Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, June 15, 2016

 When H.H. realized today is the 15th of the month he asked, "Isn't this the day you show your bloomers?" He remembered correctly that it's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day when bloggers all over the world join our lovely host, Carol, at May Dreams Gardens to show what is blooming in their gardens.  I grabbed my (broken) camera and headed outside on this perfect June day. Carol begins her Bloom Day post with a very unusual clematis. I've started with a more ordinary type, I forget the name, the first of my many clematis to have flowers this season. Take a walk with me and I'll show you more of my bloomers especially the roses that take center stage in my June garden ...

Pink Doube Knockout rose next to David Austin 'Lichfield Angel'

There is a peach miniature rose and a white one between the pink and the red peonies

The rose that the David Austin representative promised me at the Garden Writers' Association conference last year, arrived in early spring. I planted it in part shade as he suggested and it seems very happy in its new home in the Horseshoe Garden. It's first bloom made its appearance to a round of applause. It is a beauty with a very pretty scent.

David Austin rose 'Olivia'

The red double Knockout is 'blooming away' in Strawberry Fields.

A view of the cottage garden shows the peonies are still holding their own, the yarrow has its golden flowers and the allium has taken on its interesting 'big ball of seeds' appearance.

The shrub behind the yarrow is spirea, soon to bloom

The soft, silver foliage of Lamb's Ears has appeared in yet another part of the garden. I let the 'straggly looking' flowers open because the bees love them, then I cut the plant down to make a velvety ground cover. Lamb's Ear remains a favorite of my grandsons.

Lamb's Ears, Stachys byzantina

Sweet William was one of my Mother's favorite flowers so I am fond of this colorful plant. It is short lived and biannual, so I'm never sure what I will get. It is particularly lovely this year, appropriately blooming the week my Mom would have turned 97 years. Happy-birthday thoughts of my Mother on the 17th of June.

Sweet William Dianthus barbatus

In the shade garden a surprise -- the climbing hydrangea has a couple of blooms for the first time. I planted it some ten years ago and had given up hope as it doesn't get much needed sunlight to flower.

Climbing hydrangea Hydrangea anomala petiolaris

The window boxes along the tractor shed are blooming prettily with two types of petunia, purple fountain grass and trailing, white bacopa. The clock is new -- a Christmas gift from my daughter and son-in-law. She sent to England for this replica of one on Paddington Station. It usefully shows the time on both sides. The road sign was a gift from H.H.'s stepmother. Both very appropriate for an 'English' cottage garden don't you think?

When you look at the clock you can see it is still quite early. As the sun rises it gives the plumes of the Goat's Beard plant a golden glow.

Goatsbeard Arucus dioicus

The kitchen garden is at a bit of a standstill with several rather cold nights, but with warmer weather and more sunshine forecast, I expect everything will soon catch up. The garden is very dry and I have been hand watering every morning. The water in each rain barrel is getting low.

Lots of lettuce, spinach and Swiss charge in the herb garden on the patio.

Last GBBD I took a picture from the den window. I decided to do this each month to note the changes. I'll call it 'Monthly View' and put the previous month's picture in the side bar to make a comparison easy. June's picture shows the patio is all set up ready for summer entertaining. We've already given a couple of our 'breakfast in the garden' events. I planted canna lilies in the big patio pots on the suggestion of my friend Katharine. They should grow tall and maybe offer some privacy. You can see the grass beside the pond is filling out. And of course the roses are in bloom.

 Now it is time to feed the animals. Dude and Billy are so patient.

Dude and Billy patiently wait for their breakfast.

I hope you've enjoyed this stroll around my garden. Do go over to May Dreams Gardens and check out what's blooming around the world.

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!
Pamela x

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Monroe County Historical Association Garden Tour

I dropped my camera just before H.H. and I left for the Monroe County Historical Association Garden Tour; neither the zoom nor the macro works now. I couldn't use my DSL as the battery needed charging, so we took the tour with less than perfect photographic equipment. As a result, I feel I didn't do justice to the wonderful properties we visited. Here are my best pictures from four of the nine gardens open to visitors that day. I'll keep the narrative brief in this long posting. Enjoy the tour with me ...

Shirley's and Todd's Gardens
Rimrock Gardens is an unusual garden center with an amazing two acres of unique plants including 500 types of hostas. I was flabbergasted by 'Curly Lampost,' a rare Norway Spruce with unmatched visual impact. It has a very narrow growth habit with tight, congested puckered leaves.

Acer Platanoids 'Curly Lampost'
Shirley and Todd own this paradise
With beauty at every turn, we meandered through Rimrock Gardens
Part of Shirley's and Todd's miniature hosta collection.
Tasteful ornamentation in every bed

With my love of hostas I was fascinated by 'Gunther's Prize' an unusual sport of 'Sum and Substance.' Love its shiny golden leaves streaked and flecked with green hues.

Hosta 'Gunther's Prize'

I came away with a couple of plant purchases for my own garden -- who could resist?

Sharon's and Vic's Gardens
Massive columns created from former powerline poles mark the entrance to this beautiful property. We parked there and enjoyed the peaceful walk to the house past a wildflower meadow.

Driveway to the House
Sharon greeted us warmly and showed us her beautiful gardens.
One of the many whimsical pieces of 'garden art'
The Shade Walk path of white marble chips
A lovely statue in a circle of trees is the Shade Walk's 'destination'

The bracket-work of the house gables has an Asian influence, reflected in plantings such as flowering quince. We admired collections of hydrangea, clematis, lilacs, hosta and roses.

Foundation plantings at the California Arts and Crafts style house

This property is deep in the woods and if you are wondering why there's no deer damage to the beautiful plants: like many Pocono gardeners, Sharon and Vic surrounded their beautiful gardens with fencing, including electric wiring.

Bonnie's and Charlie's Garden 
Bonnie, a fellow master gardener, has a spectacular garden. We visited before but not in the springtime when trees, roses and clematis were blooming. I love the free-form design with vegetables planted among the flowers. The pond and waterfall provide a restful destination.

Raised beds with tomatoes, eggplant and other vegetables among the flowers.
Bonnie graciously gave us a tour
Tuteurs with clematis. Rhododendrons make a statement next to the house
Waterfall. Loved the frogs on the side of the pond.
Roses in bloom; earlier than mine
Inviting seat under the Dogwood tree
Eryngium planum Sea Holly

The tour was further enhanced by Bonnie's and Charlie's son playing beautiful, relaxing guitar music. It was difficult to leave. 

Lizzy's Garden
Lizzy bought this 1780's house just over a year ago. The garden was a blank canvas and after weeding and clearing the ground, Lizzy began with foundation planting and a vegetable garden. Her artistic talents are obvious in the creative ornamentation at every turn.

One of several colorful window boxes
Lizzy proudly showed us her achievements thus far.
She has a flare for finding unusual garden ornaments.
Foundation planting
Flower garden and fountain. A brick path takes you through the arbor.
The vegetable garden is in a raised bed to the left of the picture.

Outbuildings on the property include a restored garden cottage, a schoolhouse and a chapel. As Lizzie says, "They are ripe for garden development."

Italianate chapel built in the 1860's.

Liz's garden, in its infancy, is full of exciting possibilities. 

The weather was perfect, the gardens sublime and the hosts charming; a wonderful day.  I hope you enjoyed this very small taste of the places we visited.

Happy Gardening,
Pamela x

'Jigsaw' pathway at Rimrock Gardens

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

After the Rain

It rained heavily during the night and part of the garden flooded; the part where the water in the basement pumps out. It's a good thing the sump pump works well, but the high water level at the corner of Strawberry Fields reinforces the need to create a rain garden there. I made a start on this venture by researching plants for a rain garden and making a couple of purchases. Before I do too much more, I plan on attending some upcoming master gardener classes on the topic. That's one of the joys of gardening: there's always something new to learn. One thing I know, I must move the stand of phlox that doesn't like wet feet: No wonder powdery mildew attacks them every year.

Phlox in the flooded area needs moving

Joe Pye Weed is on my list of rain-garden plants. I tried growing it from seed but had no luck. I'm glad I purchased one of these 'native' beauties. Ironically, it's too wet to plant anything today.

Joe Pye Weed (in the blue pot) waiting to be planted in the rain garden.

Near the rain garden, in a less wet area, Goat's Beard is shooting up. I love this giant astilbe-like plant. In the bare earth that you can see in front of Goat's Beard I sowed wild lupine seeds that my friend, Katharine, gave me. I do hope they germinate, but it seems we have an enormous number of sparrows nesting here this year, and I suspect they are checking out all my seeds.

Goats Beard Arucus dioicus

I covered the beans and red beets with row covers to prevent the birds from eating the seeds. I'm glad to see some of the bush beans made it. I'm not so sure about the beets.

Bushbeans, snow peas and lettuce.

By June I've often harvested all the cool-season crops like lettuce, but I was late planting this year. In last week's extreme heat I shaded them from the hot sun for several hours each day. They are almost ready to harvest.

Some fresh healthy salads in the making.

Let's take a walk around the garden and see what else is blooming today.

Good Morning, Morning Glory!
I took a similar picture of Allium 'Globe Master' last May. I see there are more blooms this year.
Peach irises in bloom and red peonies about to pop.

The first roses.

The viburnum stole the May show. The flowers are arranged horizontally along the branches -- very striking. Must say this is one of my favorite shrubs.

Vibernum plicatum

As the vibermum blooms fade, the mock orange comes into its own. I featured it in the first picture of this posting, growing at the corner of the picket fence at the front of the house. Another favorite, I love it for its pretty flowers, but most of all for its fabulous scent.

Mock orange Philadelphus coronarius

Mock orange blossoms

 As always, I brought branches into the house.

Mock orange is my choice for June's Dozen for Diana. I'm participation early due to the early blooming of the shrub. Diana at Elephant's Eye on False Bay in South Africa asks that you choose a 'must have' plant in your garden each month. Do go to her wonderful blog -- her May garden is stunning -- and join in the fun!

Continuing our walk around my garden, let's see what other plants are in bloom ...

Spiderwort Tradescantia in the shade garden
Do you see the first bearded iris flower along Bluebell Creek?

The heavy rain filled the pond and turned the water to mud...

... but the frog doesn't mind

The rain dashed down a lot of plants including the rhododendrum at the front of the house. This is another shrub that bloomed early and its blossoms are fading already.

Rhododendron 'Roseum Elegans' blossoms dashed down by the rain.

While many parts of the US are being deluged by relentless, devastating storms with tornadoes and flooding, Pennsylvania welcomed the rain after an unusually hot, dry May. This morning was a little misty; the air felt good after the rain.

And in the morning when the sun returned
to claim the earth the mist surprises, rising
unabashed and clean again to grace the
nascent waiting skies after rain.

After the Rain by Ivan Donn Carswell

I enjoyed looking back at my May blog postings of the last several years to see how each year is different in some way: weather, temperature, plants blooming at different times. The difference, a yearly phenomenon, makes gardening so interesting.

I hope your May was wonderful!
Pamela x

Calibrachoa on the front porch.

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I look forward to visiting your blog in return.