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July 2008

Garden Whimsy!

High 84 F
Low  62 F
I seem to have collected quite a bit of 'garden whimsy' as Nan over at Gardening Gone Wild has designated the term for those kitschy little collectibles which make a garden unique to the gardener.  The first picture is of a birdbath which I picked up from a customer.  It was slightly damaged and they wanted it out of there!   I think it is  an interesting birdbath and I like the shallow bowl and the fact that the dirt doesn't show with the rust coloration.Dsc_0004   This little statue looks over the astilbe bed.  I think he seems quite at home but he does move around from year to year.Dsc_0006   These globes are a lot of fun and actually glow, dimly, in the dark.  One is on a stake and the other two hang  from fishing line over the entry bed.  I like them.  They are bubbles in the garden.  Dsc_0007 This ceramic globe sits among the 'Great Expectation' hosta leaves giving a bit more color to the shady garden.  Sometimes there is a bit of the 'tongue in cheek' involved with garden whimsy.  Who really wants one of these gnomesDsc_0009 in their garden?   You have to chuckle at the sight of one of these rather garish figures.  I chuckle anyway.  One mustn't take oneself too seriously.  I do consider this birdhouse, Dsc_0010 which has housed two families this spring and summer, whimsical in nature.  The thatched roof and overall shape are quite natural looking but must be considered 'artsy'.  I fear for its' sturdiness but it was inexpensive and always makes me smile.  Dsc_0012 Water girl sits by the fishpond emptying her jug endlessly.  She was given to me several years ago for Mother's Day by my son, Ben.  I love her because she is so patient and she reminds me of my son's thoughtfulness and love. Dsc_0013 I know I have shown 'Sleeping Maiden'  in past posts but she is serene and bear's a second look.  She weighs in at about sixty pounds.  Lots on her mind, I guess.
  Dsc_0014 This garden stake doesn't look like much until the lights go out and then it glows red, green, blue, fuschia, turquoise and purple changing every second or so all through the night.  I can see it from my bedroom window and it is better than counting sheep.  Dsc_0016 Another hanging globe in the garden but this one hangs from a stake and is also bubble colored.  As you can see, when the Rhododendron mucronulatum 'Cornell Pink' is in bloom the colors match those in the globe. Also, my daughter gave me this globe and I am reminded of her when I look at it. Dsc_0016_2 There are fairies in the garden.  Too bad this one is not trained to pull off the brown foliage of these daylilies.Dsc_0017 The Lilium plasticus often appear  on bloom day and they do move around the garden with remarkable ease. These are reliable bloomers, never failing to elicit a comment from anyone passing by.  Some may think that I have too much garden whimsy but I do have quite a large area and all the pieces are not within whisper distance from each other.  The squirrelDsc_0018 and the catDsc_0021 are quite far apart while the dragon sits quietly under these sedgeDsc_0019 just waiting for a victim.


Blue sapphire and other garden shots!

High 83 F
Low  64 F
Tucker with an apple
I was sitting at the desk looking out the window the other day when I noticed the stems on the Eryngium 'Blue Sapphire' are much bluer than the flowers have ever been.  The flowers,Dsc_0023 and I use the term loosely,are more of an architectural silhouette with no soft petals in sight.  They are stiff and prickly and also very interesting but those stems!  I am enjoying that blueDsc_0221 which is at eye level with the desk.  The flowers have faded to brown but remain interesting.     Dsc_0222_2 The stems have watercolor splotches of blue.   I am thinking that I should add some of the other Eryngiums to my garden as I did see the ones Kris over at Blithewold posted and they are just as curious.  I like the large number of flowers in her clumps.  Are any of you growing any of the Eryngiums and what are your thoughts on this Genus?   


Underwater is the place to be!

High 91 F
Low  67 F

Is this what it feels like to live in Miami?  High humidity and heavy air and, in addition, wind.  Today there was a good breeze but it was hot.  Hot and dry and the wind just dries everything out a bit further.  The fish don't care as long as they get their kibble.  They are getting quite large and now I am starting to worry about how they will overwinter.  I'll think about that tomorrow.  This was a busy weekend and the heat precluded gardening activities.  The blooms are still bright but if the rain doesn't arrive soon, they will fade quickly.   
This is a shot of the Phlox 'Peppermint Twist' which I ordered this season from a nursery which I will have to look up in the records.  I did order three and as you can see one is clearly not twisted but a pure coral although to the camera's eye, it looks pink.  I do like this bi-color cultivar.  From a distance it looks like a Sweet William bloom.  It is quite short, measuring about twelve inches high but that could be due to its' first year in the garden.  Does anyone have this plant and what does yours look like ?    Dsc_0224 The left handed mitten garden is well amended with compost and resists the dryness more the the other gardens but it too is showing signs of stress.  The bee balm flowers are drying up and deadheading is an ongoing, and often neglected, task.  In front of the solarium a volunteer is showing an amber face.  Dsc_0238 This sunflower is blooming from the seeds left from last year's planting.  It is a warm color and sunflowers are such happy flowers that they are welcome in the garden. Dsc_0237 I like this side view shot a bit better as it shows the gracefully arching neck and frilled skirt of this party crasher.   Are there any volunteers in your garden and, if so, what are they? 


Bloom Day - July 15, 2008

High 87 F
Low  57 F (I think the weather station went haywire)

Phlox and bee balm
July Bloom Day, organized by Carol over at May Dreams (Thank you Carol), is THE bloom day of the year here in New England at Ledge and Gardens.  I have lots in bloom but not enough energy to post  a lengthy report so I am picking a few favorites for today's post.   I have spent a bit of time in the garden between the weekend and tonight.  It is so satisfying to tweak and groom the gardens.  It has been quite dry here for the past two weeks with no appreciable rain.  Carol, send us some moisture! Dsc_0237 You have got to love the coneflowers for their insouciant attitude toward dry weather and hot sun. I like this 'Magic Dawn' daylily with the mauve tips.  Dsc_0261 It really is a parade of daylilies right now and they are also fairly indifferent to the dry weather.Dsc_0323   This pink lily is fat, luscious and sturdy in the pool border.  These flowers have also lasted a surprisingly long time.  They started blooming over a week ago and there are still buds to open. The containers by the pool contain this tall dahlia, 'Poeme' Dsc_0318 which is too tall to get in the same shot as the fillers and spillers Dsc_0240 but it is really the thriller and I like it better with each passing day.  Dsc_0221 The crocosmia is blooming in fiery glory while theDsc_0226 Oregano 'Kent Belle' is seductively sedate.  Thank you for visiting on bloom day. I will stop by and see your blooms for sure if you leave me a word or two!


Orange is good!

High 82 F
Low 64 F
The veggie garden is bearing fruit.  I picked this cabbage today Dsc_0244 and made a cole slaw to take to dinner this evening at my sister's house.  It was delicious!  The cucumbers are showingDsc_0246_2 and the flowers are filled with bees.   The beans are also flowering.  They are the purple beans which change to green when they are cooked. Dsc_0247 They are easier to see on the vines for picking purposes but aren't the flowers a pretty color?  The pepper plants are fruitingDsc_0258 as are the tomatoes.  I planted many different kinds of tomatoes. Dsc_0254 This one is 'Green Zebra' and since it never turns red I am wondering how  I will know when it is ripe.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?  The best observations today had to have been this tomatoDsc_0250 and also this oneDsc_0255 which is 'Red Lightening'.  I have not had color on tomatoes this early in many years.    I feel as though I have won a prize! 


Sublime scents!

High 82 F
Low  67 F

Last week, before the fourth of July, I was wandering the ocean area of the Ocean State and stopped to see Kris and the gang at Blithewold.  This time, only Kris was there working hard on a very warm day.  When I found her she was in the midst of the greenhouse gardens watering.  It was hot and windy, two conditions which add to the dryness but the view she has from her outdoor office is truly enviable.  The poppies were still beautifulDsc_0257 if a bit bedraggled as they reach the end of their party. Dsc_0250 This is the clematis 'Roguchi' which I was happy to see looking so floriferous Dsc_0253 as I had just purchased one on the Longwood trip.  The gardens look beautiful as always.  The staff at Blithewold has very high standards.  Dsc_0276 This little pond garden is charming and the annual bedsDsc_0262 are always a learning landscape. Dsc_0261 This new path is inviting drawing one through and into the new children's garden.  You can see the pretty blue benches in the back of this garden. Dsc_0277   They sit in the shade of the bamboo grove which has a path right through the middle.  I love emerging into the bright sunlight from the dappled grove. The best part of my visit was actually getting to chat with Kris for a few moments.  She showed me around and we talked plants for a while.  I loved the row of sweet peasDsc_0264 and even more so as Kris picked a bouquet for me to take home.  Dsc_0266 She has the hands of an artist and gardener andDsc_0267_2 wears her hat quite well.  Long after this visit, the scent of sweet peas will remind me of our walk and talk in her garden and the still life on this potting bench.  Dsc_0275 Thanks Kris!


Through the garden gate!

High 87 F
Low 67 F

It seems as though I have been posting about everything but my garden which is at its' best, in some spots, right now.   I do have to qualify that!  Some spots! The fourth of July weekend is the penultimate point of summer for me as the days are incredibly and inescapably starting to shorten.  The newness of spring is long past and the impending 'dog days' are coming due.  That said, the delphiniums by the pool are making their summer debut. Dsc_0314_2 They are standing sentinel poolside watching for wayward swimmers Dsc_0324 while keeping their shoulders high and their purple eyes wide open in spite of some hail last week.  I did tie these up but we all know that doesn't always work, don't we!  Just luck this time.  Gardening is subject to such variables that nothing is certain. I am grateful for these!  Looking back through the gate to the Florida bed, Dsc_0325 the Clematis v. 'Etoille violette' on the right side of the fence is twining its' way through the New Dawn roses which are now past their prime and on the other side,Dsc_0313_2 'Julia Correvan' winds its' way skyward.  I like the changes in the garden.  Would I covet the rose and clematis blooms as much if they were there all the time?  Would you?