This Sunday morning’s stroll around the garden with the camera yielded many nice surprises. I wanted to document the views in walking order. I began the tour with Sunday Morning Promenade — Part 1. Picking up the wander at the northwest corner, here are more glimpses.
This Anemone coronaria is one of those surprises. I expected this to be ‘Admiral’ which I planted last fall. It appears to be ‘Governor’ from a spring planting the previous spring.
Walking up toward the house along the Northern border, in front there is ‘May Night’ which came into bloom this week, and Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) which seem very close to opening.
This Northern border is where the bulk of the irises are.
In the area toward the northeastern corner of the garden (just out of view in the photo above) many irises are quickly are filling out and showing color. ‘Raspberry Blush’ is usually an early bloomer and is one of the few irises I actually bought. Most are pass-alongs. After dividing these irises last summer I was concerned I’d lost track of Iris ‘Batik’ but it showed up in its original location. Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony) has more buds than ever before.
Before leaving the Northern border I stood at the peony and turned around to look back across the meditation circle towards the southwest corner. The garden was calm and pleasing this morning.
Turning back around to face the Northern border and continuing eastward I noticed ground covers at Northeastern corner are filling in between the entrance stones at gate.
The Eastern border is that area along the foundation of the house. There is a large swath which I recently showed filled with Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm).
Facing the central back stairs leading down to the patio is a small planting of Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue).
On the other side of the stairs, in the back are two Hydrangea macrophylla (not shown) with green leaves, but the buds appear to have been damaged once again, this year by a severe freeze earlier in the month. In front of the hydrangeas is a Gaura that needs to be moved. It starts out promising each spring but does not bloom well. Further down are the Shasta daisies from the start of the tour.
Finally, I stepped through the South gate into the Southern Side Garden. Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is beginning to glow. The yellow bearded iris along the path is usually one of the first to bloom. It seems late this year. Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ is sending up shoots. A pretty multi-stemmed white Narcissus is blooming. This may be from the home where I grew up or from a purchase last year. I wish I had not lost track of this one.
End of tour. Thanks for coming along.
The forecast which called for rain by afternoon proved accurate. Fortunately I was out very early this morning to check the garden’s progress. Besides there was some planting to do—2 Dahlia ‘Blue Boy’, 40 Gladiolus Blue Shades Mix and 3 Dahlia ‘Black Jack.’ Only about a third of the gladioli made it into the ground as I kept running into weeds that took a lot of time. I still have zinnia seeds to plant.
I also planted a pass-along from last fall I am excited about. It is a red dahlia from Libby at An Eye For Detail that her mother used to grow, so I feel extra responsibility to take care of this one. The tubers made it though the winter in my garage and even showed a bit of new growth.
Another new pass-along came from touring a garden club friend’s beautiful property last spring. She had potted up a variety of plants for us to take home and I selected Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon’s seal). I checked on this plant fairly recently and decided it must not have survived, but here it is after all.
Before the work started I just enjoyed wandering around and around note-taking with my camera.
First views stepping out the back steps from the garage, looking due west with southern border on the left, panning north, and finally, looking down at Shasta daisies beside the garage steps.
Next I walked along the Southern border. There are three peonies here. The juniper hedge has grown tall. Aquilegia is everywhere. At the far end of the Southern border begins the shadiest corner in the garden.
Turning the corner toward the Western border, here is the Oakleaf hydrangea. I move it to the front of the border in early spring and it seems to be doing much better.
There are two small islands near this corner, one of which is planted with iris and a hodgepodge of other things. The iris foliage looks very brown. I thought it might be cold damage but I need to check for disease or iris borers.
From here I turned around to my right to inspect the snapdragons in the meditation circle, almost ready to bloom. This is looking toward the northern border.
Returning to the oak leaf hydrangea and moving on along the Western border.
I stepped into the Western border and looked back southward across the the columbine. Many plants have died out in this area and the columbine is taking advantage. I need to get it under control.
Turning back to continue the walk, this is the rest of the Western border as it curves around the meditation circle.
Later I will share the rest of the garden views from my Sunday morning promenade.
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.
This is my favorite time in my garden. This is the time of year where I have to check on the garden morning, noon and night because the plants are changing so quickly and flowers seem to open while my back is turned.
I started an end-of-the-month summary for April but could not find time to complete it. Ditto, first-of-May. Perhaps I will post an overview later when things slow down, just for my records. Tonight I would like to share a few more irises.
Christina asked the other day if my white iris was open yet and yes, it opened that same day. If you read this blog regularly you will not be surprised to learn this white iris was a pass-along, so I am not positive about the name. I think this is Iris germanica ‘Immortality.’ It reblooms in fall, which makes it especially easy to recommend.
I showed the Japanese roof iris in Iris Musings, but I was drawn back to it when I noticed the coloration and pattern on this bud.
Another pass-along iris from my friend Henrietta bloomed two days ago. So far it is the only one of this color. I have decided I should try to mark it and divide it later this summer.
I researched this iris using a description I thought fit it pretty well: dusky pink standards, burgundy falls. canary yellow beard. I immediately found a good candidate, Tall Bearded Iris Jacquesiana, which may go back to at least 1839.
Then another possibility emerged, perhaps Tall Bearded Iris ‘Prosper Laugier’ which goes back to 1914. It was described as “a smokey lavender, velvety violet-carmine veined bicolor.” I became fascinated reading the coloring descriptions of irises and became quite side-tracked. ‘Prosper Laugier’ seems a good match but it is impossible for me to to know with certainty. If you recognize this iris I would appreciate your help.
Have a great weekend everyone. I will be touring gardens this weekend and helping out as a garden guide with the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour. I expect to come back to my own little garden with lots of great ideas and inspirations.
Visiting Duke Gardens last weekend I was struck by the complexity of foliage, but anyone who knows me would not be surprised that I was also enjoying the flowers.
The rose garden was punctuated with beautiful Oriental Lilies.
Next a cheerful group of summery yellow composites was enhanced by bring planted with Pineapple Lily at the beginning of the Perennial Allée.
Once inside the Terrace Gardens the view was vivid, yet serene. The dark foliage and red blooms of the Canna nicely offset the cool, sedate greens vying with multicolored flowers.
Taking the steps and rising above the canna I found the Rudbeckia hirta ‘Indian Summer’ to be quite winsome.
Richly hued annuals accented the Terrace Gardens where each level is organized with thoughtful and exciting plant combinations. The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ were especially vibrant, so I studied what other materials were used in this area.
In addition to Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ the garden beds on this level featured:
Solenostemon scutellariodes ‘Pineapple’ – Pineapple Coleus
Solenostemon scutellariodes ‘Dipt in Wine’ – Dipt in Wine Coleus
Gomphrena ‘Qis Red’ – Globe Amaranth
Lantana Bandito Orange Sunrise – Lantana
Mecardonia ‘Magic Carpet Yellow’ – Baby Jump-Up
Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’ – Variegated tapioca was also listed on the plant marker for this grouping but I could not recognize it.
I like the effect achieved by mixing the Rudbeckia with the red Globe Amaranth and the dark wine coleus. The colors relate to the higher level as well.
The bright citrus yellow of Pineapple Coleus is a strong and attractive choice in this collection. I do not plant many annuals but would enjoy this color in my garden. I have a much larger Lantana with similar coloring that could use a good companion.
Blue sky and 43 degrees mark the day at mid-morning. As we head toward a warm day near sixty degrees, much of the garden is just emerging from the frosty shadows and many plants are rimmed with ice. Today at last the Spiraea shrub is beginning to bloom, three and a half weeks later than last year’s very early flowering.