This Week in the Garden – June 28

Daylily Color Explosion

Summer is officially here and the daylilies are putting on a show!

Daylillies and Purple Coneflower

Daylillies and Purple Coneflower

There are so many more blooms than last year!

Bright Yellow Daylillies

Bright Yellow Daylillies

There are several blooming in the Veggie patch…

More Color

More Color

In the lower garden…

Deep Red Daylillies

Deep Red Daylillies

Out front…

Pale Yellow Daylily

Pale Yellow Daylily

In the side yard…

Pink Daylillies

Pink Daylillies

By the bird bath…

Great Bloomin Lillies

Great Bloomin Lillies

And in the front side yard. Here they look dwarfed compared to the Trumpet Lilies. The taller plant is probably over 5 feet tall.

Daylily Color Explosion

Daylily Color Explosion

Some of the colors are wild. So many different colors, shapes, and sizes.

Yellow and Red Daylily

Yellow and Red Daylily

White with Purple center Daylillies

White with Purple center Daylillies

Red Daylillies

Red Daylillies

Peachy Daylily

Peachy Daylily

Pale Daylily

Pale Daylily

Daylillies

Daylillies

Front Side Bed with Lillies

Front Side Bed with Lillies

Boy am I lucky to have this view.

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

And this flower, that I thought looked lily-like is actually a member of the same family as Irises. Crocosmia is native to Africa.

Lilies are not the only flowers going gangbusters right now however…

Big Blooming Hostas

Big Blooming Hostas

Several varietes of Hostas are putting on a show. Which, oddly enough, are also called Plantain Lilies and used to be classified under the family Liliaceae (essentially Lily family).

Hosta Blooms

Hosta Blooms

Big and small hostas…

Little Blooming Hostas

Little Blooming Hostas

The color is quite striking en masse.

Hosta Blossom

Hosta Blossom

Some have already come and gone…others haven’t even started.

Crape Myrtle on the side

Crape Myrtle on the side

The crape myrtles are blooming- this one was the earliest to bloom and already has subsided.

White Garden Phlox

White Garden Phlox

The garden phlox is just getting started now…

Phlox Bug

Phlox Bug

I’ve managed to keep the phlox bugs a little better in check this year- meaning I should have some more blooms this year!

Something Pretty

Something Pretty

Lots of these blooming whatever they are.

Blue Rose of Sharon

Blue Rose of Sharon

White Rose of Sharon

White Rose of Sharon

Pale Rose

Pale Rose

This little pale rose came back this year nestled in the yew bush.

Annabelle Hydrangea

Annabelle Hydrangea

The white blossoms are turning light green now on the Annabelle Hydrangea. I finally cut some to have some room on the path.

Gooseneck Loosestrife

Gooseneck Loosestrife

Swaths of the Gooseneck Loosestrife are in full bloom now.

Dried Columbine Seed Pod

Dried Columbine Seed Pod

A few weeks ago my parents came for a visit, and I took a few minutes to gather some Columbine seeds for my mom. These little seed pods rattle with all the tiny beads nestled inside. They self-sow quite freely here so I have high hopes that they’ll take in my mom’s garden.

Cleome or Spider Plant

Cleome or Spider Plant

The first few Cleome or Spider plants! The tall one is much bigger and prettier than any I remember from last year. It may be partly due to the rain we’ve received this year compared to last. Lots of rain this year.

Mushroom

Mushroom

Found this guy after a wet day. It was about five inches across on the top!

Lower Garden

Lower Garden

As always, a garden is a work in progress and there’s still plenty to do! I need to weed the path again, but most of the time I just go down and just look around. As bad as my allergies are, I can’t stay away from all this beauty.

 

 

This Week in the Garden – June 14

Detail Fluffy Pink Astilibe

Living here for nearly two years now (in about three months), I can say that I’m starting to feel a little more confident in taking care of the garden, and making decisions about what direction I may want to take with implementing changes. I also feel as though so far this year, I’ve had to do less work to just be able to relax and enjoy the space. As we head into summer (and there are many plants that already think it is), it seems as though something is blooming and changing every day. This post is going to be another picture heavy post, especially since I missed a week.

A Serene Space with lacecap hydrangea

A Serene Space with lacecap hydrangea

The lacecap Hydrangea has more color this year, more blooms, and is really starting to stand out in its spot.

Lacecap Hydrangea

Lacecap Hydrangea

I think the area just behind it is still a bit overly weedy for my taste- but it’s really difficult to reach. It’s a very steep slope.

Bluish Hydrangea

Bluish Hydrangea

The Bluish mophead Hydrangea is gorgeous, and more and more blossoms are opening up every day. I love the color of the flowers and I really wish that more of them would bloom. Unfortunately, this is the only mophead that has any flowers on it.

Giant Annabelle Hydrangea blossoms

Giant Annabelle Hydrangea blossoms

The Annabelle is blowing me away with the size of the flowers this year. They are huge! And the whole plant it trying to take over the path. Gee Darn, I’m going to have to cut some of it back…

So lush

So lush

Some might see chaos, I see a lush landscape with lots of interest. This view of the ‘Hosta Stairs’ you can see plenty of ferns, hosta, hardy begonia, hydrangea, leucothoe, azalea, and houttuynia.

Light Pink Roses

Light Pink Roses

Here you can see the other annabelle Hydrangea in the front yard, it grows bigger every year too. These lighter pink roses are blooming in force now, along with a few other varieties. I think I still need to do a bit of trimming back of most of the bushes.

The Lower Garden

The Lower Garden

Going back to the lower garden, I’ve been enjoying just sitting here on the bench.

Pink and gold Daylily

Pink and gold Daylily

The first daylily of the year was down here, next to the bench, and now I’ve got this pink beauty that popped.

Path with weeds

Path with weeds

Weeding is the never ending chore, and here you can see the lower path before I pulled most those red shiso seedlings.

Path after weeding

Path after weeding

I left a few seedlings that I’m hoping to transplant- Cardinal flowers and columbine mostly. They reseed themselves rampantly here.

White Astilibe

White Astilibe

This white Astilibe bloomed for about two weeks, a nice textural difference amongst all the houttuynia. The houttuynia can be pretty, and this variegated variety is called Chameleon. But it’s just too aggressive and the overall effect is not one that I want in this garden.

Light Pink Astilibe

Light Pink Astilibe

There are a couple other Astilibe plants blooming right now, a few of them in the veggie patch.

Pink Astilibe

Pink Astilibe

This darker pink one is especially fuzzy.

Detail Fluffy Pink Astilibe

Detail Fluffy Pink Astilibe

Yellow Daylilies in Veggie Patch

Yellow Daylilies in Veggie Patch

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Veggie update! I’ve got lots of little tomatoes growing….

Jalapenos

Jalapenos

I’ve got lots of little peppers too, yay! And now, back to the flowers.

Pink Daylily

Pink Daylily Jolyene Nichole

Orangey Daylily

Orangey Daylily

Purple Clematis

Purple Clematis

Purple Bellflower

Purple Bellflower

Last year I only had one or two of these spindly stalks that had bent over, but this year I have several tall stalks of this purple bellflower.

Spotted Bellflower

Spotted Bellflower

Down the way I have masses of Spotted Bellflower. They are heavy with blooms and cannot stay upright too well on their own.

Phenomenal Lavender blooming

Phenomenal Lavender blooming

The Phenomenal Lavender is blooming now. I’m surprised at how spindly the flower stalks are, and I assume that as the plant grows larger it will fill out better.

Lavender buds

Lavender buds

Lavender is one of my all-time favorites. Other bloomers right now include:

Gooseneck Loosestrife

Gooseneck Loosestrife

 Gooseneck Loosetrife, or Lysimachia clethroides

Rose of Sharon bloom

Rose of Sharon bloom

Rose of Sharon, Rose Mallow, or Hibiscus syriacus.

Blooming Hosta in back

Blooming Hosta in back

Lots of Hostas are blooming now.

Detail Hosta Bloom

Detail Hosta Bloom

Blooming Hostas

Blooming Hostas

Blooming Baby Hosta

Blooming Baby Hosta

Pink Mint family plant unidentified

Pink Mint family plant unidentified

This unidentified pink flower came and went a week ago. I believe it’s in the mint family because stem is square and the leaves are in opposite directions.

Dianthus or Carnation flower family

Dianthus or Carnation flower family

Here’s another unidentified- this flower bloomed all summer long last year and I never figured out what it was. There are several more of them this year, and they are also taller and more upright. I think these are a part of the dianthus family, but I haven’t found anything that looks like them.

Unidentified Dianthus or Carnation family

Unidentified Dianthus or Carnation family

Any ideas anyone??

Coreopsis Zagreb

Coreopsis Zagreb

Out front is the Coreopsis, Zagreb.

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed

And across the driveway, the Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa, was at its peak this week.

Bee on Butterfly Weed

Bee on Butterfly Weed

Lots of pollinators are busy right now. I saw lots of bees on the Butterfly Weed, but no butterflies. Last year I saw one monarch.

Baby Blue Jay with momma

Baby Blue Jay with momma

This year I got a front (window) seat to two little blue jay babies that just started making their way out of the nest.

Baby Blue Jay

Baby Blue Jay

They were so cute- fluffy little pudgy birds still molting their downy feathers. Momma stayed nearby to supervise their outing.

This Week in the Garden – May 31

Blue-Eyed Grass

This week, most of the hydrangeas are starting to show their blooms.

Mophead Hydrangea

Mophead Hydrangea

So far ONE of the mopheads has flowers on it, but I haven’t looked too carefully at the other seven.

Lacecap Hydrangea

Lacecap Hydrangea

This lacecap hydrangea is also just getting started.

Annabelle Hydrangea

Annabelle Hydrangea

Both of the Annabelle hydrangea’s are blooming. I need to cut this one back a little bit because it wants to block the path.

Late Blooming Azaleas

Late Blooming Azaleas

After a little lull, the latest blooming azaleas are essentially at their peak now.

Late Azalea on the slope

Late Azalea on the slope

The two behind the bench didn’t have very many blooms this year, and the purple encore azalea didn’t look too good either. I think they were just a bit too stressed last year.

Fungus

Fungus

While clearing out the lower paths today, I came across this fungus growing in the shade of a Hardy Begonia seedling. I left him in place.

Blue-Eyed Grass

Blue-Eyed Grass

In the center of the lower garden, some of the Blue-Eyed Grass is blooming. I just have little clumps of it here and there and this year they are not blooming all at once. Even though it looks like grass (with tiny little flowers at the end of a long thin stem), it is actually a member of the Iris family. It’s a pleasant little surprise.

White Dame's Rocket

White Dame’s Rocket?

In April, I posted the picture above, thinking it was White Dame’s Rocket. Although it looks very similar, now that it has gone to seed I see that it is actually…

Lunaria Money Plant Seeds

Lunaria Money Plant Seeds

Lunaria! Or Money Plant. When dried, the seed pods turn a crisp white that looks paper thin. Very decorative.

Hostas, Coleus, Sedum, and more

Hostas, Coleus, Sedum, and more

I’ve added a lot of plants this year- many annual Coleus’ mainly for color. Here you can see a bright pink, and two more mottled with red Coleus mixed in with several varieties of Hosta, Hellebores, some Ivy, Sedum, Azaleas in the back, and dark purple Oxalis up front.

Caladium

Caladium

I also managed to keep this green and pink Caladium alive over the winter! I let it go dormant, packed it in some loose (basically Orchid) soil, and kept it in the basement in a dark area. I brought it out late, in April, and just let it sit outside and making sure it was watered. Surprisingly to me, it started growing again! It’s bigger than last year too, I’m very happy. I potted it, and repotted the white caladium I bought this year, along with some red shiso and put it out front with some hostas. Now that I know I can keep them alive, I think I’ll get some more!

Overgrown Path

Overgrown Path

So this picture is from the summer before we moved in, when we having the home inspection done. But it’s one of the best pictures I have to show how overgrown the corner of the path would get- with the grapevine. The grapevine was out of control and had started taking over the Rose of Sharon behind it and reaching up into the big crape myrtle behind that! I hate to pull out any living plant that was purposefully planted, but I really did not care for this one particular beast. Sun is also at a premium in the yard, and I want to use it for pretty flowering plants whenever I can. There’s a pretty little fence behind the vine (that was supporting it) and I thought this year would be so wonderful to have a bank of poppies and bee balm and Liatris (blazing star). I bought and planted some seeds and whomp whomp. I didn’t take the care I should have with them.

New Plants by Fence

New Plants by Fence

So last weekend while I was at Southern States to buy some other needed things, I found some plants I could not pass up. They were on sale, and were very reasonably priced. The tallest plant in the back is Japanese Catmint ‘Pink Dreams’, and then the flowering spikes in front of it is a pink salvia ‘Sensation Rose’, and in front of that is a sedum ‘Purple Emperor’. A couple of small pink snapdragons ‘Montego Mix’ (a dwarf variety) fill in the little spaces. I’m really hoping I can get these plants to grow and and spread out. I’m really excited to see how it fills out in the next few years!

Japanese Catmint

Japanese Catmint

A detail of the Japanese Catmint flowers. It’s a neat plant that I didn’t really know existed until I saw it the other day. Cats are drawn to the scent but not quite as strongly as they are to catnip. I need to clean up my tags, so that I can document all the new plants.

Green Zebra tomato

Green Zebra tomato

And even though I’ve been pinching off flowers because I thought it was too early- a few made it through and now I’ve got a baby green zebra tomato fruit! I am definitely ready to have some fresh veggies from my own garden this year!

 

This Week in the Garden – May 24

Hardy Orchid flower

This week in the garden, well the last two anyway, has continued to show me new blooms. It’s exciting for me to ‘discover’ flowering plants, but it’s also fun to anticipate what I know is coming back…

Smoke Tree or Cotinus

Smoke Tree or Cotinus

The much awaited “smoke” has started to rise from the Smoke Tree or Cotinus.

Smoke Tree flowers

Smoke Tree flowers

Smoke Tree 'Smoke'

Smoke Tree ‘Smoke’

I love the puffy little clouds of light pink billowing from the top. Martha Stewart Living magazine had a great little article on these wonderful plants this month.

Baptisia or False Indigo

Baptisia or False Indigo

Growing right next to it was a lone Baptisia or False Indigo plant. I do not recall seeing these pretty little flowers last year, but it is possible I had since I pinned a picture of Baptisia. Or I could have just been wishing to have some and now it turns out I have some!

Snapdragons

Snapdragons

Nearby are some snapdragons I planted last fall. I was so happy to see them make it- my other two died. I think I may have neglected them too much and an animal helped dig one up.

Pink Peonies

Pink Peonies

Also in the front yard, the pink Peonies at the end of the driveway peaked last week. Last year I just had one stalk with three pretty blooms, and this year it exploded! I love how they look and I’m happy to see more of them. I added a little wire cage for support- once they start blooming they just can’t hold themselves up.

Pink Peony

Pink Peony

Bletilla or Hardy Orchid

Bletilla or Hardy Orchid

The Hardy Orchid’s (Bletilla) are out in full now, and have the most vibrant color.

Hardy Orchid flower

Hardy Orchid flower

Riot of color on the Mahonia

Riot of color on the Mahonia

Moving around to the side yard, the color on the Mahonia drew my attention. The stems for the berries were a hot pink color, with some areas more dark purple.

Flowers in the Veggie Patch

Flowers in the Veggie Patch

Even though the columbine are slowing down and most have gone to seed now, there’s still plenty of color in the veggie patch. The roses are still going strong, there’s some Hardy Orchids in the very back, Siberian Iris in the middle, and up front a pretty pink foxglove (Digitalis).

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris

Here’s a detail of the Siberian Iris.

Amsonia

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’

Nearly hidden in the veggie patch is the Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is because I remember seeing a tag for it in the box. It has been so helpful for me to have the resource of the box of plant tags! I don’t recall seeing the blooms of this last year, but I do remember the foliage–I think I just missed seeing it.

Clematis

Clematis

Near the patch, this drooping Clematis is blooming. It’s so delicate!

Clematis on the roses

Clematis on the roses

And this Clematis just started blooming on the Fourth of July Roses.

Fourth of July Roses

Fourth of July Roses

Fourth of July Roses detail

Fourth of July Roses detail

I think I did well with trimming this year, but I want to learn to be better at it.

Englantyne Roses

Eglantyne Roses

Lots of Eglantyne roses this year.

Virginia Sweetspire

Virginia Sweetspire

Back behind the birdbath, this sweetspire is blooming nicely. I haven’t had a chance to try and get really close to get a good detail of those flowers yet.

Goutweed

Goutweed

Overtaking the hill and the birdbath is some goutweed (also seen here with Houttuynia). Even though it can be aggressive, I think it can be pretty. I don’t mind keeping it around, but I’ll just have to also keep it in check.

Bugs on Goutweed

Bugs on Goutweed

One morning while out taking pictures, I saw all these bugs on this one flower head- does anyone know what they are?

Flowering Sedum

Flowering Sedum

This small creeping sedum, also around the birdbath, is blooming. I would love to have more of this stuff- and it stays “green’ all winter long (more or less).

After - A new space for Phenomenal Lavender

A new space for Phenomenal Lavender

This shot is from last fall when I planted Phenomenal Lavender–it’s grown quite a bit in the last 8 months.

Phenomenal Lavender

Phenomenal Lavender May 2015

Some of those spikes are at least two feet tall! This plant has grown very quickly, and is as advertised!

Hidecote Lavender

Hidecote Lavender

I also re-potted this Hidecote Lavender I bought last Spring and had out front. It did OK but I wasn’t totally happy with the location or the pot. This is feeling much better for now.

Platinum Blonde Lavender

Platinum Blonde Lavender

A couple of weeks ago we went to Lavender Fields Farm, which is not very far from us in Glen Allen. We bought a few things from them, including this beautiful variegated Lavender named ‘Platinum Blonde’. We took a free tour of their farm, which was really neat to see behind the scenes as most of our starters came from them (they sell to Strange’s). They also handed out tickets for free ice cream samples at the end- we tried the honey and lavender flavors YUM. It’s a sweet place to visit, and they have a great little shop filled with all sorts of lavender products as well.

Potted Plants on deck

Potted Plants on deck

Speaking of the starters… they are progressing well. Everything looks good and healthy and growing! I’m a little paranoid that I didn’t get big enough pots for some of the tomatoes and may put them in something bigger soon… Also need to get a few more tomato cages…

Potted Plants on deck 2

Potted Plants on deck 2

I wasn’t happy with how I had some things, so I repotted the Caladium (it was burning up with too much sun), and I moved all my succulents around.

Succulents

Succulents

More Succulents

More Succulents

I’m still trying to get some of the babies to grow in the pot on the left. (They are shaded under the bench there).

Strawberry Begonia

Strawberry Begonia

With so much going on in the upper gardens, I don’t always make it down the hill. On the rock slide, the delicate little Strawberry Begonia’s are flowering. It took me a while to figure this one out.

Hydrangea buds and bug

Hydrangea buds and bug

Yay I’m going to have some hydrangea flowers this year! This might actually be the annabelle, but I did see some buds on my mopheads. Can you spot the bug in this picture?

Sedum and Coleus in the lower garden

Sedum and Coleus in the lower garden

This year I’m going to try some Coleus in the planter with sedum.

First Daylily of 2015

First Daylily of 2015

And last, but not least, introducing the First Daylily of 2015! This year this beauty in the lower garden beat out smaller similarly colored blooms in the veggie patch- which haven’t even shown a bud yet. You know Summer’s coming when daylily season starts!