Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Difficult Decision: Monthly Garden Bouquet

 I took a little break from blogging and upon my return I realized I had missed the 'Monthly Garden Bouquet' (MGB) meme hosted by Noelle at Ramblings From a Desert Garden. I enjoy participating in MGB, the third week of each month, because it forces me to look at my garden in a different way. I decided 'better late than never' and I took a walk outside in search of a suitable theme. This was much more difficult than I expected because June offers such a wonderful array of blooms. Which flowers should I choose?

The colors of the coreopsis and daylily (in the photograph above) are very striking: red petals with yellow centers for the daylilies, and the red and yellow reversed on the coreopsis. They would make a lovely bouquet. Maybe I could add some other yellow flowers ...

 I don't know the name of this daylily

And look at my beautiful, yellow cactus flower.

But it is too prickly to pick.

Of course, being June there are several roses I could choose for a different type of bouquet:

'Marie Sterns'

 'Improved Blaze' climber

And my new climbing rose, 'Iceberg'

The Blushing Knock Out, Rosa 'Radyod'

Oh, dear, this is a very difficult task. I notice perennial geraniums and yarrow in the cottage garden border. Maybe ...

Geranium 'Rozanne' (Cranesbill) and Achillia 'The Pearl'

... but nearby, the pink beebalm and the purple coneflower are even more striking.

Echinacea purpurea tower above Monarda

The 'Jackmanii' clematis is very prolific this year.

The vine reaches as high as the flagpole. The flag gives me an idea! How about a patriotic theme as it is so near the Fourth of July? I look around for some red, white and blue flowers. The red beebalm blossoms look like fireworks exploding.

Monarda 'Marshall's Delight'

I can use the white yarrow, 'The Pearl', always a good fill for bouquets.

And for a touch of blue ... this delphinium is a volunteer in my vegetable garden. Perfect!

Delphinium grandiflorum 'Blue Beauty'

What do you think?

Happy June MGB; happy Fourth of July

It's not too late to pop over to Noelle's blog to see bouquets from around the world! I'm just going over there now to check them out for myself.  
Pam x

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

'A Room With a View' for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

 The last few days have been very hot and steamy. I worked in the garden in short bursts, escaping often to the air conditioning to cool down. It is more comfortable enjoying my garden looking through the windows than outside in the humid heat. Every window has its own special view.

 From the den window I look down on the vegetable garden.The clematis climbing the picket fence is almost in full bloom. The corn in the lower field is growing taller.

I think the clematis is called 'Tie Dye' Its petals are like velvet to touch.

 The west-facing window in the den is filled with the snowy, white blossoms of the catalpa tree.

 The catalpa tree dominates the shade garden which I can see through the French window in the garden room (this is my favorite view, because I can enjoy it from my really comfortable chair.) Fallen catalpa blossoms are scattered over the lawn. The hostas are in bud. The impatiens in the hanging baskets are beginning to fill out.

I love to watch the birds on the feeder. Can you see the cardinal?

Here is a closer look ...

The bees love the flowers on the lamium.

The north window in the garden room looks out toward the cottage garden.

The cottage garden is also the vista from the kitchen window.

The roses and clematis near the fountain demonstrate all of June's promises.
The afternoon primroses are luring the pollinators.

Salvia is also a bee magnet.

The mass of white you see to the left of the fountain is a miniature rose.

Roses Rule in June. 
This is rosa Peach Fuzz, looking more yellow than peach today.

All the roses seen here are miniatures. 

My favorite is this sweetie with no name, sent to me for my birthday two years ago, from my son.

Moving into the dining room. The east windows look out on the Stone Garden. This peaceful retreat is shaded by lilacs. It is a place to meditate.

The Stone Garden is a planter garden. Many of the planters are filled with annuals such as impatiens and begonias.  I couldn't resist this pretty begonia.
Roses rule on June Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Unfortunately, I can't see this one too well from the house. It is a Double Knockout along the vegetable garden picket fence.

Another view that cannot been seen from the house is of the giant foxgloves blooming in the Woodland Walk.

Finally, the view south, from our bedroom window. There are no blooms, just young Christmas trees in the field across the road. This field is owned by my sister-in-law ... We are happy there are no houses built there.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is sponsored by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Do visit her to see fabulous June blooms from bloggers all around the world, and join the fun!

Happy June Gardening!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Invasive And Aggressive Plants Are Not The Same

When I first came to Astolat, twenty-plus years ago, I was enchanted with the pretty white flowers that filled the old orchard with blooms and delicate scent in late spring. HH called them 'sticker bushes' and I soon learned that the thorns of these shrubs give them a nasty bite. The shrub is, of course, Multiflora Rose (Rosa Multiflora), a very invasive plant.

We have white and pink ones.

How can something so delectable be so objectionable?
When HH decided to clean out the overgrown orchard and make it into our Woodland Walk, he had a mammoth task ahead. The multiflora rose is not the only invasive plant in there: Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii), and Bush Honeysuckle (Lonicera Maackii) also abound. He pulled them out and cut them back ... to say it was hard work is an understatement. It was impossible to eliminate all of them, but they are somewhat under control. He created pathways. A bridge and arbor lead you there. 

We allow the Multiflora rose to cover the arbor at the entrance.

Invasive and aggressive plants are not the same. Aggressive plants, like mint and dandelions, are very fast growing and spreading, but they do not have the ability to compete with and outgrow surrounding plants as invasives do. One of the worst invasive plants is Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum Salicaria) which is so invasive its rampant growth threatens wildlife and wetlands throughout the country. It chokes out native plants that are integral parts of natural ecosystems. Thank goodness it does not grow on our land! The ones we have are bad enough.

Barberry is prevalent throughout the Woodland Walk.
(photo by Fine Gardening magazine)
Bush Honeysuckle and Russian Olive grow side by side in the Woodland garden.
 Russian Olive blossoms

Bush Honeysuckle

Plants that are considered invasive in one area may not pose a threat in another region of the country. Gardeners need to research what plants pose a problem in their region and avoid buying and growing them. An article in Fine Gardening magazine gives a useful list of plants to avoid. Click here to read the article. The U.S. Arboretum website provides very useful information, also.  If you have any questions you can speak with experts at nature preserves, botanical gardens, and extension services.
I must stress that none of the invasive plants in our woodland garden were planted by us! We are great advocates of native plants.

Your friend in gardening,
Pam x

PS Ruth at Muscari Musings has written an excellent post on Rose Rosette Disease. Click here to read what she says.

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