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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day trip - Cultus Bay Nursery

What a busy weekend we had here.  The Littlest Gardener's ballet rehearsal and recital took up most of Friday and Saturday.  It was a lot of fun, and she loved performing on stage.  I was the backstage helper and was I ever tired when it was all finished!  Trying to entertain a whole bunch of 4 year old girls and keep them clean and ready to go onstage was a lot of work. 
Since my birthday is later in the week, my husband said we could pretend Sunday was my birthday and I could choose what we did.  Lucky me, we woke up to sun and I decided right where I wanted to go.
We hopped on the Mukilteo ferry and headed across to Whidbey Island.  Anyone taking a trip out to the Seattle area should try to take a trip there.  It is full of cute towns, beautiful gardens and nurseries and lots of things to see and do.  Every place I've ever eaten there was delicious, most of the food is local to that area.  In fact the food was so good I had lunch twice!

Taking the ferry across to Clinton we pass the ferry returning to Mukilteo.

Karen from Greenwalks posted on my Facebook page awhile ago when I was raving about another town on Whidbey Island and said to try and visit Cultus Bay Nursery next time we visited.  What a great recommendation that was!  To get there you follow a long gravel driveway through woods.  The owners home was built in the 1980's to look like an old home and if I hadn't read that, I would've been sure it was very old.  I felt kind of funny taking a picture of their house since it was behind the hedges of roses and other tall shrubs.

Lots of cute decor throughout the garden.

The path leading towards the nursery.

There were two long paths lined in espaliered apple trees.

This tattered winged butterfly loved these flowers and kept returning.

I think these are golden Hops growing over the shade perennial house.

Very cute sitting area with gorgeous begonia.

Apparently this little outbuilding is new and I think built by the husband.  I overheard some women talking about him being a wood worker.  This was all screened in with a bed and table and chairs inside.  The wood he used was so unusual.

A goldfish pond right next to the screened outbuilding.

I'm not knowledgeable at all about livestock, but I think this is a steer that was on the other side of the deer fence.  In the middle of this tall grassy field was an old apple tree.  When he stood under it, he reminded me of the bull Ferdinand in the children's storybook by the same name.

On each fence post along the steer's fence were nesting boxes.  We were lucky to see Tree Swallows flying in and out to feed their babies.

This little baby sat on the edge waiting to be fed.

Sweet Pea and I tried many times to get an action shot of the feeding.  With her help counting down the bird landing and me ready with the camera, we finally got the shot.  We stood and watched the birds for a long time.  My idea of heaven was standing there in the sun amongst the trees and flowers watching the birds.  I could've stayed there all day.

My husband was actually the one interested in choosing the plants this time, I was almost overwhelmed by the whole place and I had a hard time just looking at plants.  He chose a Geranium 'Patricia' and Helianthemum and a Campanula.  After the nursery we found lots of other fun things to see and do, but this was definitely the highlight.
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Looking for some sun...

Another week has gone by since I last posted.  Things are changing quickly in my garden and yet I've had such a hard time staying in the mood to go out and enjoy it.  School for the kids wrapped up today, sports are done for awhile and other that the Littlest Gardener's ballet recital this weekend, the schedule is finally clear.  Being really busy along with having the worst allergies I've had in years, have made garden time and blog time almost non-existent.  The weather continues to be mostly gray and cool, although we did have sun yesterday.  All this combined has left me feeling like this hummingbird looked this morning.

Not very energetic

and lazy.  This little guy must have been hoping that the sun would come out and perk him up, but it never did and he finally flew away.

So, trying to get myself motivated I decided to take a walk around the garden even if it was gray and probably too late in the day to get very good pictures.  I hadn't taken the time to notice that the Catmint was in full bloom and spilling out over the gravel path.  The bees are very busy on it.

Awhile ago I moved Green Man to the fence and I love how he looks behind all the volunteer Foxgloves.

Waterlilies are starting to bloom!  This is 'Sioux'.

In the front yard I've been admiring this little corner from the living room window.  More Penstemons are blooming now, but 'Catherine de la Mar' is by far the most showy.  I saw a Swallowtail butterfly on the Verbena in the big blue planter yesterday.  That was pretty exciting since they haven't been around yet this year.

Veronicas are starting to bloom too now!  I finally have found places that they like and they are taller and fuller than ever.  The 'Iceberg' rose has begun to bloom too.

Another new flower in bloom is the Baptisia.  The orange Geum and Red Valerian have been blooming for awhile.

The Lilies have started to bloom, I have no idea which is which anymore, but this is such a pretty pink one.

Rose 'Honey Perfume' has it's first blooms.  I love the color of this one.

And over in the driveway garden I found that 'Lady Emma Hamilton' had an open flower, it was so heavy it was laying on the ground.

In another part of the driveway garden are the Canterbury Bells and Oriental Poppy 'Princess Victoria Louise' blooming together.  I started the Canterbury Bells from seed last year.

I'm not sure that I have very high hopes for tomatoes or peppers this summer.  It looks like it will be cool and cloudy for another week.  The big joke around Seattle is that summer officially starts July 5th, and since we never really had a spring I'm hoping that our summer will make up for it.  Sun and blue skies are what this gardener needs!
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

June is definitely my favorite month in my garden.  While there are many flowers still to bloom, there's something about the first big show of the year that really gets me excited about the garden.  Some of my very favorites are just blooming or are very close; Roses, Peonies and Clematises are some of them.  It was hard limiting myself to pictures when there are so many different flowers blooming right now.

The unknown pink rose.

Rose 'Kimberlina'

Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'

Peony 'Sorbet'

Bush Sugar Snap Peas

Nigella - our garden is full of ladybugs right now, perfect timing too since the aphids have started showing up on some of the roses.

Eggplant flower - I had no idea they were such a pretty color.


Red Valerian

Another pictures of my unknown Clematis - any guesses?

Golden Mock Orange - I carry little flowers from this around the yard with me, they smell soooo good!

Self seeded Foxgloves

I couldn't decide which picture I liked best.

This was taken by the Littlest Gardener.  She was having fun taking pictures of the garden and asked if I would put one on the computer.  This is our big Rhododendron with Columbines blooming below.

 Also in bloom are Lupines, Persian Cornflowers, Irises, Rose 'Gertrude Jekyll', Columbines, Lewisia and I just noticed the first Oriental Poppy has started to open.
Visit Carol of May Dreams Gardens to see what else is blooming today in other gardens around the world.
All photos and words property of A Gardener in Progress.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekend flowers.

What a great weekend in the garden we had.  The weather was pretty good, the sun came out and it was dry.  Lots of new flowers seem to be appearing everyday.  I love this time of year when there are so many daily surprises.  I finally worked on the entry garden and it's looking pretty good so far.  Most of the rest of the time was spent doing some weeding and just enjoying the garden and my family.

There is so much color right now, and there is still so much to bloom.  This is the view from the front porch looking to the right.

I've always walked along the sidewalk of our front yard to see what it looks like to people walking by.  The only thing I wish was different was that we had more vegetables growing.  It's just not gotten warm enough consistently for much to happen yet.

An Iris I bought two years ago finally has it's first two blooms.  This is 'Loop de Loop', it smells almost like lemons.

Penstemon 'Catherine de la Mar' is huge and full of flowers.  Its' the first Penstemon to bloom so far.

Yellow Daylilies that came with the yard.  I'm not sure what they are, but they smell really good.  They are blooming with white Columbines.

The Spanish Poppy has a really nice scent, I love this new plant.

In an earlier post I said I'd post a picture of this new Clematis fully open and give it's name.  I have somehow already lost the tag, so if anyone knows what it is I'd love to know what it's called.  When it first opened it was more red that purple.

Nigella with a little visitor flying by.

Peony 'Sorbet' is having it's best year yet.  These huge flowers were worth waiting for.  Peonies have taught me patience in the garden.  It takes a year or two for the first bloom and then as years pass you will get more and more flowers each year.

A new Dianthus by the picket fence.

This is the entry garden I've been working on.  I dug almost everything up and tried to plant them in a more thought out way.  I put evergreen perennials like Hellebores and Heucheras in front of Hostas and Astillbes so that in the winter there would be something to look at.  In the sunny part I planted a new rose and transplanted a Geranium 'Rozanne'.  I feel like it still needs something tall in the center, but a tree is out.  Maybe some type of trellis?

We have cotton fluffs floating everywhere from the Cottonwood trees, it looks like it's snowing.  I've also noticed there seem to be no honeybees around.  I saw a few a couple of months ago, but none in my yard recently.  Lots of Bumblebees and Carpenter bees though.
All photos and words property of A Gardener in Progress.
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