|'Morden Blush' Parkland rose|
29 June 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
4 cubic yards of triple mix + 4 hours of heavy rain = a mess. R deserves a hero cookie for moving it all in the downpour, and M another for helping him.
Amazing men. ♥
Since this photo was taken (on 3 days ago) I have planted another mature hosta 'Sieboldiana Elegans', a division of the hardy geranium 'Wargrave's Pink', and some yellow cornflowers - extending to about where those trellises are leaning. I would take a new photo but, *sniff sniff* ....today my camera was pronounced dead (along with a little piece of me..) so I can't. Heavy sigh.
Obviously the whole four cubic yards didn't go into the side garden beds. Most of it is being used to replenish the dog run, where the grass was. The area back there desperately needed some good soil and new depth. Once it's sodded we'll be able to get the main grassy yard back in good order. Dogs and gardens aren't always the best of friends, but living with man's best friend makes me a better person so we'll have to come to a compromise. If it means sodding the yard from time to time, so be it. (Being a small downtown yard to begin with this isn't difficult, just likely a biannual project.)
The few things I have already planted in the side garden are doing well. A Morden Blush rose is beginning to bloom, which I have placed in the one area that seems to get the longest period of sunshine. At it's feet a hardy geranium, 'Wargrave's Pink'; hostas, the rescued red 2 Daylily, and some transplanted blue irises surround them. For fun, some nasturtiums fill in gaps, and wolly thyme is being encouraged to spread into empty cracks and spaces. We have plans to recreate a succulent garden for R across the walkway, but aside from those plans it's all open - for anything.
Much of how the whole garden has come together has been by whim, and I think it will continue like that. When I like something I bring it home, often not sure of where it will go, but always finding a space. I see the side garden filled with hostas, with other feathery things (no more ferns, please) here and there. Perhaps some foxgloves to add some height to the garden path.
I photoshopped the dwarf globe Blue Spruce and Annabelle Hydrangea into this photo because my camera angle didn't capture them well with the eave in the way. Had I leaned over any further I would have ended up in in the garden (A is for Amy who fell down the stairs OR off the balcony..).
There are two smallish empty spaces in the garden; gaps that drive me crazy like a crooked tile ( ;o) ). I've been considering filling it with some chocolate ajuga. It's a spreader, no so much "invasive," but definitely vigorous. I wouldn't really might it creeping over and into the grass - the grass is only there as a barrier to the busy downtown sidewalk. You can stomp on ajuga, mow it, cut it, rip it..it will just keep on growing. This is where the gardener has to take some control of her garden, and prevent it from moving in on the other garden plants. I think I can do that.
I want to take out a large row of ferns and bring in something with a darker foliage, perhaps a purple leafed Smokebush (nearly tender here), or a Ninebark - 'Diablo' or the newer 'Center Glow'. Also, a Rhododendron in behind the Annabelle, some Meadow Rue, and/or Joe Pye Weed. We'll see what develops.
|Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade'|
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
|our garden, June 2011|
This morning I was lucky - exceptionally lucky to be able to visit a beautiful, mature garden in a yard on Farrand Street backing on to McVicar Creek. A huge, huge space with a rolling hill down toward the creek surrounded in tall city trees.
I was there to photograph the garden for the Walleye. As I entered the garden through the gate on the south side of the house I was greeted with pots and containers of nursery plants, some perennials and some annuals - all just waiting to be added somewhere to this oasis. Obviously a never ending work in progress. I was excited, and had to take a deep breath before continuing along the bricked path. There was a succulent garden near the patio, and three different ponds: two developed in barrels and one built of rocks under a mass of ferns, and other big leafed perennials I can't even name. The Solomon's Seal is the most mature plant I've ever seen outside books.
A brick and flagstone path along the south side of the garden lead me past clematis after clematis climbing trellises and trees, with a spread of blue, white, and pink forget-me-nots beneath. Garden beds on either side of the path were willed with cultivars of columbine and hardy geraniums, Lady's Mantle grew everywhere, spreading out between other plants: peonies, allium (in both deep and pale shades of purple), bleeding hearts, and even more clematis.
As I came near the end of the path I though the garden would be coming to an end, but as the hill rolled down toward the creek the garden beds continued, on either side of aged concrete steps built into the ground.
I could hear both the sound of the creek, and the subtle sound of traffic behind the trees; but with the wind this morning and the June leaves it sounded more like the middle of nowhere as I stood there somewhere so special. At the top of the steps, a landing and an old garden bench looking on to the garden beds to the east, and the hill to the creek to the southwest. Beside it was a Japanese Lilac bursting with budding blooms - only one or two looked like they were ready to open today, ...I'm sure by tomorrow or the day after the whole shrub will be a mass of pale purple flowers.
The brick path continued curving through garden beds and along the north side of the yard, surrounded with plants draping their foliage across it. More alliums, foam flowers, geraniums, and bleeding hearts bubbled over one another through a pergola into a grass lawn, within which was more rounded garden beds bursting with colour.
So much of the garden was naturalized, with wild Lady's Mantle and forget-me-nots every where. It was so beautiful, and such a treat to photograph. Red leafed shrubs broke up the shades of green and lime, with tall trees towering over garden specimens and cedars lining the yard.
I met the master gardener behind the creation while I was halfway down the steps to the creek, photographing upward through a fern. She wore a t-shirt that said "PERENNIAL OPTIMIST" and was about my mother's age. We talked for a while about her journey to this space, and about it's development over the years, then I got back to my camera while she pulled out her wheel barrow and continued her work. It was an absolute pleasure to meet her, see what she's done, and learn.
I won't post the photographs here - not of the garden, though I may use some of the closer photos of plants for descriptive purposes from time to time. I'll save the photos of the garden for the gardener herself (and of course for the Walleye). It's just nice to know there are hidden special spaces like this in our own downtown backyards.
In this year, 2011, summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21 at 1:16 P.M. (EDT).
"The word solstice comes from the Latin words for "sun" and "to stop," due to the fact that the Sun appears to stop in the sky. The Sun is directly overhead at its most northern point at "high-noon" on the summer solstice, creating more sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere on this day then any other." (thanks Farmer's Almanac!)
"The summer solstice occurs exactly when the Earth's axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun, at its maximum of 23° 26'. Though the summer solstice is an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like Midsummer to refer to the day on which it occurs." (thanks Wikipedia!)
Monday, June 20, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
|the front garden|
16 June 2011
The bergenia was dug out after it finished blooming because..no offense...but I just don't really like it. We have two others in the back which are both doing well and look nice; the one in front was so close to the footpath that it just got mangled under the pressures of winter life.
Throughout the garden, tucked in and around near the ferns and at the edge near the 'Sutherland's Gold' Elderberry I've added Straw Foxglove Digitalis lutea and Foxy Hybrids Digitalis purpurea.
|Straw Foxglove Digitalis lutea|
also known as Blue Cornflower and Mountain Bluet
|our rhubarb (a dog toy) and some ferns|
south west garden 15 June 2011
The landlord next door was working on the shed just beyond the fence near our rhubarb plant yesterday, while his wife cut the grass.. . both watching me as I came charging out of the house with the largest knife we have. I earned a few worrisome looks while I took the photos, but once I started chopping the plant they went back to their business.
The rhubarb was taken down stalk by stalk.
I was going to make my mother's "Rhubarb Crunch" ~ a recipe she got from a 1970's Yankee magazine, and made for us regularly, a fond childhood memory. I followed the recipe, but I altered it slightly; the calls for canned cherry pie filling - I don't really like canned filling, so I decided to just add a couple cups of frozen raspberries into the simple syrup (sugar, water, cornstarch, and vanilla boiled) instead. It worked wonderfully (though I made and added way too much raspberry syrup to the rhubarb and crumble - not that anyone complained..).
For more on RHUBARB check out:
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
In order to better map our garden, and for when I speak of spaces such as "the west side garden", "east garden" I chose to draw what I see from the balcony. The balcony faces south(eastern a bit) and is just off our study steps away from my desk. I sat there yesterday and drew what I saw from the east side by the door, then took some pictures shooting downward.
|CLICK TO VIEW|
|Hannah's basketball court/ east side dog run|
|the east garden, 14 June 2011|
|Rosa x Rugosa, 'Marie Bugnet' - hardy shrub rose|
|Geum, 'Totally Tangerine', 'Tim's Tangerine'|
|Claire under the Tamarack in the west garden|
And, of course, tucked in between the geranium and hosta, a cucumber vine to ramble down the sidewalk.
|Boulevard Lake's White Pine, 20 May 2011|