July 15, 2017

July GBBD - What's Blooming Now

It's definitely feeling like summer now with hot temperatures and clear, blue skies most days.  Even though the big June burst of bloom is over, I've still got quite a few flowers in the garden.  Above the Russian sage (Peroskvia) is coloring up while the 'Blue Chip' butterfly bushes (Buddleia, at front) have yet to start blooming.

This angle of the main sunny backyard bed shows a 'Miss Molly' butterfly bush starting to bloom (the hummingbirds are cheering) at right and a few 'Blue Paradise' phlox at center.  The blue leaves of 'Eola Sapphire' hostas and 'Ritro' globe thistle (Echinops), golden 'Dicksen's Gold' bellflower (Campanula), and maroon 'Chocoholic' snakeroot (Cimicifuga), 'Obsidian' heuchera and 'Royal Purple' smoke bush (Cotinus) ensure there is contrast even without a lot of flowers.

A cluster of 'Thumbelina Leigh' lavender shrubs are in full bloom behind a 'Lavender Stardust' daylily (Hemerocallis).  I thought I was done transplanting in the corner pictured, but I was wrong.  I'm still digging things up and moving them around, despite the hot temperatures.

This shot shows the same cluster of lavender shrubs from the other direction.  'Abbey Road' astrantia is blooming heavily across the path, and a few 'Ambassador' allium heads are still hanging around for interest.

A columnar apple tree in front echoes the shape of my new 'Starlight' columnar dogwood at center.  'Shaggy' white astrantia and a 'Sunday Gloves' daylily bloom at bottom left while buds of white liatris (L. 'Alba') are ready to open.

Two 'Big Smile' daylilies flank the swing set alongside lavender 'Rozanne' hardy geraniums.

In the white garden 'Bridal Veil' astilbe is finishing up in front while Astrantia major is going strong at center.  My 'Claire Austin' English rose is still getting established, so it's stems are falling all over from the weight of the flowers.

In the front yard 'Frances Joiner' double daylilies are blooming heavily next to a 'Walker's Low' catmint that needs to be deadheaded soon.  I like the peachy color of the daylilies, but last night I realized that I'd like lilac-pink 'Lavender Stardust' daylilies even better here.  More transplanting lies ahead . . .

The west garden is colorful as usual with several types of lilies in bloom as well as 'Golden Sunrise' tickseed (Coreopsis) that has seeded itself around the area.  Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day each month.

June 21, 2017

June Peonies in a Vase

Last week I created this arrangement of pink peonies for a friend.  I'm still waiting for my darker peonies to mature enough to produce buckets of blooms, but for now I can enjoy plenty of the lighter pinks.

The draping greenery is from one of my contorted filberts (Corylus avellana 'Contorta').  I used astilbe leaves to create a grid to hold other greenery in place, then filled in with Baptisia, variegated Solomon's Seal and hosta leaves.

I used the small flowers of pink 'Roma' and lighter 'Buckland' astrantia (above).  A rosy-tipped stem of snowberry (Symphoricarpos) arches at the left.

 Of course twisting honeysuckle stems were included.  The honeysuckle is blooming right now, filling an entire corner of the backyard with fragrance.

Buds from my 'Eola Sapphire' hostas also added interest.  I don't like the actual flowers enough to use them in arrangements, but the buds are really cool.
The last peonies to bloom are finishing up this week, then it will be another year before peony flowers make their appearance.

June 6, 2017

Early June Scenes 2017


The garden changes daily at this time of year, with many blooms opening overnight to surprise me the next morning.  The photo above, though, highlights dark foliage that lasts longer than flowers.  I've been struggling with this main sunny bed since I created it, but adding six 'Obsisian' heuchera plants has helped it look more finished.  The maroon leaves of the heucheras tie into the similarly colored leaves of the 'Royal Purple' smoke bush (Cotinus) to the left and the 'Royal Purple' crabapple trees (Malus) to the top right.

I love the maroon leaves with ethereal 'Twilight Blues' baptisia and balls of 'Globemaster' allium.

This northeast area of the backyard ties into that northwest main sunny bed with dark leaves from my 'Red Dragon' contorted filbert (Corylus).  A 'Kopper Kettle' Itoh peony blooms at center left.

 A little further along the path, a 'Black Lace' elderberry (Sambucus) continues the dark-leaved theme.  'Early Emperor' alliums are done blooming but the seed heads still provide interest.

I shared photos of the orange poppies last week, but I can't resist another one.

'Caesar's Brother' Siberian iris and 'Totally Tangerine' geum are good neighbors.  The geum blooms three or four times as long as the iris, though.

'Ambassador' allium (top)  is my favorite allium for its deep purple color, though I really appreciate 'Early Emperor' (at center, finished blooming) for its early show of color.  Now that the 'Caradonna' salvia and 'Caesar's Brother' Siberian iris are blooming, the three shades of violet-purple are really pretty against the orange geum.

 In the backyard garden east of the house, the leaves of a 'June' hosta blend peacefully with chartreuse and green leaves on other hostas, heuchera, and spirea.

Here in the east back garden my pink 'Helsinki University' rhododendrons and more alliums are providing the flower color for now.  Last year I transplanted several 'Jack Frost' and 'King's Ransom' brunnera plants to this area (you can see a blurry one at center), and their silvery leaves provide interest even when the blue flowers aren't visible.

The west path garden is recovering from the trauma of being smashed by heavy equipment during our remodel.  The 'Elfin' creeping thyme is slowly starting to reappear around the stones at the top of the path.  My 'Teasing Georgia' rose (not shown because it's ugly right now) survived, barely, and is starting to leaf out but still looks sad.  Next year it should be pretty again.

In the front yard 'Coral Sunset' peonies demonstrate the reason for their name with many shades of pink and cream on the same plant.  In the front yard I also grow 'Coral Charm,' which blooms a little later and makes a much better cut flower.  I've learned that 'Coral Sunset' starts to turn brown the next day if I cut it fully open, and it doesn't open if I cut it earlier.  'Coral Charm' does better in a vase.