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


Apple said...[Reply]

I'm happy your back is getting better. I know it must be very frustrating to not be able to do what you want when you want to.

Everything looks beautiful! I love Peonies and you have a great variety and the Weigela is so pretty it can't be faulted for mugging for the camera. Your Carnaby is much prettier than mine.

I'm happy to see your Harebells planted out in the sun. I got some at a swap and wasn't sure if they needed sun or shade.

The strawberries are doing well here to. John has a bumper crop this year and the grandkids are loving them. We need to make a new garden for them before they take over my flowerbeds!

I could do without the thunderstorms but the rain has been welcome this year. We've had enough so I don't have to water but not so much that we are worried about flooding.

Happy Summer!

Karen said...[Reply]

Beautiful photos as ever, Kerri. Love that butterfly and the hummingbird.

cindee said...[Reply]

Wow just beautiful!!! Everything is so lovely! The strawberries look so yummy too!!! The sciatica takes a long time to heal. Take it easy and it will get better. Don't over-do and re-injure it. A lady I work with has a sciatica problem and it took a long time to fully recover. She knows when to stop and relax now. (-: It is such a painful injury. Hope you feel better soon.

jellyhead said...[Reply]

Thanks for sharing your beautiful summer scenes with us all.

Good to hear your back is feeling better (touch wood!).

The Garden Faerie said...[Reply]

Aren't Campanula great? There are so many and they're all cute! I'm so envious of your hummers--I've only ever seen one once!
~ Monica

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

Hello Kerri, I was just wondering how things were going with you just a day or so ago. Good to hear that your back is feeling better.

You are right your front gardens are beautiful. Love seeing the overviews.

That bouquet of peonies is just to die for. I am sure everyone at chruch was delighted to see them as well as smell them.

verobirdie said...[Reply]

The first picture of your blog is a real teaser for the rest. Great shot. And i'm in love with your peonies.
Hope your back keeps improving.

Alice said...[Reply]

I knew it - that first photo tells it all - you've worked poor Ross so hard, right down to knee level.

Our new strawberry plants have arrived - actually they arrived before last weekend but of course we had more important things to attend Ross has really set a high benchmark to aspire to with the strawberries.

As for the rest of your garden - when did you say the photographers from 'House and Garden' are arriving? What, they're not? Well, they ought to be.

You have such wonderful colour in all of your flowers, regardless of variety. I've never grown peonies. They certainly look beautiful.

I hope your back continues to improve - can't have Ross doing ALL the work, can we?

I have to keep teasing you, Kerri, because you taunt me so much with your beautiful green lawns and stunning flowers. Still, you share them so generously that I feel some ownership of them - I hope you don't mind too much.

Debbie said...[Reply]

All your blooms are gorgeous. I love how you have so many of your peonys together. I think I need to move some and make a nice big border of just the peonys.

Love the strawberries. What a treat to have them right out of your own garden.

We are having a wonderful summer so far. Warm days and late afternoon thunder showers to liven things up a bit and freshen the earth with a bit of rain. I love thunder storms.

Isabelle said...[Reply]

As usual, I so envy you your vast acres... I'm interested that you say you have "gardens" in your "yard". Ah, the inequalities of language. To us, a yard is a paved, walled courtyard behind a shop or something, while all of what's round your house, lawns and flowerbeds, is a garden.

Anyway, yours is/are lovely and I want it/them!

Naturegirl said...[Reply]

Kerri your garden is as delightfull as I remebered from last year! Oh my that butterfly I have never seen it in that color!! Picture perfect!
Now about your peonies well you know that I'm a frilly peony type of girl!
I can't get enough of them! They are my favorite flower to photograph! Their life is so fleeting..we have but a few weeks to enjoy them so I sure am!

I can appreciate how painful your back is because I am suffering from arthritis with our damp grey skies days! I am blogging but oh my neck is so-o-o-o sore! Coming by blogs and posts like yours give me some relief for the moment!A place of respite!
Feel better soon..stretch out on a lounge in that picturesque garden of yours and relax! hugs Anna

Susie said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
Your garden is glorious! Loved the swallowtail picture. It looks nearly green on my monitor and I've never seen one that shade.
Lucky you to have so many strawberries. We can't stay ahead of the snails and squirrels as far as ours are concerned!
So glad your back in improving. Don't overdo! I know that's tough when there's so much to do at this time of year.
love and ((hugs))

Barbara said...[Reply]

I always wonder how you, dear Kerri and your DH manage to do all the work in your big, big garden! And now that you have your back pains...I do hope for you, that you are getting better day by day (here I'm crossing my fingers for you!). Your peonies are just wonderful, I love this plant very much too! And I also like this colour comibinations of the various plants. So often nature is surprising us, doing just the right and perfect thing and way. This is a reason for my accepting the seeded plants which come by accident.
Wishing you a lovely Sunday!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...[Reply]

I'm happy to hear that your back is getting better and I hope that pretty soon you'll be back to your old self...Now you know I don't mean "old" the way it sounds don't ya, hehehe.

I sure know where to come when I need a flower fix. Your flowers are beautiful and those butterflies are amazing. We haven't seen any of those here this year, but the bees and hummingbirds are all over the place now.

My peonies didn't do so well this year and I thought it was because of all the rain, but I see you had lots of rain and yours are doing very nicely so I guess mine just need some attention and maybe a little sweet talking from me to get them to bloom more.

Mmmm...strawberries. Another one of my favorite fruits. We plowed under our strawberries and really need to put a new crop out. There's nothing like walking in the garden and nibbling on tidbits of home grown veggies and fruit while you work.

We've also had our share of rain & thunderstorms lately. Jimmy has been looking at those backup batteries for pc's & tv's when the power is off, but only looking. Our power is never off for very long (knock on wood).

I so love the views of the area. It's so green and peaceful, almost like what I would imagine the Garden of Eden to be like.

Take care,

em said...[Reply]

hi kerri,

well, i enough think strawberry picking would do any of us in! glad you are feeling up to it!

gorgeous pics. funny i haven't seen any swallowtails here yet! ok, i'm jealous! and your garden looks fantastic too!

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

Everything is stunning, Kerri. Those peonies are to die for. The photography is absolutely fabulous too. I'll bet that you are loving this time of the year.

Glad to hear that you are feeling a little better. What a shame to not be able to get out and put a full days work in the garden when everything is so beautiful. Guess you will have to just sit back and enjoy it this year.

Layanee said...[Reply]

Now I am craving strawberries! The peonies were quite lush here also. Yours are not camera shy at all. The gardens look luscious.

Lisa in CA said...[Reply]

Your garden is so lovely. The peonies are gorgeous!

Kylie said...[Reply]

Love those peonies Mum!
the pictures of the butterflies are particularly gorgeous.

John said...[Reply]


Love the post, and glad your back is feeling better.

Regarding the stawberries I think I'll talk to Apple, about a bigger crop for next year. Mom and the Grandchildren seem to like them.

As Apple said, hope you have a Happy Summer!

Midlife Mom said...[Reply]

What gorgeous gardens Kerri! I don't know how you have time to take care of all of them! Glad your back is a bit better but don't overdo it. It's hard when you want to be right out in the middle of everything. You live in such a beautiful setting. The strawberries look wonderful. I gave up as the groundhogs and deer got more then we did so I took them out and now have a small veggie garden in that spot. Our raspberry bushes are loaded this year, this is going to be the best crop ever and I can't wait! yum!
Take care of yourself and your back! :o)

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

Your flowers are just lovely. I know how wonderful it is to walk through our gardens after a hard day's work, and just enjoy the beauty. You have oodles of Peony's. I think I have four different ones. A deep red one was started from one my mom had about 60 years ago.
The landscape and scenery in the photo that shows the peony that grew fastest, reminds me of a small town nearby called Alger. I love the barn & scenery.
Thanks for sharing all the beautiful photos.

TUFFENUF said...[Reply]

Kerri, glad you are feeling a bit better. Thanks for all the photos- like I always say - your pics are so wonderful - I loved seeing the butterflies!

Reflection Through The Seasons said...[Reply]

Hello Kerri....

First may I say that I was pleased to read there is improvement with you sciatic problem.... the pain is so debilitating I know and so frustrating when there is so much you want to be doing outside.

What a magnificent butterfly the Tiger Swallowtail is... lucky you having such a visitor to your garden. I was so thrilled to see Humming birds whilst with Betty.... they are incredible, such tiny delicate little things, as they hover and drink from the flowers and feeders.

That’s some good crop of strawberries that Ross has grown. Ours have been very poor this year, maybe it is because I moved them in early spring and it disturbed them too much.

Enjoyed the pictures of your front garden flower beds..... goodness you have you work cut out with all that ground to look after. Your peonies are gorgeous.... mine have been over a few weeks now, I do love them.

Take care with your back. Marion.

Aiyana said...[Reply]

Beautiful flowers, and the countryside is so lush and green, compared to my desert garden. It's been close to three months since we've had a drop of rain, but our thunderstorm season is fast approaching. We won't have the verdant look of your area, but it helps green things up a bit.

Yolanda Elizabet said...[Reply]

Love those gorgeous peonies of yours and I wish I could smell them. Mine are long gone. I'm glad your back is better and I hope it will stay that way for a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time.

Strawberries! Yummy!

Gotta love that Weigelia. ;-)

kate smudges said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,

I love the lemon lilies - they look wonderful with the Harebells. I love that shade of blue. The Weigela is amazing - what beautiful and prolific blooms it has.

The peonies, of course, do steal the show. They are amazing ... your entire garden is! I love seeing photographs of your gardens in their surroundings. Your countryside is beautiful.

Enjoy the strawberries. Happy 4th of July!

Sunita said...[Reply]

Kerri, I found your blog through Blotanical and I must say that its simply gorgeous. Eye-candy overload, actually.Your photographs are superb.
I wish my tropical garden would tolerate temperate flowers : (

Northern Shade said...[Reply]

Everything in your garden is looking so lovely. I love the butterfly pictures, so raspberry flavour is the secret to attracting them. Strawberry is my favourite fruit flavour, and yours are looking plump and juicy.
Your front gardens are spectacular, the colours so vibrant. I love harebells, and mine like to gently lean against other plants too. How nice that it found the lemon lily to partner with.
You have a wonderful collection of peonies. I see why you had trouble picking a favourite. The peony bed by the fence, with the pastoral setting behind is idyllic.
Thank goodness your back is better. You will have to work hard bending over to smell all the beautiful blooms.

CountryGirl said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri - Just peeking in to see what you've been up to. Sorry to hear your back has been bothering you but I'm glad it seems a bit better. Doesn't it figure though? Just when you can finally play in the dirt! Please wish Ross a belated Happy Birthday for me. I'm glad you had a great strawberry crop this year. We usually have great luck but between the deer, frost and lack of sun, there haven't been many this year. Ron has put in another 100 plants for next year though.

david santos said...[Reply]
This comment has been removed by the author.
david santos said...[Reply]

Hi, Kerri:)
Beautiful flowers and very nice colors.
Have a nice week.

Robin's Nesting Place said...[Reply]

Kerri, I'm not sure how I missed this spectacular post. The butterfly shots are amazing and your peonies are gorgeous!

Inland Empire Girl said...[Reply]

It is nice to have time to visit some blogs. Did you ever think summer would come? Your flowers are fabulous!

Amy said...[Reply]

Ah, so many heavenly gardening photos!

I'm glad your back has improved, though I imagine you wish it would just heal so you could get on with enjoying your garden. I'll be praying for a speedy recovery.

sonia a.m. said...[Reply]

I just love looking at your pictures, Kerri! Beautiful photos as ever. Wonderful that butterfly and the hummingbird's photos!

Have a nice week ahead!

judypatooote said...[Reply]

Beautiful pictures Kerri.....when I see those peonies....I can almost smell them... hope your having a good summer....I'm sick of storms, I'm ready for just a reg. summer.... judy

Tabor said...[Reply]

Truly the most lovely gardens. How many years have you been working at this? And how do you manage the deer---or do you not have deer probelms?

Cris said...[Reply]

So glad your back is getting better Kerri! I am home with the kids on vacation and I'm sorry I have not been around much. The pictures are stunning and lovely. xoox