June 25, 2016
June 15, 2016
'Kopper Kettle' peony blooms work as well in a vase as they do in the garden. This Itoh hybrid peony requires no staking to keep the flowers upright. It grows 2.5 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide and is hardy in zones 4-8. More sun means more flowers, but afternoon shade keeps the blooms from fading as quickly.
June 10, 2016
Here are a few more pictures from May. It has been fun to see various color schemes come and go as plants come in and out of bloom. Above purple 'Globemaster' Alliums bloomed next to the maroon leaves of my 'Red Dragon' contorted filbert (Corylus avellana 'Red Dragon'). A clump of 'Caesar's Brother' Siberian iris is shown in the upper left corner.
I'm still working on filling the edges of the pathway with low plants. Above 'Firestorm' Geum and 'Dusseldorf Pride' thrift (Armeria) added color to the west curve of the backyard path. This combo will be even better next year as I recently added several 'Dicksen's Gold' bellflowers (Campanula) with chartreuse leaves. Magenta, golden-orange and chartreuse are so vibrant together.
The deep maroon leaves of my 'Royal Purple' smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria) played off the blooms of the 'Kopper Kettle' Itoh peony. You can't see in this shot, but the base of the peony blooms showed maroon streaks that perfectly echoed the color of the smoke bush . . . it's a match made in heaven.
A combo of different colors and forms appeared on the east side of the house. Fluffy chartreuse lady's mantle (Alchimella mollis) danced below linear 'June to Remember' Siberian iris while a 'Glboemaster' Allium joined the mix.
Here is the east garden area a couple of weeks prior to the previous shot, when pink creeping Phlox, 'Gladiator' Alliums and chartreuse leaves of an 'Ogon' (or Mellow Yellow) Spirea and 'Lime Rickey' Heucheras provided the color.
In the white garden a 'Snow Queen' Siberian iris bloomed behind a 'June Bride' Heuchera.
There has been a lot of cleanup work to be done lately as the tulip and other bulb foliage turned yellow and various perennials finished blooming and needed deadheading or trimming back to the ground. Today I'm happy that steady rain is giving me a good excuse to take a break.
June 1, 2016
The northwest corner of the backyard is full of vivid color right now. Orange Oriental poppies, purple 'Ambassador' Allium, red 'Montgomery' Astilbe, purple 'Caradonna' sage (Salvia) and rosy-orange 'Totally Tangerine' Geum fill the shot above.
Evening backlighting is especially pretty, though it's hard to capture with my amateur photographer skills.
'Caesar's Brother' Siberian iris helps the violet sage to cool down all the orange and red flowers.
A dozen small clumps of 'Moulin Rouge' Astrantia get lost among the taller perennials unless you look closely.
Last year I rearranged many of the plants in this area, and I'm pleased with how much better it looks. But I have new transplanting plans now!
I sometimes try out garden color combinations in a vase, and this arrangement has convinced me that I need to add some cranberry-colored 'Kansas' and 'Paul M. Wild' peonies to the NW corner. And some mid-pink 'Rivida' peonies. Plus some deep red 'Buckeye Belle' peonies. Yeah, peonies will make it even better. Stay tuned for an even more colorful display next year.