Friday, June 27, 2008

Hello Summer!

Summer has arrived, bringing blooms, birds, bees and butterflies galore! There are so many things to photograph that I hardly have time to blog!

The Tiger Swallowtails are the most frequent butterfly visitors to our gardens.

This one really loved the Rasberry Blast Petunias. Posted by Picasa

The female hummingbirds arrived about mid-May, perhaps a week after the males. Posted by Picasa

We've been busy as bees around here! There's so much to do outside, and most of it needs to be done at once!

My dear husband's strawberries are producing a bumper crop, and he's been picking great quantities. I've only been able to help a little due to my back injury, but I'm happy to report that the sciatica seems to be easing a little, and bending over isn't quite as painful as it has been. I hesitate to say that (and am knocking on wood) because some days it seems quite good, and then others it's miserable. But today is a good day! Thanks so much for all the well wishes and commiserations. I know many of you can relate to having back problems.

I've put quite a few tubs of cut-up, sugared berries in the freezer, and made 2 batches of freezer jam, with more berries ready for another 2 batches this afternoon. And they're still coming (but slower now)! It's nice to have enough to share with the neighbors.

The Carnaby Clematis is putting on its best show ever, and has been joined by a couple of others, which I'll show you soon.

This post will be be about the gardens in the front yard.

They're looking rather pretty at the moment....

Posted by Picasa

....although they all need edging, and the rain is making the weeds grow much too quickly.

And the lawn too!

The early Lemon Lilies blooming side-by-side with the harebells (Campanula rotundifolia) make a lovely combination.

There are a few white ones..... Posted by Picasa

.....but most are a beautiful blue.

Just a few columbines still hanging on, but most are finished blooming and must now be dead-headed or they'll sow their seeds like mad!

A few lupines are still blooming beside the seed pods of spent blooms. Posted by Picasa

But the real stars of the garden are the peonies! Posted by Picasa

They're putting on a marvelous show this year!

Last fall DH (Dear Hubby) and I dug gardens around all the peony bushes along the front of the yard. Until then they'd always looked unkept at bloom time because we rarely found time during the busy spring to trim the grass around and between them.

We added lots of lovely compost to the soil, and they've repaid us for our work by blooming profusely.

They're gorgeous even before opening completely.

They have a heavenly scent.....

.......and they're very photogenic :) Posted by Picasa

These two bushes have huge blooms, which of course droop after being rained upon. We've had quite a bit of rain lately, so they've been drooping, but are still beautiful, nevertheless. Posted by Picasa

A couple of mug shots....

......of these beauty queens.

Still blooming prettily beside them is the Weigela.

This has been its best year ever.

I love these hot pink blooms! Posted by Picasa

This bush has grown the fastest, produced the most prolifically...... Posted by Picasa

.......and the flowers have the strongest fragrance of all. It's a beauty!

There are two white bushes among the various pinks along the front. Posted by Picasa

I have a hard time getting a decent photo of the white blooms.

I've tried different lights and settings, without much success. Posted by Picasa

Oh there's that lovely Weigela again. She's a bit of a ham.....really loves to have her photo taken :)

The peonies mixed well with harebells to make a pretty bouquet for church last Sunday.

I hope all my northern hemispere blogging friends are enjoying the summer, although our southern friends are probably holed up in air conditioning, trying to beat the heat. I wish you cooler temperatures and refreshing rains!
For those of you in the southern hemisphere my wish is for cozy slippers, and a warm place to snuggle with a good book.
We are having an overcast day here, with thunder announcing a storm somewhere nearby, and the power has been off briefly a couple of times. I'm very thankful for my backup battery!
Have a lovely weekend everyone! Posted by Picasa