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June 2009

May 2009

Off to Chicago....

High 55 F
Low  45 F

I do hope to actually make it to Spring Fling, Chicago as last year was a day of traveling nowhere.  The next post will be on June 2nd so catch up with me then or listen to The Garden Guys at 8:36 a.m. EST on Sunday live via the web site for a few minutes of Spring Fling discussion.  Gina will be joining me for an on the road report.DSC_0007   Here are a couple gratuitous pictures of the garden DSC_0012 in its' unweeded glory.  


Pink and Yellow

High 67 F
Low  52 F
With little time to post, I am sharing this woodland treat.  The ladyslipper orchid appears in May for just a week or so and they are rare enough that they always make me feel like a great privilege has been bestowed whenever I find them in the woods along the drive.  There are many with no flowers, just blind leaves and I am hopeful that they will someday bloom.  Cypripedium acaule is the name and they really don't look like a slipper to me but they are fascinating and delicate with that veining in the flower.  
The other specialty bloom is in the garden and is the yellow tree peony which is clear and bright and has three flowers this year.  Three! 

This last image is of the emerging leaves of the catalpa tree.  It speaks to me of promise.


Ahhhh, rhubarb!

High 53 F
Low  45 F
It does appear crinkled and corrugated and then develops into a fine looking plant with wonderful leavesDSC_0048 and stems which range in color from DSC_0042 green to bright red.  Rhubarb.  Tart does not quite express the tongue puckering which occurs when biting a fresh stem but, in a pie, cobbler, tart or syrup, rhubarb is unique and tasty. DSC_0002 This weekend I tried the Rhubarb mojito.  Rhubarb juice is  made by stewing the rhubarb with sugar and water and then straining the pulp.  The juice is mixed with a bit of rum, a bit of club soda and a sprig of mint.  I will try them again and, if you have an objection to rum, just use the club soda for a refreshing and distinctively flavored drink. DSC_0004 Delicious, distinctive, refreshing.   Check out the recipe over at David's blog  and enjoy his superb photos in addition to his juice recipe.


Bloom Day - May 15, 2009

High 77 F
Low 55 F
May is certainly what dreams are made of and appropriate on this Bloom Day as spring warmth envelops the garden and the flowers are released from their buds to add color, fragrance and interest to the garden.  Much is in bloom as the long shots of the borders reveal. DSC_0053 The bleeding hearts are in full swing  as the tulips start to fade.  The front left border has flowers but it is the foliage that is so arresting at this time of year. Left front border This is a shade border and texture is of prime importance. The long border on the right is also in shade, the shade of a huge oak with considerable girth.DSC_0070  The far end of this border is still waiting for a cleanup as is the bed which surrounds the ledge in the middle of the lawn.  Jobs still to be done. DSC_0076 The barn garden is sporting this blooming Shooting Star which is simple and lovely and the Halesia or Carolina Silverbell is in full glory.  DSC_0077 The lilacsDSC_0067 and lily-of-the-valleyDSC_0064 are perfuming the air and the garden is a delight this time of year.DSC_0071   Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams for hosting the party.   I am going to visit all those blooms everywhere now! 


The blues of spring

Low  40 F
The bright yellows of the forsythia and the daffodils have receded and the more subtle spring colors have emerged.  The delicate wedgewood blue of the Phlox divaricataDSC_0045 closely matches the blue of the Muscari 'Valerie Finnis' DSC_0009a which have bloomed a bit later than the other muscari.  Is there anyone who does not like this soft blue?  Add to this mix, Iris cristata Iris cristata and Phlox subulataDSC_0002a and you have echo combinations of color which make dreams a reality.  I do not have Mertonensis virginiana, DSC_0217  Virginia bluebells, planted in this same bed but I am thinking of adding some to the mix.  Virginia bluebells are luscious aren't they? The pulmonaria sports a blueDSC_0081 but it is a bit darker than the bluebells and both are tinged with pink.  The camassia were planted in the fall of '07 and have increased in size and girth.  That is always a bonus.  They are just beginning to show color.DSC_0039 In bud, this one is streaked with turquoise which is visible to the camera's eye which does sometimes distort the blues of spring.  The slice of garden visible to me as I sit at the desk is this one DSC_0002b and it changes as the season progresses which really is the whole point of perennial gardening.  What blues are making you smile in your garden right now?


Against all odds

High 69 F
Low  54 F
Tucker and I set off on a short  walk to the back field one morning this week which is not  unusual.  He loves to smell and romp in the field and often there is something new to see.DSC_0049 The property on which I live and garden was once part of a large farm consisting of fields cut and  bisected by stone walls.  When I was a child, I lived in the valley below this hill about two miles away.  We could see the farmhouse which sits on the property next to Ledge and Gardens.  The trees have since grown to hide every vestige and individuality of one property from  another. The stone walls provided property division but, more importantly, were a necessity as it is difficult to hay a field filled with stones, rocks and boulders.  It is much more fun to garden among them.DSC_0017 It does seem to be the propensity of human beings to want to put their personal marks on the boundaries of their land and lives with fences, either rock or wood.   But here the practicalities of life, such as clearing the fields, were a necessity in the last century.  Hence the stone walls.  Many of them are in the woods now.  Woods which have since grown up, around, and through the walls but the walls remain as visible evidence of a long ago farm.  In addition to the stone walls which mark this land there stands this lone apple tree. Now it is standing in just a bit of a clearing.  Not full sun by any means.Dsc_0029 (2) This apple tree does not have the girth one would expect of an old tree but I have lived in this place for over thirty-five years and this tree was not young when I moved here.  It has struggled to survive for many years and it may well have been planted by a bird rather than the farmhouse owner. DSC_0031 I don't ever remember it having the wealth of blooms which it has produced this year. DSC_0030 To stand under it is to be enveloped in its' sweet fragrance as it drifts about and to be surrounded by the pale pink petals which form a halo above.  It survives here against all odds.


The acrobat!

High 61 F
Low  48 F
Am I the only one with the bird feeders still out and filled?  I think I will leave them up all summer as I am enjoying the wildlife which, at this point, includes this wild little creature, the gray squirrel.  I should name her....Sunflower?  She is at the feeder relentlessly.  She jumps from the bird bath to the feeder DSC_0008 and rides the rings around the feeder hanging upside down and contorting her little body until she achieves the desired perfect feeding position.  DSC_0006 Gray squirrels can be quite destructive if they get inside the attic or crawl space as they are such frenzied little creatures.  Their cuddly looking tail belies the nervous energy and muscular physique of the owner.  No one could ever pet a squirrel and enjoy the softness of that tail. DSC_0007 I have forgiven this one its' persistent and unfailing hunger.  I think Sunflower is enjoying the sunflower seeds because she is a nursing mother. Dsc_0008 (2) I wonder where the little critters are nesting?  Can you see that I haven't cleaned out this garden yet?  I am too busy watching squirrels.  I will get it done.  I am way behind schedule!  Does anyone else feel that way?  I guess it is time to make a list and whittle away at it.  Time is getting short and soon, Spring Fling!