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

‘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

Summer has arrived!

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! Summer has finally arrived to Ireland and I must say, not a minute too soon! We had cold and windy weather with gray skies for part of this week, making every picture that I took look rather ‘blah’. Thankfully, towards the end of the week the weather not only warmed up (we hit 23 degrees C / 74 degrees F), but the sun even came out every now and again. What a treat! Long may it last. 🙂

What’s happening in the garden? The hydrangeas are starting to fill out, poppies continue to bloom everywhere and some lilies have begun their show. The roses had an amazing first flush of blooms and I can’t seem to keep up with deadheading them. New buds are already forming, so more beautiful blooms should be following soon.

There’s news on the squash and pumpkin front, too. The plants are growing! We’ll have to wait and see if they flower and then if they actually form pumpkins. But at least there is a chance that they will. The sunflowers are doing well. They aren’t very tall, but they all have multiple buds on their stems. While it was definitely tough going, with multiple plantings, I’m very happy to see that we will definitely have sunflowers! (You can see them in the feature image above on the far right.)

I will be joining The Propagator’s meme Six on Saturday. Feel free to join in, or have a visit of some of the other gardens!

Enjoy the tour!

dark and light pink lilies and coral poppies
light pink lilies
sunny collage of lilies and hydrangea

1 & 2 – Lilies and Hydrangea. These are the first of my lilies to bloom. The light pink ones are very pretty and delicate looking. The darker pink ones are more, dare I say ‘basic’ looking? The bugs really enjoyed eating them before they bloomed, so they aren’t doing quite as well. The mophead hydrangea is just ‘wow’ this year! I’ve been feeding it, and keeping it watered, which pays off with these guys. I will cut many of those blooms in the fall, to dry for wreaths, so I’m happy to have the multi-colors. I’m afraid I don’t know any of the names of these three plants.

Incrediball hydrangea red poppies and Dutch Iris
collage of Incrediball (strong Annabelle hydrangea), Dutch iris and red poppies.

3 & 4 – Incrediball / Strong Annabelle Hydrangea and Dutch Iris. I started with one Incrediball, but it turned brown mid-season every year. So last year I moved it and it’s baby off-shoot to under the cherry tree where it would get morning sun and filtered afternoon sun. Whereas before I’m sure it was getting too much sun, I’m not sure it is getting enough now! I added a new plant to the mix this spring, so there are three under the tree. It’s the one with the most well developed flowers – possibly because it is getting the most sun in that position. I have been watering and feeding them and they seem to appreciate it. While our weather has been cool, we have not had great amounts of rain.

These are the very last of my iris to bloom. That was a very long season of iris! There were six different iris varieties and these Dutch ones are the finale. I like the red, white and blue of this bed.

collage of pink and coral poppies

5 – Poppies! Again 🙂 The pink one on the left is the ‘hybrid’ which showed up this season. It is in every bed, too, which is kind of fun. I love having the different colors! The hybrid is a mix of the frilly, double coral one on the right, and the single lavender one which you can see in the top of the left picture. I’ve had those two varieties for many years, so it is interesting that the hybrid showed up this year.

teasing Georgia David Austin roses cluster early July

6 – Teasing Georgia, David Austin rose. I wasn’t even a fan of yellow, but thought it would look nice next to our red playhouse. I have since become a huge fan of this lovely yellow rose! The buds are so pretty with their dark orange-red coloring. There are always clusters of flowers, too. I have to say that using Uncle Tom’s Rose Tonic seems to have really given them a boost. (Thanks to The Propagator for that tip!) I hate to mention black spot, but it would normally be rampant at this stage and that is not the case so far this year. The rose tonic isn’t cheap, but if this all natural method works to keep them healthy, I’m in.

And that’s what happened in the garden this week! I hope you are able to enjoy your weather, no matter where in the world you are. Thanks so much for stopping by!

In Peace,
Dana

Will July bring the summer weather?

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! Poor weather has been a strong theme over the past number of my posts, unfortunately. That’s just the way it is, sometimes the weather is good, and sometimes it isn’t. I think the garden is doing remarkably well, given the strong winds we’ve had. I won’t complain too much about the rain, as it seems the plants are happy with it!

The very last of the Sarah Bernhardt peonies bloomed this week, so I wanted to use them in an arrangement. In fact, I made two flower arrangements this week. It is such a treat to have flowers inside! This year I realized that it just took time (four or five years) for my roses to mature enough for them to have long stems. It was so worth the wait, though, and they are brilliant to work with in arrangements.

My last variety of iris (Dutch) also started to bloom this week. It was duly used for one of the arrangements.

I have to give an update that the lavender border around the new raised beds is filled with flowers, albeit very tiny ones! It looks great, even with the plants being so small. The Little Lime hydrangeas are also filling in nicely.

Have you checked out The Propagator’s meme Six on Saturday? I’ll be joining again today. Ready for the tour?

iris, peony, rose arrangement outside
Iris peony rose open poppy flower arrangement inside

1 – Flower arrangement with Dutch iris. This was another quick, easy arrangement that just came together. I used Himalayan honeysuckle, or Leycesteria formosa, because it is so different (texture, shape) and neat looking. The pink Sarah Bernhardt peony flowers were all the tiny ‘second’ flowers, but if you ask me they are as nice as the larger ‘first’ blooms. I had a lot of them. I added enough of my yellow Teasing Georgia David Austin roses to balance out the color. I added the poppy seed heads and a few ‘ready to bloom’ poppies to have different shapes (you can see in the second picture where the lavender poppies have opened). And finally, there is the Dutch iris, which I thought matched the blue jug very well! I used two floral frogs to keep some of the bigger flowers in place. This is my favorite arrangement so far.

Campanula peony rose arrangement

2 – Flower arrangement with campanula. This arrangement also used the tiny ‘second’ Sarah Bernhardt peony blooms and Teasing Georgia David Austin roses. This time I added white campanula flowers and Erysimum Bowles’s Mauve, along with a couple of Lichfield Angel (cream) David Austin roses. It also smells lovely! The jug is one of my favorites, as it was a special gift.

collage of poppies

3 – Poppies. I’ll probably write about these a lot this summer as they are everywhere in my yard! I have a very hard time with saying ‘no’ to them. I hope that next year I can have a dedicated ‘poppy bed’, so they aren’t getting in the way of other plants, which is kind of what the situation is now. I am a big fan of them, though, and want to make sure that they go to seed this year so they’ll continue on next year!

mophead hydrangea

4 – Mophead hydrangea. This shrub has so many flowers on it this year! I am very excited because this is my main source for flowers to make dried hydrangea wreaths in the fall. I love the multicolors! I add ‘hydrangea colourant’ to the soil to help turn it blue (or in this case, purple). And I water the hydrangea plants, because they love water.

lavender and marigolds

5 – Lavender border. See what I mean? There are so many flowers on this tiny plant. I’m excited to see what it will look like as the plants get bigger.

Full view of garden with sunflowers and Kitty

6 – Raised bed update. The sunflowers are growing! Yay! There was one point when I really thought I would have *no* sunflowers this summer. But thankfully, the second and third plantings have taken, and things are looking very good. We actually staked them after the last storm, despite them being pretty sturdy.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for taking the tour! I hope you enjoyed seeing what’s happening in my garden. 🙂

In Peace,
Dana

Strawberries and Roses galore!

Hi there! You’re very welcome to my blog. This week’s summer solstice coincided with what finally felt like the start of summer in Ireland. Not to get too excited, but we hit 23 degrees Celsius – which is 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Not overly hot, but better than what we’d been having! 🙂 This was great news for our strawberries. A little bit of warmth was exactly what they needed. We’ve had several great harvest and the strawberries are so sweet.

June is typically the month for my roses to start showing off, too. The rose shrubs have been covered in buds and now those buds are finally open flowers. The bed is a beautiful mass of pink! Although I was quite late in applying it, this year I have used Uncle Tom’s Rose Tonic to help keep them healthy. It is a nature-identical plant food. A few of the plants tend to suffer from black-spot, which I’d love to prevent. We’ll see how they do. (Just a note that the product is pricey.)

The peony are still hanging on! My Sarah Bernhardt and Bowl of Beauty are the last two varieties in bloom. I couldn’t resist, and I created a large arrangement with them this week. I was quite pleased with it, with the added bonus of it smelling lovely, too!

I am joining The Propagator’s meme Six on Saturday. Feel free to have a visit of the other contributors, too!

Enjoy the tour!

In Peace,
Dana

1 – Strawberries! Remember when I said I’d give this bed one year to prove itself? Well, it did. We’ve had more than these three hauls and the strawberries have been large, firm and delicious. The covers that my husband built were great to keep the birds out and light enough to easily take off. Strawberry plants do take work: the runners need to be kept in check, you need to keep a balance of old and new plants, and they need to be weeded – all of which is hard on the back. It is why I wanted to make sure the work would be worth it with LOTS of strawberries. I’m so glad this is the case. My back-up alternative plan is to have a bed full of peony plants, which isn’t too bad either.

2 – A peony, poppy & rose arrangement. This was fun to create! I love it when I am able to collect lots of flowers for an arrangement. The different shades of pink are fabulous, but what I think makes the arrangement are the coral colored poppies. The deep pink roses are Princess Anne, and there are some mid-pink The Ancient Mariner roses, both are David Austin varieties. In the center, there is one small Kansas peony (it’s a deep pink), along with Bowl of Beauty and Sarah Bernhardt peonies. And finally, I added some lychnis Coronaria rose campion, just to have some flowers that were a little smaller. The only thing I was missing was sun to photograph it! 🙂

3 – Princess Anne, David Austin roses. This shrub is covered in deep pink flowers and is just show stopping! I’m glad I have it on the outer edge of the bed. It is also sweetly scented. This is one of the plants that suffers from black-spot, badly. We’ll see if this new treatment can perhaps help that over time. I have used the milk/water solution in the past, after the black-spot appears. It is quite a lot of work if you have many plants to do. Stay tuned!

4 – The Ancient Mariner, David Austin roses. This beautifully scented shrub just seems to be a tiny bit ahead of the others with the amount of flowers it has. It is spectacular! But because it has other rose shrubs around it, I can’t fully get a perfect picture of it. But this one isn’t bad. 😉

5 – Bowl of Beauty peony. This peony, like a bunch of my other ones, had to be moved last year. We ended up dividing it into two plants. Not surprising, it only had a few blooms this year. Like all the rest of my moved peonies, I’m hoping with feed and time they will settle in and increase the number of those flowers.

6 – Boxwood. A rather unglamorous picture! But I wanted to try and capture the work that went in to tidying up the boxwood plants. I did a lot of weeding of the boxwood, and then gave it a good feed. These plants were all grown from our cuttings a few years ago and they are really doing great! I also weeded the rose bed, although I’m still debating about pulling those poppies out. We’ll see.

And that is my Six on Saturday! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the tour. See you next time.

A peony bouquet for Six on Saturday

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. Sunshine has been on short supply here in Ireland this past week. There have, thankfully, been snippets of it here and there, and we even had some warmer temperatures. A full ‘summer feel’ evades us, though. The upside is that my peony plants have lasted a good while! I still have one more variety to bloom (Sarah Bernhardt), and then peony season will be finished.

I decided to make a bouquet of peony today, as some of them were nearly finished anyway. I’ve really enjoyed seeing them in the garden, but there is nothing like a fresh bouquet of flowers inside! The yellow Bartzella peony has produced an abundance of flowers this season, so has become my new favorite. This is the plant that I will be moving in the fall, to the Rainbow garden, so it will fit in better with the colors there. It will sit right next to the Kansas peony, which is another showy plant with bright pink flowers.

The other interesting news from the garden is a new color of poppy. I believe that two of my colors have mixed to create this new one. This is all through nature, so I’m not sure I’ll find others in the garden. It is quite pretty, though, being a mix of coral and lavender.

I will be joining The Propagator’s meme of Six on Saturday. Feel free to join in!

I hope you enjoy the tour. 🙂

In Peace,
Dana

bouquet of peony

1 – Peony Bouquet. Peony are just so lovely and beautifully scented, what’s not to love? The only complaint would be that they don’t last nearly long enough. That possibly makes them more appealing (something like wanting more of what you can’t have?).

Kansas peony and bee

2 – Peony Kansas. What an outstanding color this is! Fuchsia at it’s best. I originally planted this at my ditch wall. It was there for four years, limping along. Last fall I moved it to the Rainbow garden, and it is so much happier here. I’m so glad I finally moved it. Giving plants time to settle in is one thing, not thriving is another.

Peony Gardenia

3 – Peony Gardenia. The full name is paeonia lactiflora ‘Gardenia’. It smells wonderful! I bought this during lock-down in 2020 (something to do with retail therapy). We had to move it unexpectedly last year, though. And I’m not sure this is the ideal spot for it, so I will be moving it again in the fall. I think my new bed at the top of the garden will suit it much better. And everyone knows that peony plants don’t really like being moved around!

Bartzella peony with forget me nots

4 – Peony Bartzella, an Itoh (hybrid). You’ve seen this one before, but it’s in the bouquet and I thought the forget-me-nots looked so pretty with it. I also bought this in 2020 during lockdown – Leamore Nursery benefited greatly from my garden retail therapy! – and just two years later it has been completely covered in outstanding blooms this season. An absolute star! I’ve even grown to like the yellow color. 🙂

White peony

5 – White peony (unknown name). I know I had this one last week, too, but since I used the very last flower for my bouquet today, I thought I’d add it in again. This was moved two years ago and is finally settling in. It was well established at our back wall for many years and always had loads of blooms. It had about a dozen blooms this year, but they were much smaller than in the past. I’m hoping that it just needs time.

Pink colored poppy with bee
three colors poppies

6 – New Color Poppy. The first picture is of the new color, the second picture shows all three colors: coral, lavender and the new mix of dark pink. Depending on the angle, you can see the coral shade in the sides of the new poppy. These are two different types of poppies, too, as one has many layers of ‘ruffled’ petals while the lavender has just a single layer of petals. I think the new one is very pretty, and would love to have them all over the garden. We’ll see what happens!

bouquet of peony

That’s all for today! I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour. Take care!

The rainbow garden comes to life

Hi there! You are very welcome to my blog. I have really enjoyed watching my rainbow garden come to life and transition from spring to summer. I’ve decided to refrain from using the white peony flowers for an arrangement, and instead I’m enjoying them in the garden. I don’t mind too much, since I know that I will have plenty of pink Sarah Bernhardt peony flowers that will be blooming shortly, which I can use to play with. 🙂

I’m actually happy that I have anything at all to showcase this week since our weather continues to be quite unsettled (read: windy, rainy and cold). Not ideal conditions, but at least the sun does make appearances, albeit quick ones!

I’ll be joining The Propagator for his Six on Saturday meme, if you’d like to join in or visit the other lovely gardens. Enjoy the tour!

In Peace,
Dana

Rainbow garden with white peony, purple Siberian iris, red poppies and Deutzia Scabra

1 – Deutzia Scabra. This tall, white shrub in my rainbow garden has been hit or miss over the years. But this year it is definitely a hit! This is one of the reasons why I’ve left the white peony alone, as I think they look nice together. Also providing color in this picture are: red poppies, some orange California poppies, Siberian iris (unknown variety), and the very end of the Easydendron Rhododendron ‘Marcel Menard’. Way over on the left, in the rose bed, you can actually see a yellow Bartzella peony flower. Those blooms are amazing, too!

Siberian Iris with Deutzia Scabra

2 – Siberian iris. Iris love my yard. Wish I could take credit, but they are no maintenance. This clump was divided from the side yard a few years ago. Not only does it provide color, but it is great for flower arranging, too – the blooms last and there are multiple flowers per stem.

White peony

3 – White peony (name unknown). This plant was well established at the back of the house when I moved it last year. While it has a dozen or so blooms this year, they are much smaller than what would bloom before we moved it. Hopefully, next year will see it back to its former self. Nonetheless, the flowers are beautiful with their pink hue, and ever so tiny splashes of color lining the tips of the center petals. Thankfully, we don’t have ants in Ireland, at least I have never seen them, so we don’t have that issue (not a fond memory from when we lived in the States).

lupine with lots of new growth

4 – Lupine/lupin. This plant is just a powerhouse of color. It goes and goes and goes. Look at all of those cute little babies! Again, a very easy plant (my specialty).

Cornus Kousa 'Claudia' dogwood tree

5 – Cornus Kousa ‘Claudia’ (dogwood tree). This is my first flowering dogwood tree and I’m enthralled by the flowers and how they are changing colors. The pink is quite striking! I’m so happy to have added this to the garden this year.

View of allium lupine iris

6 – Allium Purple Sensation. You’ve seen this view before, but it is my favorite spot in the garden right now. These allium are much bigger than the other ones in my garden. They really are quite showy. From here, you can see the lupine and beyond that the bearded iris, and beyond that you can see the orange of the California poppies (which are in the rainbow garden).

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed your visit. 🙂

Springtime bouquets for Six on Saturday

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. For those who are new here, I like to create things with my hands – things like flower arrangements, wreaths, lavender wands (not to mention crocheting). I have had so much fun creating bouquets from what is growing in the garden, especially as my garden matures and there is more to play with. My kitchen table has had a bunch of different arrangements this spring, and hopefully there will be more as the season continues. It definitely motivates me to have plants that work together, color wise. Today I’ll be joining The Propagator for his Six on Saturday meme. You can click the link and see some other participating, and beautiful, gardens, if you like.

I so appreciate you stopping by! I hope you enjoy your visit. 🙂

In Peace,
Dana

Bartzella Itoh peony arrangement with allium and Siberian iris
yellow peony arrangement inside

1 – Sunshine bouquet (yellow peony flower arrangement). It was somewhat difficult to really capture the look of this arrangement, as the huge Bartzella peony grabs all of the attention. This is an Itoh peony, which is a hybrid between a tree peony and an herbaceous one. This particular shrub had lots of buds on it, so I was happy to use five flowers for this arrangement. The big open one actually opened up a couple days before, so it had a ‘head start’ on the others. It is quite big (bigger than my open hand). To the arrangement I added allium, Siberian iris, some forget me nots, lamb’s ear, and a couple of pieces of ornamental grass. I was really happy with it, especially since I made it on a whim, during my morning walk-about the garden!

vase of flowers with roses, allium, anemone and forget me nots

2 – Small jug of flowers. This small arrangement was made for the kitchen table for a special dinner with family. I especially liked that it was fragrant from the Eustacia Vye David Austin roses and branches from a lilac shrub (Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’). I also added allium, forget me nots, and anemone. It was super easy and quick to throw together, and wasn’t too distracting to have on the dinner table.

bouquet of Dutch iris, peony, roses and a single white calla lily

3 – Tabletop Dutch iris work bouquet. I had this on my desk because the scent from the peony and roses was so lovely! Also included is a single white calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica Arum Lily). This is the first time this plant is flowering for me since I planted it in 2018. This is the third time I’ve moved it, and I think this time it is finally happy.

Purple Sensation allium

4 – Allium. These next three flowers go together, and you can see them in these pictures. I’ll start with the Purple Sensation Allium. Now I have to say that the coloring is definitely Purple Sensation, but the very large heads, with the stems spread far apart, are not. At least none of the other Purple Sensation allium that I’ve purchased over the years are like this. I still like them, they just aren’t what I was expecting. This color matches the bearded iris in the background, and also the other allium across the yard. I like the big impact they give with the mass planting. This bed will continue to have flowers after the allium are finished. There are poppies coming up all around them, and I have agapanthus that will hopefully flower later in the summer (new to this bed). Also newly planted here our some Helenium plants. Under the cherry tree you’ll find three strong Annabelle hydrangeas, which should bloom later in the summer.

lupin and bearded iris

5 – Lupine / lupin. The color on these spires sure isn’t dull! It is quite a happy, bright pink color and a large, sturdy, and easy to care for plant. It is a stand alone show stopper, if you ask me. The bearded iris used to be in this bed and I had to move them because I didn’t like the clash in colors. I think there is enough distance between them now, though, that they look nice as neighbors. This bed also has a couple of small peony plants, a paniculata hydrangea, lavender, bergenia and pittosporum (Tom thumb).

bearded iris Benton Storrington

6 – Bearded iris Benton Storrington. These are the happiest flowers in my garden. They have multiplied many times over! They are a plum color, which is very similar to the Purple Sensation allium. This bed is only a couple of years old, and has something for every season. Hellebores start off the year, then hyacinth in early spring, followed by bearded iris, and then black eyed Susans with Persicaria blackfield (red spire flowers) for summer / fall. I love the white birch no matter what is growing around them.

And that is the end of today’s tour! What was your favorite part? Mine is the Sunshine bouquet! 🙂

Pretty Peonies to showcase for Six on Saturday

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. I get so excited every time I go into the garden these days, as there is so much going on (and that’s with the weather not even cooperating). The highlight for me is that peony season is well underway, and I have a few different varieties to showcase this week. Adding some vibrant purple color to the yard are the allium that also are now in bloom – purple sensation is my favorite. I also have a couple of new plants to show you from my adventures a few weeks ago. I’ll be joining The Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme, which you can also join or visit! Let’s get started!

Flower arrangement with peony iris and allium

1 – A spring flower arrangement. I just had to use these flowers as there were so many iris this year! It would have been a shame to not use them. The peony are very early blooming, and were all bent over – which I suppose worked fine for the arrangement. There are three types of allium: white, purple sensation, and not purple sensation (although they were sold as purple sensation). The bright, vibrant colored allium is purple sensation, the other ones are nice, but more of a dull color, which is nice for contrast. It is a pretty commanding arrangement, but it fits perfectly in our family room.

Paeonia 'Hillary' Itoh

2 – Peony ‘Hillary’. This is a Itoh peony, which is a hybrid of garden and tree peonies. The coloring on this one is rather unusual, and in fact, as it ages it turns yellowish (which is not my favorite part, if I’m honest). It has loads of buds on it this year, which is great. I finally have a perfect place in mind for this and I plan to move it in the fall. It is currently in the rose bed with pinks and purples, which is not ideal.

Tree Paeonia Renkaku

3 – Tree Paeonia Renkaku. This beauty had two flowers this year, double last year! I think it is *finally* happy with its location. It took a long time to figure out where it would be happy. The flowers are so pretty, although I do with they’d last longer!

Allium Purple Sensation

4 – Allium. These were planted this past fall, and I am so happy with how they look as a group. These are supposed to be purple sensation, but they are very different from my previous purple sensation allium (they are bigger, and the little flowers are further apart). I do still like them, though. They were especially pretty when the cherry tree was still in bloom.

Easydendron Rhododendron 'Marcel Menard'

5 – Easydendron Rhododendron ‘Marcel Menard’. I bought this on my trip to Altamont gardens a few weeks ago. This Rhododendron doesn’t require acidic soil, as is normally the case with Rhododendrons. The color is not what I thought I was getting, but turns out to be much nicer! I’m delighted with it, and could not believe how many flowers it had in full bloom. Fingers crossed that it settles in well to my garden.

Cornus Kousa 'Claudia'

6 – Cornus Kousa ‘Claudia’. Another purchase from Altamont gardens! I have wanted a flowering dogwood for many years, so I am delighted to finally have such a lovely one. The flowers start out green, turn to white, and then they should finish pink (I’ll let you know).

line of plants from plant sale

OK, not the most glamorous of pictures, but these are the plants that I bought on my adventures a few weeks ago to Altamont and the Rare & Special plant fair. I didn’t do too badly! Hopefully I’ll cover all of them in the blog at some stage.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of my garden. Thank you for visiting! 🙂