Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dragonflies and Daylilies

 The problem with taking such a long break from blogging is that I have so many new photographs that it's difficult to know which to post. There are always many changes in my gardens as summer progresses and blooms come and go. The cottage garden reached its peak a couple of weeks ago, and is now definitely on the downswing with some of the 'mainstay' perennials beginning their die-back. The weather has been brutally hot and humid, but the recent rain brought relief and a needed break from watering. With more than half of the country under sever drought conditions, we cannot complain here in the Poconos.

The pond continues to be a delight. We love the new double falls ...

The real frog is at the bottom of the picture.
Now the fishes and the frogs have rivals for our interest -- the dragonflies. We have two types: the blue ones are my favorite, but I like the black and white ones too.

Around the pond the roses are blooming again. The white gooseneck loosestrife is dying off and  the beebalm has totally finished flowering for the season. The daylilies come and go depending on the variethy.

 Three butterfly bushes, a pink, a mauve, and a 'dark knight' are heavy with flowers. I'm showing just one this time.

Butterfly bush flanked by hollyhocks and daylilies
 I am thrilled with the hollyhocks my friend, Katharine gave me. One is pink and one is red. They will grow much taller in future years. Behind the hollyhocks there are Russian sage and cleome. This bed was totally reworked this spring and I'm pleased with the results.

H.H. came home with another mirror-find. It has no frame so I leaned an old window-frame in front of it. The daylily at the bottom of the picture is Hermerocallis Chicago Apache - my all-time favorite daylily.

Hermerocallis Chicago Apache
 I have several varieties of daylilies, but Chicago Apache is my must-have. It blooms a little later than the others usually, but has more blooms and a longer bloom time. I love the rich color because by the time its flowers appear I am usually a little tired of the pinky, mauvy cottage-garden hues. I am choosing Chicago Appache as my sixth signature plant.

Some of my other daylilies ...

Hermerocallis Anita Davis
Hermerocallis Siloam Bo Peep
For my seventh signature plant I am choosing hosta ... not one in particular, but hostas in general. I couldn't have a shade garden without them, and in my perfect second-time-around garden, there will be no deer to eat them.

We call the large hosta bed 'Connie's Garden' because it was planted by my mother-in-law when H.H. was an infant. It was the only flower bed on the property when I came here nearly 25 years ago. I wonder what Connie would think of the garden now?

 Connie's hostas are bee magnets ...

Now you see it ...
... now you don't!      (Yes, the bee is all the way inside.)
 I've never counted how many varieties of hosta I have -- maybe a dozen. I even have hostas planted in containers at the entrance to the stone garden ...

 My new miniature hosta collection is filling out nicely. The plants are taking turn to bloom.

Do visit Diana's blog, Elephant's Eye , to see what signature plants she chose so far for her virtual-garden meme.

I plan to get back in the habit of posting 3 or 4 times a month but it is time consuming and during my break I accomplished a lot. I spent more time working in the garden, had two large garden tours here -- one included a tea party and the other a picnic, and I spent more time with my grandchildren. My nine-year old grandson stayed here and helped me prepare for the English tea party. He had great fun learning about his heritage, and is becoming quite an accomplished cook.

Making scones.
English teas are very popular here, especially with women's clubs, and I have been invited to speak about creating an English cottage garden at two of them recently. Fun!

I also read a lot of books the last few weeks, and not just garden-related ones. I have been working my way through Opreh's Book Club selections. So you can see I have been very busy, but my favorite activity is working in my garden. As always in the summer months, when it is very hot, I go outside about 6:00 am and work for two or three hours. I do this most days.

The cottage garden at the end of June.
A necessary task is dropping Japanese beetles into a bucket of soapy water. They are busy skeletonizing leaves and destroying flower buds. There are more beetles than last year, but still not too bad.

Japanese beetles love my roses.
Remember the ugly pasture fence I frequently complain about? H.H. installed wrought-iron panels all along it. I don't know whether to plant shrubs between the panels or plant flowers in the clay pots that I've placed there. And I am considering growing vines up the panels. Any suggestions? Remember I can't have plants too near the pasture fence or the goat will eat them.

How can I finish the new 'look'?
Strange blooming-times have continued all summer. This morning I found blossoms on the prickly-pear cactus which completely finished blooming (as it should) a month ago. I've never had a second lot of flowers on it before.

Along the same lines, we have said goodbye to the beautiful fields of oats around us.

Upper field with oats in June.

Yesterday, the farmer who tends our fields arrived with the harvester ....

... I wonder what fall will bring?

Enjoy your beautiful gardens dear friends!

Pam x

Baby Wrens (today)

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. You sure do have a lot of pics! Wow. I love the frog shot....what a beautiful looking guy. Yeah....those Japanese beetles are something, aren't they? They love to destroy and chew everything in their path. Hope all is well and nice to hear from you.

  2. So nice to see you back but I understand the need for a break. I just came back after two weeks away from blogging and I've been busy as a bee in that time. Blogging is so wonderful but spending much needed time outdoors is bliss. Love that the frog decided to join his stone lookalikes.

  3. Bravo to you Pam! First of all I would like to say that your pond is wonderful! It suits your garden nicely. How awesome that you were able to host garden tours and to be asked to speak about English gardens! And I sooo enjoyed the picture of your grandson making scones for your tea....that is priceless!!!!

  4. Japanese beetles are a scourge! I think Connie wouldn't be able to believe her eyes if she could see your garden. I smiled the entire time I was reading your post and looking at the photos of your garden. I'm glad you made some "me" time for yourself.

  5. Your waterfall is lovely, nothing beats the sound of water in the garden, so relaxing. Lovely lot of blooms. You're so lucky not to be in a drought zone. A disastrous year for agriculture. Here in Ireland the rain continues!

  6. Good to see you back Pam, I must say that I find blogging only once every two weeks takes the pressure off and is more enjoyable in my case. You have shown us so many of your great plants and wonderful areas of your garden, the cottage garden looks terrific.

  7. Since you ask, since you contend with goats - I'd leave those lovely iron trellises as windows to the distant field, and plant something that delights you in the pots.

  8. PS can you check your first picture? I'm getting a dead link and a blank black square - where you promise a blue dragonfly.

  9. Great pictures! Looks like a lot has been happening over the last few weeks. I love the frog picture--I wonder if he thought he was blending in with the others? I also like the bees. It's so funny how they immerse themselves into flowers and cover themselves in pollen. I look forward to seeing what you decide to do with the space near the fence.

  10. Diana -- Thanks! Now that I've put the blue dragonfly in the body of the posting I hope you can see it. P.x

  11. I do, thanks. Love the picture of the young baker, both serious and engrossed, almost a smile.

  12. I love all pond life. Your dragonflies and frog are beautiful. And big!. I also love daylilies. Welcome back!

  13. Many lovely views of your garden, but my favorite is your pond. The dragonflies are like a gift every morning when they start to fly. Nice captures of them.

  14. Your posts and your presence in the blogging world have been missed. Such beautiful photos of your garden posted here. Love the hollyhocks and lilies....

  15. Fun to catch up with your garden. The real frog with his imaginary friends is very funny. I am glad the miniature hostas are thriving.

  16. Pam, I always love to see what daylily varieties other gardeners are growing. Your real frog is a very decorative addition to your pond and waterfalls! -Jean

  17. Pam so sorry to have been away from your lovely blog. I do enjoy your much was blooming and so green...we have been dealing with heat and drought so it is sparse here...that is one big frog there too! I love all your flowers and the new fence. I know what you mean...taking a break from blogging to garden...I hope to retire soon and then spend more time traveling too...

  18. Connies garden is really impressive. All those hostas, yet no signs of slug attack.

  19. Lots of great the dragonflies! On another note...I am nominating you for the One Lovely Blog award! I follow your blog regularly and feel it is wonderful and LOVELY so Congratulations-I am passing the award along to you! The rules to accepting this wonderful award are on my site at If you feel you cannot comply with the rules of the award please accept this nomination in the sincere spirit in which it is offered.

    Best, Lee

  20. Such a nice recap of all you've been up to since your last post. And mighty busy you've been! Your garden looks like the loveliest of spots for an English tea. My favorite of all you spoke about was what your m-i-l Connie would think about your garden. I often wonder what will happen to mine when I leave here...will anyone care for it? Love it? Your m-i-l would be most pleased and proud of your accomplishments with her plot I'm sure. You've done a beautiful job.

  21. Pam, your garden is looking truly cared for and floriferous, especially for it being so dry! Mine is a bit ragged for sure.
    I loved seeing your grandson making scones with you. That is the stuff of wonderful memories for him as well as you I am sure. I hope you enjoy a bit of rest this month. Thanks for posting!

  22. Hi Pam. It's good to see you blogging again after your break. I laughed out loud when I saw the frog photo! Your gardens are looking wonderful. Mine is looking a little the worse for wear in the brutal heat we've been having.

  23. Pam, Your gardens are beautiful. I really love your pond as well. I am enjoying looking back through the archives to get a good feel for your English cottage garden.
    Blessings, Beth