Showing posts with label Asian lilies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asian lilies. Show all posts

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.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Local Color in My Garden

Etoile Voilette

Here's some stunning photos of the flowers in my garden this year. Japanese gardens are traditionally subdued: white flowers and perhaps a touch of red are allowed, but the rest of the garden is supposed to be textures and shades of greens.

Pink iris.

In American gardens all color combinations are the rule. I'm as American as it gets when it comes to gardens: ecclectic in choice of plant materials, and as an artist, the more color the better!  I'd find it hard to believe that any color in nature actually clashes with another, though some combinations do look better than others.

Red yarrow, white salvia with barberry, peonies, lavender and roses.

This is what the front bed by the garage looked like a month ago. A couple of weeks later the peonies have set seed, the yarrow flowers faded to pinkish cream, and the lavender is in full bloom, for a different combination of colors

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Thinking about the delightful "Dawn and Dusk' combination of climbing rose and clematis, I found a photo from 2013, right after those two had been planted and I was putting in the flame azalea on the east side of the house.

Planting the flame azalea on the east side of the house.

Four years later.

Here's what that spot looks like today--what an amazing difference a few years' growth can make! Several other plants have been added over the intervening years, of course.

Columbine var. "blue Barlow"

This particular deep blue columbine that I planted last year is odd in that it lacks the classic spurs of the Aquilegia species--I wonder what it was hybridized with? The color is fabulous, anyway.

The Little Indians, early June

The Little Indians bed is now in summer mode, lush with Stella d'Oro daylilies and orange asclepias. A shot of it earlier in the spring shows the seasonal progression.

The Little Indians, mid-May.

Yellow daylilies under the red maple.
Red Alchillea with orange Kniphofia (Red hot poker) and Catmint

Last year I bought an assortment of a dozen unnamed varieties of Asian lilies to fill in the island bed in back. I got them in the ground a bit late in the season and only a couple of them bloomed, rather late--in September! After a year of settling in, this summer they have presented some spectacular blooms--a riot of color!

Lilies starting to bloom
Further along
Bicolor zinger: yellow tipped with orange

Vibrant orange
Pale pink

Pure yellow

Now that I see their colors and different heights, I may dig up some of these lilies and re-arrange them for more pleasing display of color. It may be that the height difference is more due to soil fertility than genetic--that remains to be seen. My garden is my laboratory, where the bare earth is transmuted into gold by the sweat of my brow.