Friday, August 29, 2008

Late Summer Color

This space used to house a storage tank filled with diesal fuel for the tractors. Several years ago I planted a small garden around it. In 2005 we bought some roses on sale in the fall and needed a place to put them, so we made this garden a little bigger. The following spring the garden began to look pretty...except for the rusty my dear husband decided to move it. Since then this little "Pink Garden" has grown to be one of our favorites.

There's nothing like posting a picture on the blog to make one notice that an edge needs trimming! I took care of that yesterday :)

The garden began with a clump of pink Obedient Plant (physostegia virginiana), a passalong from a friend. That's it beyond the Phlox and Spirea, still green because it's a late summer/fall bloomer. We'll see the flowers begin to bloom very soon. Growing about 4 ft. tall, the foliage makes a nice backdrop for other plants during the summer. Bees and butterflies flock to the flowers when it finally bursts into bloom, providing that final burst of color before the cold sets in. It can be an invasive plant, but in this spot it behaves very well.

Here's a photo of it, taken last fall. Posted by Picasa

I'm really enjoying these snapdragons. They've bloomed all summer, and by a lucky coincidence are a good match for the pink rose, Sea Pearl, growing behind them.

Isn't she glorious? Posted by Picasa

I planted purple snapdragons in the back, and they just happen to match the rose, Wild Blue Yonder, planted to the left of them. Neither was planned, but I was very pleased with the way it worked out. Posted by Picasa

Wild Blue Yonder and a little sprig of the Spirea bush. Posted by Picasa

The pretty Park Princess Dahlia repeats the pink of the snapdragons as well. Posted by Picasa

In the spring I was thrilled to find that some Pink Morn Petunias had sewed themselves in a container. They're perfect for this garden!

My gardening friend Marie gave me this lovely Ladies Mantle (alchemilla mollis) as quite a small plant and it's grown very quickly. Posted by Picasa

Oh, there's little Miss Olivia exploring the garden!

Since I seem to have a pink and purple
theme running through this post, I'll include a few other flowers which will fit right in here.
This is Clarkia, sown from seed last year and reseeded...a happy surprise in the spring. I love volunteers :)

The Hydrangeas (hydrangea macrophylla 'Oak Hill'), which did so well last summer, have been disappointing this year. This plant has had a few good sized flower heads low on the plant...

......but the one on the other side of the garden has so far produced only one tiny cluster at the base of the plant. Newly planted last summer, they both bloomed beautifully for weeks on end. Posted by Picasa

Calibrachoa (Million Bells) provides all season color with no deadheading. I love it for window boxes and containers!

Diascia is another favorite. It reacts well to cutting back a little when the flower stalks become leggy. Posted by Picasa

Hmmm........does this fit in with the theme?
Sometimes it's nice to take a little break :) Posted by Picasa

The cats chase each other through this patch of Cosmos, and sleep in the middle of it on a hot day, but it still manages to look pretty in spite of them using it as their own personal jungle. Surprisingly, they do very little damage in the gardens, so I try not to fret when I see them breaking a stem here and there of the prolific Cosmos. However, when I caught two of them wrestling in a clump of Phlox in another garden yesterday they received a severe reprimanding!
Enough is enough!
(and of course they listened. ha!)

"I didn't do it, Mom. I was right here all the time...waiting for you to feed me, ahem!", says Phoebe (Olivia's mom) Posted by Picasa

I love to see the morning sun shining on the Cosmos and that pretty Ivy Geranium, named 'Butterfly', outside the back door. Posted by Picasa

And then there's the afternoon sun gleaming through the Phlox (paniculata) in the front gardens. They're more prone to mildew in a dry year, and since we've had a rainy summer, the leaves are looking good.
We've had clouds and rain today, after several sunny, dry days. I've actually had to water the containers, window boxes and a few plantings here and there, so a little rain is welcome.
I wish all my American blog friends a happy Labor Day weekend.
It's back to school next week. Oh no.....I don't want to think about the end of summer. Our summer vacation is wonderful, but it's hard to go back to work.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - August '08 - Late!

I didn't get this done on the 16th when I meant to (see previous post)....but here's my Bloom Day post at last. I'm holding fast to the old proverb: better late than never :)

The driveway garden is looking a bit scraggly, but there are still some bright spots of color.

The Butterfly Bush (buddleia davidii) lives up to its name, drawing plenty of the lovely 'flying flowers'. Unfortunately, I didn't happen to catch any on it when I took these photos.

The White Temptation daylily is still opening a couple of flowers each day, but its blooming days are almost over for the summer.

Catherine Woodbury is like the Energizer Bunny - she just keeps going and going! What a beauty she is!

There are several colors of phlox in the driveway garden, including this vibrant red.... Posted by Picasa

.....and this soft pink with the darker eye. The Cerise Queen Yarrow (achillea) blends nicely with it. There's lots of Bee Balm (Monarda) in this garden as well.

Looking past the Butterfly Bush to the lilac garden, we see more phlox providing the most eye-catching color there.

The red Monarda and white Shasta Daisies are still blooming, but are beginning to wane. These pink phlox spread very easily and must be kept in check. I dig out lots of the monarda and daisies too at the end of the season. Perennials save planting time in the spring, but thinning the spreaders can be labor intensive.

This pretty pastel Monarda goes well with the Yarrow. Posted by Picasa

The bees mix up the colors when they polinate, and I end up with lovely shades of pink and purple. There's a couple of ants sharing this bloom with the bee.

Tiger Swallowtails are abundant in our gardens.

The dwarf campanula (campanula carpatica) makes a pretty edging.

It's very easy to move pieces of this around to other gardens.

Here's a view of the driveway and fence gardens looking bedraggled after all the rain we've had. The garden in the foreground is filled to the brim with phlox which badly need thinning. I've found a few neighbors who want some :) Posted by Picasa

The Coneflowers (echinacea) are pretty in pink.....

......and the Gloriosa Daisies go on and on. They're both rudbeckias. Can you see the resemblance?

They're easy to grow from seed, and the birds sometimes spread them around. Posted by Picasa

Down in the lily garden a few daylilies are not quite finished blooming. Cherry Cheeks is still putting on a show....

...and Mariska, planted last year, is doing nicely her second summer.

Strutter's Ball, further up in a different garden, only had a few blooms this second summer. I added more compost so we'll see if this improves her performance next year.

Back in the lily garden, portulacas seeded themselves from annuals planted last year...

....and the wave petunias reseeded for a third summer. Other annuals that reseeded and are blooming in this garden are Nicotiana, Painted Tongue (salpiglossis), Snapdragons, Larkspurs and some pretty blue Petunias. I've never had so many annuals reseed before. Posted by Picasa

Aren't these rust colored Gloriosas pretty? They've been blooming for weeks in the fence garden, and really can't be beat for long-lasting blooms.

These bright Petunias are also in the fence garden. Posted by Picasa

I don't know the name of this Heuchera because it wasn't labeled. It's grown large in the clematis garden up by the house, where the soil is rich in compost. I've just pulled out all the Gloriosa Daisies that planted themselves here. Most of them were finally beginning to fade. I wanted to replace them earlier in the summer with some annuals, but didn't get it done before they bloomed, and then they looked too pretty to move. I have some other things I want to plant here to try and brighten it up a bit.

This lovely lady is Social Climber, bought on sale and planted at the end of the season last year. She was slow to start in the spring, but has done well since then, and given us some beautiful blooms. Posted by Picasa
There's lots more blooming, but this will do for now.
Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day. I hope she'll forgive me for being so late!