Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Late Winter Bloom Day

Early March 2017
Mid March 2017

This is my favorite spot in the garden in the late winter/early spring.  It was an unplanned area that morphed in to quite a nice view from my kitchen window this time of year. 

April 2013

The original owners of the house had placed the two camellias in full sun.   Every summer the leaves were badly scalded by the sun.  The poor things were slowly dying out there in the bright, hot sun.  I moved them to this mostly shady location under the canopy of some loblolly pine trees and they love it.  Next came the bird house a few years later. The white bird house really makes the red flowers on the camellias pop (accidental color combo, of course).  Finally, spirea 'Ogon' was planted four years ago.  The color combo of the dark, glossy green camellia leaves and the chartreuse 'Ogon' leaves is beautiful throughout the year.  The tall stature of the camellias flanking the weepiness of 'Ogon' is also an eye pleasing design.  'Ogon' bloomed its snowy white profusion of flowers a few weeks ago (see the earlier March post) which led in to the camellias bloom time.  Succession planting and good color combinations year round.  A gardeners delight!  Now, as I get back to gardening after four years, I am thinking of what else to add to this area.  Certainly some early bulbs like grape hyacinths and crocus would be useful to draw your eye down to ground level.

Other blooms in the garden:

Thank you Carol for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day at  May Dreams Garden.

Monday, March 13, 2017

In a Vase Monday....

Camellia cut from the garden on a freezing rain day in Williamsburg, Virginia.  High temp: 45.  Low temp: 41.  Follow other In A Vase Monday bloggers hosted by Rambling in the Garden

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gold in the Garden

The green headed coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) rises above all of the summer flowers in the garden at this time of year.  Standing 6 - 7 feet tall, it is truely a giant.  The green headed coneflower stretches up to meet the other gold giant that can not be ignored - the blazing hot sun.  It is a native to eastern North America and does well in wet soil conditions, although it is planted in a dry area of my garden.  The center should be green, hence the name, however mine has yet to turn any shade other than gold.

I find the green headed coneflower to be a good companion plant of butterfly bushes.  They are about the same height and together form a nice sort of hedge at the back of the bed.

Another equally excellent companion plant is the Chaste Tree.  The gorgeous blue flowers are a real show stopper with the coneflower.  They are also about the same height and so their flowers mix together to make a pleasing combination.

One would be remiss if the common black eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) was not mentioned when discussing golds in the garden.  An easy to find perennial at any small or large garden shop, it becomes the grounding flower in my garden at the end of July.   It does have to be sprayed with critter repellent as the rabbits will grind it down to twigs if you look away for even a second. 

Black eyed susans pair well with other coneflowers and decorative grasses.  When the grasses send up their feathery plumes there is nothing finer than the look of a bed filled with blacked eyed susans and wispy grasses swaying in a warm breeze.  It reminds me that autumn is just around the corner.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Is it Butterfly Season?

I was in the garden earlier this week and my son came out to ask me a question.  Mid sentence he stopped what he came out to ask and instead blurted out "Is it butterfly season?".  Indeed butterfly season is upon us! There were swallowtail butterflies all over the garden this week.

They were dancing in the air and flitting from flower to flower.
My butterfly bush collection has increased over the years and I now have eight of them.  'Ellen's Blue' has become somewhat invasive and I am pulling a lot of seedlings out in the garden these days.  I have tried digging them up and giving them away, but they don't seem to transplant well at all.

Bumblebees where also buzzing along in large numbers this gray, drizzly week. 

On Thursday, I decided it was time to prune back the red bee balm.  I left three that were still flowering and when I looked up a few minutes later there was the first hummingbird of the season coming for a visit to the last of the red bee balm.  I thought to myself "Where were you two weeks ago when the bee balm was in full bloom?".  Now he will have to wait until the swamp hibiscus starts to bloom!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Picturesque Spot

Every summer our family drives up from Virginia to upstate New York to visit my husband's family.  The summers are so different there.  The temperature and humidity is low compared to what we contend with in the South.  The sky is always a brilliant blue with big fluffy white clouds.  My husband's parents' house sits on a picturesque street with wide sidewalks and towering maple trees lining the street.  Sounds nice, doesn't it?  The best part lies behind the houses on the street though.  A secret spot that only the owners and guests know is there.   A little stream lies behind the houses, each one having it's own wooden bridge to cross over to the rest of the property.  The stream feeds into the historic Eerie Canal.  My father-in-law, Poppy, as the grandkids call him, built two bridges.  A high bridge to get to the other side of the property and a low bridge for all of the grandkids to use to catch crayfish and jump in the creek.

Many photos have been taken here over the years as we have watched the creek stay the same and our children continue to change and grow.
It is a peaceful and calming spot that my in-laws have decorated with plants that cause the creek to pop with color and texture.

This day lily was the highlight during our stay this year.

Beyond the creek are enormous trees with shady and sunny gardens spotted here and there. The large ferns and dark green ivy add a lush, coolness to this area even on a hot day.
The front of the house has a gorgeous side garden that they share with a neighbor.  Lace cap and mop head hydrangeas were in full bloom while we were there.
Wooden structures play an important part throughout their gardens. The structures are the background and bones of the plantings.  Without them, the plants would be so bland.
Clematis runs up the trellis, while bee balm and a color coordinating money plant fill in below.  Baby's breath is scattered through the holes with it's tiny, airy flowers that are blooming right now.  It will be another year before we come back.  My children will have grown and changed some more as these gardens and the creek stay the same.