Six on Saturday – A Glorious Garden – May 25, 2019

I’ve never seen the KnockOut roses or my Jackmani clematis so full of blooms. It seems just weeks ago I was despairing about the garden. The only note of despair at this point it the germination of all those damned maple helicopters. Oh, and the mosquitoes have arrived. But as I sit on my little garden stool, pulling maple seedlings, I have lovely things to look at.

Yesterday I transplanted the cleome seedlings that were coming up in the gravel driveway. Some years the mother plants are more behaved and most of the seedlings are in the flower bed and just require thinning. By the time I got to the end of the bed the ones I transplanted at the beginning were looking wilty. It was windy which didn’t help but I reminded myself that these particular transplants always look terrible and then catch on and do fine.

Here are my six.

  1. The yellow mullein that I raised from seed a year ago is blooming. These are a biennal and were worth the wait. I am hoping for some self-seeding behavior. The interior of the flower looks like an insect with its nose in the flower and its legs hanging out the back.

2. In a nearby bed a lone hollyhock (also raised from seed) is getting ready to bloom. The rust that seems to overtake any hollyhock I have ever tried to grow is still at bay. Last year a sister of this hollyhock succumbed before it ever developed buds. I am hoping for blooms on this plant before that happens. And just next to it the rose campion are opening up. I always have a few of these in the garden as they self-seed. The original seeds were brought from my Harford County garden twelve years ago and are a favorite of mine. I love the grey-green foliage and the magenta flowers.

3.  The sundrops I also brought from my Harford county garden are just starting to bloom. They don’t last long, but are a welcome bright spot in the spring garden. Here’s what google said about them: “Oenothera fruticosa, commonly called sundrops or southern sundrop, is an erect, day-flowering member of the evening primrose family. This native typically grows 15-30” tall and produces terminal clusters of bright yellow four-petaled flowers on stems clad with lanceolate green leaves.” I didn’t know they were in the evening primrose family. I learned something.

4.  The Jackmani clematis has never had this many blooms and buds before. I wish I knew why so I could make it happen again next summer.

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5. I always forget about these alliums. I don’t remember what cultivar they are, but they provide some spiky interest after the Martha Hitchcock azalea has finished flowering. This photo reminds me that I need to thin the epimedium and the hellebores in this bed. The benefit of everything smashed together is fewer maple seedlings.

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6.  And finally more KnockOut roses with a lavender in front of the pink one. I don’t know who developed these roses but I am a huge fan. They are trouble free and bloom until frost. No lovely rose fragrance, but maybe the rosarians are working on that.

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This is the time of year when I love walking through my garden in the early evening with a glass of wine. I am so happy to share my Six on Saturday with all the readers of this meme, started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

Six on Saturday – Helicopter Wars Begin – April 27, 2019

The husband and I sat on the deck the other night with glasses of wine looking at the millions of helicopter seeds on our large maple trees. The Helicopter Wars are about to begin. The seeds swirl as the float down to lodge themselves in my garden beds, tucked into places I can’t see, waiting to germinate. We had some strong winds last night and the ground is littered this morning, The worst part is that the winged warriors insert themselves into the small crevices between our deck boards. They have to be removed with a putty knife. I do go out with the blower every couple of days. That helps some. But there’s no point in doing much until they are all off the trees. Once that happens we’ll spend time on our butts  getting the deck ready to be cleaned. It’s a yearly chore that I grouse about, but I wouldn’t trade it for my old maples.

Here are my Six on Saturday.

  1. Clematis Abalene is just opening. Hosta Frances Williams is spreading its leaves among the ferns against a backdrop of azaleas.

2. This week I had our handman guy come and put up one new lattice for me. Our wonderful neighbors have parked a boat in their backyard. It will soon go into the water, but after we took down the river birch clump last fall I knew one more lattice was needed in that area. The river birch stump is where I am planning a “feature” made from metal hoops I rescued from rotten barrels. Note: the lattice is level, it’s the boat behind that’s not.

The other lattice is next to the shed. I had white plastic lattices on either side but they required cleaning with a bleach solution every spring so both have been replaced with wood. Another chore now off my list. These will weather to silver gray. I gathered up the climbing rose and tied it together with twine so it wouldn’t be damaged while the new lattice went in. It is now tied to the new lattice. (no photo)

3. This shrub is in the front of the replaced lattice by the shed. It was here when we moved and has always been an evergreen place holder. It was under water most of the winter and is looking very bad. However the limbs are still pliable which tells me it may come back. I am going to cut it back by a third and see if it comes back.

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4. This is happening in one of my raised beds. A yellow mullein I raised from seed last year is getting ready to bloom. I didn’t realize it was a biennial. It better be spectacular or it won’t have been worth the wait. The other photo is an opening allium Schubertii that makes a huge head. I used to have many more but the squirrels must have dined on them.

5. A year ago a friend and I talked about trying gardening in a straw bale. She got two bales and planted an herb garden in hers. The other bale has lived in the back of her truck – out in the weather – since then. I didn’t have any way to get it to my house and I guess she didn’t need her truck until this week. The bale is well rotted and now I have to figure out what to plant in it.

In front of the orange flowers (what are these? they come back every year) are some yellow potatoes. Clearly I never get all of them out of the ground because a few come back every spring. I was wondering if I could lift them out and plant them in the bale. Anyone have any suggestions?

Oh, and the old wheelbarrow I painted purple is no more. It was settling into the ground so I pulled it out and the husband took it apart for me. I had two knockout roses that I’d stuck in another area of the garden where they didn’t get enough sun and put them in that area.

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6. Seedlings I started on a heat mat inside have been put in larger pots and are now living outside in a sheltered area until they can be put in the raised beds. The blue bucket  is full of cuttings of red twig dogwood that I’m rooting to fill in the swampy area of the bed that was under water all winter. The red twigs that were there didn’t seem to mind the wet conditions.

That’s my Six on Saturday. The garden is looking lovely. I am astonished that a month ago I was wondering if anything had come through the winter. This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.