Monday, 15 July 2019

The Wait .....

So ... the "wait" to see if I can get my little ones through their stages to be able to fly away without harm is nerve wrecking ... this morning one of them almost escaped getting through the cheese cloth protection.
This picture was taken a few days ago so they are even bigger and closer to the chrysalis stage
 Like every expectant mom I am worried something will go wrong, fingers crossed.
Other than that .. the garden is humming along .. albeit a little tired looking from our heat and humidity ..
New echinacea called Meadow Mama .. I don't have it in the best position right now of course.
Black Eyed Stella has been doing her thing in the allyway garden.
Big Blue is finally turning blue .. note to self , cut some SOON !!
The various lilies are starting to show their faces
Blue Mouse Ears hosta .. their flowers always remind me of crocus . so a little Spring fall back ?
I have two of these and they are tough little beauties that I thought would be fussy .. phew !
Happy Returns seems to be happy ...
I love a punch of orange ... especially from the butterfly weed aka Asclepias tuberosa.
It reminds me that another season will be arriving  ... eventually
...and... that these beauties will turn black and "rattle" Blue False Indigo is a mainstay in my garden.
Am I already wishing summer away for Autumn ? ... hum .....
Until then .. the mother of all trees in my gardens "Pacific Sunset Maple" shades and protects all the little lives that need the relief from the sun and heat.
More gratuitous pictures to squeeze in ?
Astilbe, hosta, ferns, heuchera , brunnera .... I love to really squeeze in as much as possible.
 I planted way too many liatris .. I think it is the original Kobold... they look amazing even before they flower out .. almost alien ?
Veronicastrum "Fascination " .... support is needed especially since the sprinkler system can batter the poor thing ... just turning that pretty light violet colour now.
Dark blues pop out ...Clematis  Romantika yet again
Pop of blue/purple from the "President" and to come with those amazing Wedgewood blues from the Variegated Porcelian Berry vine for Autumn
Last long view for mid July  ....

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Gardening Motivations and a Question ?

We all like seeing before and after pictures right ? .. that change up, to refresh the look of the garden that became rather dull and predictable.
I'm not one for extreme upheaval .. rather a more subtle type of renovation perhaps ?

My clematis circle , as I refer to it .. needed something different.
So .. I thought a quick and easy swap would be to add some day lilies to the mix .
This is the old "circle", mainly lamium for surrounding the clematis tower.
  The daylily I chose is Ruby Stella .. an easy rebloomer that should fill in nicely and put up with not always best of conditions ? .. those miracle plants we rely one ?
They are positioned in more of a semi circle towards the front.
The lamium roots are still there .. I just cut the over growth back to refresh the plants.
Hopefully their heads will pop up and fill in giving that lush look they did before.
The perennial geraniums should also spill over with pretty dark pink/magenta flowers in a few weeks if I am lucky.
I intend to plant patches of daffodils, in the Fall, that will look "happy" ? for next Spring.
We are always planning for the next season .. optimism of a gardener (sounds like a good blog name) .. maybe I should change to that ?
Other plants that seem to be happy for now
I can go through phases with certain plants .. I adore the scent of carnations aka dianthus.
But .. I just wasn't feeling it with most of the type of flowers until I saw this one .. I scooped what I thought was the last plant (Lavender Lace) during the end of season sale .. but with luck I found two more, managing that special number 3 for planting .. the scent is amazing and the flowers remind me of orchids.
"Big Blue" eryngium aka sea holly ... is big and blue ...
Clematis "Mrs. Harvey" is ringing her bell on the clematis tower ...
Clematis Madame Julia Correvon in a very difficult area swallowed up by Korean Yellow Wax Bells at the bottom of this planting .. it is a race each Spring for it to establish the vine before the shade of the wax bells takes over .. it amazes me every year that it can flower.
A new vine... a honeysuckle .. Magnifica
It is a "touchy feely vine of course ... notice at bottom of picture
Now for a question ..
I have a few Black Swallowtail instar on my dill pot
But I have or had a curious caterpillar on the annual licorice vine that I have no idea what it is .. if anyone recognizes this guy/gal would you please let me know what it is going to be ?

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Garden Overload

June is one overwhelming garden month to handle ..
Too much work (for an aging gardener) and too many photos to keep track of, to make sense out of when you want to do a blog post
Throw in the compulsion to buy more plants, even though you know you don't NEED them and you NEVER space them out correctly .. "future over crowding" come what may, seems to be a mantra of mine.

It is the nature of the beast to fill your garden far beyond capacity, for the satisfaction of seeing said garden over filled, in a lush and productive state that shuns weeds ... mainly because you just can't seem to get to that mulch chore done .. even though you have many bags of it taking space up in the shed speaking to you every time you go in and they *SMIRK* figuring they are safe and sound from being spread on the ground.
I am a poet and don't know it ? .. BIG sigh.
Garden MADNESS in full swing, go figure ?

OK .. enough of that foolishness
One of a number of pleasant surprises .. my Chinese Fringe  tree (aka chionanthus retusus) has finally put out some "fringe" .. fingers crossed it will be even more generous each coming year !

Green Lotus peony became VERY robust this season ..  she is my "wild child"

A surprise "switch" in my order to Gardens Plus last year ..
Dawn could not provide Neptune's Gold sea holly, but she gave me an amazing substitute "Stand By Me" bush clematis .. and talk about a wow factor on that BLUE !
The flower buds are almost black ... now that caught my attention as well.

I took these pictures in the morning shade otherwise the colors would be washed out, they truly are that BLUE !
Thank you Dawn ... otherwise I might never have known how gorgeous a clematis this is !
A new acquisition .. Lemony Lace elderberry was an impulse buy .. I just couldn't help myself ?
On the subject of sea holly aka eryngium .. I acquired "Big Blue" from Canning Perennials two years ago .. it flowered the first year as in this picture .. but not last year for some reason.
However it looks like it has amazing potential this year with so many flower heads for the season
Lesson learned ? never underestimate a plant's under achievement in a non-performing year's cycle?

Overall the garden is running itself with a little occasional  interference from me .. well , by the time I am finished interfering, I am dragging myself up the deck steps mumbling all sorts of naughty phrases and swearing not to try and do so much in one day YET AGAIN ? 

Below picture is right side , back garden view, with the mother of all trees (and extreme trouble maker, with flower buds that "snow" and maple keys that behave like MULCH) but she is a beauty and a life staff to so many birds .
We have had families of Chickadees, finches, robins, wrens ... plus beneficial insects and those not so beneficial insects (BIG sigh !) .. but it is LIFE ... and every aspect is amazing.
So even though I stumble through the intense work it takes, it is beyond satisfying for my garden soul.
I am forever grateful to have the resources to enjoy such an amazing hobby .. a love of plants and birds/animals, that truly give you that innocent wonder at times that you think you have lost.
OK .. enough of the dribble philosophy .. I have to rest up and plan my next garden maneuvers !
A few more pics just for the heck of it ? because I have so darn many of them !
I have two Bowman's Root (aka Gillenia trifoliata) .. one is supposed to be pink but that aspect is not quite working out it seems .. pretty little flower though !
Emperor 1 Japanese maple and Warsaw Nike clematis .. and yes ... it is that dark !
A return on a fern I thought I had lost
Goats Beard (aka Aruncus dioicus) by Purple Leaf Sandcherry .. great colour contrast

 Another Emporer 1, so you can see again how dark that foliage is .. just a little vignette with my rain barrel trying to hide behind the Englemann Ivy .. which can become a monster if not PRUNED to make it behave .. gorgeous scarlet in the Fall !

Friday, 7 June 2019

Still dealing ........

I am still dealing with some loses from this ridiculous winter/Spring .....
Plants you think should not be affected ? those so called work horses ? back bone ? plants in the garden just shriveled up and died on me .. and ? I have yet to see Lamb's Ears at any of the garden centers yet .. Was there some sort of plague for them .. are they now zombies ?

On the other hand I became obsessed with the Japanese maples yet again ..
I now have a collection of eight .. some doubles because that was just the way it went ..
I am so happy that Inaba Shidare, Red Dragon, and my original Bloodgood and Waterfall, made it through.
So in response I got the another Bloodgood ... two Emperor 1 .. and a Tamukeyama
I really have to stop now !

As a complete change of pace and stemming the complaining of loses ? something completely different.
A Spring tulip that I absolutely love .. Ballerina, stands up to a lot of punishment.

And .... more orange just in case you haven't had enough ?
My first and only azalea Mandarin Lights.
See how it jumps off the page, even in the dark of early morning !
To offset the orange how about some purple ?
Shooting pictures in the shade really brings out the depth of colour for these allium.
Purple Sensation is a beauty ... I can't seem to get enough of those either.

I have loads of work to do but I have to take a week off because of the eye surgery so I feel uneasy about falling behind a great deal, when it is the height of the season to get new plants settled in.
But ? .. life has a way of throwing a wrench in when ever it can just to keep you on your toes ?