Saturday, June 22, 2013

Celebrating the Arrival of Summer

We celebrated the first day of summer, yesterday, by hosting a tour of our gardens. The previous day, I presented a program about creating an English cottage garden to about 90 members of the Bethlehem, PA Garden Club. Although I showed them lots of photographs, the tour truly illustrated what I talked about. I'm glad to say not all of them signed up to visit us -- 19 was a nice number to show around and answer questions. These lovely people were delightful guests. I love to garden, and even more I love to show others the efforts of my labor. Talking gardens with gardeners is a wonderful, meaningful way to celebrate the season!

Our guests arrived promptly at 10:00 am and some of them started their tour in the kitchen garden.

We added an arbor to the entrance to the kitchen garden.
Of course, it is early in the growing season in this part of the world, so some plants are only just beginning to germinate. And my cottage garden doesn't peak until about July 10. Our guests were undaunted and generous with their comments anyway.

I painted the shed 'barn red' and arranged my chicken collection along its foundation.

 I wonder if anyone noticed the rooster in the middle has an egg in his cart.

They were all impressed with the inside of my shed -- as you were when I showed you pictures last month. Click here and scroll through the posting if you missed them.

The main cottage garden is at the between-time when the roses and peonies are fading and the abundance of cottage garden flowers are not yet in bloom.

The David Austin has lost all its flowers, but there are still some blooms on the Knockouts. They entice you through the arbor.

We replaced the arbor damaged by the huricane last year.

The 'Peace' rose is amazing ...

Prickly pear is just coming into bloom next to Rosa 'Peace'

Lambs' ears, catmint, perenial geranium, and evening primrose.

Campanula and white lavender.

Everyone was drawn to the pond...

The frogs love the lilypads; I love the flower.

Our guests enjoyed the coolness of the Woodland Walk. We opened part of it, but there are still downed trees to remove. We took out more of the invasive multiflora rose, and added a honeysuckle to the arbor at the entrance...

One of H.H.'s many unusual birdhouses.
H.H. painted the Adirondack chairs purple.
Some clematis have started to bloom
In the shade garden I added a mirror to reflect the beauty of my miniature hosta collection.

Hostas, astilbe, brunnera, and lamium in the shade garden.
Golden mound spirea in bloom.
A teapot planter of begonias in the stone garden.

At the end of the tour, some of the visitors enjoyed refreshments on the patio ...

We were thrilled with their enthusiastic comments. We were so glad they enjoyed their visit.

Of course, it is a great deal of work and a little daunting to plan a tour. I mulched, weeded, separated plants, planted annuals in containers, painted, sorted the garden ornaments, washed the porches, and even painted the downstairs bathroom (or I would have been too embarrassed to let them use it). I could not have done all this without H.H.'s help. He may not be a gardener, but he is most handy with a drill and a paint can, and he worked hard and cheerfully until he had crossed off every item on the long "honey do" list I gave him. We would have done all these gardening chores anyway, but working to a deadline makes it more of a challenge. Now you know why I haven't blogged for more than four weeks!

So the annual chores are done, and I can truly celebrate the arrival of summer by relaxing, meditating, absorbing the beauty of the flowers. It's not quite like England, but I feel a little nearer to my homeland when I am in my English cottage garden. I am truly blessed!

Donna at Garden's Eye View , in her seasonal celebrations meme, has posted how she and other gardeners enjoy the arrival of summer. Do read Donna's blog -- she is an extremely talented writer and photographer. Her garden is lovely and her postings are beautiful.

Wishing you all a happy summer, or whatever season you are experiencing in your part of the world!

Pamela x

New kitchen garden sculpture

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