I have been wanting to record some garden views from last Wednesday, May 11, 2016.
Today’s early sky wore a draping, heavy fog. Dewdrops coated every leaf, flower and blade of grass. Would you agree the first morning hours are the the best time in the garden?
The lawn was covered with dozens of spiderwebs courtesy (I think) of Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider).
In the Southern Border everlasting sweet pea flowers continue to form.
Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) is new this year and has seemed slow to get growing. On the other hand, long established Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) is very aggressive.
An interesting and delicate-looking fungus popped up today. I could not figure out its name, but a friend who has been studying all things fungi identified it as Parasola plicatilis.
Tradescantia used to be one of my favorite passalong plants, admired for its pretty blue, three-petaled flower. It became roguish in my current garden so I am always trying to dig it out or at least cut it back to keep it from flowering. It is much tougher and persistent than I am though. Tradescantia is growing all around the garden, but this happens to be in the northwest corner of the Western Border.
I actually bought this white Tradescantia. Although white ones are found wild, this may be a hybrid. It does not have the tendency to wander.
The dogwood leaves picked up some autumn color this week. A bird (presumably) found and chewed one of these red ripened berries. Next year’s new buds are forming.
Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy) has performed extremely well this year. Now its color is evolving through brick red and rusty hues. Notice the Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ shows up frequently around the garden.
Roses need more care than is included in my normal “water twice and leave it alone” gardening philosophy. Rosa ‘Iceberg’ did poorly in the spring and I began thinking about taking it out of the garden altogether. This morning I found this excuse to delay.
New lupine leaves look very healthy.
Though I have never seen one growing around here, I have always wanted to grow a lupine. It comes from long ago because of reading a book about The Lupine Lady to our young daughter. On a whim back in April I purchased a container of Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ from a local nursery and for some reason (probably because the tag said it would be 5-6 feet tall) I put it toward the back of the Western Border where it was pretty much out of view. It did have several flowers but never gained its expected height.
If anyone can offer lupine advice I would appreciate your ideas. Did I end up with a dwarf variety or is this normal in the first season? Should I relocate it to the front of the border?
This photograph does not capture the foggy feeling but here is a view of the early morning garden.
Echinacea have been a mainstay this summer, drawing bees, hummingbirds and American Goldfinches to the borders. The blooms on this white one, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’, really improved after the recent rains.
By design I have a lot fewer Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort) in the garden this year, both of which were becoming rather aggressive spreaders.
The sap of Tradescantia lately is causing me to have an itchy skin contact rash. For that reason and because I want to control its spread, I tried not to allow it to bloom at all this year, but a few sneaky flowers remind me why I have enjoyed it for so many years.
I have simply grown tired of Shasta daisy after letting it roam for a lot of years. One entire bed was taken over by this plant, so I still have a lot of work to do to tame it.
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) are pairing up in a lovely color combination. This salvia also spreads freely but I have finally learned to be ruthless in pulling it out when it wanders too far.
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is finally blooming again encouraged by the recent rains.
This passalong everlasting Sweet Pea looked miserable most of the summer but, like the Black and Blue salvia, it was rejuvenated by the rainfall. I planted annual sweet peas seeds this year but none survived.
The bird feeder is always a source of entertainment and occasionally the birds plant a few flowers for themselves. I am not sure exactly what this volunteer is but it is cheerful enough.
For the first time in many years my Stargazer Dahlia, did not return, done in by the cold winter I suppose. It was a passalong from a friend and former neighbor and so I missed not seeing it this year. In spring though I had picked up a dinner plate Dahlia bulb, packed in a fairly generic-looking box, but labelled to have come from The Netherlands.
Well the dahlia has finally bloomed. Granted I selected a poor spot for it, but I do not think it will reach the promised “up to eighteen blooms per plant.” Neither does the size nor color correspond to the package at all. The flower is beautiful though and I am happy to have another dahlia for the garden.
Finally a couple of nice rains this week brought a boost to relieve the stressed plants in the garden. Suddenly lavender is flowering, along with Cleome and Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage).
This morning six American Goldfinches were gathered around stalks of Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena). Bees are feasting on the lavender, Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and Tradescantia (Spiderwort), bringing a satisfying and familiar hum to the garden.
Yesterday I noticed a few daylily buds and then today, a bloom. This first daylily is open a full week earlier than last year. The plant was dug in 2006 from Roger Mercers’ daylily fields in Fayetteville, NC during a special outing with my sister and daughter.
A couple of years ago I planted
Allium Atropurpureum Allium sphaerocephalon (Dumstick allium) and they finally are taking off. The florets are small but I really like the dark, rich color.
Washed in dew drops a lonely Shasta caught this morning’s sun as it first touched the garden.
The early air felt refreshingly cool as I wandered around the borders. Still in shadow, the entire back yard was adorned with dozens of small, dew-drenched webs.
Tucked inside one web was a small red spider starting his morning.
The American beautyberry is still flowering at the top, but further down green berries have formed. Ripened, purple berries are visible near the bottom of the stems.
Nearby the Callicarpa there is much work to be done. I am still trying to eliminate Tradescantia, but it is quite the foe. I like the beguiling flowers and so do the bees.
Tradescantia (Spiderwort) pops up all over the place often with subtle color variations. This deep red-violet is one that caught my attention early this afternoon. This little insect also found it interesting.
It is well into November and some perennials continue blooming, mostly Echinacea. Pale yellow Chrysanthemums still brighten the southern border and Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ and one unknown sasanqua are laden with fragrant flowers. Rosa ‘Iceberg’ has been lovely for several weeks.
Several camera-shy butterflies visited the last of the zinnias today.
Recently opportunities to spend even a few minutes in the garden have been rare. There are still many autumn tasks to complete—irises and daffodils to plant, weeding and mulching to finish. The garden is not waiting on anyone to get a list of chores done. It is shutting itself down gradually and gracefully, as if ready for a nice rest.
There has been no rain for a few weeks. Several light frosts have left the thyme in the meditation circle briefly coated in white, but today was a warm and sunny 73° F.
One week before the autumnal equinox, large puffy clouds adorn the deep blue sky. It is a beautiful, sunny day, 79°F.
This Stargazer Dahlia is a cactus-flowered dwarf variety. Grown from seed and passed-along a few years ago by a dear neighbor, this lone survivor returns annually without any special attention.
Speaking of survivors, this tomato was a surprise, surprise when I discovered it last week growing underneath a bird feeder. My next-door neighbor grows beautiful and delicious tomatoes and I assume a little bird thoughtfully brought this into my garden.
A patch of zinnias is finally adding some cheerful color in a back corner of the property. Mixed seeds always seem to be mostly pink but finally a few yellow, coral and orange are blooming now.
Though most have faded by this point in the season, several Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) continue to display fresh blossoms.
Tradescantia (Spiderwort) are a very favorite flower but they have become so aggressive I have had to cut back, pull up, and repeat the same removal process over and over throughout the summer. The result is that many Tradescantia are still present and blooming. My former garden has very heavy clay and lots of shade and the tradescantia stayed very well-contained, but here it is too spready. This white blossom is an unusual one, most in this garden are blue or violet.
The gardenia shrubs continue to be welcomingly fragrant. This is one of the Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ that grow along the western border of the garden. The newly planted ‘August Beauty’ variety is doing well but it will be some time before it can provide much screening to hide the heating and air conditioner units.
Roses are not my forte but this Rosa ‘Iceberg’ belonged to a special friend who passed away a few years ago. Several times I have almost given up on it but it did not give up. So here is this lovely bloom today as a special reminder of a special person. I enjoy that gardens can honor memories and cultivate friendships. Thanks for visiting my garden today.