Sunday, June 24, 2018

June's Jazzy Colors

Red Asian lilies

This has been the wettest month to date since we've lived in this area--my rain gauge has measured over 12 inches of rain so far, and the month is not quite over yet. My garden is usually a riot of colors at this time of the year, but this year, as you can see, the rains are making it spectacular! The Asian lilies started their display about two weeks ago, with red leading the way. Bright orange and yellow-orange follow as the red flowers begin to fade, and finally the yellow and pink varieties come into bloom.

Red and orange lilies
Orange and Yellow lilies

Earlier in the month the late-blooming native Azalea bakerii put on a show with orange-red blossoms, while the Azalea 'Weston's Innocence' (an Azalea viscosum hybrid) gives the eye a rest with its white scented blooms.

Azalea Bakerii
Azalea 'Weston's Innocence'

The Little Indians border continues to develop into a fanciful layer of colors. The pale gold of the Stella d'Oro daylilies complements the airy blue spikes of the Catmint. The wavy cream wands of the Itea virginiana 'Little Henry' bushes are beyond, with bright orange Butterfly Weed (Asclepias) that are just starting to bloom. I've seen a number of butterflies visiting these, including some lovely Spangled Fritillaries. Six years ago when we moved here the arbor vitae were these sad, stunted, deer-chewed evergreens, but with lots of fertilizer and TLC they have grown to more than seven feet tall!

The Little Indians in June

This pink Bee Balm (Monarda) that I had planted five years ago was not prospering in the 'Badlands' as Herb calls the weedy rear flowerbed--it had never bloomed there. Last fall I dug it up and transplanted it to the east bed where the soil retains more moisture, and lo and behold, this year it's blooming profusely! The Mexican Feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima) planted a couple of years ago seems to be spreading, with new clumps cropping up here and there--this is one of the loveliest ornamental grasses, specially striking when you see its delicate blades waving in a breeze.

The east bed in June
Pink Bee Balm (Monarda)

The yellow Daylilies under the red maple tree are lush. The new bed beyond was planted earlier this spring with a group of discontinued Daylilies on sale from the Gilbert H. Wild & Son catalog. A few flowers of these new varieties have opened, but it will probably take at least another year, maybe two, before they can match the splendor of the older bed.

Daylilies (Hemerocallis) under red maple tree.
West side garden

The native Wafer Ash tree (Ptelea trifoliata) I planted last fall died back to the ground and took such a long time to re-sprout I thought it was a goner, but it's finally making some progress with all this rain. It should eventually grow into a small tree; I wonder how long that will take?

Wafer Ash tree (Ptelea trifoliata)

The new raised bed for veggies is also coming along, with the sugar snap peas almost ready to harvest. The artichokes are growing so slowly, I don't know that they will yield much in the way of edibles, but it's fun to try something new anyway.

New raised bed for veggies
Lavender in the front yard
Front yard on a rainy evening

The lavender in the front is so lush--the bees love it! The front yard is finally shaping up as I envisioned, a Persian carpet with an intricate interweaving of colors and textures.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Brief Glory

Dawn and Dusk
Rose 'New Dawn' and Clematis 'Etoile Violette'

This year my climbing rose and Clematis growing on the porch was, as you can see, glorious! Sadly, also brief--a series of storms and constant rain shortened its beauty to about one week. By Sunday evening when the rain stopped my backyard gauge had recorded six inches!

The Red Double Knockout rose seems to be indestructible and lovely as ever, but my other roses haven't presented a display as gorgeous as the previous year. The very dry fall and winter probably did the damage.

Double pink Peony
Peonies and roses

 The double pink Peony came through beautifully, and so did the red "Simplicity' rose. The yellow Alliums (Allium moly) in front are multiplying well, but only a few blooms have appeared on the 'Petal Pusher' roses. You can't win them all. Let's see what the rains bring forth in a few days.