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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer's been here!

While most of the country has been suffering with record breaking heat and lack of rain, we've continued to have a very cool and mostly gray summer.  But, we had a great three days of sun here this weekend, feeling like real summer weather.  It's pretty fun to see how the garden responds to some sun and heat.  The garden continues to be behind by about 2 or 3 weeks.  The Butterfly Bush and most Clematises are just some of what are taking their time to bloom.  On the days the sun was out we've realized just how hot our front garden is to sit out in.  So we found a nice table, chairs and umbrella to give some shade for us to enjoy the front yard more.  We spent quite a bit of time out there over the weekend!

 These Hollyhocks behind the pond have got to be at least 6 or 7 feet tall, no rust and growing straight up.  Something I've never had happen in my garden and, they are all self sown.

 A Daylily I planted last year, I don't remember the name but they look very pretty.

 It was very bright in the front yard when I took these pictures, but I wanted to be sure to show a few of mine and the hummingbirds very favorite plants.  Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' the tall flower in the back, Agastache 'Raspberry Summer' on the left and Agastache 'Apricot Sunrise' is right in front.  They have all done so well this year and grown like crazy.  Hummingbirds and bees are at them all day.

 A new Tiger Lily which isn't too tall, but still pretty.

 My first Gladiola bloom EVER!  I planted them on a whim and they are now just opening up.  Why haven't I tried them before?

 Clematis texensis - I finally found one this year after looking all last summer for one.

 Daylily 'Pardon Me'

 Sweet Peas are very late this year, but so worth the wait!  They are doing so well.  Normally they are long finished by now.

 My girls and I went to the local farmers market on Friday where the sweetest older gentleman was selling homemade birdhouses.  I absolutely loved this one.  I dug the hole for the post and my husband poured the concrete - team work!  I love how it looks with the Monarda 'Jacob Cline' by it.  I also planted Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium) 'Phantom' in front.  It is a smaller variety that only gets to about 3 feet tall.  The 'Jacob Cline' has been the hummingbirds absolute favorite, and they really are territorial about it.

 Our new little seating area.  The umbrella is a blue stripe pattern and looks perfect against the blue of our house.

I also wanted to thank all of you that left such nice comments on my previous post where I mentioned feeling the urge to possibly quit blogging.  Between such nice things you all said as well as having the pleasure to meet a some of the garden bloggers that were in town for the Garden Bloggers Fling I just know I could never completely stop blogging.  Thank you all again!
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'm still here!

It's been a long time since I posted, at least for me.  This has been a busy summer so far, lots of fun, but blogging has taken a  back seat.  I debated many times recently just stopping blogging altogether, I'm in my third year and feel as though I've taken the same pictures over and over.  I know others probably feel the same way at times.  But I found myself wondering what others have been up to; what they have growing in their garden, what they are picking to eat from their garden right now, how big their baby turkeys have gotten, what their weather is like and how it's affecting them and or their garden, what new plants they bought (I might be missing out on something really good!) and just in general how things are.  So I thought I'd share a little of what is happening around here:

We recently returned from a trip to Oregon.  The first part was spent in Cannon Beach where we had fun taking walks along the beach, flying kites, building sand castles, shopping in the cute little beach towns and eating!

Then we spent some time in one of my favorite cities, Portland.  Here is just glimpse into the International Rose Test Garden.  It was so beautiful, if I lived nearby I'd be there all the time.  We all had fun showing each other our favorites, finding unusually colored roses and seeing what roses that we also had growing in our garden.  The Littlest Gardener has already asked when we could go back.

We also visited the Pittock Mansion while in Portland.  I'd never heard of it before, but we saw a picture of it in our hotel and decided we had to visit.  It was just amazing there, and I recommend going to visit both the mansion and the gardens.

Just one tiny part of the garden with a view of downtown Portland in the background.  It was very overcast the day we were there so the mountain views weren't visible.

After we got home (and after many loads of laundry) I went out to work in the garden.  It had grown like crazy in the week we were gone.  I found a new butterfly that I haven't seen in our garden before.  I'm not sure what type it is though.

The Bee Balm 'Jacob Cline' had come into bloom and the hummingbirds were already at it.

Of course while on our trip I had to find a few things for the garden.  I walk right past the clothing stores, it's the garden stuff I look for even at the beach!

I found this birdhouse at a cool store in Portland called NobaL Home.  These birdhouses are made in Haiti.  Apparently after the earthquake artists went there and showed the local people how to use metal scraps from cars and other things destroyed and how to create art from it.  This created jobs for people such as metal workers and welders and a way to earn money.

I spent 3 hours cleaning up the front yard, deadheading, weeding and cutting plants back.  Lots of flowers are getting close to blooming soon.

An update on our new raised beds.  They aren't doing quite as well as we had hoped.  I mentioned awhile ago that we found out after the soil was in, that they had delivered the wrong type of soil and even with amending it, the plants are struggling.  Next spring we will have a lot of work to do to fix the problems the "dirt" caused.  It was pretty much fill dirt that we were given.

The other raised bed is doing a little better, but still not as good as it should be.

A baby artichoke!

Success!!!!  Here it is the middle of July and we already have an eggplant.  I've only gotten flowers before.  (I'm growing these in big black, plastic containers)

Last year I redid this bed and divided up an Astillbe that had been struggling in the backyard.  I can't believe how big and healthy they look, in fact I think they are the happiest Astillbes I've ever grown, probably because they are growing in perfect conditions for them:  moist soil and part sun.

I hope everyone is having a good summer so far, I am trying to get around to visit and see how things are in your gardens now.  I'd love to know if you are eating anything yet from your garden?
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Friday, July 1, 2011

Catching up.

After the recent rains and lack of time I've been able to spend outside lately, today felt like I was entering a jungle when I went to the backyard to work.  You literally could not walk down the pathway for the first half of it.  The geraniums had grown so tall and then flopped over after some wind and rain a couple of days ago.  Today I was I able to cut a path through and cut back some of the plants that are finished.  I'm surprised at what is still blooming now, mostly because so much of it was later than usual.
I also haven't posted too many recent pictures of what I've got blooming outside lately, so I thought I would catch up on that too.

Still loving the Canterbury Bells.  Many had fallen over in the backyard so I cut them and made a bouquet in one of my old watering cans.

Peony 'Festiva Maxima' which survived the winter move is now blooming.  The flowers are smaller than usual, but so glad it is blooming at all.

Oriental Poppy 'Princess Victoria Louise' is a pretty pink.

Rose 'Honey Perfume' has more flowers than ever this year.

Rose 'Julia Child'

Rose 'Abraham Darby' almost didn't make it this year.  It came up from the graft so the stems are much weaker and can barely hold the flowers off the ground.

Baptisia blooming with the neighbors roses.

The little corner garden in the front yard.  Lavatera has started blooming in the corner.

I know some people have already seen this, but I wanted to share what my daughters were doing when I was out taking pictures and watering the other day.

The Littlest Gardener learned something new this summer.  She's learned how to ride a bike with training wheels which has been very exciting for her.

I'm doing my best to catch up and visit everyone's blogs.  I've had a little time here and there, but time at the computer is rare during the summer with the girls home.  Hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far.
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It