Author Archives: pbmgarden

About pbmgarden

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

July Juncture

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Summer has turned the corner in my garden and plants are tired, weary and thirsty. July has been hot and mostly dry. Although we have had a few thunderstorms often dark clouds pass overhead to find a different target than our neighborhood . I have watered selectively, but sometimes even include the coneflowers because they are doing so well this year.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

In particular when watering by hand I’m trying to encourage the dahlias as well as my two tomato plants which were planted very late. (I tasted the first two grape tomatoes this week. The German Johnson shows little interest in producing more than just the two still-green specimens that formed early.) The dahlias are not doing as well as last year but a few nice ones show up. It’s so hot they don’t last long.

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

I am still trying to outwit the rabbits to protect a third sowing of zinnias. Spraying frequently seems to help some but is not a good long-term solution. My neighbor is scouting for rabbit fencing but supplies are out. It seems it will be costly anyway and fairly unattractive. If you have found a good solution to keeping rabbits at bay, we welcome your advice. She and I have white vinyl picket fencing (as dictated by our homeowner’s association) and is open at the bottom. She had installed chicken wire along the base but the rabbits are still slipping inside. One thing left unbothered by rabbits has been this crinum lily. The plant has had three tall shoots so far. Individual blooms are delicate.

Crinum × powellii (Swamp Lily)

This week on Instagram I joined Amy @newgatenarcissi for another #gardenmonthlycollage on for July 2020. There are so any images to choose from for July, but for the collage I found several for which I had made some Waterlogue counterparts.
Left to right: Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) on Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)
Canna With Echinacea (Purple coneflower)
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)
Bombus (Bumble bee) on Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ hummingbirds seem to adore, but unfortunately mine is producing few flowers. (A tip I recently heard on an old Gardeners World episode is the salvia may just be too “happy” and it needs to be moved to where it will be stressed and has to work harder.)  I love to hear a hummingbird’s wings as they nectar close by. Other birds we are seeing now are American goldfinches, eastern towhees, nuthatches, cardinals, house finches, chickadees and lots of little brown sparrows, all which frequent the feeder. Mourning doves stop by and lumber around the meditation circle.

Yesterday I saw a new-to-me white moth which I have identified tentatively as White Palpita Moth (Diaphania costata). It flew frequently as I tried to photograph it and it always landed under a leaf, making it challenging to get a clear image.

White Palpita Moth (Diaphania costata) underside

White Palpita Moth (Diaphania costata)

Cleome has taken over the meditation circle again this summer but it is hard to mind.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome and rudbeckia provide the most color to my garden right now. Both attract lots of bees.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Finally coming into full bloom this month, Lantana draws many pollinators, such as this little skipper.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

But where are the butterflies this year? Very few have passed by that I have seen. This one seems to have had a hard life.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

That is a look at July so far. 95° F.  Be safe.

In A Vase On Monday – Dinnerplate Serving In Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Dinnerplate Serving In Pink

My maligned dahlia

Update. July 14, 2020

Note:  I am red-faced as I make this confession. After fussing below about this dahlia not looking like Cafe Au Lait, I think I simply forgot that I planted another variety alongside the replaced dahlias.  I’ll have to check back to see if I can find a label for it.  Meanwhile the “imposter” has opened into a lovely form (semi-cactus?) with a white center.  I actually love it. Apologies for my confusion.


Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase using cuttings from our gardens. After what seems like a month without rain passing us by, we finally had a fierce, full-blown thunderstorm Friday night. Temporarily refreshed, the garden must brace for extreme heat this week.

I am not a huge fan of pink but with fewer flower choices today I decided to showcase a couple of dinnerplate dahlias in an Ikebana vase. 

Last year I ordered 9 Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ tubers.  I was disappointed when they bloomed. Not all but most seemed imposters—so unlike the photos of the soft coffee cream blush ones I have admired. The company where I purchased them suggested I might have been sent D. ‘Labyrinth’ by mistake and offered a refund or replacements this spring. I chose to receive replacements.

Now dahlias that overwintered from last year along with some replacements planted this spring are in bloom.

The replacements so far look even more distantly related, although I’ve heard from some of you there can be a range of color variation in the flowers of ‘Cafe Au Lait’ and also there are pink ones such as Café au Lait Rosé  and Café au Lait Royal.   

This is from the new tubers. Since the photograph was taken this flower has begun opening to a somewhat paler center. I am curious to see how the other replacements turn out.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ (replacements planted this spring)

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ (replacements planted this spring)

Ironically this one is from last year. Still not the iconic look I seek, but beautiful and definitely less pinky. It is about 6 inches in diameter. I will keep feeding.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ (planted last year)

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ (planted last year)

A small hydrangea cluster, pale pink in color, became the third element in today’s design. Would I prefer it be blue, yes, but I haven’t taken on the task of adjusting the soil pH.  The hydrangea is perfect for today’s study in pink.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Hydrangea macrophylla
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Peace. Be well.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

In 2014 I began joining Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to create a weekly vase.  This exercise, called In A Vase On Monday, challenges garden bloggers to create and share cut flower arrangements each Monday using materials from our gardens. Sometimes my designs are simple, others are more formal, but collectively the vases highlight what is in bloom in the garden during the year. The larger story is told by checking out Cathy’s post each Monday and connecting to beautiful vases shared by gardeners from around the world.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

This week I knew I wanted a light and airy foliage to help define the shape of my vase.  Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ is healthier than usual, perhaps buoyed by early spring rains.  We are dry here now with high temperatures above 90F, so I do not know what is keeping the baptisia happy now, but it was an easy choice for today’s vase,

The heat is harsh and many flowers look worse for the wear. The Shasta daisies are in full bloom now and the fresh white blooms seemed too perfect not to use.

I think this is ‘Alaska’.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

I planned that dahlias would be the focal flowers but I could have stopped with just the baptisia and daisies in place and been satisfied.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ only had one ragged flower today, but several nice seed heads.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

Lantana is just coming into flower this week. I selected several stems for some orange accents.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)
Vase
Vintage 4 Ceramic Urn

I like the swirly movement as seen from overhead.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Fresh

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases each week. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this first Monday in July. Peace.

In A Vase On Monday – June Coda

In A Vase On Monday – June Coda

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share cut flowers from our gardens.

Days of generous rains are gone, but we did get a thunderstorm Sunday evening. Heat and humidity are settled in for summer.  Fireflies are out. The month of June has flown quickly past but not before ushering in a host of summer blooms.

In A Vase On Monday – June Coda

With gladioli nearly finished, dahlias and phlox pick up the pace.

Phlox, Dahlia, Gladiolus

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ and Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Materials
Flowers
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Gladiolus, unknown white
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)
Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Garden phlox)
Foliage
Vase
Black-glazed ceramic square

Two grocery-store moth orchids, each purchased several years ago, began reblooming in late February. One finished last week and I decided to go ahead and cut the other’s flower stalk for today’s vase. Its color details are picked up by other materials in the vase.

In A Vase On Monday – June Coda

Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)

Today’s flowers were inserted into a large florist’s pin set in a plastic black tray, and tucked into a deep, square black saucer.  I had trouble with the composition and rearranged for more than an hour. After many iterations I ran out of time. I had planned a spare Ikebana-style design, but was too wedded to using as many of the collected flowers as possible. Lesson learned.

In A Vase On Monday – June Coda

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Peace.

National Pollinator Week

In case you haven’t noticed it’s National Pollinator Week. Butterflies seem scarce this year in my garden so it was nice to spot a lovely male swallowtail enjoying echinacea in the side garden.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Wordless Wednesday – Deep Color In Late June

Virgie’s Rose

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Bumblebee (Bombas) on Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime Sunset

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime Sunset

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

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime Sunset

Today’s flowers include the only one of 15 Lily Asiatic ‘Royal Sunset’ the rabbits did not eat last week. The salvaged lily stem had 3 buds, 2 of which opened. Petals are a bit tired now but by bringing them inside early at least I got to see the color—it is a bit of sunset. In fact all the colors in today’s vase would be right at home in a sunset.

Lily Asiatic ‘Royal Sunset’

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime Sunset

Gladiolus

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Gladiolus ‘Espresso’ (dark red) and unknown white
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Lily Asiatic ‘Royal Sunset’
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Dahlia leaves
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Vase
Crystal pedestal dish

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime Sunset

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime Sunset

The flowers were styled into a plastic 6-inch Lomey dish. Afterwards I tried several vases before settling on the low crystal pedestal. Below is the vase from last week’s ‘Espresso’ gladioli. I didn’t want to use it again so soon, but it does show how the vase affects the final design. The large vase fits it well but I had in mind a lower design.

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime Sunset

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime Sunset

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Peace and be well.

Summer Solstice

June Solstice (Summer Solstice) in Chapel Hill, NC – Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 5:43 pm. In terms of daylight, this day is 4 hours, 53 minutes longer than on December Solstice.

We had a torrential downpour this afternoon but the sun came out in time to celebrate summer solstice. Long summer days ahead, but already creeping toward darkness.

Shasta daisies are beginning to wake up.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower) is having a good year and attracting lots of visitors.

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Other echinacea are thriving this year too. Although they are drought-resistant, coneflowers seem to appreciate a good drink of rain water regularly as much as the next plant.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Their flowers take on a variety of forms. I like the drooping ones and this one with the petals tucked in like a turban.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

This salvia anchors a calm area of the garden, not minding the tansy’s encroachment.

Tansy and Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Starting out white, Oakleaf hydrangea is working to earn its name, Lil’ Ruby.

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

This artemisia is a favorite hiding place of several generations of rabbits terrorizing the garden this year. I was going to show pictures of all their damage but the list is too long and discouraging. I’m especially disappointed they’ve eaten the zinnias, which had been off to a great start, sprouting in 2 days. A neighbor gave me some spray but it’s not stopped the rabbits completely from tasting.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

I am not sure what prompted me this evening to look up Russian Sage, but I’m glad I did. It turns out to be the plant formerly known as Perovskia atriplicifolia.
Now its name is Salvia yangii.

Salvia yangii (Russian Sage)

Salvia yangii (Russian Sage)

The overwintered dahlias have been eager to flower. Some others planted this spring are slow to get going but I expect they will catch up.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

This week on Instagram I joined Amy @newgatenarcissi with a monthly collage of the garden. Here’s June.  Maybe you would like to join in also. #gardencollagemonthly

June 2020 #gardencollagemonthly

Wishing you a happy summer!

Wordless Wednesday – Making The Rounds

Bumble Bee (Bombus griseocollis) identified through iNaturalist.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

In A Vase On Monday – Expressly Espresso

In A Vase On Monday – Expressly Espresso

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

Planted in 2018 Gladiolus ‘Espresso’ is tucked away at the edge of my garden in what I thought would be a much sunnier spot than it turned out to be.

Grown specifically for cutting these flowers have exceeded my expectations. My photographs scarcely convey the color complexity of the flowers. Espresso, chocolate, wine in bud, the open blooms remind me of the translucence of alizarin crimson oil paint. Petals are silken.

In A Vase On Monday – Expressly Espresso

Gladioli spikes can be arranged (trimmed, cut apart, and cajoled), but these are, to use our host Cathy’s phrase, plopped into a drinking glass within the cavernous interior of the container.

Materials
Flowers
Gladiolus ‘Espresso’
Foliage
Vase
Ceramic pot, unknown N.C. artist

The vase itself is richly glazed. Usually its red accent is the darkest red around, but today the gladiolas predominate.

In A Vase On Monday – Expressly Espresso

Here are a couple of images filtered through the Waterlogue app.

In A Vase On Monday – Expressly Espresso

In A Vase On Monday – Expressly Espresso

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Peace to you.

Sunday Album – Early Morning Light

Early Morning LIght – Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’; Dahlia, Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

A little over three months ago I would have risen early on Sunday morning and prepared to teach a gentle yoga class, which I always concluded with a guided meditation. Some classes are resuming this week but on a limited schedule and with a much different format. I feel it will be a long time before I am back in that world, although I am optimistic it will happen.

I spent this early morning photographing the garden in the midst of calm and solitude. Quiet but for birds running through their morning routine. Even bees were asleep.  There is a clarity the garden invites, a stillness not still. Presence, knowing, awareness. The garden makes it possible.

Our house faces east and hides the morning sun from the back garden. Light slips in first from either side softly tapping the back fence and working its way into the western border.

Western Border – Dahlias

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ and Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Here is one of the sleeping bees.

Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ and D. ‘Labyrinth’; Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’

Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’

Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Southern Border – Sweet Pea and Daylily

Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Western Border – Oakleaf Hydrangea

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope your Sunday has been full of light

In A Vase On Monday – Purple And Other Flora

In A Vase On Monday – Purple And Other Flora

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Since early childhood I have loved gladioli. Last year I planted Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’ and its rich red counterpart, ‘Espresso.’ In blooming this June the purple one leads the way by just a few days and is today’s featured flower.

Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’

I tried to partner it only with red Lilium ‘Black Out’ in a simple Ikebana design, but together the red and purple were so intense they needed relief. Soon I had brought in a host of other flowers.

Keeping the strong purple and red hues at center and left, I offset the design with lighter colors and varying textures on the right side near the base.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple And Other Flora

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Hydrangea macrophylla (passalong from blogger Jayme, 2013)
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Foliage
Amaryllis
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Vase
Black Matte Dish With Red Interior

In A Vase On Monday – Purple And Other Flora

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Peace to you.

Between Morning Showers In Early June

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

A series of light showers this morning were welcome after the previous two days of temperatures in low 90s. Gardenias are fully awake today; a few more red lilies shout their presence.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

American Goldfinches keep us entertained. Today I watched one floating from flower to flower on Blue Sky salvia, the slender stems arching gracefully downward with the bird’s weight, then popping upward, the goldfinch having moved on to the next flower effortlessly, like an acrobat on a trapeze .

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

I do not have an adequate camera to film birds but you may be able to see four goldfinches sitting atop sturdy stalks of echinacea in the meditation circle yesterday. All too soon one signals, “let’s go.”

Verbena bonariensis is going to seed and needs to be trimmed back. The finches love it at this stage so I will leave it a while longer.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Among the signs of early summer in the garden are this lusciously deep, purple gladiolus just coming into bloom.

Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’

Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ embraces the hot weather.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

From the back porch I spied a black swallowtail, I think, on this bush. I searched later but the butterfly had moved on.

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Wordless Wednesday – Red

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville (may be ‘Michael Arnholt’

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville (may be ‘Michael Arnholt’

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville (may be ‘Michael Arnholt’

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville (may be ‘Michael Arnholt’

Ruby Slippers, which opens pure white and then turns red, is shifting its color.

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

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

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

Amidst chaos in our cities and sadness profound, the first lilies and gardenias opened yesterday. They sit solemnly, quietly; a somber lament.

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

In A Vase On Monday – Heartsong

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Peace to you.

After-The-Rain Mystery And Tomatoes

Recognize this? I encountered this beautiful fungus in my garden yesterday and photographed it this morning, but I have not been able to identify it. This first image with the tips of my pink garden gloves will give you an idea of its size (maybe 8-10 inches across).

Fungus
Fungus
Fungus
Fungus
Fungus

After a week of continuous rain the sun is shining today. 88F. Everything is growing. I hope the fungus is not problematic. I planted two tomatoes nearby this morning. I have been itching to visit garden centers but am still staying home. My good neighbor Gary ventured out though. He picked these out and gifted them yesterday.

Tomatoes ‘German Johnson’ Heirloom and Grape (Tami G) Hybrid
Tomatoes ‘German Johnson’ Heirloom and Grape (Tami G) Hybrid

Thursday Notebook – Dahlias

I intended to dig up dahlias last fall after first frost, but after joining a Facebook group and reading details of storing and dividing them to plant in spring, I was overwhelmed and just never made the move toward doing the work. Fortunately the winter was mild enough. Many of last year’s dahlias overwintered and seem ready to fill the garden with color this summer.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Longfield Gardens sent replacements for some mislabelled ones I received last year and for several that did not grow. I appreciate how very nice and friendly they have been to deal with. All spring sections of the borders have looked empty, covered in brown mulch, but finally these areas should come alive.

More Dahlias

There is endless choice in types of dahlias one can grow. I might try to order another one or twelve. Do you have a favorite?

Wordless Wednesday – Late May

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) needs to be trimmed back and thinned out, but the bees convinced me to keep it awhile.

Currently lighting up the meditation circle Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) is a another favorite of the bees.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

In A Vase On Monday – Cup Of Color

In A Vase On Monday – Cup Of Color

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

The rich colors this week seem autumnal. Several chrysanthemums began blooming this weekend beside the garage where their plastic pots had been unceremoniously abandoned last fall and given not another thought over winter. Last week I noticed they were green and healthy and in bud. For today’s vase I picked the deep wine mums to feature.

Chrysanthemum

Verbena bonariensis has been lovely this spring, but some of it quickly began dropping flowers in the vase.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

I included several stems of asclepias, also just coming into bloom. The rich orange nearly overshadows the chrysanthemum as the main focus.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)
In A Vase On Monday – Cup Of Color

Materials
Flowers
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)
Chrysanthemum
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
Vase
Ceramic mug

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Good health and peace to you.

In A Vase On Monday – Simplicity

In A Vase On Monday – Simplicity

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

There was no clear choice for today’s vase so I gathered a variety of flowers from the garden and went to work creating four small vases, imaging they would end up grouped into one display. Each one was nice but when combined they did not make much impact. Simple usually seems to be the best choice so I eliminated all but the white snapdragons in a handmade green pot. Fresh, cool, elegant.

In A Vase On Monday – Simplicity

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)
Foliage
Lavender
Peony leaves
Vase
Ceramic vases: Hand-thrown Seagrove Pottery (olive-artichoke). Artist unknown.

Originally I had planned to use a side-table crafted by my daughter to showcase all four vases.  One design was eliminated immediately and I wavered about the others but not very long.  All four vases are responsibly placed around the living room, physically distanced to meet current standards.

In A Vase On Monday – Simplicity

The arrangement on the left contains Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’, Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’, Matthiola incana (stock) , Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow) and leaf from Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ in Ikebana vase. In the middle, also in an Ikebana vase, is Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox), Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ seed pods and old-fashioned rose.

In A Vase On Monday – Simplicity

In A Vase On Monday – Simplicity

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Good health and peace to you.

Early May Vignettes And Blooms – Thrift and Salvia

Note: Thanks to Tony Tomeo for commenting with the correct ID of this plant.

This patch of Thrift (Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’) Matthiola incana (stock) was planted last fall possibly last fall. I’m no longer sure. It has provided a cheerful spot of color in the southern border near peonies and iris since mid-March. Now it is starting to play well with recently opened Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage).

Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Early May Vignettes And Blooms – Clematis ‘Niobe’

Clematis ‘Niobe’

Continuing a look around the garden over the first half of May, I keep coming back to this Clematis ‘Niobe’.  It was purchased in April 2015 at Southern States in Carrboro, a favorite local plant nursery since I’ve been gardening.

Clematis ‘Niobe’

I go through periods of wanting an all-red or all-white and certainly an all-blue border. They never materialize as I imagine but a few of the plants such as this one end up becoming stars.  This is a great shade of red.

The clematis has been waiting in the wings, caught up in the nightmarish aster that has been overwhelming my iris border. Most of last year I couldn’t even get through easily to the back fence where this clematis lives to check on it. This year the aster has been pulled out twice and still is revving its engines, sending out new runners underground.  (Its leaves are visible in the lower right portion of the image above.) I am determined to keep working to be rid of that aster.

Meanwhile Clematis ‘Niobe’ is visible this May and looking lovely. It began opening around April 10.

Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)

 

Early May Vignettes And Blooms – Iris

Here is a look at the irises in the first half of May.

An invasive aster overran my iris bed in the northern border many years ago. I had been able to keep it somewhat under control but for three recent years I was pretty absent from the garden and the aster has been strangling the iris. This iris was yanked up last year trying to extricate it from the aster and I was relieved this spring to find it had survived the move to its new location. All this bare mulched border is where the aster has been cleaned up this spring. The iris came with me when we moved to this house in May 2001. It was a gift from my across-the-street neighbor Henrietta circa 1977. It is much smaller than the larger, fancy hybrids available these days. I really like its delicate nature. A similar red one has disappeared, so I’m trying hard to take care of this one.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Passalong from Henrietta-Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Passalong from Henrietta-Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

This next one, also a Henrietta passalong, is blooming in the northern border too and apparently I have moved it to several other spots in the garden. The standards look white in the first photo but in the next appear more distinctly violet.  I’m pretty sure it is the same iris.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Here it mingles with Virginia sweetspire.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) and Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)

It also is thriving in a fairly shady corner amongst hellebores and salvia.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Although the photo is from April 21 this Henrietta passalong is still blooming.  Very tall, with large flowers, normally it is the first iris to bloom each spring—it was late this year.  I relegated it to the side garden soon after the first year we lived here. I objected to the way the bold yellow clashed fiercely with many of the pink peonies and roses in the other borders. Along the side of the house the strong yellow works better with purples of clematis and baptisia, and rosemary.

The next two irises frame the south end of the southern border, passalongs from Cathy, friend and former neighbor in my current neighborhood. The flowers are huge and command attention. The white one is an autumn rebloomer.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

This yellow is also a reblooming iris and came from Ted and Maria through a neighborhood plant exchange.

Iris – A Passalong

Another iris brought from our former home, this pale yellow iris came from my sister-in-law. She referred to it as a Japanese iris, although I’m not sure it really is.  It is a small form iris, gentle and subtle and was the last to bloom this year.

Kathleen’s Japanese Iris

Dutch iris; Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’, ‘Batik’, and ‘Orinoco Flow’; and Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris) all finished blooming before before May. A new batch of Dutch Iris Hollandica ‘Discovery’ was planted last week.