Season upon season gardeners are given opportunities to practice patience and, like plants themselves, to seek light even from amongst shadows.
Season upon season gardeners are given opportunities to practice patience and, like plants themselves, to seek light even from amongst shadows.
Another busy week is done that left little time for the garden. There were warm, humid days, stormy days, bright days with the bluest sky imaginable and on this sunny first of October morning the air has a refreshing chill (before warming to 78°F).
On the last few days of September, in brief segments measured merely in minutes, I wandered the garden to recharge, each time finding some small delight.
I have had a few monarchs visit each year but Tuesday marked the first time I have seen a viceroy. Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) is distinguished by the black line across the veins on its hind wings.
I spotted another yesterday (or perhaps the same one returned, but I think the black vein looks thinner).
My incarnations of Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ have not always been true to the catalogs but one plant in particular sometimes throws up a pretty one.
There were several other butterflies of note, a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) and a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). These are commonly sighted where I live but fairly infrequent in my garden.
A few dianthus plants are blooming more easily now the weather is cooler. How is this for a colorful greeting?
The small skippers were everywhere midsummer but numbers have declined significantly in the past 5-6 weeks. iNaturalist is my goto source to identify skippers (mostly fieries, ocolas). I found another clouded skipper this week.
An interesting creature, if not the loveliest, this grasshopper tried to hide from the camera.
I will finish with a quick video of the black swallowtail, frenetically searching for sustenance among lantana flowers.
Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.
I had gathered all the dahlias the garden offered up on Sunday but didn’t have time to arrange them. I left them for our flower-loving neighbor to find. During a lull in activities I took a few quick shots of a clutch of dianthus I’d cut as an afterthought. For a bit of cheer and with a nod to host Cathy’s love of props, I staged the flowers with a miniature sugar bowl from our daughter’s childhood tea set.
Flowers and Foliage
Dianthus Ideal Select Mix
Small white, elliptical ceramic vase
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.
I am late, late joining the party this week, but wanted to acknowledge a milestone. For six years Cathy at Rambling In The Garden has been hosting In A Vase On Monday, encouraging us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens. Since she started this I have looked forward to Mondays as never before.
In celebration of the sixth anniversary this week, Cathy posed a challenge to create a miniature arrangement, no more than 6″ (15cms) in each dimension. I tucked Erysimum into a tiny white oval ceramic vase and Dianthus and Antirrhinum into a heavy glass purple dish for a simple presentation.
Happy Anniversary Cathy and thank you!
Corona™ White Dianthus (Dianthus chinensis)
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’ (Wallflower)
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)
Purple glass dish
White ceramic oval vase
Special thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to explore all the small designs she and others created this week for In A Vase On Monday.
The garden was soggy yesterday after an afternoon storm that brought wind and rain. Temperatures were in the 80s F. this week, but will be 70s today after the storm. It has been a lovely, long spring in the garden. Often we move from winter right into hot summer days and the blooms don’t have a chance to linger.
My mother’s older cousin, Virgie, passed along many of her plants through the years. This rose is one she, my grandmother, mother, my daughter for a time (when she had a yard) and I think another cousin from my generation all have grown. It is sweetly fragrant.
The underside of this heuchera shows reminds me of a young child showing her colorful petticoat. In back, hellebores continue to provide interest. What’s not to love about a plant that will bloom for months without demanding anything. The heuchera was purchased, but the hellebores were passed along by garden club friend Vicki.
Dianthus is an old-fashioned favorite and has been so perfect this spring. It is planted among Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood), both of which were purchased last spring.
More irises have opened this week. Many of mine were passalongs from a former neighbor, Henrietta on Wave Road, circa 1977. (Columbine has spread to every corner of the garden, not always creating the best color combinations. Time to cut it back.)
Though there are lots of bold colors in the garden, the soft fresh greens of spring are evident everywhere. The redbud in the southwest corner is another passalong from friend, Chase. I spotted two volunteers yesterday I hope to pot up and pass on to another gardener. Passalongs carry happy memories.
Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.
After another busy week of non-gardening duties, I stole a few minutes here and there and now at day’s end, Monday’s vase(s) finally are ready.
The colors of the late April garden are rich and deep; the flowers offer plenty of fragrance. My irises are not blooming as well as they should, but I love each new one that opens.
The purple anemones that survived the fall planting and winter rains are seriously beautiful, but there should be many more. None of the white ‘Bride’ seem to have taken hold.
This is anemone is an oddity.
Here are a few close-ups.
Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’ – planted fall 2018
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ – one of first purchases for this garden, 2001
Dianthus Ideal Select Mix – planted this time last year, overwintered well
Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) – yellow pass-along from neighbor Henrietta in 1977
Iris germanica ‘Immortality’) – white rebloomer
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’) – passalong from down-the-street neighbor Gary
Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris) – passalong from a historic old Chapel Hill neighborhood
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)
Portmerion Botanic vase, made in England.
As we continue to deal with medical issues there is very little time for the garden or keeping up with blogging friends, but I sneak a peek at your posts when I can. We are finally back at home which makes us happy.
Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.
Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.
Mornings now are frosty and very little is blooming in the garden. This past week I bought several flats of pansies and violas on sale and planted them out in the meditation circle. I hope they will quickly establish themselves; already a few tiny ones are blooming which I picked for today’s vase.
Other minuscule flowers, 3 red dianthus and a sprig of candytuft, were surprise finds, but almost too small to use.
I decided to round out the group with some stems of sedum, yarrow and a couple of camellia buds.
The camellias were larger in scale and became dominant, but the other tiny items add color and texture.
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (Angelina Stonecrop)
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Dianthus ‘Ideal Select Red’
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
These cyclamen and green chrysanthemums are flowers I purchased to use for some early holiday entertaining, so thought I would share them today also. The cyclamen will be used to decorate the fireplace and may eventually make their way into a vase.
These versatile glasses were a wedding gift from a college roommate and still good friend. When not in use for serving liqueurs, the glasses work well for holding flowers.
In A Vase On Monday is a weekly opportunity to fill a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden and share it through Cathy’s Rambling In The Garden. Juggling a busy schedule today I almost skipped making a vase, but it nagged at me at bit. If Cathy could make the effort while away on vacation I decided I wanted to find a few minutes for one too.
For many weeks the red snapdragons planted in the meditation circle have been simply a pleasure, but the color is heavy for this time of year. I purchased them last October at a greatly reduced price. The dark color, perfect as winter was coming on, now seems too rich and velvety for spring.
That said, there is little else to complain about. The snapdragons overwintered beautifully and are quite long-lasting indoors and out. I collected about 2 dozen of them for today’s vase and also added a few sprigs of white Dianthus to try to brighten the arrangement a bit.
For the container I finally settled on a red pitcher with white hearts, a sweet gift from my late mother-in-law after she saw me admiring it in a kitchen store oh so many years ago.
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Dianthus ‘Ideal Select White’
I took several pictures outdoors on the back porch to try to capture the contrasting colors better, but my camera battery ran out before I could experiment much. I am glad to have the flowers to enjoy this week.
Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Please visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.
They are complementary opposites. Slowly across the meditation circle Yin (darkness) defers to Yang (sunlight).
Happy New Year! The first day of 2015 began frosty cold, but ice crystals on plants in the labyrinth quickly disappeared once discovered by the rays of the morning sun.
I have been dreaming my way through garden catalogs and making plans to fill gaps in the hedges bordering the fence with gardenias, camellias and yet unknowns.
There is a Christmas gift of tulip bulbs to plant this weekend, even as many daffodils are already emerging.
All around us for weeks there have been tremendous downpours, but we have been missing most of the activity, just had lots of gray sky. There was a nice rain last night though. I need to invest in a rain gauge someday. We usually just measure by whether the big dip in the street’s pavement in front of our house is full of water. It is a pretty reliable measure. Although this morning it was not full, I was happy we had not been passed by completely.
The sun was back out today. I had time for a very quick tour of the garden this morning and enjoyed seeing the Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) in the early light.
An Echinacea purpurea mysteriously appeared in the meditation circle this summer. It is compact, only a foot tall, and has rather oddly formed flowers, as if it is trying to be a double.
These older flowers are the ones that first caught my eye a few days ago.
This morning there were several freshly blooming flowers.
Also in the meditation circle’s path, the pinking shear circumference of this rain-washed white Dianthus flower caught my eye.
It is the first Monday of May and I am joining Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to create a floral arrangement from materials gathered in one’s own garden.
This weekend when I saw my old-fashioned rose had begun blooming I immediately decided to feature it in my Monday vase. It is a sentimental favorite.
I brought this rose from my previous garden when we moved here thirteen years ago. It was a pass-along from my mother’s cousin, a sweet woman whom I consider my gardening mentor. She was the source of many other pass-along plants as well. My mother had also grown this same rose, as did my maternal grandmother, so each spring when I see these deep pink buds, they bring tender memories.
Lavender branches seemed a perfect choice for greenery and for contrast included Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage). I selected a few salmony-pink Dianthus as filler flowers.
When doing formal arrangements I always underestimate how much material is required. With a bare spot still needing to be filled I remembered a piece of Allium Nigrum had broken off in the garden the other day before it even had opened, so I had brought it inside. It worked fine to finish this week’s vase.
Dianthus ‘Ideal Select Salmon’
Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage)
This design is my loose interpretation of a traditional round design. The rose stems were not strong enough to work with easily, but the arrangement went together without too much fretting. I used floral foam set into a 4-inch diameter, shallow dish to hold the flowers, envisioning that the arrangement would sit atop a crystal vase. Because I had not been careful to conceal the sides of the plastic dish, the effect was imperfect though. I tested the arrangement on a round, straight-sided black ceramic pot and also without an extra vase. In the morning perhaps I will gather a few concealer leaves or flowers to resolve that issue.
The roses and lavender are wonderfully fragrant. My husband remarked how nice the house smells tonight.
There are several new notables in today’s garden. The Swamp Sunflower has grown way up into the sky, reaching ten feet or more during the past couple of months. Today, the first full day of autumn, a few of the yellow flowers finally emerged. This Helianthus is a native plant but it can spread aggressively so I try careful to watch it closely.
This little yellow spider, perhaps a flower crab spider, may be the same one I saw a week ago on this Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower).
A white-flowerd Alyssum was a garden star last summer and fall but this Easter Bonnet Violet has been quite the opposite this year. Planted in late April, it is only now gaining some confidence.
An unknown variety of Aster added to the garden when new, soon became unruly and spread so much I tried to remove it from the garden. It is defiant though and shows up year after year.
Salmon-hued Dianthus did well last year in the meditation circle. This year it did fine in spring, languished in summer and is now looking refreshed.
I came across an olive-green grasshopper standing firm and erect against an Echinacea stem and have tentatively identified it as a Differential grasshopper.
Glimpse into my garden on this sunny 66-degree day, the first day of 2012, and you will see an odd mélange for this time of year. Keeping company with a rusty garden ornament that catches the sun, there are emerging daffodils, a budding Shasta Daisy, a crimson Dianthus and the silver-green, wooly textures of Lamb’s Ear. The warm weather will soon end and the garden will reconfigure itself–a new assortment will represent this place.
This completes a series illustrating the variety of blooms found in this garden in mid-September. Once extreme heat and drought set in during July the garden looked browned and parched. Now, eight weeks have passed with little maintenance, and the garden has awakened. Cooler temperatures and some key rainfalls have brought out a burst of blossoms.
Echinacea (purple coneflower) is planted throughout the garden and these perennials have remained in bloom longer this year than usual. As the petals drop the seed cones provide food for the American goldfinches. Most of the Echinacea have dried up now and the brown stalks and cones are being left for winter interest and for the birds.
A pair of pink dwarf Crape Myrtles at the front entrance took forever to bloom this year, while these Southern favorites were coloring the landscape all around town (and even in this neighborhood). The peak flowering period seemed to be about mid-August.
Because this annual is so commonly used, bringing it home was merely an afterthought at the garden center in early summer. During the worst of the dry, hot July days though, it added happy spots of color (both pink and magenta) to the border.
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
Only a few cosmos self-seeded from last year’s effort to fill the side border with feathery greenery and delicate blossoms. Usually these are very simple to grow but last year neither these nor the zinnia seeds produced a reward. The deer still graze down this side garden and seem to be attracted to the cosmos.
Cleome or Spider Flower is a magnificent accent in the border. The complex structure of the blooms and the long seed pods forming below the flower give this annual an architectural look. This is an old-fashioned flower that is remarkable.
More In the September Garden
Ending the tour of blooms in this mid-September garden, there are several flowers blooming for there are no accompanying photographs, but they have been featured before: Pink Yarrow, Dianthus, and Verbena bonariensis. The pink yarrow bloomed profusely in the spring before browning in the heat. Only a couple of these are in bloom now. The dianthus was planted this spring and did well with deadheading though early summer before fading in the heat. It has revived somewhat but is not significantly showy. Verbena bonariensis, a tall plant with small flower clusters on long stems, has been blooming since mid-May. Yellow American goldfinches love them and love to sit on them, bending the stems eventually. Several new ones added to the garden in late spring survived.
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
While this Asclepias tuberosa is not actually blooming now, the seed pods are interesting. Milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly. The caterpillar is feeding on the leaves and storing energy for the pupa stage.
A Flowering Dogwood in the back corner of the garden is a vision today.
A 2001 membership gift from the National Arbor Day Foundation, this tree in the past has had but a few flowers each year. This is the year when it has reached a milestone and is really covered in blooms. The extra rains in the area this spring probably encouraged the dogwood this year to look its best.
With all the rains the meditation circle is being delayed considerably away from my initial idealized time-frame of “just a few days.”
Today I planted two Wintergreen Boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. koreana ‘Wintergreen’) in pots for now. They will provide some interest near the front entrance for a year or so and eventually can be transplanted into the garden.
Also added a handful of magenta-colored dianthus, labelled annuals, near a path in the back border, near the foxgloves. Discovered a Sweet William in the same area that had gone unnoticed before today.
The fence installers are supposed to come tomorrow and I had to dig up a gorgeous mound of Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) that unfortunately happened to be in the way of a future gate. I have moved around a few small pieces before but never such a large patch. It looked very stressed in the hot afternoon sun and have been told it does not transplant well.