Saturday, July 28, 2007

Purples & Pinks

It was such a pleasure to read all your happy birthday wishes and comments on my birthday post. Thanks everyone for visiting and leaving such thoughtful comments. I truly appreciate each and every one of you!
We've had a couple of rainy days earlier this week, and another showery afternoon today, so the gardens and lawns are looking happier.

Jasmine has been trying to catch a mouse that's taken up residence in our house. It's cleverly avoided the mouse trap so far, having eaten the peanut butter off it twice, without being caught.

Last night we were startled by lots of noise coming from the kitchen. Jasmine had the mouse cornered! She actually caught it and then put it down after carrying it a few feet. Immediately it ran toward me...Eek! Now I'm not scared of mice, unless they run toward me!! I yelled for Ross to come and all three of us chased that mouse like lunatics! Jasmine caught it again, but let it go once more, at which point it fled for its life into the living room and disappeared. Phooey!

A short time ago, while working on this post, right behind me I heard a scuffle, and there was Jasmine with the mouse in her mouth again! Now this dopey cat either doesn't know what to do with a mouse, or she wants to play with it. I guess it's probably the latter. I grabbed the fly swatter, for want of a better weapon, and Ross appeared from the living room. Once more all three of us excitedly gave chase, but the speedy little mouse disappeared under my computer desk. Yikes! I have to sit there and finish this post!

After much prodding, probing and searching I'm convinced the mouse has made it to a safe haven somewhere in this large house once again ("Phew, that was another close shave", says the tiny pesky beast). I wonder if mice have nine lives, like cats.......

Jasmine continues her vigil as I type away with my feet propped up on the shelf beneath the desk.....just to be on the safe side....

My Jackmanii Clematis has excelled itself this summer, and has been putting on a wonderful show for more than a month now. Its first flowers opened on June 21st.

Here's another Clematis named Sprinkles, just planted last summer. The snails think the flowers are tasty, unfortunately. I'm so pleased that it survived the winter and has grown well for its first year. The Jackmanii took about 3 years to become well established.

I'm amazed at how long the flowerhead is lasting on one of the two hydrangeas we planted in front of the Jackmanii. The other hydrangea has some tiny blooms forming. I wonder if they'll amount to anything. Posted by Picasa

This Sweet William bloomed with the white Astilbe and Evening Primrose during the last weeks of June. I should've posted a picture of the pink Sweet William, since this is a pink and purple post, but I wanted to show you the Astilbe. It's such a pretty plant. There are marigolds and ageratum just beyond, and you can see the bleeding heart seedpods hanging overhead.

This beautiful pink Astilbe is behind the white in the Bleeding Heart garden. They do well in the shade, alongside the Hostas.

This basket of Rasberry Blast and a deeper pink Petunia, from Proven Winners, has done extremely well so far. The blooms are just beginning to slow up a little now.

My pink Southgate Fuchsia is behind it. This is the one I wanted to try last year but didn't. I don't like it quite as much as the red Marinka, especially against the white siding, and the growth habit isn't as robust, but it's pretty nevertheless, and the hummers are enjoying it. The wintered-over Marinka is on the front porch and just beginning to bloom after being fed a dressing of compost, and plenty of Miracle Grow Bloom Booster.

In the container below are 3 Cameo Pink Surprise Ivy geraniums, 1 Safari Plum Nemesia, 1 Blackie Sweet Potato vine (Ipomoea), and 1 Silver Falls Dichondra, which you can't see in this picture because it's on the other side. I'm very happy with this combination of colors. Click on the picture for a larger version.

Ross made another, larger trellis for these perennial Sweet Peas to keep them from sprawling all over the rose and clematis garden. I'll post some pictures of it soon. Posted by Picasa

The Lamium is growing in the pink garden and has spread so much that I've had to cut it back. If you want a quick grower and a good ground cover this works well.

We've had a purple finch and his mate visiting our feeder lately. They were here for a while earlier in the spring, but haven't been around in a while. It's good to see them again. I know.... they look red, not purple, but there's a reason for the name, although it escapes me at the moment. I love to listen to their chatter. There's a Gold Finch above him. I love hearing their twittering too.

I captured these last 2 shots close to 8:30 P.M. recently. The hummingbirds are really active at the feeders just before dark, loading up for the night I suppose. We get so much enjoyment from watching them zoom around, buzzing and twittering at each other. There must be quite a few around this summer because they're drinking the sugar water up within a day or two. We only have the Ruby Throated here in the north east.

The'll let me stand very close and will occasionally perch, which allows me to get a clearer shot, but not this night. Posted by Picasa
We're off to visit Kylie and Ko this weekend. They'll be moving to NY City soon as Ko has a teaching position in the sociology dept. at Columbia University. At least they'll still be in the same state as us!
Have a great weekend everyone!


Alice said...[Reply]

Astilbe is one of my favourite flowers even though I've never managed to grow it. I can't find anywhere here that's shady and damp enough. I love both the silver and the white.

Lamium is such a wonderful plant. Covers the ground without becoming too invasive, has prettily marked leaves, and sweet little flowers whether they be mauve, white or yellow.

Your clematis is certainly a stunner, and your hanging basket is superb.

I hope your tiny houseguest behaves himself while you're away!

jellyhead said...[Reply]

Loved the mouse/cat/people antics .... the image of you, Ross AND cat in pursuit was very amusing!

As`always your flowers are gorgeous... I love that hydrangea most of all. Of course the hummingbird is exquisite, too ... wish we had them here!

Dianne said...[Reply]

I think kitty was just playing with the mouse. My kitty Jade did that too. I'm not sure what Cosmo would do, but we had a dead garter snake at the bottom of the basement steps on Thanksgiving morning one time! Ugh.
The flowers are gorgeous, the petunias really caught my eye. Even though I cut mine back, they still gets leggy, but it's not the special kind you have.
Thanks for sharing.

Susie said...[Reply]

I had a good giggle reading about your mouse chase! Of course, if it were me, I'd have been keeping my distance from him too! Cats do seems to enjoy the chase.
All your pinks and purples look healthy and vibrant. I esp love the Astilbe. I don't have that one here.
Enjoy your visit with Kylie and Ko...

Artsy said...[Reply]

Absolutely wonderful photos! The clematis is amazing! Wow..what a gift you have to raise flowers like that.

Linda said...[Reply]

I never thought I was afraid of mice either Kerri until I found myself standing on the couch when one scampered across our living room floor!! What is it about mice?
Your flowers are just amazing. How I would love to just walk around your gardens and take it all in. You've done a magnificent job!!
Enjoy your weekend!!

Sonia said...[Reply]

Hello Kerri! Just dropping by to say good morning and wish to you a nice Sunday! Love your beautiful photos!

Moi said...[Reply]

laughed out loud at the "wild mouse chase" :)
and lovely pics again....the sewwt pea are so delicate and your bird feeder is beautiful too..

PEA said...[Reply]

I'm certainly starting to think that a mouse has more lives than a cat! lol I've never had a mouse in my house but we have trapped some in the veggie garden. I so enjoyed my walk through your purple and pink flowers...every one of them so beautiful!! I've never grown a hydrangea but have been seeing so many gorgeous ones on bloggers' sites and would love to try year:-) Have a fun visit with Kylie & Ko!! xoxo

Zoey said...[Reply]

I chuckled all through the cat/mouse story. It amazes me that any mouse could get by all the cats you have!

And, WOW, that Jackmanii Clematis --GORGEOUS!!

Boy, your petunias are doing well, too, aren't they? Mine never really took off. I doubt that they will now.

Everything just looks great. That rain probably helped. We are still dry as a dessert.

Keep your feet up while you are on the computer. Better to be safe than sorry!

Inland Empire Girl said...[Reply]

What is with the mice? I always thought they came in when it got cold. We have had the same experience with a mouse in our house. He is probably sitting behind the chair smiling right now.

squire said...[Reply]

Great photo of Jasmine.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

What great photos. I can't wait to plant some astillbe in my shade garden next year!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri. Thanks for stopping by to see our son!

Your flowers are beautiful. The clematis is especially impressive. We have one that hasn't done well in the few years we've been living here, but I'd say this year was the best I've see it. Still, nothing quite like yours.

I loved hearing about the mouse escapade. One of our cats recently brought a live mouse upstairs from the basement and let it loose in the house. Fortunately it ran back to the basement after about 30 minutes...


catsmum said...[Reply]

Alice sent me over [ and we found each other through Val's Blog ] so belated many happys for the big birthday and I have to say the top photo of Ms Jasmine derves to be a quilt [ or painting, whatever ] and the hummingbird ones ... how fast a shutter speed did it need to catch them midflight like that?
Good luck with the mousecapade.

catsmum said...[Reply]

and of course that should have been 'deserves' to be a quilt

judypatooote said...[Reply]

What a great shot of the hummingbirds.....they really are beautiful....i didn't realize they were so colorful..... I like your other clematis didn't do so well this attached itself to a large cedar was pretty , but not like it ususally looks....

HORIZON said...[Reply]

Tried to comment earlier - here goes again..
Hiya Kerri.
Firstly want to tell you that l am sad l missed your birthday post. Is it too late to send you my best wishes? The pictures of you on your special day are really lovely and l’m so glad that you had a good time with the family. Isn’t it nice when they let us take a few snaps! You look fantastic in the photo with your daughter- not a day over 21! Headline news here the other day, ‘Big 60 is the new 40!’ Wonderful!!
As for the wee mousie saga- l think l’d be up on the nearest table or straight oot the door! Lol
The garden looks fantastic- the variety of plants and colour are just so exciting. You’re truly an inspiration for gardeners everywhere- l have so much yet to learn.
Love the photo below of the flowers against the backdrop of the red wall and fence- very country.
Hugs and bests Kerri, keep well dear friend.
We are in the middle of car hunting at the moment and hubby has a week off work so we’re busy doing lots around the place too.

Hillside Garden said...[Reply]

Kerri, the Kitty is so cute! I've baught me some seed of sweetpeas in Britain, but I have no luck, it is to cold and to rainy, Only one flower is open!

Yours are looking wonderful!


Sharon Kay said...[Reply]

A happy belated birthday to you. I will be 65 this weekend and got that special card that SS sends you. I am 5 years ahead of you my friend. Love all the beauty in each picture of your garden...pretty colors for sure.

Carol said...[Reply]

your photos are beautiful..I love all the perfect colouring of the flowers..

Apple said...[Reply]

Have a great weekend with Kylie and Ko. NYC? :-( I don't like going to NYC but certainly would if one of my kids ended up there. Is it an upstater thing? Anyway I wish them well with the move! Your mouse story gave me a good laugh on a day when I desperately needed one :-) My astilbe was disappointing this year, I'm happy yours looked so good. A Jackmanii is on my list for next year. The hummers keep chasing us away from the beebalm, they seem to be there any time we look. As always all of your pictures are great!

Kylie said...[Reply]

Beautiful pics Mummy! I just love your flower pictures and I've been taking some myself. Like mother like daughter. Keep up the good work in the gardens and watch out for that mouse. I hear they really like to nibble the toes of people who are 60 and older. xox

T*mmy said...[Reply]

Kerri, So sorry I'm getting around to you so late in the game!
I just want to say Clarence has never seen a "real mouse" only his toys, but boy if a black fly gets in the house he will tear it up trying to get to!
Your flowers are so very pretty and about the hummers, I finally just gave up on them this year...

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

My neighbor told me to try putting a small piece of bacon in the bait hook. It reall works because the mice tend to give it a yank to pull iot loose.
Kitty looks so happy in the flowers. I would too. They are all beautiful.

Pam/Digging said...[Reply]

Wow, your clematis are totally outshining my one little Duchess. Gorgeous! And great photos of the hummingbird moths too.

Judith Polakoff said...[Reply]

Hi, Kerry. I'm trying to catch up on all your summer posts, and wow, what I've missed! Your gardens are truly a wonder; how I wish I had your talent for things green! I just can't get over how beautiful your flowers are and what a wonderful job you've done with them around your home. Jasmine is lovely too, by the way. :) I'm convinced that the more well-fed a cat is, the less likely it is to hunt to kill and rather more likely to give chase for the fun of it. Or it might be that this particular mouse is just a very slippery little fellow! In any event, I've enjoyed my catch-up visit here and your lovely photos -- and a big happy birthday to you!

Beth said...[Reply]

Kerri - hello from North Dakota!
I just found your blog when doing a search for pink columbine. I've enjoyed reading and looking at all the photos. What beautiful gardens you have. I also think your cat is darling. I'll have to come back and read more ....