Author Archives: pbmgarden

About pbmgarden

Contemplating plants. Reforming my garden. Savoring peaceful moments. pbmgarden.blog

Wordless Wednesday – June Flowers

Spiderwort and Nasturtium ‘Vesuvius’

Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’ (Meadow Sage)

Hydrangea macrophylla

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Yellow dot at center right is Firefly!   Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Lily Asiatic ‘Royal Sunset’

Sky At Sunset June 14, 2021

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily) At Sunset June 14, 2021

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Since April 1 I have been watching with anticipation as a large pot of Asian lilies developed greenery, then buds, then buds revealing color.

April 1, 2021 Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

May 29, 2021 Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

June 2, 2021 Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Finally this past week the first flowers opened on June 7, quickly followed by many.

June 9, 2021 Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Having planned all spring to use the carmine lilies in a Monday vase when they appeared so quickly at mid-week I was unprepared to spend time arranging them. After trying out several vases without success, I opted for a cylindrical straight-sided glass container to hold the simple bouquet.

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Materials
Flowers
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Foliage
Container
Straight-sided glass cylinder

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Butterfly Journal For June 5-11, 2021

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

This week the most prevalent butterfly in my garden was the Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) of which I counted 5 on 4 different days throughout the week (06/06/2021 – 06/11/2021).

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Aside from the easily recognizable Silver-spotted Skipper, identifying most of the skippers is a challenge. iNaturalist suggests possibilities and I am tentatively calling this Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho), hoping for a confirmation. I saw a similar one the next day, but couldn’t get close enough for a photo. There usually are many skippers but I’ve never recorded this kind before, so am skeptical.

Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho) ???

On June 8 and 11 I encountered the first Duskywings of the year. iNaturalist has not been much help so far in identifying these either. I tentatively listed one as Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) and the second as Horace’s Duskywing -(E. horatius), but my photographs are not very clear. I thinks it’s possible they could be the same individual.

Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) ???  June 8, 2021

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)  ???  June 11, 2021

On each of 3 days I encountered a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia). This little butterfly flits all over the garden and has been difficult to photograph. In the shortest amount of time it lands briefly on clover or grass, mulch, iris and penstemon leaves, not caring it could have a lovely portrait made if it would just be still! One finally slowed down a fraction to nectar on the butterfly bush.

Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia

Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia

While fretting around the butterfly bush trying to photograph the buckeye I enjoyed the happenstance of a cool moth sighting. I managed a few images of  a Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) (June 11, 2021).  Gotta love those wings!

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

My favorite butterfly visitor this week was on 6/9/2021, another Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor), the third in the garden this year. Its colors were so rich as if it were freshly inked!

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

There were flowers happening throughout the garden too which I will share another time.  Off to attend the Plant Symposium.  Enjoy your weekend!

 

Southeastern Plant Symposium

View from JC Raulston Arboretum, NCSU 40th Anniversary Symposium, 2016

Though I wish it could be in person I am looking forward to attending online the third annual Southeastern Plant Symposium on Saturday, June 12 and perhaps you would like to come along.  JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Gardens are bringing together in their words “some of the best plants-people from around the globe for a full day in horticulture heaven.”

As part of the event a Rare Plant Auction is open (registrant or not) featuring over 300 rare, new, and unusual plants to bid on. I haven’t bid yet but there’s still time! You can sign up and/or preview the items.

Fergus Garrett, Great Dixter, is a big draw for the symposium, naturally, but I’m excited to hear the other speakers as well though.  Their backgrounds and topics are varied and I believe the symposium will be engaging and informative. I won’t try to list them all here but do check it out. There is a ticket fee of $75; pre-registration is required.
Registration information, a list of presentations and speaker bios.

I used to go often but It has been several years since I visited JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. I attended a few of their free virtual presentations recently, including last week’s exploration of their trial gardens. Hope to return in person now that the gardens are back open for visitors.

Hibiscus at Raulston Arboretum. October 7, 2017

And once with the local garden club I toured Tony Avent’s Plants Delights Nursery before it became Juniper Level Botanic Garden. Our tour guide’s name escapes me but he was great. (Just checked the date. Hard to believe it was in 2014!) This was one of my favorite sections of their gardens.

2014 Tour of Plant Delights

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

The gardenias are the prettiest and most prolific in years. I packed a blue stoneware pitcher full of fresh cuttings.

Gardenia jasminoides

The gardenias could have stood on their own but I needed to use the last of the saved peonies that have been stored in my refrigerator for too many weeks.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Next a piece, then maybe two, of hydrangea added because it just looks its best this week.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Materials
Flowers
Gardenia jasminoides
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ (Cape Jasmine)
Foliage
Hydrangea macrophylla
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’
Container
Stoneware pitcher glazed with bands of cream, green, blue. (pitcher and 4 cups, Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977)

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

Swallowtail Sighting

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Since 2018 I have seen a single Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) each year. Today was the day for 2021. I hope it won’t be the only one but at any rate it was thrilling to see this exotic looking butterfly this afternoon. It was sunny and 88 degrees F.

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

For the record I also saw two Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) earlier this morning and another (or one of the same) this afternoon. Verbena bonariensis was the attraction for both species.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

 

More Butterflies on Friday

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Accurately recording the butterflies seen in the garden this year is one of my goals, so I’m doing a bit of record keeping this afternoon to help me keep track.

Most of the time it is just a coincidence when I happen to spot one. That was the case at late morning when I noticed a Black Swallowtail flying around a front side border. It came to rest on some mulch in the front side bed and was patient for a brief time while I tried for a picture. Soon though I got too close. It lifted up and flew off over the house.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

I scurried to the back garden to see if I could relocate the black swallowtail. Sure enough there was a butterfly in the meditation circle, but it proved to be a different one.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

With a frantic flight pattern the butterfly darted from flower to flower, ignoring the usually popular verbena bonariensis in favor of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’.  I’ve been planning to clear out much of this penstemon from the meditation circle to make the path walkable again. But I may leave it a while longer. Bees love it and last year hummingbirds darted through it frequently, though I’m not sure if they fed.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

With help from iNaturalist I identified the butterfly as a Pipevine Swallowtail.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

The first butterfly I saw this morning, the black swallowtail, got away. I didn’t see it again today. No photo but I did see another Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) to add to my 2021 inventory.

 

Thursday Journal

The crinum lily began opening this week. Here’s a closeup from yesterday.

Crinum × powellii (Swamp Lily)

After some overnight rain the garden seemed to be breathing a sigh of relief.  My early morning stroll around the garden yielded nice surprises.

I’ve been checking this salvia all week and today found flowers at last. The petals are a luscious blue.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Ascending from among iris leaves and verbena bonariensis is a patch of lavender in the southern side garden, its first flowers drawing an attentive bee.

Lavender

Lavender

I knew the gardenias in the north-facing border were loaded with buds this year but discovering them today just opened in early daylight was a wonder. The fresh petals and irresistible scent are a winsome combination.  There are about 3 bushes, grown up about 7 feet high. My former next-door neighbor rooted them in little yogurt cups and shared them with me soon after we moved in. (We just passed our twenty year mark having closed on our house May 31, 2021.)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia) loaded with buds and the first flowers

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

I added three new salvia plants this spring. One has formed spires, the first of which revealed itself this morning.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’ (Meadow Sage)

I adore hydrangeas but have not had success with them. This passalong H. macrophylla  is having perhaps its best bloom year yet, despite a late cold snap.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

Yesterday I spotted and chased around a tiny butterfly trying to capture its image. This morning I stumbled upon it (or maybe a cousin) in a much more cooperative mood. I was able to see this Eastern Tailed-Blue much closer up than yesterday. It was surprising to see one active early on such a cloudy day.

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) on artemisia 

It was thundering like it meant it this afternoon as I began to write, and soon a heavy much-needed rain began to fall. Reverberating claps followed bright streaks of lightning the likes of which we hadn’t experienced in a long while. There is now a steady rain which I hope will continue for a while and return as needed to provide moderate and regular intervals the rest of the summer.

Looking ahead, I still have a few dahlias to plant out and new seed packs as well as saved seeds to do something with. I finally have a handful of zinnia seedlings the rabbits have not found. A tomato volunteered in its spot from last year and a friend passed along two Tiny Tim tomatoes he grew from seed.

The first of the shastas is open and lilies (daylilies and asiatic) look promising. Thanks for sauntering along through the garden with me today.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

 

Butterflies

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

I chased a butterfly around yesterday afternoon, a tiny one named Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas). It did not let me approach very close so the pictures just give a hint of what it looks like in person.

It lit on a brick edging of the meditation circle, so here you can get an idea of the relative size.

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

I had to enlarge the image a lot to show detail. Can you make out the tail?

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

The Eastern Tailed-Blue moved onto clover in the grass and eventually I could see the wings open.

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) – center

Wings partly open:

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) -below and right of center

Here it is enlarged with the wings open.

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Another Silver-spotted Skipper visited yesterday enticed by the ever popular verbena bonariensis. It moved around quickly also but stayed let me near for pictures.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

I saw one Monarch butterfly 6 weeks ago, April 13, 2021, when there was little blooming for it to enjoy. The southern side path is ready for them now. The Asclepias tuberosa has more light this year and has responded accordingly.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

May flowers. I began with brilliant orange Asclepias tuberosa, leaving plenty for any monarchs that might show up. (The umbel is a variegated form of Aegopodium, an attractive groundcover but unfortunately invasive.)

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

The color emphasis shifted when gathering other flowers I came upon a second and final bloom of Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’, the only one of the peonies that did not produce lots of flowers this year.

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’

The other peonies in today’s vase, two ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ (below) and one ‘Festiva Maxima’ (lower left corner above), have been stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks. It was time to bring them out.

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

The first of the returning dahlias, along with achillea, snapdragon, gaura, hydrangea, dark red clematis and even a bright orange nasturtium all were enlisted as companions to bridge the gap between orange and pink.

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

Materials
Flowers
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Aegopodium podagraria(bishop’s weed)
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Clematis ‘Niobe’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten Rose)
Hydrangea macrophylla
Nasturtium ‘Vesuvius’
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Foliage
Dahlia
Peony
Container
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”
6-inch clear Lomey dish
eco-friendly Oasis floral foam

In A Vase On Monday – Last Day In May

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Foxglove Surprise

Gardens often hold secrets. I purchased a small foxglove plant May, 2013. Although it did not bloom as promised that year, the following year it had two beautiful spikes.

May 8, 2012. Newly planted Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’

Following year. May 17, 2014. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’ (Pam’s Choice Foxglove)

Fast forward seven years. This month I have been guarding a foxglove that appeared unexpectedly, scratching my head as to where it came from. It began opening 3 days ago.

May 23, 2021. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice

May 23, 2021. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice

When I could finally look inside I was able to match it to that long-forgotten one, Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’, back for a visit long overdue.

May 23, 2021. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice

Water drops always make flowers even more intriguing. Sadly these are from my hand watering the garden yesterday. No rain to speak of for two months.)

May 23, 2021. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’

 

In A Vase On Monday – Racemes And Tendrils

In A Vase On Monday – Racemes And Tendrils

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

This morning racemes and tendrils of Lathyrus (everlasting sweet pea) are held upright by the integrated floral pin of this favorite Ikebana container. The deep purplish pink petals carry no fragrance but this passalong plant returns faithfully every year rambling and scrambling and rambling.

In A Vase On Monday – Racemes And Tendrils

Materials
Flowers
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)
Foliage
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Racemes And Tendrils

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

In And Out And All About

Temperatures are forecast to climb toward 90s F. this weekend. Rain? None still.

Peonies are fading away. They have been exceptional this year and I have stored away a few in the refrigerator to bring out for fun later.  It’s been glorious to have vases of them arranged through the house for the past several weeks. A side shoot from a stem of Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ surprised me by opening into a tender pale pink version this week, and tiny—just two inches in diameter. It is so delicate compared to the usual expression, which I will show first for comparison.

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ (5-7 inches across)

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ (2 inches across and pale pink)

I have a couple of Phalaenopsis (grocery store impulses) that re-bloom reliably despite neglect. This one has been blooming for several months.

Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)

A Christmas gift from our lovely niece keeps on giving. This view is ten days ago looking from the back porch into the garden. The unopened bud seen here is now the only one remaining.

Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) May 22, 2021

The oakleaf hydrangea suffered quite a lot of damage from late cold snaps, but portions have recovered.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

While planting zinnia seeds on Wednesday I heard the unmistakable flutter of a hummingbird and looked up just in time to see it pause mid-air, then disappear. There have been a few early butterfly sightings starting April 4 but getting good photographs has been challenging. Finally yesterday a cooperative Silver-spotted Skipper let me get close as it sipped on Verbena bonariensis.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

An American Lady preferred our weedy front lawn but was too skittish to allow me near.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

I’ve spotted Cabbage Whites (maybe the same one and very camera-shy) for several days. I can’t quite be sure from this picture but I think it is exploring the non-native weed in the foreground called Potentilla indica (Mock Strawberry).  The plant spreads along creeping stolens and is a constant problem.

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

Potentilla indica forms a small, bright red berry, non-poisonous but apparently not delicious.

Potentilla indica (Mock Strawberry)

Another problem in  my garden is a plant I actually love, but I have developed a skin rash to spiderwort. I have tried for years to get rid of it without success.  Within a couple minutes of touching spiderwort my skin turns red, swells, and itches. It does attract pollinators and it is photogenic. I once painted a white front porch column with it when I was a small child (and subsequently had to scrub the column).

Spiderwort

Another spreader, but one I don’t mind, is Lamb’ Ears. It was a passalong that I’ve had for many years. It wanders until I rein it back.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

The first echinacea opened a week ago, rising up through a clump of spiderwort. There are many more that return each year around the garden.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Mostly the many Husker Red penstemons are calm and stately, but I snapped this boisterous shot of one towering above dianthus. The dianthus are colorful but I must come to their defense. I’m not sure why they appear so bubblegum pink.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) and Dianthus

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Trio

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Trio

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

While peonies are in flower they are the obvious choice for a Monday vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Trio

I used a large rectangular floral pin holder to support the stems. While there are some differences among the three peonies they are essentially the same size and shape. The design might have been more interesting with some in bud, with more foliage, with secondary flowers, or just with the stems inserted into a bowl or vase.

But never mind, they are peonies, fragrant, sumptuous peonies. Each year I find myself amazed when they bloom in my little garden.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ (I think)

Materials
Flowers
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’
Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Foliage
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)
Peony leaves
Container
Black-glazed ceramic square

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden amazements she and others are offering this week.

Yesterday Morning – Flowers

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) and Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Iris, Dianthus, Penstemon, Artemisia

Iris, Dianthus, Penstemon, Artemisia

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Dianthus, Verbena bonariensis, Artemisia

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Spiderwort

Yesterday Morning – Foliage

Leucanthemum superbum ‘Alaska’ and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Leucanthemum superbum ‘Alaska’ and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Hydrangea macrophylla

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Garden phlox)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Nasturtium ‘Vesuvius’

Notes On The Garden

Hemerocallis x ‘Stella de Oro’

After a cold, wet Wednesday, yesterday there remained a chill in the morning air as I took an early saunter around the garden.  Water drops clung to leaves and petals in places the sun had yet to reach. It was quiet except for calming notes of birdsong.

In front of the house (which faces east) a couple of plants rescued last year during a neighbor’s border renovation project were catching the early rays. (I think I have identified them correctly.)

Tulbaghia violacea (society garlic)

Hemerocallis x ‘Stella de Oro’

In a border along the south side of the drive ascelpias is making good progress. This area also has lots of echinacea popping through.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) Readying to Bloom

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

This spring the southern side path heading toward the back garden has been flourishing with daffodils, irises, baptisia, and clematis.  Unfortunately this bed has a terrible infestation of bermuda grass that seems impossible to manage. I hired an organic company to help with it, to dig it up, but dosed with a great deal of mansplaining, their expensive efforts in March have proved to be merely cosmetic.

(I am focused on trying to keep it from getting further into the main garden and in two places have used layers of cardboard and piles of mulch to smother it. This can take two years from what I have read.  I think this grass came in a few years ago in some bad mulch at a time I was not able to pay attention to the garden. I am trying to avoid spraying harmful products but frankly it is overwhelming to manage.)

So even as this ginger lily emerges with vigor, the grass continues its rampage on this border.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

In the midst of my indecisiveness about this dilemma I came across a white form of rose campion having an identity crisis!

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

 

Clematis

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

The garden’s two Clematis have done well this spring. This Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ along the southern side path was the first one I ever planted. Last summer I cut it all the way back to the ground after the leaves all turned brown (per The Gardeners World’s Monte Don’s instruction for treating clematis wilt).

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Over time I have attempted more clematis but they haven’t survived the first years. Finally in 2015 I discovered this red one at my local garden center, Clematis ‘Niobe’.

Clematis ‘Niobe’

Clematis ‘Niobe’

It has never bloomed all summer as advertised but in spring it usually shows such promise.

Clematis ‘Niobe’

Last month I added three more clematis around one single trellis. There’s another Clematis ‘Jackmanii’, Clematis ‘Multi Blue’, and Clematis ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ planted April 4, 2021. So far the rabbits have not gotten them (but they are munching dalhias and phlox).

Will I regret not allowing more room?

clockwise from top: Clematis ‘Jackmanii’, Clematis ‘Multi Blue’ and Clematis ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ (clockwise from top)

In A Vase On Monday – Dramatic Cool

In A Vase On Monday – Dramatic Cool

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

As the irises take their last bow at center stage in the garden, peonies have taken on the leading role.  I cut bundles of them, mostly P. ‘Festiva Maxima’, after a quick but forceful rain Friday, rescuing some whose stems had broken and others which simply couldn’t hold their heads up under the weight of raindrops.

From the half a dozen peony vases scattered about on the mantel, windowsills, counters and in the foyer, I chose the vase in the hallway to share this day.

In A Vase On Monday – Dramatic Cool

Though cut several days ago it was early this morning before I could photograph the peonies, so they now have opened their hearts fully.

In A Vase On Monday – Dramatic Cool

In A Vase On Monday – Dramatic Cool

As it is wet and gray now after pre-dawn showers, the light was not strong. I didn’t like the cast of the images so I applied a preset filter that seemed to better emphasize the flowers: Dramatic Cool.

In A Vase On Monday – Dramatic Cool

Materials
Flowers
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Foliage
None
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Dramatic Cool

Thank you to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Fabian In The Garden

Iris ‘Fabian’ (Tall Bearded) -May 4, 2021

This spring the irises have bloomed with gusto and vigor beginning with Iris ‘Crimson King’ on March 30, 2021. Throughout April there has been a succession of different ones.

One of the last to appear opened just a few days ago on May 1, 2021. By scouring the Historic Iris Preservation Society (HIPS) website recently I have tentatively found its name: Iris ‘Fabian’.

Iris ‘Fabian’ (Tall Bearded) passalong from Henrietta -May 1, 2021

I’ve grown this passalong iris since the late 1970s and brought it to my current garden in May 2001 (that’s 20 years ago this month).

According to the information I found from HIPS, Salter collected this Tall Bearded Iris in England in 1868.  The American Iris Society Checklist of 1939 listed this iris as “extinct.” It is said to have been later rediscovered growing at the Presby Memorial Iris Garden in Montclair, New Jersey (which I would love to visit by the way). Described as a “smokey purple diploid” I have always referred to mine as “dusky.” Sweetly scented, the flowers are smaller than those of most TB iris.

At one time I. ‘Fabian’ was more prevalent in this south-facing border, but I. ‘Helen Collingwood’ is more dominant now. This current view is from just a few days ago, May 3, 2021. There are only three Iris ‘Fabian’ visible in front.

In front are I. ‘Fabian’ greatly outnumbered by I. ‘Helen Collingwood’ -May 3, 2021

By contrast there were only a few I. ‘Helen Collingwood’ five years ago in this same border. Below is the view at that time (May 3, 2016, seen from the opposite end of the border).

In this picture I. ‘Fabian’ has not yet opened, but is in bud between the meditation circle and the pink rose bush. Phlox and Meadow Sage were in bloom as well in this bed.

Garden View With Meditation Circle -May 3, 2016.  Purple and white I. ‘Helen Collingwood’ stand guard.

A large number of Fabians had opened after that picture was taken. One can spot a few Helens visible at the top center of this image. (Spiderwort was blooming and spreading out of control.)

Iris ‘Fabian’ crowded by spiderwort -May 11, 2016

This is the view that year from inside the border, standing near the rose bush, looking south across the meditation circle. (This time five years ago is about the last time the meditation circle was presentable. It was frequently underwater during the heavy rains this past winter and it needs a serious makeover.)

Iris ‘Fabian’ was predominate -May 11, 2016

Iris ‘Fabian’ -May 13, 2016

Through the years this border became not only infested with spiderwort, but the irises were intertwined with a dreadfully aggressive aster that to this day I am battling. So I had dug up a lot of the irises in order to eliminate the interlopers. In the process I lost track of which rhizome was which. I know at least one from this group of passalongs is missing now. Fortunately I did save Iris ‘Fabian’.

I will be vigilant to ensure its continued presence in the garden.

Iris ‘Fabian’ -May 4, 2021

In A Vase On Monday – Roses

In A Vase On Monday – Roses

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Roses  back view

My passalong roses began blooming this week lending a sweet, gentle fragrance to the garden.

In A Vase On Monday – Roses

Mama’s first cousin Virgie shared this and many plants with me that became the foundation of my garden life. My mother and grandmother also grew this rose, so today’s vase is a sentimental one.

In A Vase On Monday – Roses

An elegant crystal vase that once belonged to my mother’s older sister made just the right container for the family roses.

In A Vase On Monday – Roses

Materials
Flowers
Old-fashioned rose (passalong from Virgie)
Foliage
Container
Waterford crystal vase (6-inches tall, 6-inch diameter)

In A Vase On Monday – Roses

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.