Showing posts with label daylilies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label daylilies. 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.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Garden Interlude

Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue' with marigolds

After a very dry June, July and August, usually our driest months, brought plenty of rain. My rain gauge recorded over eight inches in July and five in August. The plants responded gratefully. Above is one my new beds in the back, with Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue' and a dwarf Fothergilla to the right, surrounded by marigolds and a black cotton plant behind the Caryopteris.

Black cotton (Gossypium herbaceous 'Nigra')

Close-up of  black cotton flower

I grew the black cotton from seeds collected at the USBG last fall. I should have started the seeds indoors earlier, as the plants developed much too slowly after being set out in the beds, and didn't begin to bloom until late August. I haven't seen any seed pods yet, so I may not be able to continue the line unless I am lucky to collect more cottony seeds at USBG during our upcoming BASNCR fall meeting. The flowers are quite lovely with their intricate veining. I would love doing a painting of this plant, as well as the one in the photo below.

Cuban Raintree (Brunfelsia nitida)

One pleasant surprise was this single flower on my Cuban Raintree plant which I've been growing for the past year. I set it out on the porch this spring hoping it would bloom, to enjoy its heavenly scent, but only one flower appeared. This is supposed to be the Cuban "Galan de noche" fabled for its perfume--but it seems to be a fussy plant at these latitudes. Perhaps it may do better next summer, if I can keep it going during the winter...

East bed in the evening

All of the native plants I put in last fall are performing well--the hardy Ageratum (Conoclinium coelestinum) above, and the Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) have both grown lushly in the east bed among the Japanese maples. The Carolina Silverbell tree (Halesia carolinana) on the back left is growing into a respectable-sized shrub. Herb helped me plant a Sourwood tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) in front of it in late spring which unfortunately died back to the ground, and is regrowing from the roots; it's only 6" tall at the moment, and is a slow-growing tree, so it will be a while before it looks like much.

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
The back yard in July

Despite the large, still-empty expanses, the backyard is gradually attracting more birds, butterflies and bees. We have a pair of nesting bluebirds nearby that have raised several broods in the past couple of years--the fledglings like to visit our deck and we enjoy watching their antics. The mockingbirds love the blackberry bushes in back, and some mornings I would see four or five of them perched in the bushes, gorging on the berries. One morning I was able to observe a male Ruby-throated hummingbird perched on my neighbor's tree, preening and stretching his neck to show the telling ruby spot on his throat.
Pink striped Oakworm moth

Another morning after a rainy night I found this moth clinging to the sliding door screen. An internet search revealed it was a female Pink Striped Oakwood Moth (Anisota virginensis pellucida), an insect I'd never seen before. It stayed there for a long time and appeared nearly dead, so I waited and eventually carefully gathered it for my insect collection. Adding pollinating insects or birds to botanical paintings has become very popular lately, and I've started collecting as many as come my way for future use.

White hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutus)

Here are more photos of the beautiful seasonal flowers from this year's summer garden. Every year is a revelation of color and form, of nature's perfection. This living canvas of plants is a challenging way to create beauty, and very humbling, but the successes are so rewarding.

Daylily hybrid

Daylily hybrid

Yellow rose 'Molineux' with catmint

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.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

More Garden Photos

 Pink Petal Pushers and Red Simplicity roses with hybrid Peace between them.

New Dawn Rose and Clematis Etoile Violette

Cumberland Azalea (Azalea bakeri)

Stella D'Oro daylilies, catmint and Itea 'Little Henry' bloom in front of the Little Indians.

Little Indians bed looking up the hill on the east side.

Yellow daylilies at the base of a red maple, new houses in back.

Front bed by the driveway: creeping phlox, barberry,, white salvia, red yarrow and lavender.

Blueberry 'Top Hat' and 'Mara de Bois' strawberries.

Not much to say except that my garden continues its seasonal growth, and show you its beauty. These are photos taken from the beginning of June through last week. Now in early July the major flush of flowers are done, and the Japanese beetles are decimating the roses. The chiggers have been attacking mercilessly, forcing me to spend less time outdoors.

In another week I'll be flying out to Montana, to be Artist in Residence at Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park. It's a good time to take a vacation from the garden to enjoy and paint the alpine wildflowers at Glacier.