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

~~ 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. Oh Pam how lovely your garden is....and what a great tour. The folks visiting must have been in awe. I am adding this to the wrap up my dear friend...I hope maybe now with retirement that I can visit blogging friends in PA perhaps next year.

  2. Donna, A visit from you will be awesome! Pam x

  3. Pam your English cottage garden is gorgeous. I enjoyed the virtual tour very much and also the inside of your shed (I had missed that post I see), it all looks so neat and tidy. The painted egg is also a beauty. Help, I have got to work again, next weekend I get my garden visitors.
    Wish you happy gardening!

  4. Your garden is looking wonderful, and now that you've got all your chores done, you should sit back and enjoy it now that it's summer. Your visitors must have loved the tour, as I would if I were lucky enough to be able to visit. It's such a shame I'm so far away as that would be a treat.

  5. I really like all of the little details in your garden Pam. Thanks for the virtual tour.

  6. I've never seen your chicken collection before. Your garden looks great - it's useful to have a deadline to work towards. You can have a well-earned rest now.

  7. What a tremendous amount of time and energy you both have put into your garden. It shows! Like a little piece of heaven on earth. I'm looking forward to my visit. :-)

    P.S. Do you ever get any deer at all? I have them nibbling on plants right next to the house...and have to be very careful what I plant, lest it becomes deer food.

  8. I loved it all especially your new arbor. In spite of it being early on in the season in your part of the world the Roses have been blooming. We are still waiting for ours, yet so much is looking so very lush, mind you its mainly foliage at the moment.

  9. What an honor to have a garden tour at your place, but I can hardly blame them. There is so much to see! I am hard pressed to say which is my favorite part, so I'll just say everything!

  10. Hi Pam, There's nothing like the expected arrival of guests to get us motivated, is there? Your garden looks wonderful. I especially love the wire arbor and roses/clemmies in the first photo. And the rooster's egg is adorable. What a beautiful place. And aren't fellow gardeners the nicest people? Great post!

  11. What lucky visitors, to see your garden in life. I'm enchanted by your rooster, lace pinny and all!

  12. I know you say your garden has'nt peaked yet but I think it's lovely. Everything is so perfect. Love the new arbour and of course the shed. Wonderful!

  13. Your garden is so lovely and worth a tour. Your work paid off because everything looks perfect. I love the egg in the rooster's cup....such a nice little touch. :)

  14. I love your garden this year as well.. It's so Beautiful! I also like the little touches of Whimsy here and there.. I bet the Visitors had a wonderful time and took in lots of grate garden tips and fun memories to keep and share.

  15. How kind of you to open up your garden and let others take a tour. I'm sure it was enjoyable for everyone and your guests must have appreciated all the extra work you did for them. Love that watering can birdhouse! great idea.

  16. Pam, yours has to be one of my favourite gardens...simply gorgeous, all of it!