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June 2012

May 2012

The Pipes, the Pipes are Calling

Aristolochia Dutchman's PipeThese make me laugh but then I have a juvenile sense of humor. Seriously, I have never seen so many precocious flowers on this very invasive vine. It is invasive but it is covering the fence for privacy and it works quite well. I have been told, more than once, that I have a bit of irreverence about me. The flowers on the Dutchman's Pipe may look like pipes to some. Not to me. They, along with my rooster tuteur Rooster tuteurare in the same area of the garden making it my own special Chanticleer or cockadoodle doo garden or just plain... never mind. You get the picture. I do love to laugh and hope you do as well. I am still preparing for the garden tour on June 2nd which might explain the lack of posts. Everything takes just a bit longer to get done this year but there is little I cannot do. Want to come to the tour? It benefits the Gentian Garden Club and you can get information on the tour here.  I would love to see you in my garden. Rain or shine. I will be here along with Cooper and Tucker.

Bloom Day - May 15, 2012


The ledge bedThis May's Bloom Day finds the garden lush and green with many flowers blooming a couple of weeks ahead of their normal scheduled bloom. Certainly the green growth is weeks ahead and you can see from the overall picture above that green is the predominant color. The bleeding hearts are still blooming quite heavily and I don't tire of them as I do the daffodils and forsythia. Perhaps it is the color pink which is much more soothing than bright yellow of early spring. Or, perhaps, the leafing out of the trees softens the light in the garden.   DSC_0013The flowers are a bit jarring on the gold form but its yellow foliage brightens up the shady border. The tree peony is a rather soft yellow and the first of three buds has opened. Tree PeonyThey are sumptuous, seductive blooms and entice this gardener to want to plant more tree peonies. TiarellaThe tiarellas are blooming and while somewhat insignificant their blooms, en masse, do brighten a border and are an added bonus to the great foliage of the plant. Variegated Solomon's SealSolomon's Seal is one of my favorite ground cover plants for dry shade. That would be the variegated form which grows about fifteen inches tall and covers quite a bit of ground in a season. It doesn't really misbehave as it is easily kept in check with division. Someone always wants a piece of this plant so if you come to visit, don't be afraid to ask for a division. Exbury azaleaThe Exbury azalea languishes in my garden but has thrown forth two flower buds. I don't pay any attention to it and perhaps it retaliates by just surviving. I would love masses of orange blooms and these two may encourage me to give it a bit more care in the form of a shovelful of compost and a little mulch. The poison ivy twining around its base has warned me in the past to stay away. I think it is time to tempt fate with appropriate precautions. Geranium phaeumThere are other interesting blooms this Bloom Day such as the small flowers on the Geranium phaeum. This plant does go astray if you let it go to seed. Seedlings come up everywhere. The foliage of this plant is pleasing as it has a green, rounded lobed leaf with a dark, blotchy maroon marking around the center of the leaf. Worth the trouble in my book.  These are just a few of the blooms in an effort to try not to repeat those of last year although the tree peony must always be shown. Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Shasta'I must also feature the doublefile viburnum as it is in full glory. Its layered branching is a wonderful addition to any garden. Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams, whose month has finally arrived, for hosting another Bloom Day.  Thank you for visiting the blooms of my garden. I would love to visit yours so please leave a comment. Enjoy the day.

Garden Art

The long borderI will leave it up to you to determine if the above tulip 'Gavota', purchased this past fall from Colorblends, is art in the garden. Tulip 'Gavota'I am quite enjoying nature's brush strokes of color on these tulips. 'Gavota'They work well with the Heuchera 'Caramel', the spirea and the globe.  Heuchera 'Caramel'The hand blown orange globe certainly is an artistic piece and was made by a local artisan, Neal Drobnis. You can read more about his work here. The globe was given to me by friends and I have moved it here and there finally settling it just behind the Spirea 'Magic Carpet'. Spring borderI love the foliage of this spirea. The new growth is orange/burgundy and it does fade to gold although a thorough shearing will push new, fresh, bright growth. The spirea will reach up to eventually touch the globe as the season progresses. The globe will 'float' above the spirea. From a distance, it does seem to be floating right now. Globe by Neal DrobnisThis border runs east to west with west at the far end. Another plus since the setting sun sets the globe afire. Placing art in the garden takes a bit of practice. I currently have many little pieces of statuary but real art in the garden has a price. My garden is in a country setting and is not of the country estate style. As such, pieces are small and whimsical and I rely on the art of placing complimentary plants together for the greatest show. Whatever style you have should really reflect your own personal taste. To me, the definition of a garden is one which reveals and reflects the hand of the gardener. Otherwise, it is just a landscape.  What kind of art do you favor?

'Yard Crashers' at Ledge and Gardens

Front Row: Kiki, Meena, Rohan,Sister Lyn, Kasey,Sister Kathy, Layanee Second Row: Linda, Miggy, Brenda,Sister Eileen Third Row Standing: Beth, Laura, Daughter Emily with BIL Steve behind her, Mom, Rob, BIL Bob(in back),Rocky, Pat, Chris the EM, Gisele and John  Missing: Joyce Chapman, Nicole, Ronan & Wyatt Cardarelli

When the doctor says "no digging, dividing, edging, mulching, yadda, yadda, yadda, what is a gardener to do? We all know most doctors are not that specific. What they say is "No lifting anything over 10 lbs." Oh, you can try to do those things but the body rebels and reminds you, not so gently but with pain, that you had better listen. Well, this gardener is a fairly fatalistic person. What doesn't get done this spring will get done during the summer (maybe) or fall months. This year is different though. The local garden club, of which I am a member, is having a fund raising garden tour on June 2nd. Early June is a magical time in the garden. Usually. Fresh green foliage bears no tatters from foraging insects this early in the season and moisture is in abundance. The bleeding hearts are still bearing their blooms, the alliums are standing tall in the border, the edges of the beds are crisp and clean. Usually. Yard Crashers

The people

This year, with little strength to clean up beds and borders, family and friends came to help. Daughter Emily arranged a party and a party there was. Over twenty came with rakes, shovels, pruners, edgers and other various tools to clean up and clean out. In one day the gardens were spiffed and shined with adults, kids and dogs all having a good time. DSC_6297The age range was four to eighty eight. Yes, I caught my Mom weeding and buffing up the border inside the fence. She also made two apple pies and a pot of baked beans. How does one keep up with that? One just hopes one has inherited those traits. Some friends who arrived to help don't really love to garden. DSC_6283The Beverage/Mulch Cart
Some have never gardened or even smelled the scent of a blooming lily of the valley flower. In this digitized world where many of us connect electronically, where good manners seem to have disappeared, where despair concerning the ability to effect any real help or change to the war torn and food deprived people of the world, this day was the essence of human goodness. Lending a helping hand seems such a small act. I can tell you that it is not. It is one of the biggest. Making someone else's life, day or moment a bit better is a grand gesture. My Sunday was full of grand gestures. Thank you to all who came. I will try to pass these along one day at a time. Has there been a grand gesture in your life recently? Yard Crashers1

If you are interested in the Gentian Garden Club Garden Tour presenting 'Gentian's Gems', on June 2nd, rain or shine, click here for ticket information.