Friday, June 30, 2006

Please Don't Eat the Zinnias

Come on bugs -- I grew them from seed and they were doing so well............ I could just cry.
Do you think it's the Japanese beetle?

Look at this butterfly bush.

Holes all over the place.
I saw a shiny greenish bug, but when I went to get closer to get a pic, I couldn't find the little varmit.
Here's a view from the underside.

We've had very little rain, but the phlox is already full of mildew.
Astute readers will notice that the deer have eaten all the tops off, too.

Anybody else out there getting discouraged?

More Reliable Bloomers

Orange Pixie lilies.
These are one of my most reliable lilies. They are short little spreaders and have multiplied nicely in the six/seven years that I have had them. I really don't have much luck with other Lily bulbs multiplying.

Remember the bellflower I showed us last week? Here is the whole plant. They bloom from the top and slowly down the entire stem. Very nice compact little plant.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

What's Blooming Tonight

Here it is the end of the week already and I have not even looked at the gardens until tonight.

I see the orange ditch lillies and the pink mallow are bursting forth. It looks like a bumper crop of the lillies this year.

Here's a few shots of the new bloomers I found this week.

Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander'
Yellow Loosestrife

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Home Sweet Home

We didn't get home about 11:00 PM last night.

I can't really complain about the trip because once you see the luxurious bed I had to sleep in and the simply marvelous food I had for dinner, you won't have any sympathy for me!

These pics don't really show just how comfortable and inviting that bed was...all soft and plush. It was one of those beds you just want to throw your whole body down upon while uttering, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh". And that is exactly what I did as soon as I finished taking these pictures.

The hotel was right at Metro Detroit airport (hence the plane outside my window). The amazing thing was that I never heard one airplane all night even though they took off about every three minutes.

Before falling asleep, I had dinner in the hotel.

Just look at these Asian spring rolls - presented about as beautifully as I can imagine it being done. Everything from the green glass plate to the zigzaged mustard sauce was done to perfection. What a way to make two plain egg rolls look like so much more.
My boss ordered these crabcakes which were also quite wonderful.
What really impressed me about this dish was the lemon wrapped with tulle so that no seeds would fall into your food when you squeezed it. I love attention to the small details like that.

My entree was shrimp stuffed with crab accompanied by julienned yellow squash and zucchini...delish.........

The meeting itself went well. I learned a few things.

We did sneak out a little early, but I did not get to a nursery.
We stopped at Costco instead. I had never been to a Costco. I brought home a good-sized box of food items and a pepper mill.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Accidental Design Success


Yesterday I looked at this pot of foliage and noticed the dark reddish-brown stripe of color in the canna leaves. It's a perfect match to the top leaf of the coleus and also the stem of the dahlia.

That made me very happy. (it sure doesn't take much, does it? LOL)

I have already forgotten what color the flowers will be if it blooms. Even if it does not, I like the combination of just foliage.

I will be leaving for Detroit this afternoon. It is my yearly meeting there. I usually hate to go, but today I am looking forward to leaving work about 1 pm and heading down. It's close to a 5-hr drive and the boss is driving, not me.

If we can sneak out early on Tuesday afternoon (as we have been known to do) maybe I can get him to stop at a nursery. I have not been able to find purple fountain grass this year and I would really like some.

I won't be back on line until Wednesday.

I am sure DH will do a good job of taking care of my babies while I am gone.
Hopefully we get a lot of rain.

You all be good and post a lot so I have tons to read when I get home! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 25, 2006

If there was a contest

for the plant that looks the ugliest when it's finished blooming, I think forget-me-not would take the blue ribbon.
Have you ever seen anything uglier?
It's brown, it's moldy and all the little seeds stick like glue to your clothes.

Any of the plants that are right out in front like this one, I will pull right out of the ground.

Then I just run my fingers down the stem to release seeds in the area where I removed the plant.

I always have more than enough of the little blue spring-blooming beauties. Posted by Picasa

Here's a view I don't

show you very often.
I guess because it usually doesn't look that nice.
Today with all the pastel-colored Sweet William I thought it looked worthy of a posting. 
(The area way in the back with the rocks is the spot below where I dug out the thugs). I stuck a few hosta in there because I just can't stand to leave any bare ground for more than an hour. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Serene Setting

Still Removing Thugs

This area is at the very end of one of the long beds. It had the white-flowering sedum and the spurge that is so invasive. I have decided to get rid of it all.

I don't know what I will end up planting in this almost total shade area.

Any ideas?

It also is too far away to get any additional water. So I need something that is drought tolerant.

Lychnis Coronaria

I had an empty spot here where something didn't survive the winter so I decided to move a few lychnis coronaria.

They are in full bloom, but I think they will survive the move just fine.

It is so nice when you finally get to the point in your garden where you have extras of just about everything. When you have a big bare spot, you don't have to spend a cent -- you just go dig up 4 or 5 plants from another area. These were in the woodland area and needed to be thinned.

If they don't survive the move, it's not a big deal. I will just pull them out and move another one.

Lychnis self sows like crazy. It is another biennial so all of these little ones will not bloom until next year.
I can move them now or wait until next spring (which is probably what I will do)

This afternoon DH and I worked on staining the lattice on the deck.

It's a real pain to do. It's a solid stain which is similar to paint, but the consistency of water. We do it with a small paintbrush.

We are sick of doing it every couple of years and are considering replacing it with the newer plastic stuff that you never have to paint.

We bought some local strawberries today.
I am off to have a big bowl of strawberry shortcake.

Now You See It

The unsightly withering foliage of colchicum (sometimes inaccurately called autumn crocus).

Now you don't

The "naked ladies" are now entering their dormant stage. I could not stand the mess any longer, so last night I cut them all off. They looked sufficiently dead to me.

In a couple of months they will rise out of the bare ground and be reborn into beautiful purplish-pink crocus-like flowers.

The term "naked ladies" refers to the fact that they bloom sans foliage. I had thought that term was reserved for Amaryllis (Amaryllis belladonna), but like so many common names in the confusing world of gardening, it also refers to cochicum autumnale.

Friday, June 23, 2006

How Sweet it is

Sweet William, that is.

Pink Sweet William growing through a smokebush

Sweet William growing against the rockwall

All of the Sweet William (dianthus)I have has reseeded from two packages of seeds I planted about 14 years ago.

Sweet William is not a perennial which surprises many people. It is actually a biennial, which means you plant the seed and you get only foliage the first year. The second year, you will get flowers. After flowering the plant dies. But not before it has dropped hundreds of seeds.

If it is happy, Sweet William will just keep reseeding and you will have it every year.

Remember the overgrown feverfew area I posted a few days ago?

Here it is after I pulled the feverfew out of the front area.

Lady Bug on Astilbe

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Put on the sunglasses

before you look at the new outdoor dinnerware I just bought

Red and orange --
Wow, those will put a tingle in your retina!

I couldn't resist the home dec fabric. I think it will be perfect for the tablecloth.

I envision a floral centerpiece using lots of clustered bellflower and just a few orange lillies-- ah yes, that will be just the finishing touch.

I am going to have loads of fun with this tablescape!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I find hens and chicks difficult to place in a garden.
They tend to get lost among the other plants.
When I brought this piece of driftwood in to the garden last year, I decided to throw a clump of sempervivum in the top crevice.
Every time I walk by I now appreciate the plant because it is at a level high enough to be seen.

It survived the winter with no problem.

Blooming Sage

It's still a little dark on the deck, so please excuse the poor quality of the picture.

Remember this herb pot that I planted last year and left out all winter? I didn't even realize the sage was perennial. This year it came back and surprised me with these lovely blooms. Now even if I never use it to make chickn saltimbocca (the reason I planted it in the first place) it has been worthwhile.

Heliotrope Wall Planter

It's such a pleasure when I plant something that does exactly what I expected it to do.

So far the parrot's beak (Lotus berthelotii)in this wall planter has spilled out in the exact feathery fashion I wanted. The contrast of this light foliage with the dark heavy heliotrope is just perfect.

There is no sign of bloom yet, but even without the flowers, this plant is a winner.

Campanula First Blooms

The Clustered Bellflower (Campanula glomerata)

A very hearty reliable flower. Nice color, gives about three weeks of good bloom.

It's about 2 feet high and makes a great cut flower.

I like this one a lot.

(Canterbury Bells) Interesting shape, but the plant on a whole doesn't thrill me. This is the only one I have. Maybe with age, it will fill out and I will like it better.

Do not confuse these nice campanulas with the obnoxious weed, creeping bellflower. I wrote about it on June 16, 2005 if you want to go into the archives.

This yellow swallowtail was very cooperative staying within 12 inches of my lens for quite some time. She must have been drunk on the Sweet William nectar.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More Allium Varieties

I did not intentially plant this white allium. It may have come with a plant someone gave me. I like it, though, and wish I had more.

These will bloom in another week or so. They are drumstick allium (A. sphaerocephalum )and will be a deep burgundy-pink color. I think they look pretty cool just like this.

Dining Al fresco

I am all alone tonight.
It is a beautiful warm (but not HOT) evening.
I decided to enjoy the moment and dine outside.

I threw one of my vintage tablecloths on this small table.
Since I just finished a bottle of the Relax wine, I used the pretty cobalt blue bottle to hold my last peonies.
With my collection of dishes, it was easy to find a perfect match.
I made a nice salad with grapes and poppyseed dressing and sat here and enjoyed every bite.

I do not usually enjoy eating outside because I don't like to fight the bugs for each bite.

Tonight I ate the entire salad without being bothered once by a bug.

I must do this more often.

Feverfew Takes Over

Feverfew (the stuff with the white flowers)is taking over my rockwall garden. The area you see here is supposed to be a path.

In this spot it is hiding a hosta.

Feverfew is very easy to pull out.
I pulled out all of in both areas in about 10 minutes.

It reseeds so easily that I would consider it a nuisance if it wasn't so easy to pull out.

There are many areas were this herb is a positive addition to my gardens. I just don't want it everywhere!

Beginning of the Rockwall Garden

The rockwall garden is my oldest at 14 years. It took 3 years to dig it all, with me doing most for the first two years. Once DH really got into helping in the third year, he finished it.

Almost all of the big boulders you see in this area, were pulled from below the soil. A few like this giant boulder were already on top.

It was very hard work, but also very exciting to keep unearthing those big rocks.
I believe this area must have been the dumping ground from the excavation of the basement.

Once the digging was done, the area needed a backdrop. A neighbor was digging a drainfield and DH and my son hauled many pickup loads of rock from his yard to ours to make the wall.

The large pine trees in front have all been removed during the past three years. There were five of them. So this once nearly all shaded area, has been opened to the sun, which forced me to make a lot of changes in plant material.

I like it much better without the trees. I campaigned for over 10 years before DH agreed to have them cut down!

Monday, June 19, 2006

In the Beginning

In a comment to a previous post, Dianne asked me what size my main gardens were and how old they were.
I've been trying to figure it out ever since.
I think this is the ninth year for the two biggest beds.

I am only guessing at the size...maybe 65 feet long and from 10 to 20 feet wide for the two main beds.

This is when I started digging in 1997. I dug the majority of both sides by myself. After spending three years digging out the rockwall area, DH adapted the motto, "she who has the idea, does the work". He was pretty sick of digging and thought I had more gardens than I needed already.

So I just grabbed a shovel and started digging. I dug for about three months --every spare hour I had. Every now and then I hit a solid rockbed area and had to call upon him to help me. In some areas of these beds there is only about 12 inches of soil and then it's solid rock.

I didn't really have a plan. I just eyeballed it and kept digging until I felt like it was time to stop. When I was satisfied I had two very long deep beds. You really can't tell how deep they are from these pictures because I can't get it all in one picture.

The following year, I dug out smaller areas on each side of the long borders. This area is what you see from the road.

I tried to put in the pictures of the woodland side, but blogger won't let me. I must have too many pictures in one post.

All I can say for sure, is that I have a LOT of garden area (I have quite a few others in addition to this area that I call the main gardens)

Dianne also asked how often I add new plants.

The area is pretty well filled, but when I see something I just must have, I always make room for it by removing something I have too much of or that I don't like as much as the new addition.

I am always moving things around just because I like to. Isn't that the essence of gardening? I have to be digging and moving all the time; otherwise I get bored.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...