Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Garden of Many Colors

We all know that gardens should be planned. There are many things to consider, form, leaf shape, season of bloom, color theme, etc. I've always tried to keep my garden in shades of yellow, purple and pink. 
Yeah right! Oh I try all right. I swear that I should only use the proper color scheme, but somehow, a rainbow keeps sneaking in. 
Some people call this clown pants gardening. Well, I just call it colorful! 

I think it all started with the butterfly weed. Most of my garden is geared towards attracting hummingbirds and butterflies, so butterfly and other milkweeds were a must. And this one blooms orange. Oh well, I'll just sneak it in, no one will notice. Ha! It's impossible to ignore butterfly weed in bloom. The neon orange is like a traffic light! 
So once summer arrives full force, I just try to embrace my rainbow garden. You have to admit it, it's cheerful! 
I even get colorful visitors that add to my rainbow. 

I do actually have a few mellow spots, with more subtle colors. But this one was accidental. I planted seeds, it came out a soft, blush pink. If it was my choice, I'm sure I would have picked something much brighter! Isn't it supposed to be elegant and classy to have pastels in your garden? Guess I'm just not the type. 
What's funny is that I always swore that I wouldn't use orange in my garden. Guess I was wrong. I'm not sure why I made that statement, because I use orange in my home decor all the time. 

I suppose I need to embrace my many-colored garden. It does make me smile, that's for sure. Every time I turn the corner on another rainbow, I have to stop and take a picture. 
I've always been a fan of anything colorful and bright, so I suppose it was inevitable that I'd end up with a clown pants garden. 
And when I found this rainbow shining down on my yard, I knew I was right. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

June Garden Walk

It's that time of year where we end most days out on the patio. After dinner I take my current book, a glass of iced tea, and my camera, then head out for a little relaxation. Mostly, I'm waiting for Petey the hummingbird to stop by.
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
I'm rarely disappointed. Most evenings, the hummers circle my house, taking turns eating at the feeders.
Ruby Throated juvenile
Other friends stop by to use the bird bath.
American robin
House sparrow
I start snapping pictures, and before you know it, I'm the one circling the house!
Tibouchina with Moonshine yarrow
Sedum Angelina with friend
Sedum Angelina in bloom
My nightly garden walk always starts out as a photo shoot. But then I start checking to see what's blooming, or maybe pulling a weed here and there, or making note of future projects.
Happy Lights hollyhock
Torch lily
Clematis Jackmanii superba and Polish Spirit
Snapdragons, lavender, and yarrow
I always stop by to see which roses are in bloom while on my walk. In the past, May seemed to be the month for roses. But the last two winters have been harsh, making the roses slow to return, if they did at all. Between the tough winter and rose rosette disease, I've replaced many. So the rose bushes are small, and slow to bloom.
Chinatown rose with Oranges and Lemons rose in background
Fourth of July rose
Sunny Knockout rose
Zepherine Drouhin rose
Moonshine yarrow with Zepherine Drouhin roses
June is just right for garden walks. Whether it's an inspection tour, a watering expedition, or simply a photo shoot, any day is a good day for strolling through the yard. You never know what you'll see!
Black and Blue salvia
Asclepias tuberosa
Hypertufa trough with succulents

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May Bursts Into Bloom!

Of all the months of the year in the garden, May is the most vibrant. Every day, new flowers burst into bloom. I can barely keep up. If I miss even one day of garden inspection, I might not see that one special bloom.
It's not just that all the perennials pop up in May, but other garden excitement is going on too. Well, I suppose the word "excitement" would only apply to garden nuts who get all worked up about flowers blooming. May means starting the vegetable garden, filling up the containers and window boxes, putting out my water garden full of fish, planting flower seeds, filling in the empty spaces left by winter, and the myriad tasks that need to be done.
 To say it's a busy time of year would be an understatement. In addition to all of the garden chores, there are graduations, first communions, concerts, recitals, and so many other activities. It can get a bit stressful.

 Luckily, the garden chores are actually relaxing to me. Yes, it can be physically taxing. But isn't it worth it?

I must admit that I'm not fond of the garden hose rodeo that I have to perform every day once the plants and seeds go in. It only takes a couple of weeks of daily watering till the plants "grab hold", and then I can ease off dragging that crazy hose around my yard. I've tried purchasing a lighter hose, and it does help a bit. But I still have to keep it from smashing all the plants, wrestle it around corners, wind the thing up and down, try to keep from it getting caught on something, hoping it doesn't kink, you name it! Is it any wonder that I pray for rain?
Despite the stresses involved, May is a beloved month to me, as it is to many gardeners here in the north. I do have a birthday in May, that makes it extra special! But mostly, it's about the flowers. I've waited all winter for them to show up, and I plan to enjoy each and every one.
If you need me, I'll be out wrestling with the hose. Again. And loving every minute of it. May only comes once a year, and I don't want to miss it.