to find a Geum blooming.  I had given up on them this year.  Last summer I moved them during the really hot weather and then wasn't very good about watering them.

A Hydrangea growing right under a Cedar tree.  It was here when we bought the house.  The flowers will get a very deep purple.

The newest Clematis to open is 'Etoile Violette'.  It's another very easy one that grows and blooms with almost complete neglect.  It grows up behind a raised bed and is difficult to get to to feed or prune.

Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue' must have liked another day of sun, because it's just beginning to bloom now.


Also blooming is Nepeta, Oriental and Breadseed Poppies, Salvias, Penstemons, Scabiosa, Jacob's Ladder, Heucheras, Geraniums, Lupine, Veronicas, Campanulas, Peonies and Foxgloves.  The one thing that really seems behind are the Waterlilies.  I haven't even been able to see a bud coming up, I'm pretty sure it's because it's just been too cool for them.  Hopefully now that the weather seems to be improving that will change.
To see what else is blooming around the world visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
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