Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Few Deck Containers are Beginning to Bloom & Sedumn Autumn Joy is Looking Good

I have a lot less containers on the deck this year. I like having less.  My plan is to gradually work my way down to just six half whiskey barrels that stay out all winter.  I am no where near that minimalistic goal. It will take years.

I separated  two barrels of liatris last fall.  Some of them are just beginning to bloom.  These are perennial and stay in their half-whiskey-barrel containers out on the deck all year long.  It doesn't get much easier than that!

I never had much luck growing Liatris in the ground.  I was thrilled when I discovered they liked living in the whiskey barrels.

Many of my yellow calla lilies have huge blooms this year. It seems like they are  blooming later  (which, if true, is understandable due to the very cold spring & I brought them out two weeks later than usual).

In the front yard, I filled the border near the front porch with Sedum Autumn Joy last year and am thrilled that it is just about completely filled in so that you do not see individual plants--just a mass of Sedum.  That was my plan from the beginning . Once planted, Sedum Autumn Joy demands little attention--no watering, no fertilizer...nada....nada...nada!
I may have to divide it every three years, but that's  about it. It should look good all year long with no effort from me. I love the light green color with the darker green shrubs. 

This area will be completely pink in about three weeks.

I am not thrilled with the canna/calla combo under the window.

I like the foliage color combo, which I used to coordinate with the Ninebark 'Diablo' shrub, but the callas flopped over in the recent rain.  The Tropicana foliage should be much larger than it is.  If I do this next year, I will have to buy some green stakes for each calla. I suspect I will have to stake the Tropicanna lilies also --should they decide to bloom this year. At the moment it does not look like they will.  I hate staking because it is so ugly and it defeats my goal of less garden maintenance. I will probably be changing this planting next year.
The garage urns are still all foliage and I am really liking this one (the larger of the two identically-planted urns)
I will now start cutting back any further growth from the licorice plant and the ipomea. I don't want the whole urn to be covered.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Garden Remake #2 and Misc. Garden Shots

We almost finished the second garden bed yesterday.  I will go out after work today to cut back some of the floppy foliage and add a section of Sedum Autumn Joy to the front.
DH and I worked together for only about an hour.  It's amazing how fast things happen when two people are sharing the work! The one we finished on Saturday is just to the right of this picture.
Here are a few random shots of the other parts of the garden:

Speedwell beginning to bloom:

Purple Phlox:
We just moved that Alberta Spruce there on Saturday.  I don't think it's staying as the shape is wonky. I may attempt to trim it up a bit to see if I like it better.  If not it will get moved to the back rockwall garden.

Coleus through the wagon wheel:
Same coleus:
I had three Manhattan lilies left, so I cut them down and DH made a nice bright bouquet for the front porch.
Here is the hosta garden that I planted last fall. 
I am very happy with the hosta garden.  This was one of those areas where nothing would grow. The hostas seem to like it here.  The only problem is the deer and rabbits have been using this area as the local diner. I had to use some Hinder to spray the plants.  It seems to have stopped the feast for a while. 

Shasta daisies are almost finished for another year:

I feel pretty good about the amount of work we got done in the garden this weekend. Of course, there is still tons of work to do--it never ends.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Spontaneous Garden Remake

I went outside at 7:30 a.m. to do "about an hour" of tidying up.  I thought I was just about done when I filled this wheelbarrow
I thought I would dump it, put my tools away and go inside.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, will not be surprised when I say that did not happen.

I took a quick stroll through the paths admiring this lavender and beebalm combo as well as
some red daylilies that had just begun to bloom. 

I have a lot of these red daylilies.

I  decided to remove a couple of huge plants, divide them and replant them in a small garden out near the road. Luckily DH was up to provide some muscle power.  It is amazing how heavy one big plant is!

 I have spent the past two years getting rid of just about everything in these two roadside gardens. 

I am making a last ditch effort to find something (in addition to the Alberta Spruce and one nice clump of daisies) that wants to call this area home.  If the daylilies don't like it here, then the area is going back to grass.

After a short break for lunch, I finished the area.

It looks pretty decent right now--much better than the before picture.There are a few yellow daylilies in here, too. They have already finished blooming.  We shall see if everything comes back and blooms next year. 

I plan to do the other garden with the same combination of flowers.  I may start that one tomorrow.

Some new readers may be aghast that I moved these just as they started to bloom.  I know it's not the proper time, but I never pay attention to the rules.  I move daylilies anytime I feel like it and they usually survive. 

I am off now to a parade of Harley Davidson motorcycles -- about 1,000 of them.  Our town is the host for the Michigan State HOG (Harley Owners Group) Rally. I am even wearing my official HOG Rally t-shirt. :) 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

With Foliage Like This, Who Needs Flowers?

For me 2013 is the year of the foliage containers. I have little time this year to deadhead flowers, so I went with plants that do not need much attention.  Hubby waters them daily and I sit and enjoy them when I get home from work. Not a bad deal at all! :)

Look how colorful this container is without a single flower!

Unfortunately I just noticed that some bugs are making holes in everything--I hate that!
I have used a lot of coleus this year. .
This nearly 100% lime green hanging basket is flanked by two more colorful baskets on each side.
I have used 'fireworks' grass in a few of my containers for the past two years. 

I am not happy with this grass.  I love the striped pink/green color, but it stays very small.  I think I will go back to Purple Fountain Grass next year.

You may have noticed a few yellow flowers down the sidewalk in the pic above. 

Last year I made a note to remove everything from my under the front-window garden and plant callas and Tropicannas in there in 2013.  DH and I spent a few hours one morning removing everything and I replanted with yellow callas and Tropicannas. I expected at least a dozen yellow calla blooms.
So far I only have a few and the Tropicanna leaves are not nearly as large as I expected them to be in late July.  I am sure it is due the very cold spring weather we had.  Even so I still like this area. Speaking of cold, it is 45 degrees right now (6:30 am). It may be a record low for this date. After the HOT HUMID weather we had a week ago, I am not complaining!
This planter has the still unidentified dark purple/black leathery foliage plant. I am liking this combo and will show you more when the Tropicanna blooms.

This is another of my favorite combos this year--you may remember in late spring I dug up that Heuchera from the garden to use here. 
I have also dug up some toad lilies from the garden to use in a few planters (the dark green foliage).  I wanted them in a place where their tiny exotic flowers could be appreciated.  I can't wait to show you those when they all bloom.
Gotta get to work now.  We have a huge convention group arriving at the hotel today--the largest group we have ever had in our small town.  It should be fun!
Have a great hump day!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Miscellaneous Weekend Musings

It was a beautiful summer weekend with temps in the mid 80's.  We spent a lot of time outside. My ditch lily garden is in full bloom.

This is just the spot over the rock wall where I toss all the ditch lilies I remove from my gardens.  I don't even plant them--just throw them over and let nature take its course.  We had a few guests coming over to tour the garden Sunday afternoon, so I made a quick bouquet for the front porch.
I have a gazillon of these lilies, so I can just go out and cut them by the armful.

Earlier this spring we removed two large areas of ditch lilies from the main gardens, causing a big bare area in front of this burning bush, so I added a bench.

DH and I worked together on  a most delicious dinner of grilled chicken breasts with a mango/blueberry chutney and grilled sweet potato spears.

Liberty, Freedom and Justice are growing fast. They are a week and a half old and just began climbing out of the nest. 

Patti, The rain lilies you sent me overwintered just fine and the first one bloomed today.
Such a pretty pink color!
That's about it for my nice quiet weekend at home. Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend, too.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

While I was Visiting the Island, my Garden was coming into Full Bloom

During the past week I have had many plants come into bloom.  Here is a long shot of one side:

Among the hosta along this path, I have mostly yellow-gold daylilies and red carpet Asiatic lilies....
I really enjoy the one clump of Elijah Blue Fescue grass that I have in this garden:
I have had it for about three years and it has never bloomed. Maybe the third year will be the charm.

As you pass through the arbor, I have some pink Manhattan Asiatic lilies and white Feverfew:
If you continue down the walking path, you will come to a nice big clump of Manhattan lilies:

There is also a nice clump of Sweet William on the opposite side of this path:

On the opposite side of the Arbor Gardens, I have some 
Astilbe blooming.

This is the best my garden will look for the whole summer.  It is sad that it only lasts about 10 days.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mackinac Island (part 2)

Do you see the yellow umbrellas in front of the white building way up on the hill?

That is Fort Mackinac. 

You get there by walking up this hill:

Once you get there you can explore a number of old military buildings, like this one

or you can just go the Tea Room for lunch as we did. 

I have not eaten at the Tea Room since 1973 when I went with two high school friends.  I took a picture from my scrapbook to show you.

 I am in the backless shirt.  Now that's a 1973 design! It reminds me of the wallboard my mom had in our kitchen at that time. :)
Enough reminiscing....Back to the current trip....

The Tea Room has the best views of any of the island restaurants.  We sat on the balcony above these yellow umbrellas.
I wanted to be as high up as possible to take in the gorgeous views.

This time I am dining with my wonderful husband.  This time I am also old enough to have an alcoholic drink with my lunch. :)

Lunch was a roasted turkey breast and Havarti cheese sandwich which was delicious (and much healthier than that huge sundae I had in 1973)

 See the church steeple way to the left at the top of this picture?
 After we finished eating, we walked back down that hill to the main street, took a left and walked at least another mile to get to the church.

 Look at this row of smoke trees along the white picket fence. Amazing specimens. This is the first time I have seen them used as a hedge.  I wonder how old they are?

While walking by one of the inns, I snapped a picture of this man carting laundry back to the inn.
I don't know how far away he has to take it to get washed.  Work life is very different on Mackinac Island.

It also appeared to be garbage pick up day on the island.

If all the garbage is as neatly put out as this, the island must have a good recycling program.

 I like how the Lilac Hotel had flowers to  match their awnings:

They were almost the exact shade of purple.

All in all we had a great time on Makinac Island. The last time we were on the island was in 2011.  I did a post at that time about the Grand Hotel, carriage ride, etc.  If you want to see that one,
Until next time.............
I hope I don't have to wait another 40 years to eat here again! 
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