Thursday, June 21, 2018

June Bloom Day...More or Less

I tried to put up a Bloom Day post I really did. But there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day lately so try as I might, I was not ready to hit that "publish" button on the 15th. But even though I missed the mark, it is still June and things are still blooming so let's pretend it's the 15th and take a look at the garden.

I've been so busy trying to breath some life into the new gardens around the patio that I neglected to give some love to the semi established front gardens. Also, lack of measureable rain so far in June is forcing me to spend an inordinate amount of time watering. More time watering=less time gardening.

Truth be told though, much of my garden time these days has been spent plant shopping. I've been buying mostly shrubs, evergreens and a few small trees in an attempt to get some "bones" established before filling in with smaller plants and tender stuff. As you all know, plants ain't cheap so even though the wallet is taking a whack, most of the beds are pretty empty. Plus, I tend to go more for the unusual plants which are becoming harder and harder to find.

May has always been container planting month for me and I did switch gears in May for a bit to get that done. I've downsized the number of containers from the hey day of my former garden but I still enjoy playing with them. As time goes on I will likely invest in some new ones but not this year.

If you've been following my blog for a few years you may remember my orange pot on a Sycamore stump in front of the shed in my former garden. Well the orange pot is back on a stump which is not near the shed but I couldn't be happier with the location.

I love Dichondra 'Silver Falls'. Maybe too much as I've used it in t least half a dozen containers this year.

Coleus Rustic Orange, a yellow shell impatiens (sorry no time to go out and pull the tags), and one of those bronze Carex varieties that some people think look dead. Schnauzer statue for posterity.

Scaveola, Lantana 'Samantha' and Strobilanthes in one of the two new matching urns on the sitting walls.  

Lots going on here. Hope my pinching fingers will be up to the task.

'Mary Rose', one of the two roses I inherited and saved from the patio contractor's backhoe last summer. Despite a blast of insecticidal soap, rose sawfly continues to taunt me. I hate roses :).

Geum 'Totally Tangerine' has been a winner.  Totally.

Symphytum x uplandicum 'Axminster Gold' fronting down a blooming Physocarpus 'Little Devil'

I'm so glad I had the presence of mind last fall to plant a dozen Allium 'Globemaster'. They went by a few days after this pictures was taken but I will add more this fall.

Clematis 'Betty Corning', and Gillenia(Porteranthus) trifoliata

A closeup of Betty.

Phlox glaberrima 'Triple Play'

Peucedanum ostruthium 'Daphnis' has really taken off planted on the north side of my house.

First blooms on Hydrangea serrata 'Tough Stuff'. And tough it appears to be.

Salvia 'Caradonna' is starting to poop out. These are first year plants.

Agastache 'Kudos Mandarin' is sold here as a perennial but if it returns next year I'll consider it a bonus. Notice all the empty, mulched area. Send plants!

I tried Camassia for the first time this year. This is C. leichtlinii alba. I also grew two blue varieties and preferred them over the white. Once the garden starts to grow in around them I think the effect will be better.

Geranium 'New Hampshire Purple' is a pass along plant from my friend, Deanne's garden.

I finally figured out how to grow Geranium 'Rozanne'-let it sprawl!

I grew Lysimachia punctate 'Alexander' in my former garden and loved it but something(that I now know was sawfly larvae) used to skeletonize it. So far it's been fine here but I'm keeping my eyes peeled. Is anyone else done with sawfly? Here I battle rose sawfly, hibiscus sawfly, columbine sawfly and I guess Lysimachia sawfly. Insecticidal soap is only marginally effective. The systemics work but I won't use them because they are not pollinator friendly.

A wide angle view of the front. I'll leave the back to your imagination for now.

So there you have it. Today we welcome the summer solstice. I have a love/hate relationship with this one. I live for longer days and hate to see them begin to shorten even though it will be a while before it becomes noticeable.

I won't be hitching this post to the Bloom Day wagon, but if you want to see what is blooming on June 15th in gardens around the globe, go visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Maybe I'll be on time for July. In the meantime you can see more of what is going on around here by following me on Instagram.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bloom Day in this Crazy Month of May

And I mean crazy. The weather has just been nuts here for months. It's either freezing or 90 (mostly freezing). Most of April was cold and nasty with an unusual amount of snow and below normal temperatures. May has been better but cold and rainy at least one day a weekend. Today it was a tornado watch, torrential rain, damaging winds and strong thunderstorms. Although we dodged the bullet at my house, tonight my Facebook and Instagram feeds are peppered with pictures of property destruction throughout Connecticut.

As you might expect I'm not where I'd like to be in the garden. Granted I'm working off a very ambitious list but that's what I do. After the patio was completed last September, we still had modifications to make to the house, much garden prep, lawn installation and some unplanned site work. Much of it got tabled into 2018. Losing pretty much the whole month of April killed me.

Anyway, here we are. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to take the pictures last night. Rivers of rain earlier tonight guaranteed no retakes. Due to never ending time constraints, I'm going to have to make this short and sweet. I apologize for being such a bad blogger. However, I'm fairly active on Instagram. If you're not already there, c'mom over!

One of my two inherited lilacs. The other is in too much shade to bloom and despite a bit of TLC this one struggles.

Corydalis sempervirens is a cute little wildflower that seeds around the ledge gardens in my front yard.

Only a few daffodils remain after a three day stretch a 90 degree weather a couple of weeks ago.

Epimedium youngianum 'Niviem'

I believe this is Epimedium 'Lilafee'

An old standby Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum'

Last spring I found myself fascinated by photos of Camassia. I had never grown it before so added some bulbs to my fall order. Cool, huh?

Not much screams "Spring!" to me as loud as Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'. I know they're calling it Lamprocapnos now but I don't care. I like Dicentra better and it's easier to remember.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Alexander's Great'.

OK I am seriously in love with this fairly new Amsonia 'Storm Cloud'. Must. Plant. More.

I lost quite a few plants this winter to both weather and voles so I was excited to see the return of these two Euphorbia epithymoides 'Bonfire'. The shrub is an oddball cultivar of Forsythia 'Citrus Swizzle'.

Cool foliage or what?

One of the surprises of starting a new garden is getting reacquainted with fairly common plants that you previously took for granted like this Euphorbia polychroma.

Fothergilla x intermedia 'Blue Shadow is just a perfect little shrub.

I mean just look at those flowers!

I planted this Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine' last year and although it returned and is blooming it doesn't appear to be all that vigorous. But the flowers are unique so I'm willing to wait and see what next year brings.

A vignette of an unknown Primula, an unknown Heuchera, and what I think is Brunnera macrophylla 'Variegata'

I'm pleased with this Muscari mix I scattered all over the garden last fall.

Dave bought me this Cercis 'Ruby Falls' for my birthday last year. It's blooming and alive but suffered lots of dieback. Redbuds struggle here. Fingers crossed.

I see Rhododendrons growing in crappy full sun sites all the time yet they wither in my care. Over the weekend I moved this 'Miyama Gold Prinz' to what I hope will be a better site with more afternoon shade. I bought it in full bloom last year because the flowers were so unique but only one bud survived to bloom this spring.

"Gray skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face..."

At some point I hope to have more long shots to share. Much of my plant budget has been allocated to shrubs and trees which makes for a lot of mulched bare spots. Once I get some annuals growing and my pots planted things should improve but it's going to be a few years before gardens start truly taking shape here.

In the meantime, head on over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what gardeners are growing today all around the world.