Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July '08

It seems to me that the warm summer days are going by very fast. There's so much to do in the gardens, and never enough hours in the day for me. Each morning, as I find myself wondering where to begin, the familiar motto runs through my mind..."One bed at a time".
Bloom Day is upon us once again and I'm happy to say there are too many blooms to show them all, so I'll just tell you about the most noticeable ones at the moment.

There's an abundance of Phlox taking over this garden that need to be thinned to give some other plants room to grow.

The Day Lilies have begun to bloom,

and the Gloriosa Daisies (Black-eyed Susans) are a riot of color.

They sew themselves wherever they like, and I try to leave them whenever possible as they don't really like to be moved. At the bottom of this garden they're surrounding Cleo, one of my favorite lilies.

Let's look a little closer.

Cerise Queen Achillea (yarrow) can be seen in the background of the photo with Cleo. She's another one that needs to be thinned. Posted by Picasa

I moved the 'Ruffled Apricot' Daylily from the bed in the background where she was being crowded and getting too much shade, and she's much happier now!

This lovely Asiatic lily is 'Centerfold'.

I don't remember the names of these 2 gorgeous red Asiatics. This one is tall....

......and this one is short. Posted by Picasa

A dear elderly gardening friend gave me this Liatris last summer. I'm hoping to see some hummingbird moths feeding on it.

In the 'Lilac Garden' the red Monarda (Bee Balm) pairs nicely with the Shasta Daisies. That very large lilac in the background gives this garden its name.

Aren't they pretty together?

Down in the Fence Garden you can see the tall red Asiatic blooming with Gloriosa Daisies....

....and Monarda in a pretty shade of lilac.

On the other end 'Atlanta Moonlight' has a gorgeous big bloom. Posted by Picasa

This was the first Daylily to bloom for us this year, not including the early 'Lemon Lilies'.

In the Lily Garden .......

....Larkspur is putting on a fine show, but there were very few lily blooms, except for....

....the lovely 'Persian Market'. There are several other lilies blooming elsewhere, but I'll save those for another post. Posted by Picasa

Clematis 'Sprinkles' is climbing on the corner of the fence. She still has a few small blooms.

I planted pretty blue Browallia in front of the hostas in the Front Porch garden.... Posted by Picasa

....and Torenia (Wishbone Flower).

Fuzzy Pink Astilbe is hiding some of the silver paint on the Hostas behind her.

And here's a different Astilbe growing at the other end of the porch with the bleeding hearts. I had to cut them back to give her some room.

Heuchera (Coral Bells) is tucked in here as well.

We're walking around to the back of the house now....

......past this cheery clump of Coreopsis.

The Jackmanii Clematis is definitely the star of this little garden, but Carnaby in the corner is beautiful too. Posted by Picasa

There's still some Foxglove blooming in other gardens, but I cut off the seed stalks in this bed today. The flowers lasted a long time.

The Hydrangea is just beginning to bloom.

Outside the back door Cosmos is starting to flower. The Gloriosas have sewn themselves here too. The lovely Ivy Geranium in the basket is 'Butterfly'. Posted by Picasa

Over in the 'Pink Garden' Snapdragons are blooming beside self-sown Alyssum. Posted by Picasa

There's a pretty view if we walk around the shed toward the barn, and turn to look back. That's Murphy waiting for his dinner :)

This shade of Monarda is my favorite. Posted by Picasa
Happy Bloom Day everyone!
To see what's blooming in other gardens visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
Thanks so much for your kind words of commiseration on my last post. They were very much appreciated. Only other gardeners can truly understand the anxiety that type of situation can create :) The painted leaves will probably stay with us all summer, but most of the plants are doing just fine.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Gardener's Nightmare!

What do you suppose my dear husband could say to me that would completely ruin my Monday?

Try this: "Honey, they're going to paint the roofs this afternoon".

My reaction: An immediate sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I had planned a nice, productive afternoon in the garden. Ha!

The collective roofs includes the barn and several outbuildings, plus the 2 houses on the farm.
Every summer a crew works their way up from South Carolina doing painting jobs from state to state.

There's no warning. They just show up, negotiate a price, and go to work.

It's been 13 years since we had the buildings painted, and it shows. The barn and sheds need to be done, but it's very expensive so they'll have to wait. However the roofs were rusting, and it's easier and less costly to have them painted than to replace them, so DH agreed to have it done. This meant we had to move all the window boxes, containers, hanging baskets and anything else I wanted to protect from paint specks.

Now picture this: My gardens are blooming madly...roses, clematis, lilies...all sorts of beautiful blooms, in beds all around the house, and by the shed opposite the back door. In my mind's eye I could see them liberally speckled with silver aluminum paint and/or crushed under careless feet. The men assured me, "Oh don't worry about your flowers Ma'am, we'll cover them up".
I was skeptical, to say the least.

This fellow had absolutely no fear of heights. He made climbing and walking around on the roofs look like it was the easiest thing in the world!

The pink garden on the corner of the shed opposite the back door had been looking particularly pretty, with roses, snapdragons and a dahlia blooming beautifully beside a large pink-flowered spirea bush. Those poor plants were under the plastic for hours, being cooked by the heat and humidity (temperatures reached into the 90's/32ยบ+C), and battered by the plastic.

'Change of Heart', planted just last fall, was bearing her first 2 blooms.

'Wild Blue Yonder' had a cluster of gorgeous blooms. Posted by Picasa

The lovely 'Sea Pearl' had opened fully, as you can see in the wider shot above, and had faded to a softer shade than this vibrant coral it begins with. Posted by Picasa

This pretty dahlia, 'Park Princess', was given to me by my friend, Marie. It was beaten mercilessly, but survived better than the roses, which were looking very sad at the end of the day.

Do you see the plastic "covering" the tall Golden Glow plants growing behind one of DH's fences beside the shed? (click the link if you'd like to see them blooming last September). This is typical of the promised cover, and one of the more successful attempts. The wind was whipping that plastic around crazily, and keeping it in place was next to impossible.
I was having a very bad day....and they hadn't started on the house roof yet!

When they finally did, the bad day became even worse!

I must give the men credit for at least trying to keep the plastic over the flowers (although one of them was very cranky about it), but with the wind fighting against them it was a losing battle for the most part.

The orange Asiatic lily was looking spectacular.

But now it's a little worse for wear. Posted by Picasa

Clematis Carnaby has been putting on her best show ever, but now she's speckled with silver.

Notice how the blooms fade with time.

They start out this lovely color...... Posted by Picasa

......and fade to a lighter shade. Here's a picture taken the day before the paint job. Posted by Picasa

And after.

Could we perhaps imagine this as fairy dust? It actually looks rather pretty then, doesn't it?

Covering the Jackmanii Clematis was a challenge because of its height, but the men managed to get the plastic up over it, with a little extra encouragement from me ;) The wind blew the plastic away from the center of the garden, but I was relieved to see that the Jackmanii fared quite well.

This sweet pink rose somehow managed to escape with just the leaves being spotted.

Queen Elizabeth kept a few buds tightly closed until the next day, so here she is with 3 out of 6 unspoiled blooms....a small victory!

Mr. Lincoln is not quite as perfect as he was on Sunday. Posted by Picasa

I was chatting with the boss in the shade of a tree, watching the proceedings, and he said, "If a little paints gets on the flowers Ma'am, it won't stick. They don't make paint to stick to flowers. It'll wear right off in a few days".
He obviously hasn't hung around for a few days to see if this does indeed happen.
It doesn't.

The hostas took a real beating. No one bothered to cover them up.

The spectacula Gloriosa Daisies began blooming just recently. Some of them didn't fare too well.

The gardens on the north side of the house weren't covered either, and ended up quite paint spattered.

But new blooms will replace the old after a while, and we'll be left with just speckled leaves.

This patch of Sweet William has been blooming for weeks, lasting much longer than several other clumps. It looked pretty with the sun drops (evening primrose) and foxglove. DH and I remarked several times about its longevity and how lovely it was. It got stomped on and is looking rather sad now. Posted by Picasa

Most of the time during the painting of the house roof I stayed inside because I couldn't bear to see the potential damage being done. The heat and humidity were getting to me, and I needed to vent, so I sat down at the computer and wrote a despairing e-mail to my dear blog friend, Alice.

We sometimes chat using Skype, a free downloadable program which allows users to talk over the internet free of charge. In the early evening I heard the familiar noise coming from my computer speakers. It was sweet Alice calling to commiserate with me. She said her husband, Richard wanted to know what color the roofs were being painted, and she thought that was worth a phone call :) We had a good chuckle. What a pick-me-up that was - just what the doctor ordered! Thank you Alice!

Aren't blog friends wonderful?

Here's what the pink garden looked like this morning. Only one drooping rose bloom remains. The spirea flower clusters are turning brown, but the dahlia is still holding her slightly tattered head high.

The gardens around the side porch are actually looking quite good, and the damage is hardly noticeable, as long as we stand far enough away so that we can't see the silver specks of paint.

Tuesday was a much better day.....and the roofs look good! :) Posted by Picasa