Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – June 2014

Garden View

Looking west over the back fence

A light rain came Friday afternoon and on Saturday, yesterday, I awoke to find the garden refreshed by another rain overnight. With coffee and lifted spirits I welcomed the summer solstice from the back porch overlooking the garden. Lots of mist rose in the air along with bird chatter as cardinals, house finches, mockingbirds and gold finches crossed the yard between feeders and flowers.

Today is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. Inspired by yesterday’s early morning observations I decided to focus on foliage in neighboring borrowed views.

Still heavy from rain the neighbor’s weeping willow dipped its branches low toward the ground. Inside the fence a red cardinal sat atop the feeder in front of a large spirea. The spirea branches were flattened outward by the rain, but have since recovered.

Northern Red Cardinal Visits Feeder

Northern Red Cardinal Visits Feeder

At the northwest corner the blue color of ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress stood out from its surroundings. This tree was planted last year to replace one that had died and it already has grown quite a bit.  In front of the evergreen is Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry), a native that was planted long ago. It had never gotten very big and I had forgotten about it until last year when that dead juniper was removed. Once the beautyberry finally had sunlight and space it started growing, but by then the replacement tree had been planted.

To the right is a Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) that was complaining this week about the extreme dry spell, but it looked a bit perkier after the rain. There have been lots of storms this week all around us but the rain seems to pass us by.  With no more rain in the forecast for a while the dogwood will soon be drooping again.

'Carolina Sapphire' Arizona Cypress and Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress and Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Back in the neighboring yard a Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) leans slightly southward trying to escape the not very desirable, but aggressive growers, sweet gums and pines. Last year the leaves on the sycamore were brown nearly all summer from a fungus. So far, so good this year.

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) and Pines

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) and Pines

One of the pines is missing its top, having crashed down into my garden in a storm several years ago and just barely missing the fence. I would have preferred it to be removed after that incident. I used to live around a lot of loblolly pine trees and can attest that, in this type of setting, all this kind of tree is good for is to drop cones and needles, coat every surface in spring with yellow pollen and eventually fall on cars and houses.

Loblolly Pine Missing Its Top

A narrow strip of common area, or community-owned property, runs down behind this set of houses. Once past the next-door-neighbor’s magnolia and bench this common area is mostly open grass until it meets the rows of trees in the distance and a creek.

Garden Views At Summer Solstice-7

The green hardwoods visible in the distance are on land owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers. That area creates a nice natural setting for wildlife and serves as a nice buffer behind our community.

Garden Views At Summer Solstice-9

If I  move the camera just a bit it is easy to include grills, electrical meters, heating and air conditioning units and other ordinary symbols of civilization that too often muddle the images.  But on the morning of the June solstice, I was able to focus on the greens of the trees and the misty blue gray sky.

Visit Christina at Garden of the Hesperides and see how she and other participants are using foliage in their gardens.

14 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – June 2014

  1. Pauline

    The colour of your Arizona cypress is so beautiful, how tall will it grow? The grove of huge trees next to you is like the little woodland that we have here, they give a garden maturity, as if it has always belonged in it’s space. They are magnificent trees and with old trees sometimes come problems, like when they fall over through old age or lose a branch or two. They are still fantastic to look at though!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The cypress will grow 40′-50′ feet. We have two others (planted at the same time as the one that died, for which this is a replacement) and now they are turning brown. I’m afraid they must be rather short-lived trees.

  2. Julie

    The views you have chosen are picture postcard lovely, especially the Northern Red Cardinal photo. That is frustrating when rain passes you by, that often happens here, I hope you do get some soon though.

  3. Michael's Woodcraft

    Beautiful views, wonderful garden! I saw the red cardinal, looks like maybe on a feeder! Love the weeping willow and the Carolina Sapphire Arizona Cypress. I planted three of the Carolina Sapphire year before last and they are doing well, love the color, especially in the snow. I didn’t see a bird house?

  4. Cathy

    It’s nice to have a lot of trees and shrubs outside the garden too, adding to the privacy and adding a little shade where needed…. as long as they don’t get too big! It makes your garden seem more of a haven. I love all the different shades of green you have around your garden too. 🙂

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Cathy. Yes those trees do help with privacy and shade. The view is looking toward the west so the garden still gets a big blast of heat from the sun and fortunately the trees offer some shelter.

  5. Christina

    I really enjoyed these borrowed landscape views of the trees outside your garden, you are fortunate to have so many good specimens nearby. I understand your fears about the pine that may drop more limbs. thank you for joining in again this month Susie and with a very different aspect of your garden this time.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      My garden would be a lot more exposed and even more sunny if those trees weren’t there, so I’m grateful to have the borrowed greens nearby.

  6. bittster

    Things really do look so refreshed after a rain. We had a nice thundershower come through yesterday and it was completely reinvigorating.
    I love that new juniper. It looks so healthy when oftentimes they don’t.


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