Tag Archives: meditation circle

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

From The Archives—Meditation Circle

In 2001 this garden was established with many passalong plants from my Wave Road home and by 2011 the garden had long since become my sanctuary. In keeping with that I created a formal meditation space.

From day one the labyrinth fulfilled its contemplative objective and added a strong design focal point to the garden. Seen here four months after completion, the meditation circle that first year was planted in Iberis, penstemon, thyme and angelonia, with the odd color but budget-friendly choice of marigolds marking either side of the entrance.

Meditation Circle July 31, 2011

Late February Garden With Snow

February Snow Feb 20, 2020 5:18pm

February’s weather is reliably unpredictable and often messy. This past week is typical. There were a few bright sunny mornings but the sun was inconstant. What might have seemed reasonably warm temperatures were made bone-chilling by shifts to dull gray skies that released a see-saw of downpours and drizzle, culminating in a sloppy, wet snow yesterday (Thursday). The snow began falling mid-afternoon and I ventured outside just before dark.

Spirea branches, already in bloom, were covered in icy snow and dipping downward. Tucked deep underneath the shrub, groups of hellebores found some protection.

Hellebores beneath Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Narcissus have been blooming several weeks.

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

The advanced growth of foliage on this patch of iris surprised me.

February Snow -Iris

Despite the curious common name of summer snowflakes, Leucojum aestivum began blooming this week in time for the snow. It is normal for these to appear this time of year. These came from my sisters’ garden about 5 years ago.

February Snow -Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)

Snowfall ended by midnight. The sun shone brightly this morning revealing icy snow high in tree tops and a rich blue sky.

Around 8:30 a.m. a cold breeze stirred the chimes in the meditation circle, making the garden sing against the otherwise quiet hour. Birds were sheltered inside the large drooping spirea whose weighted branches touched the earth, forming a protective avian hideaway. They perched also in nearby trees, all waiting for me to finish taking pictures so they could resume visits to the freshly stocked feeder.

Meditation Circle Feb 21, 2020 8:30am

Much of the snow had disappeared by late afternoon and it is expected to be 61°F. Sunday.

A few days earlier, at eventide on Tuesday, I had braved the rain-saturated ground to walk the garden. Here are a few images from before the snow. This Iberis is such a delight.

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)

Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)

 

Meditation Circle

The garden is in a fairly natural state this summer which seems to suit the pollinators just fine. Angelonia (Summer Snapdragon) creates a colorful swath along paths in the meditation circle.

Angelonia In Meditation Circle

Angelonia in blue, white, purple and bi-color bring vibrancy to the circle as well.

Angelonia angustifolia ‘PAC – Angelos Bicolor’ and Angelonia Purple

Angelonia Blue and Angelonia White

Angelonia Purple

Angelonia In Meditation Circle

The paths themselves are overgrown with self-seeding Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) which I cannot bring myself to pull out. Even though the labyrinth is unwalkable in this condition the overall contribution of the cleome creates an effect in the garden that is magical.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Thymes planted along the paths are in bloom underneath the cleome.

Cleome Soaring Above Various Thymes

Cleome Soaring Above Various Thymes

A few more glimpses into the cleome garden…

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) In Meditation Circle

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) In Meditation Circle

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) In Meditation Circle

Back to the pollinators, these happened not to have been found on the aforementioned plants but quite nearby. Here is Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The garden was full of these skippers yesterday. This one is enjoying Echinacea.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) Nectaring On Echinacea

Hope your gardens are teeming with blooms, activity and life.

Wordless Wednesday—Around And About

Southern Side Path

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Southern Border (Facing North)

Passed along as Japanese Iris

Iris hybrid

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ and Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ and Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Chrysanthemum, Daylily, Old-fashioned Rose

Old-fashioned Rose

Rhododendron ‘Robin Hill Gillie’ (Azalea Gillie)

Southwest Corner

Hellebore, Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells), Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) in sunlight

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells), Tansy

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells), Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Hellebore, Tansy, Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox), Iris

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear), Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Southwest Island

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)  April 22, 2018.

Buxus x ‘Green Mountain’ (Green Mountain Boxwood), Dahlia ‘Fireworks’, Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’, Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, Coreopsis, Iris

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’, Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’, Snapdragon, Dianthus

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Iris, Coreopsis

Meditation Circle

Meditation Garden at Early Morning, from Southern Border facing North

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle. Looking toward SW Corner

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle. Looking toward SW Corner

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’, Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle. Looking North

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle.  Facing NW

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’, Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle. Facing NW

Western Border

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

Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple’ (Wallflower)

Nepeta ‘ Psfike’ (Little Trudy Catmint), Dusty Miller

Northern Border

Iris germanica, Old-fashioned Rose, Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Iris germanica

Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Iris germanica, Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Iris germanica

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony), Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Iris germanica

Clematis ‘Niobe’

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’ April 22, 2018

Winter Tracings And Seeking Inspiration

As predicted, yesterday afternoon temperatures dropped. Rain turned to sleet and snow, quickly dusting and revealing the garden borders and meditation circle.

It is sunny this morning. The snow will soon depart, but the image leaves me contemplating why my garden design has become so stuck. I have not given it enough attention in recent years—I know that. But even when I was actively trying, I never dreamed big enough it seems.

I say that because recently my husband and I have begun watching episodes on Netflix of two British reality TV shows on landscape gardening.

One featuring Monty Don is titled Big Dreams, Small Spaces. In this series he visits lucky home gardeners, hears their goals and plans, makes suggestions, then returns once to check on progress, and a final time to reveal the results to his viewers and celebrate with a glass of champagne with the garden owners family and friends. By the end of the show the home gardeners have cut down trees, invasive vines and cleared rubbish; built walls, ponds, terraces and pathways; planted orchards, installed living walls and created multiple borders around their property all full of hundreds of English garden flowers in full bloom.

The other show is a bit of a tear jerker, but it is more interesting to me. Love Your Garden features horticulturist Alan Titchmarsh. This show’s premise has him going around the U.K. providing garden makeovers for deserving citizens. The garden owners are sent away for a while (exactly how long is not clear) while a team of experts comes in creates a garden customized for the owners needs and interests. I like this show better because there is more effort to introduce and describe the plants being used, money seems never to be an issue, and the labor it takes to do such projects seems more accurately portrayed.  There are a few awkward contrivances, nods toward the reality show template that try to hype or to create drama, tension or humor—the show would be better without these distractions—but the episodes are full of information.

Both of these shows do a good job of showcasing public and private gardens where one can find inspiration for solving similar garden problems. Only one season each of these British shows are currently available, but I hope more will be released here.

While I am dreaming of a complete garden overhaul, I am curious what you think. Are you familiar with these garden icons? Do you study their books? Have you watched the shows?  Where do you find inspiration?

 

Marking Time With A Garden

Snapdragons in Meditation Circle -April 22, 2017

Seven years ago, on January 7, 2011, I wrote my first pbmGarden article. Since that time I have been honored by your presence at my humble garden gate.

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)  – May 25, 2017

Initiated as a record-keeping discipline while I was working through some garden improvements, this blog has ended up being a source of deep personal satisfaction. You, dear readers, are the reason. As the garden grew, friendship sprouted. You have cheered me on with your own garden wisdoms and encouraged my efforts large and small.

Snapdragons in Meditation Circle – April 22, 2017

We share a love of nature, we savor gardening moments, we find energy, solace and joy among the trees, birds and flowers. Through our gardens we are nourished.

Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris) – April 26, 2017

It is a pleasure to have you visit. May our paths cross again soon.

Crossing Paths

Looking Back At 2017

Floral designs created for In A Vase On Monday were the majority of my posts this year, but there were some noteworthy moments in the garden itself. With emphasis on spring, my favorite time in the garden, here are a few favorites from 2017. Enjoy this quick view or click on a image to see the images full-size in a slideshow.

Six Years In A Blink And Waiting

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Promising myself to work toward renovating the garden,  I launched pbmGarden with an initial post on January 7, 2011.

Undoubtedly, making a public commitment in an online journal helped me stick to a few of those early improvement goals.  The labyrinth and meditation circle is one achievement from that period.

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

In the intervening six years plants, plans and even enthusiasm for gardening have cycled through high points and low.

An unexpected benefit stemming from penning that first garden entry has been receiving the support of gardeners from many corners of the world. Entering the wonderful community of garden bloggers has been a joy. I thank you readers for your kind comments, helpful advice and generous spirit, all of which have led to genuine and cherished friendships.

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Today the garden is decorated with a winter coat of white, just a couple of inches of fine powdery snow, though six to eight inches had been predicted. The smaller amount is cover for a treacherous icy layer beneath.

For those of us living in this area, temperatures are extreme, as this forecast illustrates:

SAT SNOW AND SLEET 27°F/ 8°F
SUN MOSTLY CLEAR 27°F/ 1°F
MON PARTLY CLOUDY 31°F/ 16°F

The exact numbers keep changing but frigid cold promises to make traveling the little winding curving roads leading out of my neighborhood dangerous to nearly impossible for the next few days. In the fifteen years of living here, snow plows have come through only once.

Normally I would not mind waiting it out but this has proved a particularly frustrating and disruptive weather event, affecting a planned all-weekend activity and threatening an important appointment for early Monday.  Deep sigh. Deep sigh. Deep sigh.

Lessons learned from walking this meditation path are more valuable than ever today.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Snowy Meditation Path

Snowy Meditation Path

Frosty Winter Solstice Morn

December Solstice (Winter Solstice) Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 5:44 am. This day is 4 hours, 51 minutes shorter than on June Solstice.

Frosty Thyme In Meditation Circle

Frosty Thyme In Meditation Circle

Frost rimmed foliage of Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers' (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Frost rimmed foliage of Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Tuesday View: August 23, 2016

Tuesday View August 23, 2016

Tuesday View August 23, 2016

Cathy at Words and Herbs hosts the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to post a photo of the same view of the garden week by week and note the changes.

We were away last week so it has been two weeks between Tuesday views. This scene was taken at today at 8:29 a.m. Again the sunlight has found the tops of the trees but has not yet entered the garden, the contrast making for a poor quality photograph. The sun is not actually so harsh as this looks, but the image underscores how on summer mornings moments in the garden are best enjoyed during this early shady period.

The fescue grass is dying back, patchy with brown spots and an annoying annual grass has snuck into the lawn over the past several years. It grows faster than okra and cannot be kept trimmed.

One of the original thymes along the path has turned completely black the last two weeks. It began discoloring after I trimmed around the pavers, so perhaps I damaged it but I think it is stressed from the weather. In past years it has recovered but it looks messy now. The Pink Chintz thyme in the center is still blooming and Angelonia contributes lots of color.

Tuesday View August 23, 2016

Tuesday View August 23, 2016

Overall the garden is in retreat. There will not be much to see from here on out until early spring when bulbs start peeking out again.

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

Tuesday View: August 9, 2016

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Cathy at Words and Herbs hosts the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to post a photo of the same view of the garden week by week and note the changes.

This Tuesday view was taken at yesterday afternoon at 4:53 p.m., about an hour after a storm cloud dropped a small amount of rain. Thunder continued to rumble as I took the photograph.

I have not gardened at all for a week. Most of the thymes still are doing well but some of the original unknown one has died back in a few places (visible at about 4 o’clock in the picture). Otherwise there is little change from last week.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

 

 

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

Tuesday View August 2, 2016

Tuesday View August 2, 2016

Tuesday View August 2, 2016

Cathy at Words and Herbs hosts the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to post a photo of the same view of the garden week by week and note the changes.

This Tuesday view shows the early morning garden at 7:14 a.m., under an overcast sky. Several storms this week brought welcome rain, but one also knocked down the larger of two Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) against the fence.

There are fewer flowers this week.  The biggest change I notice this week from last is how brown the neighbors’ sycamore tree has become. At center behind our fence in the photograph, this Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) is often brown and unsightly by this time of year, but  until now it had seemed fine this summer.

One of the first things I planted in the meditation circle was Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue), used to form a wall at one of the turn-arounds help guide walkers along the path.

Meditation Path with Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) at lower right.

This penstemon is evergreen and has proved to be reliable and has produced lots of new plants. They show up in random spots. I leave them for a while and eventually move them into other parts of the garden.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Another penstemon planted at the same time has a lovely purple flower but has proven much less hardy. It is Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple.’ Only one has survived through the years, but I am trying to nurse and encourage it. This summer it has done well and is reblooming now.

Penstemon mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple' and Angelonia ’Serena White’

Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ and Angelonia ’Serena White’

Penstemon mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple' and Angelonia ’Serena White’

Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ and Angelonia ’Serena White’

To wrap up this Tuesday view I must mention the angelonia as it continues to brighten up the meditation circle.

Angelonia ’Serena White’ with Angelonia ’Serena Purple’ in the distance

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

Tuesday View: July 25, 2016

Tuesday View - July 26, 2016

Tuesday View – July 26, 2016

Note: Tuesday is actually July 26. Mixed up the date in the post title because I took the photographs on Monday.

Cathy at Words and Herbs hosts the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to post a photo of the same view of the garden week by week and note the changes.

This Tuesday view was taken at Monday 12:52 p.m. instead of at the usual early morning Tuesday time. Yesterday the sun had gone behind the clouds for a few minutes so I took advantage of the photo opportunity.

In a noticeable change from last week the grass is turning brown in spots. Fescue retreats in this type of weather, but should recover once cooler weather returns in the fall. Monday reached 97° F. There has been no rain for 10 days, leaving some things looking a bit desperate.  I have watered 3 times, but it has little effect.

Another detectable difference is in the circle where the path is lazily being restored. Yesterday I uncovered more of the labyrinth pavers, only a few left to go. A friend and I had done a meditation walk Saturday, and I realized that with the path obscured as it was by thyme, it would be easy to turn an ankle or trip. We managed to not hurt ourselves. The thyme released its calming fragrance as we stepped across it.

Meditation Path

Meditation Path

At lower left in the first photo, the edge of a small round border is just barely visible. Here zinnias, planted from seed (maybe mid-June), are finally beginning to bloom.

Zinnias

Zinnias

Zinnias

Zinnias

Zinnias

Zinnias

Looking back north toward the meditation circle, I took a last picture as one of dozens of skippers flying around landed on a Verbena flower. There also were lots of dragonflies and swallowtails but they were camera shy.

Skipper On Verbena Bonariensis.

Skipper On Verbena Bonariensis.

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

Tuesday View: July 19, 2016

Tuesday View - July 19, 2016

Tuesday View – July 19, 2016

Cathy at Words and Herbs hosts the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to display a photo of the same view of the garden week by week to observe the changes. I took photographs of the meditation circle around 8:00 a.m. Tuesday but did not have time to post until now.

The top half of the weekly view is filled with bright light rushing in from between my house and the next, while the circle and much of the garden lingers in shade, making it challenging to get a good picture. Every week I participate makes me want a new camera, but I am gently assured by my family the quality issues rest in the photographer not the camera. 

We are still getting some storms but no longer daily. The heat index is high, air is thick and heavy. Mine is definitely a spring garden and in summer I spend little time tending the plantings. After experimenting with a range of finicky perennials, I found this low-maintenance scheme of commingling various thymes in the center of the labyrinth and using purple and white Angelonia to form the walls along the path to be reliable and effective. While the borders start fading under the hot sun, the meditation circle retains some level of dignity.

During a yoga retreat this past weekend I walked a seven-circuit labyrinth, shaded by lovely old trees and accented with the lively sounds of birds and ocean.

Tuesday View - July 19, 2016

Tuesday View – July 19, 2016

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Growing against the back fence, Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) are not a combination I planned, but they are survivors beloved by pollinators.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and Cleome

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and Cleome

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

Tuesday View: July 12, 2016

Cathy at Words and Herbs hosts the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to post a photo of the same view of the garden week by week and note the changes.

This Tuesday view was taken at 6:46 a.m. A bit of rain nearly every day has kept the fescue grass greener than normal for July. Thyme in middle of the meditation circle is beautiful, in full bloom and full of buzzing pollinators.

Just left of center against the back fence you may be able to detect the yellow flowers of Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower), which opened since last week.

Tuesday View - July 12, 2016

Tuesday View – July 12, 2016

Easier to spot in this image, the rudbeckia is quite tall, at least 6 feet, towering above the 4-foot high fence.

Tuesday View - July 12, 2016

Tuesday View – July 12, 2016

Sometimes when checking out the garden it is easy to forget to look up. The sky was was worth a peek this morning.

Tuesday View - July 12, 2016

Tuesday View – July 12, 2016

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

The Tuesday View: 5th July 2016

Meditation Circle at 7:00 a.m. July 5, 2016

Meditation Circle at 7:00 a.m. July 5, 2016

Cathy at Words and Herbs‘ Tuesday View encourages garden bloggers to post a photo of the same view of the garden week by week.

For my Tuesday view I have selected the meditation circle which at 20 feet in diameter covers a large portion of this 70 foot wide by 50 foot deep garden. The labyrinth is viewed from the top steps of the screened porch, facing west.

The house blocks the earliest morning sun, but soon light slides down on either side and spills along the edges into the garden.

Meditation Circle at 7:51 a.m. July 5, 2016

Meditation Circle at 7:51 a.m. July 5, 2016

This past week I purchased additional Angelonia ‘Serena White’ and completed the planting along the outside right path of the circle. This replaces the last of the fall-winter violas and pansies.

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ’Serena White’

At the same time I laid in fresh hardwood mulch and cleaned off the pavers, though multiple rains since then muddied the effect. If I had a do-over I would build up the soil and raise the meditation circle to improve drainage.

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ finished blooming weeks ago leaving behind interesting seed heads.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’

I usually leave them until they flop over, which has happened, and am rewarded with new plants.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’

Self-seeded young Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' between Angelonia ’Serena White’

Self-seeded young Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ between Angelonia ’Serena White’

Several types of thyme planted in the center and between the paths of the labyrinth are coming into bloom. Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ is the only one I can identify.

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (Pink chintz thyme)

Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme)

Pink Chintz thyme has no fragrance nor culinary value but it flowers stand erect and draw pollinators (although none would pose this morning).

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (Pink chintz thyme)

Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme)

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (Pink chintz thyme)

Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme)

This very finely textured pass-along thyme is likely ‘Elfin.’

Pass-along Thyme (probably Elfin)

Pass-along Thyme (probably Elfin)

After encouraging these thymes for a few years now I am asking them for restraint as they overflow the pavers. I have been trimming back gradually but when they are in flower I find it difficult to do (not to mention it is a tedious task).

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (Pink chintz thyme)

Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme)

 

The blue gazing ball sits exactly on center of the meditation circle. This section is lined with Angelonia ‘Serena Purple.’ I like the way it picks up the hues of the Husker Red Penstemon and the soft lavender pink of the thyme.

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’ and Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (Pink chintz thyme)

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’ and Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme)

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’, Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz'

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’, Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

The Tuesday View: 28th June 2016

Today I am joining Cathy at Words and Herbs for the Tuesday View, sharing a weekly peek of the same view of the garden. Again I am showing the meditation circle at early morning, around 8:40 a.m.

When I arose the light was rosy and a bit strange. My mind immediately went to taking pictures while the coffee was brewing but the camera was upstairs and my first goal was to pour coffee. My husband for most of our 39 years of marriage brought me coffee in bed but for the past year I have begun doing that for him. Life is a balance you know.

Meanwhile a gentle rain started falling and soon a heavier one.

The Tuesday View: 28th June 2016

The Tuesday View: 28th June 2016

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

The Tuesday View: 21st June 2016

Cathy at Words and Herbs recently decided to host the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to post a photo of the same view of the garden week by week.

Last week I joined in for the first time showing the meditation circle at sunset. Today it is early morning, the most peaceful time to be in the garden. The sun is shining now but around 8 a.m. the sky was slightly overcast.

Meditation Circle - Early Morning

Meditation Circle – Early Morning

Not visible in this first picture, the first thing I encountered was a bunny munching leaves of grass just to the right of the bench.

Mostly oblivious, it hopped into the labyrinth and crossed its way toward the back edge of the circle.  Along its route the rabbit tasted different varieties of thyme, which are beginning to bloom.

Thyme For Breakfast

Thyme For Breakfast

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz'

Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’

Thyme In Meditation Circle (unknown variety)

Thyme In Meditation Circle (unknown variety)

Soon the bunny moved on to a small group of pansies and violas, leftover from fall and winter.

Bunny And Violas

Bunny And Violas

It is too hot here in summer for pansies so in late spring I replaced most of them with Angelonia. Having not purchased quite enough Angelonia to go around, on the backside of the circle I left three or four pansies until I could get back to the garden center. Scraggly and brown now, they still have a few blooms, enough I hope to keep the rabbit distracted from some newly emerging zinnias.

Angelonia is my favorite annual for the meditation circle “walls.” Sometimes known as summer snapdragon, these flowers bloom and bloom until first frost, no deadheading necessary.

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’ with Thyme

Angelonia sp.

Angelonia sp.

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

The Tuesday View: 14th June 2016

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Cathy at Words and Herbs is inviting others to join in posting a photo of the same view of the garden week by week.

Though I often can find a particular plant in bloom to share on my blog, I am not confident my little garden can stand up to a weekly peek of the same view. Cathy suggested using my meditation circle and so I decided to give it a try.

I am fudging a bit already as this photo was taken not today, but rather last night just before 8:30pm as the sun was setting.

As many of you may be aware I created the labyrinth in spring of 2011. I had hoped to plant living walls between the paths using low-maintenance, evergreen perennials; they may not exist though. Since then I have settled on a combination of thymes mixed with a few perennials and annuals for color. The circle is used as a space for walking meditation and the garden itself is my own private peaceful retreat.