Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer's Eve

These hot and steamy June days, early morning is the best time to enjoy my garden. Mr. Robin waits, nervously, atop the weeping redbud for me to pass before feeding his mate sitting on their eggs. Mist shrouds the bottom field at sunrise, enhancing the beauty of the oats planted there, and defining many spider webs that catch the morning light. I enjoy the peaceful beauty surrounding me and I love the morning chorus of birdsong.

I try to begin my gardening chores early, before the heat sets in, with so much to do before the County Garden Tour only a week away. We hoped to be ready by now, but days of torrential rain have hampered our efforts. Even with all the problems Mother Nature sends our way, the garden is still looking beautiful. New blooms appear daily, and I can't begin to show them all in this posting, so I will focus on a couple of changes in the garden: a new trug, some different plantings, and the new Woodland Walk.

I love to celebrate each season with a gardening gift to myself. With summer a few days away, I treated myself to something very special: a large planting trug for the patio. It places herbs and vegetables closer to the back door, and its height eliminates bending and kneeling when gardening. One day, when I can no longer maintain a large kitchen garden, this trug will contain all the vegetables H.H and I need. Isn't it grand?

In the middle, I placed a trellis over a tomato plant.
A dozen herbs plus flowers such as marigolds and nasturtium.

The spirea in the cottage garden took center stage this past week, and in a future post I'll show what's new in this area.

Yellow yarrow flanks the spirea.

For the first time I planted morning glory to climb two trellises. Actually, I also planted them over the pea tunnel in the kitchen garden, but those seeds may not have germinated, because I soaked them too long while I waited days for the rain to stop.

Morning glory on one side of the arbor. There is a mature clematis on the other side.
The pea tunnel was the center of a big problem this spring. I planted snow peas to climb over it, lettuce under it, and other cool-weather crops next to it, as I do every spring. Nothing appeared and I puzzled why? I knew there was nothing wrong with the seeds as I used 3-4 packets of different vegetables, all new for 2015. The bed, a raised one, contained my usual mix of compost, peat moss, and top soil. It could only be the soil mix. I knew the compost was very mature, made from kitchen and garden waste and manure from my mini horse, Dude. It could not possibly be too hot. Then a light bulb came on ... We stored Dude's manure in an area under walnut trees ... juglone must have poisoned it. Many plants will not grow under walnut trees because of the juglone their roots emit. I posted about it here.

The solution: dear H.H dug all the soil out of the bed and refilled it, this time using mushroom compost with peatmoss and topsoil. I planted bush beans and sunflowers there. They all germinated and are doing fine! Lesson learned!

Moving to the horseshoe garden, which was new last year, the plantings have filled out beautifully. The Sweet William is especially lovely. Snapdragons reseeded themselves all over the bed, and I added some I grew from seed. If their blooms are as lovely as last year, they will be quite stunning.

The Horseshoe Garden
Bearded iris around the birdbath, and clematis climbing the trellis.

The many native plants in the horseshoe garden attract pollinators and I am reminded this week is Pollinator Week.

Native plants in the horseshoe garden include the red rose campion.

As planned, we closed the old Woodland Walk which became too big to maintain, plus I'm afraid of the bears we see in there. We created a shorter walk and added some shade plants. I am thrilled with the results.

The bearded iris in bloom along Bluebell Creek at the entrance to the Woodland Walk.

The Woodland Walk is a cool place to celebrate hot summer days ...

The Woodland Walk is ten degrees cooler than the rest of  the garden -- lovely!
Heuchera and brunnera tend to be avoided by deer. I sprayed them with deer repellent to be safe.

Returning to the main garden, I planted all the containers and window boxes last week.

Coleus I grew from seed welcome you to the Stone Garden.

The last chore (a big one) is to finish mulching flower beds, then we should be ready for the BIG TOUR!

I am linking with Donna at Garden's Eye View for her 'Seasonal Celebrations' meme and with Beth at Plant Postings for her 'Lesson Learned' meme. I'm late for 'Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day', but will link to it in case you didn't yet visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Thanks, ladies, for three wonderful blogs and for hosting these three special memes.

It is a beautiful time of the year ... how are you celebrating your garden on summer's eve?

Pamela x

A simple container of calibrachoa at the front door.

~~ 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. I am drooling over your beautiful garden. I do especially love your new trug planter. What a good idea!

  2. Such beautiful photos of your garden early in the morning, you really capture the feel you get at that time of day. Your horseshoe garden has really filled out and it's looking lovely. I grew morning glories last year but the slugs ate every single one of the seedlings after I'd planted them out so they weren't to be, I do love the intense colours you get with them.

    1. Thanks for the warning about the slugs, Jo. I have plenty, so I'll put some bait around the morning glories. x

  3. a 10 degree difference in the shade, would be bliss, on a hot summer's day.

    Wish you every success with your garden tour.
    And KIND weather all the way!

  4. Oh, what a lovely garden, Pam! I really like your trug, and I think I'll look into getting one, myself. Currently, I'm using whatever flat surface I can to prepare my plants, including the back porch, and it can get a little messy. Your horseshoe garden near the porch is gorgeous. I have a woodland garden, too, and we pretty much let it go wild--except for the invasive species. It is great to have a cool getaway, isn't it? Thanks for joining in the memes!

  5. I like your new trug planter too. And the woodland walk. I bet the Tour goes smoothly and the visitors will all be impressed. You do such a nice job on the gardens.

  6. Being on a garden tour would keep anyone a little crazy busy! I'm sure it will look lovely, and everyone will have a great time.

  7. Oh, doesn't everything look just gorgeous in your garden! My garden is going to be on the open garden weekend in mid-July as well. Have you ever done it before? I'm a little nervous! ;)

    1. Yes, Diane, I have done it before and I still get nervous. But visitors don't see those things that you didn't have time to do. I find they are very complimentary even when my garden is less than 'perfect' in my mind. I love showing people around and vow to just enjoy the day! I hope you enjoy yours, my friend. x

  8. I like your idea, a 'table' that full of herbs. So interesting and inspiring! Happy gardening and thank you for sharing,

  9. Pam your gardens are looking fabulous. I love how the Horseshoe has grown in and the new Woodland Garden is a sanctuary. Your gardens look stunning and I am sure all will be loving their visit to your beautiful oasis there. That new portable garden is looking great and I look forward to seeing how it all goes. Happy Summer and thanks for joining in!

  10. I love your woodland walk and your horseshoe garden, and what about that trug with a trellis, fabulous!

  11. That table for vegetables and herbs on your patio is a wonderful idea. I will go around here to see where we can have that near to the kitchen. Your horseshoe garden has grown beautifully and I really do love the woodland walk. So nice you have such a large area, love that.

  12. I love your early morning shots!!! Oh and your front door mat! Very cute!