Friday, July 03, 2009

Peonies and Rain

It's a given...or so it seems - when the peonies bloom we have thunderstorms and water pours from the sky. It rains buckets...cats and dogs...and sometimes just steady, light rain. The majority of our June days held showers or thunderstorms this year, making it hard to get decent photos of the peonies before they flopped.

Some days there have been glimpses of blue sky between the clouds..... Posted by Picasa

....but more often than not, the skies have been gray. If you click to enlarge the photos you'll see that there's a border of peonies across the front yard.

The largest, most spectacular Peony blooms are in the Lilac Garden. The yellow flowers are Evening Primrose (Oenothera) and the silver foliage is artemisia, which is a pretty filler, but needs to be thinned ruthlessly.

All my peonies are passalongs and, unfortunately, the names weren't passed along with the plants.

At the other end of the Lilac Garden the same light shade of pink blooms beside huge magenta flowers. Posted by Picasa

The background shrub is Weigela, and the red in front is self-sown Sweet William. Posted by Picasa

I actually photographed this first peony bloom on June 15th, but forgot to include it in my Bloom Day post.

Foxglove is still blooming, but the Columbine flowers are gone, leaving dozens of seed heads to be cut off before they pop open and spread themselves liberally.

I love this weigela! Posted by Picasa

Sweet William is a very easy care plant, and simple to move around by division or seed collection. This clump is in the Driveway Garden. Posted by Picasa

Campanulas are adding their lovely blue to the mix of colors at the moment, with Verbascum at their feet,

....and lemon lilies behind them here.

A few lovely white Campanulas are mixed in.

Down in the Fence Garden the Foxglove are still looking good,

...but the pretty white Lupine is finished. Posted by Picasa

I was pleased to see several beautiful blooms on the two white Peony bushes this year.

There's the tiniest touch of magenta on the edge of the center petals.

I still haven't managed to capture a decent photo of this border with most of the bushes looking good. The blooms are either drooping or dropping their lovely petals on the ground.

This lovely bloom has two glorious shades of pink. Posted by Picasa

This smaller flowered magenta Peony has the most delicious scent of all.

And it stands up well against the elements.

Oh look, there's a glimpse of blue sky!

Not so on this evening! I caught this golden light through the front porch as the sun was setting during a cloudburst. The air was warm, and mist swirled up toward the sky, creating a spectacular effect...breathtaking beauty indeed! Posted by Picasa

The pouring rain didn't deter this tiny hummingbird (click to enlarge if you'd like a closer look).

The first male arrived here on May 14th this spring....3 days later than last year.

His red throat is hard to capture with the light shining on it at just the right angle to make it show. Posted by Picasa

I saw the first sweet little lady on May 18th. It's very good to have our tiny friends back.

The abundant rain certainly makes everything grow fast, including the lawn and weeds! I'm having a very hard time keeping up with everything, especially with days like yesterday, when the rain poured down for most of the day.

We've also had a visit from our son and DIL and our two little grandsons, which was wonderful fun, and a nice respite from the garden chores. But today we're seeing snatches of sun, so it's back to work, and hopefully I'll get something accomplished between the rain drops. Posted by Picasa

Oh dear, I spoke too soon and the rain is pouring down again now.....

One good thing about the rain is that I've had plenty of chances to wear my Muck Boots and I've found I like them so much that I wanted to mention them again. This is totally voluntary. It's not often I find a product I like so much and want to share. It was such a pleasure to do business with them, and they didn't request this as part of the offer (just a link in a post), but I want to put a link to the Garden Shoes Online site on my sidebar just to say thank you to those good people for these wonderful shoes.
Thanks so much to all who have visited and left a comment on my recent infrequent posts. So sorry if I haven't managed to visit and comment in return. I'm working on it, and hope to catch up with you all eventually! Isn't it ironic that when the most is going on in our Northern hemisphere gardens we're often too busy to visit each other?

Wishing all my American friends a very
happy Fourth of July,
and may God bless our country! Posted by Picasa
P.S. The rain has stopped and the sun is shining again! I'm off to the garden right after lunch, but I'd better hurry! Hope to see you soon!


Tabor said...[Reply]

I am envious of all the beauty that surrounds you and maybe someday in the years to come I will have a border of peonies!

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...[Reply]

Your gardens are looking beautiful. You're lucky to have so much space to garden in. I really like the combinations you have. The white peony with magenta edges looks just like my 'Festiva Maxima' which is the best smelling one in my humble opinion.

Sheila said...[Reply]

Great pictures! I have peony envy! We can't grow them here, it doesn't get cold enough. Have a happy Fourth of July!

Outside In said...[Reply]

Your peonies are breathtaking!
Happy 4th to you!

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

I know just how you feel regarding the rain Kerri. It rained here almost every day until two weeks ago. Now we once again need rain. Such is the way of the weather. Your garden looks so lush and has so many gorgeous blooms. I like seeing the cows in the background of your photos too. The photos look like paintings.

Karen said...[Reply]

Happy Fourth of July weekend! Your garden photos are lovely, especially the hummingbirds and that wonderful golden light.

Teresa~Gardening with Soule said...[Reply]

Your gardens are so beautiful! I can see why there isn't much time for blogging. Sounds like your weather is exactly like ours. Try to get things done between raindrops. At least everything is all green and lush. Have a happy fourth of july and again thanks for the many flower pictures. they are so I love my muck garden shoes too!

Alice said...[Reply]

A Happy Independence Day to you all.

Loved the photos, especially the sunset through the mists, and even the little black and white 'flowers' in the distance. Always love them. Do they belong to Ross?

How much rain did you get for the month of June, or don't you measure it?

It actually rained on half of the days in June here - sometimes only a few points, sometimes quite a bit more. We've had 40mm in the past couple of days.

I hope you get lots more blue sky, bright sunshine, warm weather and more glorious flowers to share with us very soon.

(Yes, I'm doing a good job with the music, aren't I? If you listen carefully, I'm sure you'll hear it at any time of day or night.)

Sue said...[Reply]

I just can't get over how beautiful your flowers are! I am jealous jealous jealous!!

Beth said...[Reply]

Happy 4th to you Kerri! I liked your campanula photos as I just planted some of those this year too. It's nice to see what it looks like in bloom. Here's to more sunny days for you ...

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

You guys have really gotten a lot of rain lately, but the flowers are stunning.

The peonies are my absolute favorite flower and I so wish that we could grow them in our area. Sadly we cannot. Guess I will have to enjoy yours.

inlandempiregirl said...[Reply]

Happy Fourth of July back. I always say the same thing about rain and lilacs. Usually it is a heavy rain, then wind when our lilacs are in bloom. Our weigelia didn't make it after winter so I am glad to see yours. Our foxgloves aren't looking so good either. It is funny what does well and what doesn't. Thanks for the garden tour.

sweet bay said...[Reply]

You have produced a magically beautiful post as always. :) Your gardens look spectacular. I love all of the different peonies, and the shots of your beautiful borders with the accompanying landscape. Wonderful!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, Happy 4th of July to you, too! Your yard and gardens are spectacular! Your hard work does indeed grace their petals;-) You have so much land and so much beauty surrounding you. Your rain does sound dreery yet when the sun is out it must be glorious! What a variety of perennials you have...I'm envious;-) Enjoy this holiday wkend with your family and sit back for a moment and take in the beauty that surrounds you; you deserve a tall glass of iced tea and a sunny day with a light, gentle breeze!

Ana-Maria said...[Reply]

Beautiful photography!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

HI Kerri, and happy 4th to you! I noticed the same thing. Just when our gardens are keeping us away from blogging is just when we have the most to share! I've been trying to keep up too. I especially like that two tone peony. What a beauty! I only wish I could sniff it too. Do you have hoop supports in place for them so they don't get knocked down during your frequent rains?

em said...[Reply]

hi kerri, yes, lots of rain! wow, am i jealous of your hummingbird photo! showing the ruby throat glowing and all! we have a hb visiting for the first time this year, but he is too shy to stick around when we are on the deck. maybe i'll get a feeder like you have... i hope you enjoyed our lovely 4th weekend! wow it's been pretty!

Roses and Lilacs said...[Reply]

It always storms when the peonies bloom. They bloom for such a short period it makes storm damage seem even worse. I'm trying to get some Sweet William growing well. Have a couple little patches close together. I'll try saving seed this year. Your foxgloves still look so pretty. Mine have only one or two blooms hanging on at the very top.

Zachary and Jennifer said...[Reply]

Great Pictures as always! The garden is looking great. I enjoyed the rain pictures the most. What kind of camera do you use? Your range of focus is wonderful.


Hillside Garden said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, wonderful pics like always! Especially I like the photograf in the dark!


UKBob said...[Reply]

I love your peonies, especially the white ones. I know what you mean about the rain spoiling anything delicate. I think we all know that Foxgloves are poisonous but just last night I heard on the TV that just by touching a Foxglove speeds up your heartrate. I do like Foxgloves though and yours look well where you have them. Bob.

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

No peonies anymore, and no rain either so viewing your photos is like a trip to garden fantasyland, Kerri! They look lovely with the weigela. Where I grew up the red weigelas were called Cardinal Bushes...don't know if anyone says that anymore.

Happy July!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

joco said...[Reply]

Don't think I have ever seen even a picture of a hummingbird at rest. So that is what they look like with their wings down.

Those white peonies are luxuriously delicious. And you have banks of them, no less. It is worth a month of rain to get such a lush result, don't you agree? I know, I know, you like it hot :-)

Still a lot of promise in those borders. Just in time for July Bloomday?

Thanks for a trip down memory lane with my morning coffee. (I used to have banks of peonies in upstate NY. Sarah Bernhardt if I remember right).

joey said...[Reply]

I hear you regarding rain and peonies, Kerri ... it always happens! So enjoyed catching up with your lovely garden ... I'm at the cottage missing my July garden, filled with popping daylilies. Happy summer!

Apple said...[Reply]

I was looking out my sister's kitchen window at glorious blue skies on Monday only to have it start to pour on the other side of the house and of course I'd left the car windows open. I'm tired of spring and ready for summer! All of my peonies were big floppy messes this year but I love them anyway. I love your hummer pictures, I can never seem to get a good shot but they do keep me entertained.

Marlene Depler said...[Reply]

Lovely blooms! I just love all the delightful colors! We, too, have had lots of rain---more than ususal.

Barbara said...[Reply]

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful all these big peony plants (I love this flower!). I do hope for you that you can enjoy them for quite a while.... but with less rain ;-) !
Actually we have some rainy days here too (it's good for the housework, otherwise I would always be in the garden!).

*Ulrike* said...[Reply]

We sure could use some of your rain! Your garden is just so lovely. I am putting in new flower beds here since we will be staying put for a while. The plants are happy to be out of pots! It will take a while for my garden to look as lovely as yours. Do you also do a veggie garden?

Moi said...[Reply]

peonies always remind me of billowing Victorian gowns or the flamenco skirts....they are such romantic flowers.....well, which flower isn't!!!! I love the dark colored ones but I think I like pastel colored ones more..i am so sure, u do too :)

aren't you a fellow cancerian...did you have ur birthday already? I had mine on June 28th..wish you a happiness filled year ahead :)

and that evening shot with the molten sunshine from your porch is PRECIOUS and worth every bit of gold in it :)

Moi said...[Reply]

and yes hope u had a beautiful 4th of july....i was with my husband in MI and it was great :)

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Your flower gardens are so
lovely. Thank you for sharing
them with us. I live in Florida
but grew up in the midwest and
miss all of the beautiful
flowers that grow up north.
Some of my ancestors came
from your area, and I think of
them when I look at your photos
and wonder why they left such
a pretty area. They ended up in
Ohio and Wisconsin. And many
times I wonder how I ended up
in Florida? The summers here are
so hot and humid and we don't
have the beautiful flowers that
you enjoy each summer.

Giddy said...[Reply]

Dear Kerri,

Like you, we've had such a wet summer so far that I've not been able to get into the garden and the weeds have run rampant!

Now that the sun is out, I have much catching up to do and little time to blog.

Your peonies are gorgeous! I don't really have room for them so I must drool over yours.

Househen said...[Reply]

Those peonies are absolutely stunning. Thanks for posting them. How I envy you - I've had no luck with peonies here in East Texas but your pictures have seduced me into trying again.