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.

June 1, 2017

Vivid Colors at Spring's End

On the first of June, colorful scenes are cropping up in the garden.  The photo above shows the bird bath on the west side of the home where spikes of violet 'May Night' salvia and lavender 'Walker's Low' catmint mingle with 'Pure as Gold' iris.

The view looking north through the gate shows the back garden looking much more full than it did at the beginning of May.  A month ago the fence panel to the right of the gate was still disassembled after our long kitchen remodel/addition.  It feels really good finally have things back in place inside and outside.

The west side of the backyard path features edgings of pink 'Dusseldorf Pride' armeria and golden orange 'Firestorm' geum with 'Red Charm' peonies blooming at right.  IIf you look closely you'll see little bursts of chartreuse from the leaves of baby 'Diane's Gold' brunnera, 'Dicksen's Gold' campanula and 'Everillo' sedge.

Unknown orange poppies really pop against violet 'Caesar's Brother' Siberian iris and 'Buckeye Belle' peonies in the background.

A pink 'Rivida' peony is about to open in front with a rainbow of poppies, allium, Siberian iris, geum, salvia and astrantia in the background.
My favorite camera lens (Canon 50 mm EF f/1.4 USM) is finally repaired and the garden is ready for photographs, so I hope to post more regularly.

Later in the day 'Rivida' opened a little more, leading to this view.  Scrumptious!