A look back on the garden, The Final Chapter (part IV)

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Hello! What a fun time I’ve had, going through photos of the garden from the past year. For the past 11 years, I’ve continually added to the nearly blank slate of a garden that was here when we moved in. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve done a lot, and I continue to learn and do! It’s my happy place, and I don’t need the proof from the studies that show ‘gardening is good for you’, I already know it. This last chapter is mostly about fall vibes and a tiny bit of winter. Enjoy!

September collage with sunflowers, butterfly bush, apples, pumpkins and delphinium but

This first collage starts in September. Look at all of our red eating apples! I don’t actually ‘pick’ them to eat, but instead I use the ones that have dropped to the ground. We didn’t have any major wind storms this fall (rather unusual) so I was able to gather apples at a reasonable pace. It’s harder when they all are knocked off at once!

The Buddleis Buzz ‘dark pink’ butterfly bush is covered with Tortoiseshell butterflies. We might also get Peacock butterflies, or Red Admiral butterflies, or Painted Lady butterflies. The butterfly bush is a dwarf variety, so it is quite a manageable size, and with lots of vibrant color. This one has quite a sweet scent as well.

The Monarda Fireball (red Bee balm) is new for me and was planted in a container. I really want to get it somewhere in the garden, but I’m not sure where just yet.

The top left picture is just to show you the contrast of the yellow dwarf sunflowers with the tall Claret F1 burgundy sunflowers. I loved the look of this flower bed! And just a few steps away is the pumpkin arch, which still had mostly green pumpkins in September. The blue Delphinium was quite a treat for me as I grew it from seed. That was a new flower for me to grow from seed, and I’m glad it not only survived but it thrived. Fingers crossed that it will survive the winter and we can enjoy it again in 2022!

I added the picture of the Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’) as it looks really nice with the roses. The birch tree bed now has Rudbeckia goldstrum (Black-eyed-Susan) and Persicaria Blackfield just starting to bloom.

September collage of roses, pumpkins, ornamental grass, tulip bulbs

Staying in September, these David Austin ‘Eustacia Vye’ are relatively new to my garden. Not only are they beautiful, they have a delicious scent, too!

I made an outrageous flower arrangement with Pink Parrot gladiolas. While I do love the bright, shocking pink color, it is rather difficult to pair with in an arrangement. 🙂

The pumpkin arch update, at this stage, shows that the pumpkins are starting to turn orange, while the Red Kuri squash are turning their final color or burnt orange/red. The Green Hokkaido squash, which are more flat than the rounded pumpkins, remain a dark green color. The Claret F1 sunflowers always had a flurry of activity with birds. I was happy to capture this Great Tit (the largest of the Tit family) in this picture. The sunflowers have been enjoyed by the birds for most of the season. I did save a couple of flower heads for seeds for me, but the rest are there for the birds to eat.

The ornamental grass is the feature item in this bed. But the Asters put on quite a show in September. In the same bed, but in the bottom middle picture, is an Astilbe (marked pink, but it sure looks red to me). This is just a single plant that I think is still getting established. We’ll see how it does in 2022 and determine if it needs a new location.

The bottom left photo is of the Persicaria Blackfield, which pairs really well with the Rudbeckia, and birch trees. They also fill in quite nicely. Something I did this year that I probably shouldn’t do again, is that I bought my bulbs early in the season. So by the time my ‘normal’ time for ordering bulbs rolled around, I wanted to buy more (and did)! These are some of the early purchases of tulips being planted.

September collage of apples, pears, sunflowers, compost and chickens

September still, and just an update on everyone’s growth: the apples, both eating and cooking, the pears, the new chickens, the delphinium, the sunflowers, they were all thriving at this stage! Those are pink Asters in the top left photo, with the ornamental grass. They really steal the show in September! One final picture of my compost in the tumbler, which you can see is filled with worms (and eggshells that probably should have been broken down more before being added). This is great stuff, and as it becomes ready – completely broken down – I add it to the garden.

October collage of pumpkins, roses, asters, raspberry, sunflower and sunsets

October is all about orange (including the sky)! We had a great haul of pumpkins and squash this year. If nothing else, I like growing pumpkins simply for their orange coloring (including their flowers). Of course we enjoy eating squash, too, but what a bonus for it to look pretty in the garden, too!

I’ve included a couple more pictures of the pink Aster because they really are fabulous, and require no maintenance. I love easy to grow plants and this is one of them! This is also a better picture of the Astilbe with the Aster. I think they will look pretty together when the Astilbe fills out more.

Another first for us this year was planting raspberry canes. While we only had a few raspberries – and they were really tasty – the canes have definitely established themselves in the bed. So fingers crossed that in 2022 we’ll not only have a nice crop, we’ll figure out the best way to cover them from the birds.

October collage of roses, pumpkins, marigolds, asters, roses, dogwood leaves, and garlic being planted

October is also when I planted our winter growing garlic. I’ve grown the same variety, ‘Vallelado’ Organic Garlic, for a number of years because it is really good for our Irish weather. The rule of thumb is to get it in the ground before Christmas. (I get mine at Fruit Hill Farm in Cork.)

I have two different color pink Asters in the yard. These fuchsia pink and are super vibrant! The roses are still going strong – this year was really super for roses. Also, I had some super big, late blooming marigold flowers. The top right picture is of my dogwood tree. Although it doesn’t flower – this variety needs hot weather (so why on earth it is sold in Ireland is beyond me) – but I find the leaves to be quite lovely, especially as they turn red.

Collage from October & November of anemone, dahlia, roses, blueberry shrub, marigolds

Now we’re on the cusp of November with the Dahlias are finally blooming. Dahlias are relatively new for me, and I’m still learning. You’re supposed to cut their main stem a short time after it starts to grow, to prevent one big heavy stem from growing, and instead have multiple stems to balance out the weight. I did this quite late in the season which is why they bloomed so late for me. Lesson learned! These are in containers, as they need to be protected in the winter and that’s the easiest way for me to do that. Given how pretty they are, I’ve ordered some more for 2022. I have plans to plant them in the ground, which means I’ll have to dig them up next November. I’ll keep you posted.

The blueberry shrub has the pretties fire-red leaves in the fall. It is such an extra bonus after enjoying the yummy blueberries!

A shrub with berries for the birds is the Leycesteria formosa (Himalayan honeysuckle). These have long dangly flowers with berries. The main stems of this lovely plant look like bamboo, while the shorter stems with the flowers are great for using in flower arrangements.

collage from November & December of wreaths, anemone, roses, hellebore and hesperanthus

Here we are in the last two months of the year. The pink and red Hesperanthus (formerly known as Schizostylis) is such a treat to have in November, when there aren’t many other flowers about. This year, though, I also had roses. The Anemone can often be found in the winter garden, as can the Hellebore ‘Winter Sunshine’.

I’ve been patiently waiting the past few years for my fig tree to produce fruit. While it did grow fruit this year, they didn’t properly ripen enough to eat. I’m really hoping that next year will be the year!

I made a few wreaths during this time, too. I just like using my hands, and not letting anything go to waste. All of the greenery and plant materials came from my garden.

And that is a look back on my garden for the year! I’ve really enjoyed reviewing everything, and reminding myself of all that we’ve done in the garden. Being and working in the garden is simply something that I love to do. I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour!

Take care, and stay safe 🙂

In Peace,
Dana

A look back on the garden, part III

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Hi there! Don’t mind me, in this third part post, I’m just walking down memory lane where I look back on the garden from July and August, and boy was there a lot going on! Some plants, like my sweet pea, took a while to get started, but once they did, they really took off. I grew three different types of sunflowers this year. What was nice about the different varieties was 1. how completely different they looked and 2. how they all bloomed at different times. This meant that I was able to enjoy sunflowers from summer into fall. These two months saw a lot of growth in the pumpkin / squash category, too. And let’s not forget that July is notable for harvesting lavender and garlic. Let’s get started!

Collage of flowers from the garden in July: pumpkin flowers, peony, hosta, poppy, sunflowers, iris and eggs.

This first collage is from the beginning of July, and the yellow Itoh (hybrid) peony ‘Hillary’, on the bottom, just made the cutoff. I only had one delicate flower, and its color was quite lemony, a first for my garden. It was planted two years ago, so it should have more blooms in 2022. The other ‘end of the season’ peony was my Sarah Bernhardt variety. I’ve had this plant quite a few years so I get lots of big, beautiful, and scented, flowers. If you like peony, I’d definitely recommend this variety. Also during this time, the pumpkin and squash plants started to progress up the pumpkin arch. While they never made it all the way up, I did in fact, gets lots of pumpkins and squash – we’re still eating the squash!

To add some ‘interest’ along the hedge in the new garden, this year I added a bunch of planters filled with hosta. Most of the plants I’d had already, either in containers or in the ground. But I did purchase a couple of new ones as well, which are in the smaller pots, and they bloomed in July. The hosta flowers are not as nice as the leaves, if you ask me, as I think the leaves are the real attraction. These iris, as every year, were the very last of my four varieties to bloom.

While some flowers were finishing up for the season, it was at this stage that the first of the sunflowers started to bloom. They were mid-height – they were supposed to be 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall, but were more in the area of 3 feet (.9 meter) tall – and had only one flower per plant. This would be my least favorite sunflower because of the single flower. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like them, though. 🙂 At the top of the collage is a double poppy that thankfully shows up in the garden every year. And finally, I have a picture of three very different eggs, representing the 3 new variety of chickens that joined my hens this spring.

July collage of flowers: coleus, poppies, sweet pea, pumpkin flower, apples, Maple tree

Apple update: the pretty blossoms are now cute little apples! Another picture of the double poppies, because they are absolutely beautiful. I’ve also included a ‘yucky’ picture in here, too: it is my maple tree with a powdery mildew. We haven’t seen this before, and there isn’t really anything you can do for it, except at the end of the season to clear away the leaves (and not add them to the compost). Fingers crossed that it has a better season in 2022. The picture of the sweet pea is the first cutting of the season. I know this because it is such a small posy, and by the end of the season they were big bouquets.

The middle photo is of my ‘rainbow garden’. In the front, the cream colored David Austin Lichfield roses and yellow potentilla shrub are at their peak. I only learned this year that I could prune the potentilla, which I duly did at the end of the season. I can’t wait to see how it looks in 2022. I have helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ growing in a couple of places in the garden, as it’s a lovely splash of red and golden color (here it is along side my daisies).

I am all about having splashes of color in the garden, no matter if it’s from flower plants or veggie plants. It’s another reason I love to grow pumpkins and squash, I mean, what’s not to love about those big orange flowers? I picked the last photo for the pretty sunset, as the poppies under the birch trees are not quite at their peak.

July collage of flowers including garlic, freesia, peony, lilies, sunflowers, roses, poppies, and pumpkin arch

We’re in mid July here, and that’s when I harvested my garlic. The timing was perfect as we had some dry weather. There’s nothing worse than getting caught in a wet spell and not being able to harvest the garlic in time. I’ve planted about half of that amount for the 2022 season, which will still be more than enough for us. It keeps all winter, in a cool, dry location. Garlic is one of the easiest things to plant, and I highly recommend growing your own. It is so worth it in taste!

You will see through the different collages that I have a lot of containers. Part of that is me trying new flowers, part of it is that we have a deck that suits containers really well, and part of that is that I don’t have a more suitable place in the garden for those flowers. The pink, yellow and white freesia are a perfect example of looking lovely in a container but wouldn’t suit in the garden. So I’m glad for the containers! Funny enough, I filled both my garden and containers with lilies this year. Best decision ever as they are so easy to grow and are perfectly showy.

The birch tree bed was completely taken over by poppies in July. It was quite remarkable as they were 99% one variety (a single flower, lilac color) and I didn’t plant any of them. They come from my compost which apparently doesn’t get hot enough to kill seeds. So whatever I put in the compost, has the potential to come back!

I threw in another picture of the mid-height sunflowers as a progress report, as well as some roses just to remind me that the roses were still going strong. 🙂

End of July collage of flowers: sunflowers, lavender, daisies

We’re now at the end of July. The second variety of sunflowers have started to bloom – and this Claret F1 lasted well into fall, with so many flowers per stem. The colors were from chocolate to yellow and burnt orange / burnt red, with medium sized flowers, and they grew pretty tall (well over my head!).

I was a bit late in harvesting my lavender this year, but that didn’t stop me from making some fresh wreaths (pictures in the next picture). The clematis, ‘purpurea Plena Elegans’ is a pretty raspberry/wine color, but doesn’t really like the amount of wind that we have. It looks ok, but isn’t ideal in our yard, unfortunately.

The lychnis Coronaria rose campion has really pretty fuchsia pink flowers, although the evening sunlight in the picture doesn’t show that very well. Those flowers will actually spread like wildfire, so unless you want them everywhere, you have to pull them out as soon as they show up in their new spots (they are easy to pull out).

Of course I had to throw in another pumpkin arch update!

July collage of flowers: roses, sweet pea, lavender wreaths, blueberries

We’re finishing up July with blueberries! We had a great ‘little’ harvest this year, of several little bowls of blueberries. This was the first year that we covered the shrubs with netting and that worked great for keeping the birds away. I also spread out our plants that were crowded together previously, and fed them more than I typically would, which paid off. I’m excited for the 2022 season, as we learned a lot last season.

Finally, a picture of the chickens! We added three new varieties in March, but I only took video of them in the beginning, so I had no pictures to share earlier. We have a Bluebell (she’s gray), a Maran (with stripes), and a Daisy Belle (the largest of all of them and quite pretty with green shimmers in her black feathers). The Bluebell is quite friendly and likes to sit on my lap when I’m in the yard with them.

I made these two fresh lavender wreaths (as opposed to dried lavender). The bottom one I made first, and the one above was made second – I think I get better over the course of the season! The Celosia, the top right picture, I grew from seed. They were easy to grow, and dry really well, so I might grow them again.

More roses – of course!

August collage of flowers: helenium, pumpkins, hydrangea, gladiolas, lilies,

I told you it was a lot of flowers! These pictures are from August. This is another another batch of helenium flowers. These are next to my ‘Teasing Georgia’ yellow David Austin roses, as I think the colors go nicely together. The other flowers are: ‘Magic Star’ lilies, gladiolas ‘Pink Parrot’, hydrangea Selma, clematis ‘purpurea Plena Elegans’, and some more poppies. This sunflower is the first of the dwarf sunflowers to bloom. Next to the two small pumpkins is a picture of Liatris spictata Kobold, which is such an unusual flower for my garden – so I love it!

August collage of flowers: incrediball hydrangea, vanilla fraise hydrangea, coleus, lilies, agapanthus, calla lilies, sweet pea, Russian sage, pumpkin arch

So I found myself picking flowers for this collage that we’ve seen before. But it is interesting to me to see how much they grow and fill out and change colors during the season! The Incrediball hydrangea (bottom right) was moved in early spring 2021, but seems to have settled in well. This plant takes a lot of water, and I have still not figured out the perfect balance of getting that right. It doesn’t help that it is just out of reach of our hose, either. I’ll keep at it until we get it right! It’s not too far from the paniculata hydrangea Vanilla Fraise, actually – which is just starting to turn pink in this picture. The paniculata has not had any water issues, thankfully.

The coleus was my pride and joy this summer as I grew it from seed and it just looked so spectacular! Also, it was planted as a reminder of my dear former neighbor and friend Betty, who always grew them.

See the single, purple agapanthus flower? That didn’t do great in a container for me. Turns out the few that I had in the garden weren’t very happy either, but I had them in a somewhat shady area. So I’ve moved all of them into a new – sunny – spot in the garden and I can’t wait to see if that does the trick (along with extra feed).

Look at the Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘little spire’)! I had some growing in partial shade and it wasn’t very happy. This guy, in full sun, is just shouting out with joy! I’m glad the space is large enough for it. These potted pink Calla lilies looked really well and bloomed for weeks.

Of course I’ve included another update on the pumpkin arch!

end of August collage of flowers

We’re wrapping up August with this collage. I rarely mention the wild fennel that I grow, but it is very pretty. The flowers are yellow and dainty. I enjoy watching the birds as they try and balance on the stems while eating the seeds in the winter. The plant isn’t just for birds, as it is edible for our consumption, too. The other plant not mentioned often enough: globe artichokes. I’ve used some in this flower arrangement – they look like purple thistle. The globe artichokes were arranged with roses, sunflowers and helenium.

The paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’ hydrangea has turned pink by this stage. It’s around this time that you can cut the flowers to easily dry them. The Red Kuri squash look orange at this point in their growth, but as they mature, they will turn a more burnt orange/red. This view of the pumpkin arch shows us two Red Kuri squash, which are still orange, growing up the fencing.

The red apple tree is an eating apple tree, while our second tree is a cooking apple tree. I know I’m biased but, the red apples are incredibly tasty! I enjoyed eating our supply of apples right up until Christmas. I should have cooked and frozen some, to keep them longer. That will be something I’ll try in 2022, if we get a good crop.

The top picture is of some of my lilies – both pink and white. The white ones are in the garden, while these pink ones are in a container. They’re just so easy to grow, why wouldn’t you want that beauty and fabulous scent?

And finally, the sunflowers: the neat line of dwarf sunflowers bloomed in a perfect line. Not only that, they also then continued to bloom multiple flowers on their stems. The burnt red and yellow sunflowers were tall and floppy, grew all over the place, and were absolutely lovely in their uniqueness.

Phew! Are you still reading? You’re amazing! That was a really long post. I’m kind of impressed (and surprised!) with all of the flowers that I grow. Although I of course know all that I grow, it is only looking at them in this monthly review format that I really appreciate all that I have. And I really do appreciate them! I appreciate them so much that I created a new bed, in order to plant more flowers! 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by. Let me know what you think!
Part IV will finish out the year.

In Peace,
Dana

A mild and sunny September

Hello! Welcome to my blog. We have had mild and sunny weather throughout September, and I am so thankful for that. I know that for me, when life gets chaotic, as September tends to, I need to spend more time outside in the garden. Spending time in the garden is good for the soul. 🙂 I don’t necessarily need to work in the garden, just spending time among the flowers and trees is good enough.

While there is a lot of color in the garden, the pots on the deck are providing a fabulous splash of color, too. There’s no excuse to not have flowers as they’ll grow anywhere!

The sunflowers that were planted in late May are in full bloom now, and brightening up another section of the garden. Lesson learned: stager your planting!

This week I was able to gather enough roses to have a sweet little bouquet. The good news is that rose season isn’t over yet! There are still lots of buds to bloom. I did see quite a few aphids, too, though. So I was glad to have inspected the flowers and discovered those pests – and I promptly squished them.

Dahlias are now (finally) in full flower production. What a treat! I really like the color combination I have at the moment: cream, a deep, dark red and pink. I’m still debating which color I should add to the mix next year!

I will be joining The Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme, because I find it a fun way to show you what’s happened this past week in the garden. I hope you enjoy the tour!

helenium, sunflowers and marigolds at sunrise

1 – September morning sunlight. The morning sunlight, the dew, the colors of pumpkins, marigolds, helenium and sunflowers, all makes for a very beautiful morning walk about the garden. Some mornings are more beautiful than others, but always it is worth taking the time to stroll about the garden and soak up the goodness. The changes are so subtle, like the changing color of the pumpkins, and it is fun to note them.

David Austin Roses

2 – David Austin Roses. Just a handful of roses is all it took to bring some beauty inside! They are fragrant, too. 🙂

delphinium blue ocean and cobalt dreams on the deck

3 – Container garden. These are most of my ‘blooming containers’ on our deck. The delphinium (blue ocean) has multiple stems that are all filled with flowers. The super tall delphinium (cobalt dreams) was one that I planted from seed last year. It is very tall, and is blooming up the stalk! Behind those are the Cafe au Lait dahlias. There are quite a few blooms on them, too, providing a great show. While it is great having color on the deck, I’m hoping to get some of these plants in the ground next season.

sungold sunflower with bee and small tortoiseshell butterfly

4 – Sungold Sunflower. These ‘fluffy’ sunflowers are super fun. I love their texture, and so do the bees and butterflies (at least this small tortoiseshell does). They are short which works really well in my windy garden – no staking necessary. Their stems are rather short, which makes it tricky to cut them for an arrangement, but I’ll settle for enjoying them in the garden!

Cafe au Lait and coffee at midnight and maxi dahlias

5 & 6 – Dahlias Cafe au Lait, Coffee at Midnight, Tam Tam, and Maxi. As I’ve mentioned before, these plants were all eaten to the ground by something (unknown). It took them all summer to grow back and only now are they really producing flowers full steam. But boy was it worth the wait. They are so pretty! I especially like their different shapes and textures. I do plan on adding to my collection. 🙂

I’m delighted with the selection of blooms for September. The mild weather means that I’m able to enjoy being out in the garden, admiring the blooms! Which is your favorite? (I’m not sure I’d be able to pick just one.)

Take care!

In Peace,
Dana

Take note: the weather has been amazing!

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! The weather plays an important role in the garden, and by extension, in the gardener’s life. While others might not pay too close attention to the rainfall, or the temperatures, I can definitely tell you if it was a dry or a wet season based on how much extra watering I had to do in the garden! So I tend to mention the weather … a lot. And the weather has been quite good lately. For those who live in areas that don’t see the sun as much as you’d like, you’ll know the uplift you get with a blue sky. There is nothing like being outdoors when the temperatures are mild, the sky is blue, and the sun is shining! I am very thankful for those days.

The garden has also been enjoying the mild weather. Our fig tree now has quite a few figs on it. Growing a fig tree is new to me. The figs are quite small and hard at the moment. I’m hoping that they’ll mature enough to eat before we get a frost.

The ‘fall flowers’ are looking quite pretty. The rudbeckia, persicaria, helenium and incrediball hydrangea are all near each other and the colors just look so pretty together. Next year I’m hoping to also have more purple in the mix, with the newly planted salvia and agapanthus.

The lavender is really showing off in this good weather. You might remember that I planted a border of tiny lavender plants this spring. All of those new plants are now blooming for a second time! This looks so pretty as the plants are that bit bigger than the first blooming. I’m looking forward to seeing it when they are all filled out, which should happen next year.

Next to the lavender border, I have the dwarf Little Lime hydrangeas. It took them quite a while to get blooms, but now that they have them they are quite pretty. They are planted too close to the grass, though, which means we have some more edging to do, to give them more space.

The three Marina Di Chioggia squash are all doing well. I’m looking forward to seeing how they taste!

I’ll be joining The Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme. I hope you enjoy the tour!

Figs from the fig tree

1 – Fig tree. We have figs! I’m guessing that the tree wasn’t getting enough water this summer. It didn’t produce any fruit until the rains came in September. Some of the fruit seems to be going dark and hard, too. I have some research to do!

Lavender blooming again!
lavender border view with sunflowers

2 – Lavender border. Lavender grows quite quickly. The border is filing in nicely, and what a bonus to get a second blooming! The dark purple spire flowers are so pretty, especially with the sunflower backdrop.

Fall flowers of rudbeckia, helenium, persicaria and hydrangea
helenium and incrediball hydrangea

3 – Fall flowers: Helenium, rudbeckia, persicaria, incrediball hydrangea. The helenium flowers are the second flowering from those plants. I completely deadheaded them after the first flowering. So worth it!

4 – Marina di Chioggia squash. Three different squash in these pictures and they all look different! It is a large and heavy squash!

5 – Dwarf Little Lime hydrangea border. I’m very happy with how they look as the border to this side of the garden. We just need to edge the grass a bit more so they aren’t so squished. 🙂

coleus at the back door

6 – Coleus. These beauties took a long time to get going, but they are now completely filled out (and higher than the wall). I know I just showed them not that long ago, but I thought this was a nice update.

Doesn’t it make such a huge difference when the sky is blue? I hope you found some joy while visiting my garden! Take care 🙂

In Peace,
Dana

A sunny day in September

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! There simply is truth to the saying that only when the light fades do you truly appreciate it. Living in a country where gray skies and clouds are not unusual certainly makes me more appreciative of when the sky is blue and the sun is shining bright. This weekend we had an incredibly beautiful day on Saturday. It was the perfect day to enjoy some time in the garden. It was also a great opportunity to take some pictures. I captured the garlic that I harvested back in July, the apples that keep falling from our tree, and some flowers (of course)!

It’s September, which means that it is getting darker much earlier in the evening. There’s a distinct change in the air, despite the weather still being somewhat mild during the day. The pumpkins are turning orange, and we can’t keep up with the apples that are falling from our two apple trees. The red apples are ‘eating’ apples and the green ones are ‘cooking’ apples. While many of the sweet pea plants are going to seed, there are still quite a few that continue to produce flowers. The benefit of planting them so late is that they flower late.

I have dahlia plants in the yard that still haven’t flowered yet. They are *so* close! I think they are more of the Cafe au Lait dahlias. I’ll keep you posted. 😉

Sunflowers are growing in a few different places in my yard, and I have to say that our season is not yet over. Again, because some of the plants were planted out later, they are extending the season even further. I will aim to plant out late again next year, too, as it is nice to still have sunflowers blooming into the fall. The birds are truly doing an amazing job of eating so many seeds! I have put some flowers aside to keep some seeds for me.

The garlic was harvested in July and left to cure in our playhouse. This past weekend I just cut the tops off and tidied them up a bit to make them easier to store and use. I had them in my shed last year and that did not work well (by the end of the season, many of them went moldy). But this year I planted half as much, which is more in line with what I’ll need, plus a little to give away. I’m also hopeful that they’ll store better – and they are definitely not going in the shed.

I have just two Red Kuri squash that are on the vine, slowly changing from yellow to burnt orange. I also have three pumpkins that are still growing on their vine. I’ve cut eight pumpkins off the vine and placed them in the sun at the front of the arch. My ‘mystery’ squash, that turned out to be Marina di Chioggia, have produced another squash, bringing the total to four. I’m happy with that.

So much to take in! And so lovely to capture some of it on such a beautiful day.

I hope you enjoy the tour!

Sunny view of arch with apples & garlic

This picture makes me smile! It was such an inviting day, outside! The sun is almost a bit too bright for pictures. The left side of the arch has sweet pea, the right side has the Marina di Chioggia squash and then sunflowers to the right of that. There are four pumpkins on each side of the arch. I’ve been cutting a little sweet pea posy every few days for the past few weeks! I did plant way too many plants for the amount of space, which is why it is now looking somewhat unruly.

collage of sweet pea posies

Speaking of sweet pea, here are the most recent posies. They do smell so wonderful! I think this year, my favorite color is the white with lilac around the edge. I also like the bright colors, that are just blooming now. Most of the season I had very dark burgundy colors. That is pretty, but I prefer the brighter color sweet pea.

collage of dahlia flowers, red apples and garlic

Just a fun way to capture the ‘fruits from the garden’! I’m just realizing now that the two bowls were both wedding gifts. And they are very special to me!

Sunflower view of arch

Here you can see the other four pumpkins and a great view of these sunflower plants. These plants are *covered* in sunflowers!

apple pie and sun flowers

Which is why I keep bringing some inside. And here is the first apple pie of the season. It was yummy. 🙂

Thank you so much for stopping by! Now which sweet pea colors are your favorite?

In Peace,
Dana

A garden transformation with a ‘before’ and ‘after’

Hi there! Welcome to my blog where I like to talk about all things gardening. 🙂 I was scrolling back through photos the other day when I came across two pictures that you’ll see today. One is of my seed packet for Marina di Chioggia squash. This is definitely the mystery squash from last week – despite the fact that my online search of this squash doesn’t fully align with the seed packet image.

The other picture that caught my attention is of our garden from this past May. It was completely bare! So of course I had to seek out a current picture. (My feature image at the top of the page is one.) The garden looks so full now! The hosta filled out, and the sunflowers of course, along with the plants growing on the arch (sweet pea and squash), the pumpkin bed, not to mention the pear tree, blueberries and strawberries. But in addition to those, there are the perennial plants that we added this year: dwarf Little Lime hydrangeas, Lavender and Rosemary, all along the borders. The perennials have come along really well in one season, and I like the way that they frame the garden. It truly is amazing, though, how quickly everything changes!

Speaking of changes, there is definitely a fall feel to the garden, now. The helenium are on their second flush of flowers (worth deadheading the old ones!) and look very pretty with the Incrediball hydrangea as a backdrop.

The Rudbeckia (black-eyed-Susan) and Persicaria blooming under the birch trees also signals the shift to fall.

The dahlias are finally picking up the pace of flowering. You may remember that the ones that were planted in the ground this spring were eaten by something. I’m talking decimated! So it has taken this long for them to recover, grow and now produce blooms. But it is worth the wait, given the beautiful flowers I’m getting now. The dahlias in containers are a lot more work, mostly ensuring that they have enough water. But they did start flowering much faster, having not been attacked by the mystery bug. I do plan to plant them out in the ground next spring, though.

I’m joining The Propagator and his ‘Six on Saturday’ meme again this week.

Enjoy the tour!

A before and after picture of the garden looking at the sunflower bed
A before and after picture of the garden looking at the Pumpkin bed

1 – The ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures! The clouds are the only things that seem to have stayed the same. The bottom pictures aren’t completely equal because the raspberries have grown so tall that if I stood in front of them, none of the rest of the garden would be visible. Also, in the same bottom pictures, we started with garlic in the left raised bed, and ended with sunflowers. It is fun tracking the growth of everything. 🙂

Rudbeckia and Persicaria under birch trees

2 – The birch tree bed. I’m delighted with how the rudbeckia and persicaria have filled out, especially since I haven’t really given them a lot of room. I might remove some of the bearded iris to give them more space – I’m still deciding on that.

Helenium and the hydrangea bed

3 – Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’. You might remember that I moved these three plants from two different locations in the yard this year. They are so much happier here and have provided a lovely splash of color for a nice length of time. I also used supports for them, which kept them upright and looking lovely. I deadheaded these plants a couple of weeks ago and they are now blooming again. The red is very pretty with the white Incrediball hydrangeas. It would be even nicer with the purple agapanthus that is planted in the middle of this bed, but they decided they weren’t interested in blooming this year. Better luck next year!

seed packet of marina di chioggia

4 – Marina Di Chioggia seed packet. The picture on this seed packet isn’t like the images I get when I Google it. This is most likely the mystery squash from last week’s post. Glad I was able to figure that out (eventually).

arrangement with dahlias and sunflowers
arrangement with dahlias and Japanese anemone
arrangement with dahlias and Japanese anemone

5 & 6 – Dahlias! We have dinner plate dahlia Cafe au Lait (a creamy white), cactus dahlia Coffee at midnight (a deep red), and pompon or ball dahlia Tam Tam (also a deep red). In the top picture there is a pink dahlia that I only have as ‘Maxi’. All of them are just so pretty! I am already thinking about what colors and varieties to add for next year!

I hope you’ve transitioned nicely into the next season! I’m really liking these fall flowers, so I’m not too upset about the passing of summer. What about you? Do you prefer summer or fall flowers? 🙂

Take care!

In Peace,
Dana

Sunflower bliss (continued!)

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. Ireland’s beautiful summer weather continued this week and the garden is quite happy about that – and so am I! I hope you aren’t quite tired of sunflowers, yet, as I have more this week. There are so many different varieties, how could I not be excited? The flower heads are lovely and small so I’ve used them in some flower arrangements. I also have a mysterious squash, that perhaps you can help me to identify? 🙂

I’ll be joining the Propagator’s ‘Six on Saturday’ meme. Feel free to join in.

Enjoy the tour!

1 – Red Kuri squash. This is not the mystery squash, although it wasn’t planted here by me. This beautiful, yellow for now, squash is in my new flower bed, at the top of our garden. This bed was made last year by covering the grass with cardboard and then layering it with grass cuttings and then compost, and repeating that a few more times. So I can thank the compost for this plant, I’m sure. You might remember that last year I planted red kuri squash to grow up my pumpkin arch. It is funny how yellow they start out, because by full maturity they are a burnt orange/red. Anyway, this plant has two big squash formed, with a few tiny ones. I’m glad I let it grow, despite its awkward position in the garden.

Here’s a picture as a reminder of what the red kuri squash looked like last year on the pumpkin arch. They are the bright burnt orange/redish squash on the right side of the arch and in front, on the left.

mystery squash - large, heavy and green

2 – Mystery squash. Yeah, so these are the ones I can’t really identify. The one, top right picture, fell off of the vine and it is no wonder as it weighs 4.5 kg (9 lbs)! Here are the options of what was sown: Muscade De Provence Musk Pumpkin, Marina Di Chioggia Organic Pumpkin, or nagydobosi pumpkin. The one that fell is the wrong shape for any of these, although I’m leaning more towards nagydobosi. I’m hoping that as the others ripen more, they will reveal their true selves. One thing is clear: I need a better system for tagging plants.

Bella fuchsia in full bloom

3 – Bella fuchsia. Look at those colors! This plant has quietly been doing its thing, and completely filing the container with itself. The colors are so pretty, and yet don’t shout out for attention. I am already planning on sliding this pot into the playhouse in November to ‘over winter’ it. I’m really hoping that it will keep.

dahlais delphinium gladiolas on deck

4 – The back deck flower pots! Wow! There’s a lot of fun stuff going on here. Dahlias, delphinium, lilies, gladiolas and a sunflower. I do love having them all on the deck and in full view from my kitchen. But the plan is to plant out the dahlias next year. It’s a lot of work keeping them watered. The delphinium will not be far from this spot, but will be planted in the ground (so no moving around to suit pictures!). Who knows, I might get other plants to fill the pots. 🙂

different sunflower varieties
sunflower arrangement with globe artichokes and dahlias
different sunflower varieties

5 & 6 – Sunflowers! I made two more arrangements this week and I just can’t get enough of them. Here’s what I have:

Claret F1 (these are dark colored flowers, some are burgundy, some are chocolate, some are dark burnt orange. I LOVE these as they have so many long stems coming off of the main stem and there are loads of flowers on each stem. Lots of color variety, too, which is beautiful.

Sungold sunflowers. This has a great big (albeit dwarf!) fluffy head of golden yellow. In the top collage, it is the bottom left picture. The short stem is the downside (12″-18″ tall), but otherwise this is a super neat flower. Multiple stems with just one flower per stem. So not as much bang for your buck as the Claret, but well worth it for the unique look and texture.

Sunflower Waooh! Brown centers with yellow edges, and only 40 – 60 cm tall (16-24″). Shorter are better for the high winds we tend to get. Lots of blooms on each stem. A good, traditional sunflower.

Sunny Flowers Fantasy & Esther. These have a mixture of colors and are not too tall (70 cm). These are the first lemony yellow sunflowers I have seen. Some have brown centers, some have yellow/green centers. Lots of flowers on each stem with very strong stems.

Sunflower Giant. Of all the sunflowers, I confess that this is my least favorite and here’s why: it is a single stem that grows tall (6’/2m) with just one, single and very large flowerhead. I suppose that every sunflower garden should have at least one of these traditional flowers. I actually have two this year. The birds have already started eating the seeds of one, which you can see in the top picture.

Did you notice the ‘coffee at midnight’ dahlias and some globe artichokes in with the sunflowers? I thought that they paired really nicely with them.

And that is my ‘Six on Saturday’ collection. Thanks so much for stopping by and I really hope you enjoyed the tour. Take care!

In Peace,
Dana

Summer flower seed success

Hello! Welcome to my blog. Today, let’s talk about seeds. You may recall that I did *not* have a good start with my seedlings, way back in March. I’d moved them all to a bedroom where they did well, but since I didn’t see them all the time (like when they were in my hallway) they tended to get neglected. Just to let you know: a little bit of neglect is a quick and easy way to kill off seedlings. That was the first roadblock. The second was that some (read: lots) of my seeds didn’t take. This happens. So I tried again. And then again. So more or less, everything was late going into the garden, and a lot of what grew in the end would not have been my first choice. But nevertheless, the garden is now thriving and full of flowers and color!

What did I grow from seed? I grew: sweet pea, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers and coleus. The coleus was the very last plant to finally make it to a respectable size. I somehow have about a dozen pumpkins, even though I was convinced those were planted way too late. The sunflowers are definitely a mixed bag – I have several different varieties. Wish I could say I knew exactly which ones I planted where, but it was all a guessing game in the end. I thought I was way too late with planting them, too. I’m absolutely delighted with them, now, though! Confession time about the sweet pea: while I did sow some seed directly in the ground, I also planted small plants – to hedge my bets. So the flowering sweet pea are a combination of bought plants and sown from seed plants. You just have to do what works for you. 🙂

I am joining the Propagator’s ‘Six on Saturday’ meme, to talk about six things from the garden. Feel free to join in.

Enjoy the tour!

various sunflowers

1 – Sunflowers. Different colors, petals, sizes – they throw the idea of a traditional sunflower right on its ear! The left two bottom ones are Claret F1. The top right one is a helianthus, dwarf sunflower ‘fantasy’. The bottom right is a dwarf helianthus sunflower ‘Sungold’. The other two I think are also from the ‘fantasy’ packet. I love everything about these flowers, but especially their small size which is great for flower arrangements or even just throwing in a vase on their own. These guys are fabulous with their continuous life, too. Each stem produces several new flowers, so as the old die, the new bloom. What’s not to love? Of course the bees love sunflowers, but I was also able to capture a Red Admiral butterfly enjoying them, too.

Flower arch with sweet pea and squash with marigold in front in pots.

2 – Flower arch update. The flower arch is supporting my sweet pea this year, along with squash. I wasn’t too hopeful of the squash growing, so the sweet pea were added mainly so I wouldn’t have an empty arch. The joke is on me, though, as both the squash and sweet pea are doing great. To the right you can see the sunflower bed.

coleus

3 – Coleus. I only started growing coleus a few years ago, in memory of my dear neighbor, Betty. Betty always had coleus on her back porch. I remember sitting on her porch, surrounded by her beautiful plants, and simply enjoying her and her husband’s company. Wonderful memories of a very special couple. And if you don’t neglect your seedlings, they are very easy to grow. As for the coloring, the chartreuse is a must have color, especially when paired with the burgundy and pinkish/red. Gorgeous.

Monarda Fireball (red Bee balm)

4 – Monarda Fireball (red Bee balm). I had bee balm in our home in NY, and for the past 14 years I’ve wanted it in this garden. I am a patient person. 🙂 I love this color. This plant was in a pot for the past year and as soon as I planted it out, it seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.

globe artichoke plant in full flower

5 – Globe artichoke. I haven’t mentioned this guy in a while. It quietly goes about its business of growing tall, and producing bunches of globe artichokes. I love it when they go to flower. Their purple plume is so pretty. It is quite a large plant, and I usually cut away the lower leaves as they are rather unsightly.

Lotus dream lilies

6 – Lotus dream lilies. I’m so thankful for scented flowers! I love the lily scent. I actually used a stem in an arrangement recently and I learned that my daughter does *not* like the scent! So I kept the flowers in my office and out of her nose’s way. These lilies are in the rose bed. I’m glad to have cleaned up this bed, and the rose plants. It was time to remove the poppies (and weeds) and tidy up the place. It helps to enjoy the lilies, too, when they aren’t crowded in.

And that’s a wrap! Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the tour, and that your summer is going well. Did you have a favorite flower?

In Peace,
Dana

This isn’t an Irish summer!

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. My family and I were away on a wonderful holiday to Greece last week and we’ve come home to the most amazing weather here in Ireland! This is not your typical Irish weather. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some beautiful summers here. But the weather is usually mild (read: not hot) and we wouldn’t typically get lots of consecutive days of sunshine. So while we could really use a good rainfall at this stage, the abundance of blue skies and sunshine is such a welcome treat. As for the garden, well, it is thirsty. Very thirsty. Rain is in the forecast and I’m really hoping that it gives the garden a good drink (at night, of course!).

The flowers are definitely suffering because of the lack of water. Mostly they just bloom and die (quickly). I’m trying to capture them as much as possible while they look good! I have a bunch of dahlias that are all blooming together, which is so pretty to see. The delphinium is one of my favorites simply because the colors are so striking (more so when having two complementary colors). And I could not resist cutting some of my sunflowers. What a collection of colors there are!

I do hope your summer is going well. It is flying by much too quickly. I’m joining the Propagator for his ‘Six on Saturday’ meme. You might see some flowers from last week (different pics, of course!) – that means they are my favorites!

Enjoy the tour!

bowl of blueberries and bouquet of delphinium Shelby and Blue Ocean

1 & 2 – Blueberries and Delphinium Shelby (in the center, light color) and Blue Ocean (darker color) and Kitty. What a difference it makes to cover your blueberries to protect them from the birds! We have never had so many blueberries to eat ourselves. 🙂 Poor birds, but lucky us! The delphinium are in pots on our deck. I love their colors.

Dahlia Café au Lait

3 – Dahlia Café au Lait. What a stunner this one is. I have a few different tubers and one produces pink-tinged flowers and one produces cream-tinged flowers. If I were to critique them I’d say that they’re a tiny bit too big, and would be more ideal a little bit smaller – for arrangements, at least. But I do still like them very much! These are in containers on our deck. The dahlias in the ground are *almost* ready to flower…

Magic star lilies

4 – Lily Magic Star. At least that’s what I bought! I’m not sure it looks like magic star, but it is very pretty. I love scented flowers. Love, love, love them. This is also in a container on our deck and is really putting on quite the show.

Gladiolus Pink Parrot and Rose Supreme

5 – Gladiolus Pink Parrot on the left and Rose Supreme on the right. I have to correct my post from last week as I named Rose Supreme Pink Parrot. These are in pots on our deck (I sense a theme here). The deck flowers provide a beautiful sea of color for me to look at when I am in our kitchen. It’s my favorite view from inside the house!

vase of sunflowers yellow, brown, burgundy in sunshine and at sunset
sunflowers in a vase

6 – Sunflowers! Wish I could tell you exactly which varieties these are, but since I switched and swapped and tried quite a few at the start, I’m not quite sure. The brownish ones are Clarets, I think there are some called ‘sunny flowers’ and some called ‘Waooh!’. I like them because they are smaller and manageable for vases. Each stem has many flowers on it at every stage – from tiny buds to mature flowers. For this reason, I don’t really like cutting stems. But I do have a lot this year, so a few vases now and again is fine (right?). The top two pictures were taken in the evening, right after I cut them and about 15 minutes apart. The sunset lighting really changes everything. The bottom full photo is from the following day, and it was so windy that my husband is actually holding the vase for me! All to get the perfect picture 🙂

Thank you for stopping by! Which was your favorite flower?

In Peace,
Dana

‘An abundance of summer’ flower arrangement

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I created another flower arrangement, and this one is filled with summer blooms! I was under some time pressure when I made it (flower arranging wasn’t on my ‘to-do’ list that day, but I squeezed it in), and it’s quite possible that the time pressure pushes me creatively. Because once I finished, that was it and I didn’t want to change it. 🙂

The sunflowers are still blooming. They are one of my favorite annual flowers to have in a summer garden. A flower that I didn’t think I’d see this summer has proven me wrong. My clematis has bloomed. This poor plant gets way more wind that it would prefer. But I love the color and it is a fun addition to flower arrangements.

I’ll be joining the Propagator’s meme ‘Six on Saturday’, if you’d like to have a look at the other gardens.

Enjoy the tour!

a summer flower arrangement with hydrangeas, gladiolas, salvia, alstromeria, astilbe, Japanese anemone

1, 2 & 3 – Summer flower arrangement. The before picture took three handfuls to hold all of the flowers! Here’s a view of the front and back. The main star for me is the dahlia. I was impatient and didn’t wait for the other dahlia’s to bloom, which would have been nicer (next time!). This arrangement has: Hydrangea ‘Vanille Fraise’ Paniculata ‘Renhy’, hydrangea incrediball, gladiolus ‘Pink Parrot’, astilbe, salvia, alstromeria, Japanese anemone, Russian sage, calla lily, dahlia ‘Café au Lait’ and a few sprigs of sweet pea. Again I used some chicken-wire and some floral frogs to keep the flowers in place (and again, probably because I was under time pressure, I forgot to tape it!). It was amazing to be able to go around the garden and collect all of these flowers. Is it a perfect design? Nope. But it works for me! 🙂

sunflowers

4 – Sunflowers. The top two pictures are of the same plant, focusing on a different flower in each. That plant is in the Rainbow garden, and wasn’t planted by me. I presume it is from my compost. The other two pictures are from the sunflower bed.

clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans (Viticella Group)

5 – Clematis ‘Elegans’. Isn’t that a great color? This flower doesn’t look too beat-up by the wind. I’m sure my plants would prefer that I create a big sheltered area for them!

hydrangeas at sunset

6 – Incrediball hydrangea and hydrangea ‘Vanille Fraise’ Paniculata ‘Renhy’ at sunset. These are the most blooms I have seen yet with these two hydrangeas. The difference this year is that I have been keeping them well hydrated. They are much happier that way.

And that’s my six (or there-about). Have I inspired you to create your own flower arrangement, yet? It’s easy and fun! I’d love to see what you create, too. 🙂

In Peace,
Dana

An adventure to Huntington Castle and Gardens for a Cut Flower demonstration

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. You might have noticed that I’ve taken a liking to creating flower arrangements, especially if you follow my Instagram – you do follow my Instagram, right? 🙂 So I jumped at the chance to go to a cut flower demonstration with my dear friend, Susan (my gardening adventure friend). The venue was the beautiful Huntington Castle and Gardens, which I’ve never been to before. It is in Clonegal, County Carlow, so of course we made a day trip out of it, stopping off at Avoca in County Wicklow on the way down, for some food and flowers (definitely worth a visit to Avoca).

The demonstration was by Fionnuala Fallon, who spoke about incorporating sustainability into the floral industry. Fionnuala and her husband run a sustainable cut-flower farm, and she gave great tips on plants to use, care, arranging, and helpful information on best resources to get started.

As it turns out, I made another flower arrangement this week! And I’d incorporated a number of the things Fionnuala talked about. Once you learn the tips and tricks, it makes life a little bit easier (like using chicken wire and floral frogs).

While I didn’t exactly make the ‘Saturday’, I’m none-the-less, joining the Propagator’s meme ‘Six on Saturday’.

Enjoy the tour!

At Huntington Castle and Gardens, Clonegal, Co. Carlow
Fionnuala Fallon at flower demonstration

1 & 2 – Cut flower demonstration with Fionnuala Fallon at Huntington Castle and Gardens, Clonegal, County Carlow. This was such a wonderful day out! Fionnuala created this beautiful arrangement in no time flat, from two containers of flowers (that honestly, didn’t look like much on their own). The huge take away for me was to grow dahlias. I kind of knew I wanted to go in this direction, and now I *really* know! They are just spectacular. The main question we all had regarding this was if she dug them up for the winters, and the answer was ‘yes’. It just has to be done. Another favorite take away for me was to use the whole sweet pea vine, not just the stems of the flowers (which is what I would usually use). What a difference it makes to the arrangement! You can see in the arrangement above, the flowing light pink sweet pea, hanging down.

For those who don’t know already, she also mentioned how bad ‘floral foam’ (or oasis) is for the environment. *Really* bad. Chicken wire is an alternative, used with floral frogs (small, heavy circle with pins to stick the flower stems in), and taped in place.

She is a proponent of ‘some-dig’ gardening, as opposed to ‘no-dig’. I’m definitely with her on this one, too. You have to do whatever works for you.

It was a helpful and informative talk, which we really enjoyed, followed by a tour of the gardens. The place is just lovely and certainly worth a visit! Even better to bring along your bestie! 🙂

Line of flowers: dahlia, sunflowers, butterfly bush flowers, Russian sage and sweet pea
Dahlia tam tam, sunflower mix, Buddleis BUZZ ‘Dark Pink’ Butterfly Bush, Russian sage, Sweet pea
sunflower flower arrangement with butterfly bush, Russian sage, sweet pea and dahlia.
Sunflower arrangement with purple butterfly bush flowers, sweet pea, Russian sage and dahlias.

3 & 4 – Sunflower arrangement. This one is definitely worth two slots! This is my first sunflower arrangement of the season! I made this the day before the talk. The sunflower stems are really short as there were lots of blooms still forming on the stems and I didn’t want to cut them off. It worked well with this container, too, to have them short. With all of the work my husband has been doing with building fruit cages, I had already taken and put aside some chicken wire for arranging. This container was perfect for experimenting with. I used two floral frogs to weigh it down (I hadn’t thought of taping it, which would be a helpful solution).

Adding colors to the garden that complement the colors of the sunflowers is what I’m now working on. The dahlia’s I’ve planted are exactly for this. The beautiful reddish colored one (called Tam Tam) is the first to bloom. Hopefully I’ll get to do more arranging with them as the season goes on.

And really, I don’t know why I don’t see more butterfly bush flowers in arrangements, they smell so sweet and are a lovely addition (dwarf varieties)!

Russian Sage

5 – Russian Sage – Perovskia atriplicifolia Little Spire. This guy is just showing off at this stage. Beautiful shape and color. I used a few stems for the above arrangement. The bright pink rose next to it is England’s Rose from David Austin.

coleus plants

6 – Coleus. These guys were planted from seed late and then when I transplanted them to these containers, they stopped growing – for weeks! They have finally started to look like decent sized (small) plants. Maybe by the end of the season they will fill the containers. But I love having them, and I love their different color combinations.

I hope you enjoyed the tour! Have a great week!

In Peace,
Dana

Enjoying the warmth of Summer

Hello! Welcome to my blog. It might have taken its sweet time in getting here, but summer is definitely gracing us now! The garden seems to be happy about the warmth, but could certainly use a good soaking (preferably over night, please and thank you). I would say that July is definitely a time when the garden is at full throttle. I’m mainly deadheading roses, weeding, and watering at the moment. I try to get a small gardening task done in the morning and another one in the evening, in order to stay on top of things. I’m not really staying on top of things, but it’s nice to think I am. 🙂

More lilies have bloomed this week, and the sunflower bed is starting to show color as more flowers are starting to bloom. It seems there are a few different varieties, which I’m happy about. I had very poor luck with my early seedlings this year and did a few different plantings as the first batches didn’t survive. So honestly, I’m glad to have anything at all.

While I haven’t found a place in the ground for my delphinium yet, they still look very pretty in containers. My goal would be to eventually create a sheltered spot for them. This is not the easiest of tasks given our windy location, but we’ll see.

This is also lavender season! The flowers are perfect for either making wreaths with now, or cutting to dry for use later. I know what I’ll be doing all day tomorrow!

Have you noticed the difference in the garden as seen in the feature image, above? It’s really filling in. The sunflower bed is all the way to the right. They aren’t very tall, but there are lots of them.

I am joining the Propagator for his Six on Saturday meme. Feel free to join in!

Enjoy the tour.

Sunflower with erysimum bowles mauve

1 – Sunflowers. In the collage above, the top right picture shows Sunflower Helianthus Ester. The other three pictures in the collage are of Sunflower Claret F1. Funny store here, the new Claret F1 seeds that I bought this year didn’t survive. So these Claret sunflowers (non-yellow) are all from my own seeds from last year’s flowers.

As for the second picture, that relatively short sunflower grew from our compost, so I’m not sure of the variety. It is in our ‘Rainbow garden’, sitting pretty next to the Erysimum Bowles ‘mauve’ plant, and in front of the globe artichoke plant.

Lotus Dream mix lilies
lotus dream mix lilies with Scepter'd Isle roses
Lotus Dream lilies with Scepter’d Isle David Austin roses

2 – Lotus Dream Mix lilies. It really seemed like overnight that these lilies decided to open up. They are highly fragrant, and I love the scent! These pictures don’t show it, but quite a few of my lilies were eaten this year by an unidentified bug/worm. I’m just glad that they weren’t all destroyed.

view of the rose bed and house
Boscobell David Austin roses

3 & 4. The rose bed and Boscobel David Austin roses. Although the first flush of roses is now just about finished, since the Boscobel roses were late starting, they still look fabulous! They are a salmon-pink color and (of course) beautifully scented. This bed really shouts out ‘pink!’ and I love all of the different shades. The Lotus Dream lilies are also in this bed.

Delphinium Cobalt dreams

Delphinium Shelby

5 & 6 Delphinium Cobalt Dreams and Shelby. The top picture is of Cobalt Dreams. I planted them from seed last year and kept them in a container all season. Before the cold weather came, I planted them next to the playhouse as that is the most sheltered ‘sun’ spot. They overwintered well, even came up in the spring. But the Bleeding Heart plant completely covered them and they stopped growing. So we dug them up (three plants, actually) and threw them in pots. This is the first one to flower this year. It is beautiful.

The second delphinium is called Shelby, and also quite beautiful with a blue ruffle outer layer. I bought this at the Rare & Special plant fair in Cork this spring. I have it in a container, and it seems to be happy enough. A big ‘to-do’ for me is to create a sheltered ‘sun’ spot in the garden so I can have these lovely plants in the garden and not just on my sheltered deck.

And that is a wrap for today’s Six on Saturday. Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the tour. Which was your favorite plant? 🙂

In Peace,
Dana