Four or five weeks ago the garden was like an exuberant teenager - bursting with color and new flowers in bloom nearly every day, going every which way, growing lush and never the same from day to day or hour to hour. Today it's a much more sedate lady - content to settle into a mid-summer routine, still elegant and colorful, but resting. In her own way she is just as lovely - perhaps more so - but more calm and comfortable. We've gone from Bridgit Bardot to Catherine Deneuve, so come look.
The first rush of daylilies is nearly over. The minis - 'Happy Returns' - are done for now. I deadheaded them this morning so that they will set new blooms and continue to bloom for the rest of the summer - just smaller blooms and fewer of them. The big daylilies are also slowing down. There are some gorgeous tall yellows still coming on. The 'Richmond Spiders' will be done by the end of next week, but they have been just gorgeous. [I will need to divide them this fall - if you are within a reasonable distance and want some, just ask.] The deep purple ones from Andre Viette is still blooming - and actually I did not expect this many blooms the first year - but on its last buds, too. So there will be fewer lilies soon, but still plenty of color to attract the butterflies and hummers.
The monarda is full and lush and the shasta daisies 'Becky' came into bloom this week. They are your run-of-the-mill white shastas, but my granddad always said you need a few white flowers to set off the color of the others.... and he was right. They are mixed in with the monarda, so it looks great together. There are gladiolas sprinkled throughout the bed adding accent color here and there, too, along with the yarrow.
The hibiscus 'Lord Baltimore' and 'Texas Husky Honey' both started blooming this week, along with two shorter [un-named] varieties - one white and one purple. And there is one pink hollyhock that came up near the 'Harry Lauter'. It appeared suddenly thru the branches looking like a pink bloom on the shrub. It's actually very pretty. All of that is in the major garden out back. Actually, that's what I think of as "the garden". The rest are just "planting areas" even if they are sometimes lovely, too.
Out front in the boomerang the garden phlox started blooming this week, along with the plumbago. The phlox is two shades of lavendar - one dark and one light. I'm sure they have names, but don't recall what they are. The plumbago came from Garland's garden several years ago - maybe nine! It has struggled and struggled, and suddenly this year it's gone wild. It doubled in size and has bloomed merrily. I want to treat it nicely and hope for more spread for next year. Guest Garden
You may remember that in May I brought you pictures of Garland's garden in Brevard, North Carolina. I did not know it then, but her's was the first "guest garden" I featured. Today I visited another - very different - garden. I hope to get back with a camera next week and share that with you soon.
Note: I wrote the following two posts in mid-June, but failed to publish them. They are a bit out of date - see tomorrow's NEW post - but the pictures are good. Enjoy!
I wasn't kidding yesterday that it's more than I can share. We now have thousands of yellow daylilies, Monarda, hydrangeas, clematis, mandavilla, Asian lilies and even calla lilies in bloom - and that's just the back yard. The purple river looks like it may re-emerge as the perennials re-bloom, and the Shatsa daisies are ready to pop.
Monarda - These were a gift from a former boss of Mitchell's. They are a lovely shade of purple - more like cerise - and the bees and hummers love them. There common name is Bee Balm. Apparently the smell is a sort of bee tranquilizer and calms them down. I've never been stung around them and they are usually filled with bees... so maybe that's correct.
Mandavilla - of course this is an annual, but one Mitchell particularly loves. Mother gave us the plant in May and it is flourishing. We have used this same obelisk for several years. This variety is a velvetty deep pink, not really red as I first thought.
Clematis - This is the oldest and most established clematis we have - and we have lots. It has grown on this iron trellis for about five years. The flowers are a dull orchid, so not the prettiest we have, but them come back year after year in a larger clump.
Asian lilies - Some years ago I planted many, many Asian lilies - I just love them. They first summer they were lovely, and the second year the rabbits ate 90% of them. This is one that survived. this year it has nine buds on a five-foot stalk. It's just gorgeous. Next year I'm going to plant more - rabbits or not rabbits.
Calla lilies - These are special. If you check the books, you will see that callas don't winter here - but these do. I bought a package at Big Blue Box about five years ago and they have made it thru all those winters. Now I have ten clumps of callas. Not all of them will bloom this year, but maybe next year... They are a prettier shade of pink than this photo really shows. I cut these and brought them into the house today.
Note: I wrote the following in mid-June and didn't post it. Even tho it's a bit out of date now, the pictures are pretty.
It's that Gemini part of the summer - just hot enough that some days you just don't feel like doing anything but sitting on the bench to enjoy the lushness, and not yet so hot that you have the blahs.
It's also the time when something blooms daily. I hardly know where to start to show or tell. Today, let's just stick to the pond. I planted a number of iris last summer and had one little bloom, but this year they just keep coming. More open daily in two shades of purple - that was a freebie since I didn't have a clue what color they were when I planted them.
The water lilies bloom periodically - both yellow and pink - and the best part.... the Richmond Spider daylily started blooming this week. It is the most gorgeous daylily that I have ever seen. Technically, it's a "red" flower, altho it's really orange. Even I can't call it "red", as much as I would like to. There are big clumps on both sides of the pond. For the next couple of months they will bloom prolifically with seven-inch blossoms. What a gorgeous sight.
What could be nicer than watching the seasons come and go in the garden. I hope to retire in about three years and spend more time just digging in the dirt. I'm not a professional gardener, but enjoy putting my hands in the dirt and seeing what happens.
For now, let's enjoy it together!