Monday, June 29, 2015

Another day, another bloomer

Another weekend past, a new week has begun and it looks like it will be a productive one around here. That means I have a lot of tasks on my "to do" list.  lol

While Josey was at the groomer, I baked a blueberry pie. I have an abundance of blueberries for the third straight year. There are plenty in the freezer already for two more pies - and lots of berries yet to ripen. I had blueberries on my oatmeal the past two days as well.

Of course I also had to take a garden walk....

 Another view from above - this one is taken from a second story window to give a broader view. My backyard is bordered by our neighbor's chain link fence on the left, and our other neighbor's wooden fence on the right - and in back, not visible, is farm fence topped with barbed wire. If you look closely a horse is barely visible in the pasture behind our house (look just above the garden shed).

Also in this photo you can see our triangular garden, where we have a Black spruce, a flowering crabapple 'Prairie Fire,' a buckeye tree, azaleas, burning bushes, and a few perennials.

In regard to the garden, you can see a line (it needs edging again, but you can see the line between lawn and garden). The edge of this large garden area goes over to the right and ends at the garden shed.

 Here is the cottage garden at dusk. Lots of color, and lilies (left in photo) are about to bloom.

 Speaking of lilies, here's oriental 'Eleana,' a double that is very fragrant and her beauty is captivating.

 This is Asiatic 'Paris heart.'

 I love coneflowers - one of my favorite flowers. They are abundant in my garden. I will have hundreds, maybe even a thousand, blooms this summer. Someone who knew of my love for coneflowers asked if I have any of the fancy ones. Not so much. I do have a white coneflower; yes, just one...

 ...and a couple of 'Cheyenne Spirit' echinacea,

 as well as a couple of Echinacea pallida (Pale purple coneflower)

Most of my coneflowers are from seed. I harvested seed at the Iowa State Fairgrounds years ago. My plants have self-sown prolifically over the years. Now, I know I've bought a coneflower or two over time, for they are not all the same cultivar. Some of them have a greenish stem and some an almost black stem.

 Hemerocallis, or daylilies are another of my favorite flowers. This garden room is Daylily Junction. There are many daylilies here, as well as true lilies and a few other plants along the fence row.

 This is 'Happy Apple.'

 'Double River' growing beside the bee balm

 'Bold Stripe'

 'Black eyed Susan'

 Name not known

 'Custard Candy' - love, love, love this beauty!

 Another candy: 'Blueberry Candy'
I also have 'Strawberry Candy' and 'Wineberry Candy,' neither of which are blooming yet.

 A very pretty red is 'Whooperie.'

 'Joe Marinello'


The cleome are just beginning to bloom too.

 Just another view showing our pergola. The stream and pond are in front of the courtyard and pergola, and are hidden by flowers in this photo.

 Rain lilies

Mama (or Papa) Wren with an insect to feed the babies residing in this birdhouse. It's amazing to watch the two wrens; they work continuously to keep their babies fed! 
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:26, 27

Have a great week in the garden - or wherever you choose to spend it!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The View from Above

Every once in awhile I like to write up a post that gives a broader view of our gardens, rather than just close ups of various areas and various flowers out there. Today's the day. I took photos out the upstairs windows to try to show most of our back yard.

Our home is a two story with a walk out basement. The deck comes off the main level. Below that, you can see (on the left) our courtyard with pergola, the water garden area, and our triangle garden (top of photo).

Here's a closer view of the water garden, consisting of waterfalls, stream and pond and the adjacent pond garden room. We are planning on adding plants and growing the existing ones to the left (west) of the stream; we're going for a more natural look...these things take time...

A close up of some of the flowers in the pond garden (east) of the stream. monarda (bee balm), Nepeta 'Walker's low,' rudbeckia, roses and larkspur - also an occasional coneflower or two

To the middle left in the photo is the area we just looked at in the prior photo.
The middle area which is surrounded by the flagstone path is our Cottage garden.
The area in the lower right corner of the photo is the edge of the Picket Fence garden.
The area by the shed, only slightly visible, is Daylily Junction, home to many daylilies and a few true lilies as well. 2 of our 10 raised beds are also seen on the right.

In the Cottage garden - here you see the monarda, coneflowers, Asiatic lilies, daylilies, and a raised bed full of green beans.

The coneflowers are blooming now and the lilies will be soon.

In the Rocky garden, I'm loving hydrangea 'Incrediball.'

A pretty color combination in the picket fence garden

First water lily

Stunning in the pond: water hyacinths

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Let's take a walk

Let's take a walk out back, in the gardens. They are maturing and there is lots to see (and even to eat).

 Speaking of eating, do you suppose this guy, who is sitting at pond's edge, is thinking about fishing?
This is not my cat; he's a visitor to the yard every now and then.

 The pond plants are almost covering the water. The fish like to hide from me, and now they have plant cover as well as rocks to swim between. The plantings on the east side of the pond and stream are mostly older ones. The west side is where we are trying to get some new things established. You are looking toward the east.

 A closer look, just to the east of the stream.

 Larkspur self-sows in many areas of the gardens. I have lavender, purple, pink and white.

 The rudbeckia and bee balm have begun to bloom.

 Most of the lupins are gone, but we still have a few in bloom.

 Echinacea pallida, Pale Purple Coneflower

 Hydrangea 'Incrediball' looks incredible!

 'Jackmanii,' new to me this year and showing its first blooms

 Perennial geraniums 'Rozanne' and 'Johnson's Blue' are going crazy! They must like all this rain we've been getting.

 Ruby throated hummingbird (the only kind of hummingbird in this area) rests on a tomato cage.

 The lavender is doing well. This is 'Hidcote.' I also grow 'Munstead,' which is a bit lighter in color.

 Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly weed, has been bright and cheerful (and spreading a bit, too).

Allium 'Globemaster' while in bloom -  BEFORE above...

...and AFTER...when their blooming was complete, I spray painted them.

We have ripe cherries, blueberries, rhubarb and strawberries and have eaten lettuce, kohlrabi, arugula and kale from the gardens. Looking forward to the green beans and my second crop of lettuce soon, and later, the tomatoes. How is your garden growing?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Clematis, Queen of the Climbers

Clematis are called Queen of the Climbers for good reason. There are over 300 varieties of these luxurious plants that bloom profusely with large flowers...and they're easy to grow.

I grow mine on fences, obelisks and trellises. You can also let them grow up a tree or shrub, or even allow them to amble along the ground.

They bloom at different times, and I've been collecting images this season so that I can tell you about each and every one of my 18 clematis! Here we go:

'Princess Diana'
Blooms June-September
Pruning type 3

 'Nelly Moser'
First to bloom for me this year in early May; reblooms late summer
Pruning type 2

Blooms early summer to late summer
Pruning type 2

 'Crystal Fountain'
Blooms late spring to early summer, reblooms late summer
Pruning type 2

Blooms mid spring to early summer
Pruning type 2

'Duchess of Edinburgh'
Blooms late spring to early summer, reblooms late summer
Pruning type 2

'Claire de Lune'
Early bloomer, reblooms
Pruning type 2

'Multi Blue'
Late spring to early summer, reblooms late summer to early fall
Pruning type 2

Name unknown
I ordered 'Louise Rowe,' but she is pale pink.
She seems to be residing on the same trellis with this deep red beauty.

'Louise Rowe'
Mid-spring, reblooms in August
Pruning type 2

Late spring to early summer bloom, reblooms early fall
Pruning type 2

Late spring - early summer bloomer, reblooms in the fall
Pruning type 2

'Betty Corning'
Blooms early summer to early fall
Pruning type 3

'Comtesse de Bouchaud'
Blooms June-September
Pruning type 3

Name unknown

Blooms June-October
Pruning type 3
Mine is a first year plant; for a better photo of 'Rooguchi' in bloom, click here.

About pruning clematis:

There are 3 pruning types; know which group your clematis belongs to and follow these guidelines.

Pruning type 1:
These flower on old wood (last season's growth). Light pruning to remove any dead wood and neaten it up is all that is needed.

Pruning type 2:
Type 2 clematis flower on both old and new wood. These are rebloomers, with their major show early and a more modest flowering in the fall. Prune lightly, keeping in mind that double flowering varieties have their double blooms on old wood.

Pruning type 3:
These flower on new wood. Cut back to just above a healthy pair of leaf buds, to an approximate height of 8-12" in early spring.

Do you grow clematis in your garden? What are your favorite varieties?


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