About Mominthegarden

I'm an American enjoying life in Ireland. I live in the country with my family. It is so beautiful here! I've been creating our garden from "scratch" and having fun doing it! I blog about my gardening adventures, and a bit about Ireland, too.

Pumpkin arch finale for ‘Six on Saturday’

Hello and welcome to my blog! It’s the start of a new month, and a great time to take a quick look back at what’s been happening in the garden. I have finally cut down my pumpkins from the ‘pumpkin arch’. They’re all lined in front of it now, posing for the many pictures I’ve managed to take, and will probably continue to take! It was a lot of fun watching the pumpkins and squash grow and make their way up the arch. Hopefully, it’ll be as fun next year, too! I’m joining the Propagator’s meme of ‘Six on Saturday’ today. I think it’s a super and succinct way to cover what’s going on in the garden. Here we go!

Persicaria backfield with Rudbeckia goldstrum

1 – Persicaria backfield with Rudbeckia goldstrum. Persicaria is a new plant to me. This past spring I was buying the black-eyed Susan’s specifically for under my birch trees, when the Persicaria was recommended to me (thanks Darren at Nature Works!). There are many different varieties. But this one, with red spires, fits in perfectly with the Rudbeckia and birch trees. I like the different shape of the spires compared to the other flowers in the garden.

Coleus full grown with flowers
Coleus plants up close

2 – Coleus plants. I planted these guys from seed this year and I’m so please with them. There are so many different looks to them and they are all fabulous: solid burgundy leaves with a very fine trim of chartreuse around the edges, to a mix of fuchsia, burgundy and white leaves with chartreuse trim, as well as a thick edging of chartreuse and designs of burgundy within! They also bloom tall spires of tiny lilac flowers. I will try and overwinter them this year, but I think I’d also like to try growing some more. šŸ™‚

Red Astilbe

3 – Red Astilbe. This single flower is all that grew this year from the single plant that I planted at the end of last season. It is lovely, so I hope it eventually settles in, makes itself at home and spreads!

Compost in a tumbler

4 – Compost! The compost in my tumbler is *perfect* at the moment! It is full of worms, is somewhat crumbly (it is moist, though) and doesn’t smell. I’m so pleased with it and have been working it into different flower beds. It is somewhat awkward getting the compost out of the tumbler, but otherwise the tumbler works well. I have two tumblers for food waste, the rest of my garden waste goes on open compost ‘heaps’. The system works for us, and I get a lot of compost from it all.

Dana with Pumpkin arch and squash
Pumpkin arch October 1st

5 – Pumpkin arch. Ta-da! I think we’re at the end of the pumpkin arch now. I have cut off all of the pumpkins and there are just 3 Red Kuri squash hanging on. I’m quite pleased with what we’ve grown (all of it from seed). I’m already planning for next year, of course. I’m hoping to start earlier to get them over the top of the arch! šŸ™‚

Full view of garden from above

6 – Full view of the vegetable garden from above. It’s nice to get a bird’s eye view now and again! The asters and pumpkins really ‘pop’ in this picture, along with the Rowan tree! It was a really good season with the sunflowers, sweet pea, squash, pumpkins, coleus, blueberries, (and two pears!). I’m grateful to be able to do what I love to do – spend time in the garden!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed some quality time doing what you love to do, too!

In Peace,
Dana

September Splendor in Sunshine for Six on Saturday

Hello! Welcome to my blog! “What’s been happening in the garden?” you ask? Well that is a great question! šŸ™‚ I’m delighted to report that the garden is looking really well, if I do say so myself. I’m going to sum it up with picking six items to tell you about as I join the Propagator’s meme ‘Six on Saturday’. Feel free to have a look and see what others have picked for their six!

Two pears in tree

1 – We’re going to start with pears. My pear tree has good years and bad years. This year we have two pears. I’m looking at it that at least we have two!

Eustacia Vye rose in September

2 – While I love roses and have quite a few, this one is my favorite at the moment. It is a David Austin rose called Eustacia Vye and while it is pink, it has soft peach undertones. Of course it also has a lovely scent. There is a cluster of roses, which is what I’ve tried to capture here.

Delphinium collage

3 – Delphinium. This delphinium is something I’m quite proud of as I grew it from seed. Of all the plants that I grew from seed this year, I had the least success with the delphinium. I did get two seeds to germinate, though, and had two flowering plants. This is the second one and the biggest by quite a long shot. They are both just in pots, as I wasn’t sure they were going to really make it the whole season! But since they have, in the next couple of weeks I will find a sheltered spot to plant them in, since it is quite windy where we live. I think their color is a lovely addition to the garden.

Vase with black calla lilies

4 – Black calla lilies. I’m currently a bit obsessed with black (or dark purple) flowers. These calla lilies are so pretty. The arrangement in the vase is actually what is left from what was a much bigger arrangement. These guys, bar the roses, lasted quite a while! This arrangement has Himalayan honeysuckle, black calla lilies, cream and pink roses, and Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia).

Asters and view of pumpkins

5 – Asters! I think the pink asters are a perfect contrast to the typical fall colors you’ll find in the garden. If you look closely at the ornamental grass, you will see that I have French braided the grass to keep it from hiding the asters. I think it came out quite well!

The front and back view of the pumpkin arch with squash and pumpkins

6 – The pumpkin arch! Wow, we’re just about there with almost all of the pumpkins turning orange! I’ve taken a picture of the front and back view, lining up a lot of the squash and a few of the pumpkins up front. I am really happy with how it turned out. Aiming to get those pumpkins higher next year! šŸ™‚

Pumpkin arch with apples and flowers

We’ve had some beautiful weather in September. It is so invigorating to have sunny days with a blue sky! It is also nice to have everything in the garden come together. It’s been such a pleasure to work in the garden, as there has always been something in bloom or coming into bloom. Lucky me!

I hope September has been good to you, too.

In Peace,
Dana

A summer floral arrangement with pizazz

Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. The garden is filled with lots of color, so I thought I’d take advantage of that and create a floral arrangement. Creating an arrangement is fun to do! It is great to be able to wander about the garden, gathering flowers and then being able to create something with them – the more unconventional, the better. That is what motivates me to plant lots of different textures, colors, and shapes in the garden! Speaking of lots of color, my container garden is really starting to shine, too. I bought a bunch of new plants this year and when you put them all together, there is a wonderful impact! I’m joining The Propagator’s ‘Six on Saturday’ meme, so you can read all about it in my ‘six’ below.

Summer floral arrangement
There isn’t really a front or back on this arrangement!
summer floral arrangement
One side has more sunflower fronts, the other side has sunflower backs – which I find to be equally as pretty!
Side profile of summer arrangement 14 Aug 21

1 – Summer floral arrangement. Who doesn’t love having flowers in a vase? I know it is wonderful to have them in the garden, but it is also nice to bring them inside. This one has: sunflowers (Claret F1), Japanese Anemone, Helenium Moerheim Beauty, globe artichokes, David Austin roses (Boscobel), and Leycesteria formosa – also known as Himalayan honeysuckle or pheasant berry. It is a very summery arrangement, full of color. It is much different than any arrangement that I made last year, which I’m happy about – change is good! I used two ‘frogs’ on the bottom of the vase to pin the stems in place, and then, since I didn’t secure the frogs down, I used glass marbles to keep down the stems after pinning them in the frogs. The good news is that the flowers aren’t moving anywhere. šŸ™‚

Very tall Japanese anemone in a vase
I hadn’t realized how tall these Japanese anemones were until I cut them!
Japanese anemone in flower bed
Here’s the bed where I cut the Japanese anemone from. They will spread everywhere if you let them! They pair well with my clematis, too.

2 – Japanese anemone. I’m including this pretty, yet subdued flower, because it is a lovely addition to the garden as well as the arrangement. They have long stems with multiple flowers on them. But be warned, they will spread everywhere if you let them! They bloom mid to late summer, which I like as I don’t have enough plants that bloom then. šŸ™‚

Container garden on back deck (lots of flowers)
My container garden on my back deck.

3 – My container garden. Lots of plants here! I potted up many more plants this year than usual. I’d say Covid had something to do with it! I already mentioned the lilies last week. So this week I’m adding two gladiolas:

Gladiolus Rose Supreme 13 Aug
This stem of Rose Supreme broke on one of our very windy days. That’s a great excuse to bring it inside!

4 – Gladiolus Rose Supreme. This gladiola was part of a medley of flowers planted together in 2014. This year I finally took everything out of the original container and planted out three containers from all of the bulbs! There were quite a few lilies that bloomed earlier in the summer, and now the gladiolas are starting to bloom. I’m so glad I separated them all, as I didn’t have nearly as many flowers when they were all in one pot (I’m sure they weren’t happy there for a few years).

Gladiolus Pink Parrot
This Pink Parrot is very similar to the Rose Supreme, I tend to gravitate towards pink!

5 – Gladiolus Pink Parrot. This is a new purchase this year, and an experiment in that I planted all 30 bulbs into the one (big) pot. It has only just started to bloom, so I’ll have to wait and see if it is worth planting them all together.

Pumpkin arch update 14 Aug 21

6 – Pumpkin arch update (with pictures of pumpkins this time). I don’t think we’ve made any progress up the arch this week. I guess this means I need to plant them out earlier next year. I’ll plan to do that and then cover them with fleece if the weather isn’t warm enough (it definitely wasn’t warm enough this year). There are still pumpkin and squash flowers, with a couple of new fruit started. But I’m not sure if those fruit will fully develop. I’ve had a bunch of pumpkins and squash not form completely this week, and just fall off the vines. I’m not sure why, actually, but thinking it is just the end of their season.

three Red Kuri squash and one green pumpkin

Here’s a good example of what I was just mentioning: the small green pumpkin in the picture above dropped off of the vine right after I took this picture (you can see it is kind of yellow on the bottom). These three Red Kuri squash are doing really well, though. You can see they’ve turned from yellow to orange.

Green pumpkin and one orange squash (Red Kuri Squash) hanging on side of arch

This picture shows a small pumpkin hanging from the side of the arch, while a Red Kuri squash hangs further along the arch. It has already started turning oragne, too.

two small green pumpkins hanging on side of arch

And here are two more (green for the moment) pumpkins hanging from the side of the arch. I like having them vertical instead of on the ground, even if they didn’t quite make it over the arch!

Back of the pumpkin arch and sunflowers 12 Aug

The back of the arch and sunflower bed don’t get nearly enough attention! The sunflowers and squash are a great addition to the garden. Every morning, I take a walk about the garden, spending most of my time right here. I find it to be peaceful and it simply brings me joy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tour this week! Thanks for stopping by!

In Peace,
Dana

An unsettled start to August

Hello and welcome to my blog! Here in Ireland, we have enjoyed some glorious weather this summer. Near the end of July we had two full weeks of sun, heat and stillness with no rain. It was amazing (and unusual)! The garden is now appreciating the long drinks of water it has been getting the past week. There is a distinct change in the air, though, that fall is not too far off. The garden is in a constant state of flux, and it is fun to note it with a simple meme of ‘Six on Saturday’, hosted by The Propagator. Let’s see what’s in store this week!

Blueberries in hand in July
Bowl of Blueberries 5 August

1 – Blueberries! I planted blueberry shrubs in my garden quite a few years ago. From the beginning, it seemed they didn’t really enjoy our garden. They always seemed to drop their berries before turning blue! But it turns out, the birds had more to do with this than I realized. I didn’t mind too much, since to me the plants were spectacular in the fall with their leaves turning from green to crimson. This year, though, with the garden revamp, we decided to spend some extra time to see if we could get some blueberries for us to eat! We first spread out the older shrubs as they were getting quite cramped. Also this season, we added Sulphate of Iron to the soil. I believe it was Laura, from Garden Answer, who suggested it in one of her videos. The third thing we did differently this year was we added netting. Although it wasn’t the pretties of setups, it did the job, and the blueberries stayed on the shrubs until they were blue! I picked two small bowls of blueberries, and a few times I just went out and ate a handful. They were delicious! We will hopefully figure out a ‘prettier’ way to cover them next year.

Garlic in June
Garlic harvest July 11

2 – Garlic! Last October we planted our over wintering organic garlic Vallelado. It is very easy to plant garlic! They should be planted between the end of October and the end of November, ideally. Plant at a depth of three to five inches (7.6 cm) and six inches apart. I harvested mine the beginning of July and they have been drying out in our shed since. The only other thing I did was weed the bed a few times. We also had a relatively dry spring, so I kept it watered. So easy, and so tasty!

lavender and shaved plant
The lavender plant looks like it got a shave!
Dana with lavender harvest
There’s some lavender left on the plant beside me.

3 – Lavender! I’m a bit late on writing about this one, too. Lavender is usually harvested in July. I managed to still cut some in August this year as our growing season was a bit off due to a strange spring. I love working with lavender! I made a few fresh lavender wreaths this year (as opposed to dried lavender wreaths). I didn’t make any Lavender Wands this year, though. (You can check out how I make them here.) There just wasn’t any time. If you do dry lavender, it is worth noting that the flowers keep their scent for years!

Double lilies in rose bed
Lotus Dream Mix
double lilies on deck
Magic Star lilies in a container on my deck.
Double lilies
Double Surprise lilies blooming before the plain white variety of lilies bloom.

4 – Double lilies! New to my garden this season are two groups of lilies: I purchased a Lotus Dream Mix of double oriental lilies and planted them in my rose bed. I also added a Magic Star lily to my container garden, on my back deck. These join my ‘double surprise’ lilies, which live next to my largest lavender plant off of the back deck and are neighbors to a plain white variety of lilies that are always last to bloom later in August. I love scented flowers, and these beauties have a wonderful scent that can be noted without having to bend down to specifically smell them!

Perovskia Russian Sage
Perovskia atriplicifolia Little Spire or Russian Sage

5 – Perovskia atriplicifolia Little Spire! I have to confess that when my friend Susan exclaimed how fabulous my Perovskia looked, it took me a minute to realize she meant the Russian Sage. I’m just not very good at proper names. Hopefully now I’ll remember this one! This plant was purchased as a small plant in 2017 and seems to be quite happy. If you like to dry flowers, this one keeps its purple stems for quite a long time before fading.

Pumpkin arch update 7 Aug 2021 with rainbow
The rainbow is quite faint, but can bee seen right over the pumpkin arch in the above picture!
Back of pumpkin arch 7 Aug 2021
A view of the back of the arch.
Pumpkin arch update 7 Aug with sun
The blue sky backdrop is harder to come by these days. I captured this in a very short window between heavy rain showers! We’ll see if the vines climb any higher.

6 – Pumpkin Arch update! The arch has two different types of squash growing on it: Jack O’Lantern pumpkins and Red Kuri squash. The pumpkins are growing quite large. I usually grow baking pumpkins which are medium to small size. These guys are getting huge. I’m not exactly worried, but I think it would be better if they didn’t get so big! The Red Kuri squash start out yellow and then change from orange to a reddish color. They are medium sized. Some have started to change color already. You can’t really see any of that just yet since all of the leaves are still in the way! I will have to try and get some close up pictures so you can see the squash and pumpkins. I’m wondering if it won’t grow any higher, either. It doesn’t seem to have grown ‘up’ this past week, although the outside vines of some of the plants are still growing out. We’ll see. It certainly is getting plenty of rain this week.

That’s my garden update! I hope you are enjoying your summer, no matter what the weather is like. šŸ™‚

In Peace,
Dana

24 July 2021 Six on Saturday

Hello and welcome to my blog! We have been enjoying some super summer weather for a few weeks now, and boy does it show in the garden! The forecast is for some unsettled weather to head our way, so I’ve been spending as much time in the garden as possible. It has been so wonderful, I’ll be sad to see the good weather leave! I’m joining The Propagator’s meme of ‘Six on Saturday’ again this week. It was really hard picking just six as so many plants are showing off in the garden at the minute. But alas, here are the six I’ve picked:

Buddleis Buzz 'dark pink' butterfly bush

1 – Buddleis BUZZ ‘Dark Pink’ Butterfly Bush. I *love* the scent of these flowers! They are so sweet! This butterfly bush is non-invasive and will only get about 4 feet tall and wide. Deadheading the flowers will encourage more flowers, so it’s worth the work. You can give them a hard prune in the spring, which means a later blooming time, but it also means an extended season for pollinators. The color is a fabulous magenta.

Butterfly bush lichfield angel California poppies Potentilla

I think this is a lovely combination of flowers and colors: Buddleis BUZZ ‘Dark Pink’ butterfly bush, Lichfield Angel (cream) David Austin roses, (orange) California poppies, and in the background (yellow) Potentialla.

Rainbow garden butterfly bush

This is another view of the butterfly bush. It’s in my Rainbow garden and this is definitely a banner year for it. While I do like to keep my colors to a minimum in other beds, I love that I have every color in this bed. The big messy green plant on the right is a mock orange. I’m not sure I’m going to keep that, though, as it doesn’t really produce a lot of flowers and it is just so messy!

Sweet pea hand held bouquet

2 – Organic Sweet pea ‘Old Spice’. This is another scented flower that I *love*! I’ve grown sweet pea for several years now, simply because the scent is so beautiful to have in the garden and in the house. They make very sweet bouquets, too. My Sweet pea fence is shorter than usual this year, and I think I’ll have less flowers because of that. But so far I am getting a nice full bunch every couple of days!

Sweet pea on fence

The sweet pea is really nice to have in the garden not only for its pretty colors, but for its sweet scent!

Pink Coleus

3 – Coleus ‘Rainbow’. I am somewhat new to growing flowers from seed. Although I’ve been growing sunflowers from seed for a number of years, some flowers just seem much more delicate. This was a pretty successful year, though. These coleus took their time growing, but now that they are nearly full grown, they are lovely!

young flower seedlins

I will have to show you the Cock’s comb flowers (on the left, back) next week! The Coleus took their time, but they look very well!

Coleus three in a row

This is what the coleus looks like today. Only the one plant is coming out a strong pink color. I plan to bring these three containers inside this winter so that they are ready to go next spring.

dark sunflowers with blue sky

4 – Sunflower Claret F1. I know I showed one of these guys last week, but they have really come into their own this week! They are just spectacular! This one has yellow, orange, red and brown in it, while some are a chocolatey brownish red, and some are brighter with more orange and yellow. They are tall (180 cm / 5.9 feet). I’m glad our bed frames are wide so that I can stand on them to take pictures!

Full Sunflower bed 21 July

5 – Full sunflower bed update. The sunflower bed has completely filled in and although the first batch of sunflowers bloomed a little early and are now fading, they are producing small little offshoots that are providing more color. Those short yellow flowers are supposed to be 6 feet tall! I guess they didn’t get the memo, as they are all equally short! There is one more layer on the far side of the Claret flowers that have not bloomed yet. They are dwarf sunflowers and I thought the slugs had completely eaten them after I planted them in the bed, but they actually rebounded and I only lost one of the six plants.

This is a picture of my seedlings early on in the season. This is definitely the most I have ever done in one season! I’ve had some successes, and some failures. But overall I’m really happy with what I have! I do need to work on a better system for keeping track to who’s who, though. Thankfully, it’s usually pretty easy to tell in the end.

Pumpkin Arch update 24 July

6 – Pumpkin arch update. The pumpkin arch is filling up! I have a few Jack O’lantern pumpkins, and a lot of Red Kuri squash/pumpkins. I think it will be nice and colorful! I am enjoying the orange squash flowers and all of the greenery while it lasts. The Claret sunflowers on the right are continuing to bloom, too.

Full view of garden incl raspberries 22 July

I took this picture from above in my daughter’s bedroom window. Everything is green and lush (haha! except our grass and the fields of barley!).

Full garden view from above 23 July

Here I’ve zoomed in a bit.

Full garden update July 24

And here we are back on the ground! I’ve enjoyed watching as the pumpkins make their way up the arch. I’m looking forward to watching it continue!

I hope you have enjoyed my garden tour! Feel free to join me on Instagram, too. I’m a big fan of using ‘Stories’ to give updates on the garden and my chickens.

Enjoy your week!

In Peace,
Dana

A garden clean up for today’s ‘Six on Saturday’

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! I’ve been spending a lot of time cleaning up the garden as we’ve had some really warm days and everything is in overdrive! I’ve decided that my roses are absolute Divas! They are nothing short of spectacular, and they completely show off their loveliness. But they require the most care of any plant in my garden (real Divas!). Of course I’ll be showcasing one of them today as I join The Propagator‘s ‘Six on Saturday’ meme. You can visit his site and see lots of other links joining the meme as well!

light pink David Austin Roses

1 The Ancient Mariner – David Austin Rose. This has been a fantastic year for roses. They are almost finished with their first flush of flowers, and boy were they amazing. But admittedly, these flowers require a lot of time both in preseason and during the season. Getting the pruning right can really help the season go well. I gave most of my plants a hard pruning this year, and they are doing much better than last year. I have noted the ones that didn’t get a hard prune as it will be their turn next year. But for now, deadheading is a full time job! This week I made an extra effort to clean up all of the dropped petals and leaves. It really looked so much nicer when it was tidy. I’ve added some feed and fresh compost to all of the plants, too. I’m hoping that it pays off with a good second flush of flowers!

Pink lilies in container

2 Pink lilies. A number of years ago I bought a selection of pink flowers to be planted in one planter. It worked great and looked pretty over many weeks each season. But as time went on, the plants weren’t doing so well and seemed to be crowded and unhappy. So this year, I took all of the bulbs out to repot them. I could not believe how many bulbs there were! I filled three large pots with lilies, gladiolas and some other flowers I’m not quite sure of. The lilies looked so much nicer than they ever have (even after being eaten by some bug/slug). I’m looking forward to seeing all of the gladiolas, as so many have come up!

3 Sunflower Claret F1. I almost always grow sunflowers. I love having them in the garden! This is the first year I’ve tried a ‘non-traditional’ sunflower, and I think they are absolutely fabulous! They’re described as wine-red, but some of mine are a chocolatey brown/wine-red, with yellow on the back of the petals. They are tall, well taller than me, with lots of little off-shoots on every stem. I’m very happy with them, and hope to use some in an arrangement at some stage, too.

Helenium Moerheim Beauty with daisies

4 Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’. I added Helenium to my garden a few years ago, and I’m so glad I did. I think they look nice next to my daisies, but I also have some next to my yellow ‘Teasing Georgia’ David Austin roses and they look great there, too! Their mixture of colors (red, yellow and orange, with brown centers) is always fun. Mine do much better with supports, I’ve finally learned!

Young Red Kuri squash that is yellow

5 Red Kuri squash (pumpkin). Funny to be called Red Kuri and look this yellow. They apparently start out yellow and turn a redish-orange as they mature. I’m excited about this item in my garden as I actually have quite a lot of them. They are supposed to be quite tasty and our family like different types of squash, so I’m looking forward to eating these!

Pumpkins growing on arch in garden

6 Pumpkin Arch update. Well, the plants are growing up the arch! What I need to clarify though, is what the plants are. So, way back in March, I sowed a bunch of seeds for the garden. But there were too many for my suntrap hallway that I use (because it is perfect for sowing seeds). While I tried to keep the different varieties in specific containers, and separated, that all fell apart once I started putting them outside to acclimate. So while I *thought* the red kuri pumpkins didn’t survive and the jack o’lanterns did, it seems quite the reverse happened (although I believe there are two jack o’lantern plants). This actually works out much better for my arch, because the Red Kuri squash are smaller than the jack o’lantern. It’s a learning process for me! Oh, and on the right side of the arch, on the right of the bed, are some Claret Sunflowers, although you can’t see the flowers because they are so dark!

That’s another week done. I hope you had a good one. I’m just so thankful for the wonderful weather we’ve been having. It has allowed me to work in the garden to my little heart’s content!

Feel free to check out the other ‘Six on Saturday’ posts!

In Peace,
Dana

A floral arrangement for ‘Six on Saturday’

Hello, and welcome to my blog! The garden is really hitting its stride now, with just a ton of growth everywhere. It is fun to watch the changes happen, seemingly overnight! If you follow me on Instagram (you do, right?), you’ll know that I capture a lot of the garden in my stories. I like to take a walk around the garden first thing in the morning – well, right after I feed the chickens. It is a peaceful time to listen to the birds and see what’s happened in the garden, and of course to note what needs to be done. Before I get into more details about what is happening in the garden, let me just say that I’ll be joining The Propagator again this week for his ‘Six on Saturday’ meme. If you click the link, you can find lots of other bloggers joining in, too! O.K., so here are my six:

Arch update 9 July 2021
Pumpkin arch

1 My pumpkin arch. This is probably my favorite item in the garden. My husband ‘made’ it for me this year (the arches were bought, but he added fencing material over it and staked it all, in order for it to be able to support pumpkins). A lot of work went into it! The pumpkin plants on either side of it are flowering and there are a bunch of fruit, too. I have been weaving the ends through the fencing, working it up towards the top. Just watching its progress is fun! This entire area had a complete makeover this year. Here is what it looked like in July 2018:

Pumpkin beds July 2018
Pumpkin patch July 2018

The pear tree on the right is the same that is on the left in the first picture. You’ll notice that I grew pumpkins and sunflowers then, too! I think the garden looks much nicer now šŸ™‚

Strawberry Hill roses with Iris in background

2 Strawberry Hill rose, a David Austin variety. I have it on my front gate, and to me the color is just so delicate and pretty. Thankfully, blackspot hasn’t taken over this one (yet?). The fuzzy purple in the background is my late blooming iris.

Strawberry Hill rose single flower
Strawberry Hill, a David Austin Rose

3 Blueberries! We love eating blueberries, and I have to say that it is lovely growing them, too. Many years the birds enjoy them before us, but we’ll usually get some, too. I moved these this year as part of the big garden makeover, and they seem to be happier. Fingers crossed we get to eat the blueberries before the birds get them!

Blueberry shrub July 2021
Blueberries upclose July

4 Lavender poppies. This variety came to my garden through a friend. She shared a few with me as she thought I’d like them, which of course I do! That was a bunch of years ago. These current ones, and most of them in my yard now, were not planted, but came via my compost. I always throw the spent poppies into my compost. If there was any doubt as to how the poppies end up all over my yard, I have two brand new beds this year, that I didn’t have any poppies in last year (so no chance for self seeding). But both beds were given a ton of my compost. And now I have a ton of poppies! Good thing I like them!

Lavender Poppies in Birch tree bed

5 Coral poppies. This variety was given to me about 5 years ago. At one point I thought they wouldn’t return, as I had so few one year! But I had nothing to fear. While the lavender ones are predominant this year, the coral were predominant last year. It’s only fair to take turns, right? šŸ™‚

coral poppies in rose bed

6 Floral arrangement. Today I was supposed to weed (haha! every day could be a weeding day!) but I found myself walking around the garden gathering flowers to make an arrangement. It is fun when the mood strikes, to create something from the garden!

Flower arrangement with lady's mantle

I started with poppy seeds, I think that they are so neat! It’s nice to have that unusual shape. Then I added lady’s mantle. I don’t usually like lady’s mantle, and I often pull it out of the garden (it grows and spreads like a weed). But I really liked the color here, and the texture.

Flower arrangement close up peony

I was surprised to see that I still have a few Sarah Bernhardt peony left in the garden. The smaller blooms were perfect. I also used the late blooming iris. Here I’ve used 3 that aren’t open yet.

flower arrangement cream roses and peony

And finally, I used Lichfield angel roses, another David Austin variety. They are a lovely cream color, although they have a peach tint before they bloom. Some of the flowers were quite heavy. The one in the picture above is actually resting on the peony bloom.

Flower arrangement side view

This is more of a side view. The vase is an antique, one of a set, that my mother gave to me a number of years ago. It is one of my favorite gifts from her and I love to fill it with flowers.

And that is my Six for Saturday! I hope you’ve enjoyed them. I know I am enjoying being a part of this meme. See you next week!

In Peace,
Dana

Peony delights for ‘Six on Saturday’

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! This week I’m highlighting four of my peony plants as part of the ‘Six on Saturday’ meme, while the other two slots are being filled with pumpkin flowers and our cat Kitty. I find this to be a great way to recap what is going on in the garden (with of course a bit of chat!). I’m joining The Propagator as this is his meme, and if you stop by his blog you’ll see lots of other beautiful contributors, too!

1 – Paeonia Sarah Bernhardt
I love peony! I especially love if they are scented. Normally, I enjoy them in the garden for as long as possible, and then I will cut a bouquet if there are enough flowers. My usual trusty plant which typically produces at least a dozen flowers was lack luster this year. But my ‘standby’ plant (a bit younger) went all out this year, and completely made up for the lack of flowers from my main plant. Lucky me! I’ve cut them after they were completely open, so I’ll only get a couple of days of enjoyment from their bouquet, but I still think it is worth it.

Peony Sarah Bernhard in garden

This Sarah Bernhardt Peony plant is squished in next to some pretty pink roses. I think that because I gave the rose bush a really hard prune this year, that this peony plant really enjoyed soaking up more sun because of it.

Sarah Bernhardt Peony bouquet in vase portrait

I was able to completely fill an ice bucket with peony flowers!

2 – Paeonia Kansas
This peony came from the National Trust Hidcote in 2017 when I traveled with some gardening girlfriends to visit a few gardens in the UK. We had such a wonderful time, I’m so glad to have this peony as a memento! It is a beautiful, bright fuchsia color. I would like to move it from where it currently lives, as this ‘ditch wall’ garden is slowly going to the wayside. It’s an area that needs more attention than I can give it, and I’m thinking of letting it grow over. That’s not an idea situation, but I’d rather focus on beds that I can actually keep neat and tidy. I have to say that I think this peony looks quite nice in among the foxgloves and monkshood. (Monkshood, as a point of interest, is highly poisonous and should never be eaten or even dug up without wearing gloves. It is so toxic, that having an open wound touch the roots could be fatal. It sure is pretty, though!)

Peony Kansas end of June

This peony, Kansas, is a beautiful bright fuchsia color. I must say that I’ve never had an issue with the stems bending over, as I do with the Sarah Bernhardt peony.

Peony Kansas with Monkshood

The color of peony Kansas is spectacular and can be spotted from across the yard. It pairs well with the blue (purple) Monkshood and the pink foxglove.

3 – Paeonia Bowl of Beauty
I find this to be such a pretty peony. It always reminds me of a bowl of ice cream when it is fully opened! This plant was divided and moved early this spring and yet still produced a bunch of flowers. Peony do not like to be moved, and so I didn’t expect much from the plant this season. It now blends right into its current bed which is filled with lots of pink!

Bowl of Beauty single

Peony Bowl of Beauty with a bee. The many white petals are so interesting looking!

Bowl of Beauty open Peony with roses and lupines

Here you can see the Bowl of Beauty peony in the foreground, pink lupines to the right, and pink roses in the background. They really fit right in!

4 – Paeonia Bartzella
Let’s talk about the color yellow. In one gardening article that I read a few years ago, the author completely trashed having yellow in the garden. I thought it was such a sad article of one person’s opinion that would probably influence many people to not grow yellow flowers. It made me think about the fact that even gardening has ‘influencers’, deciding what is in fashion for the moment, and what isn’t. Shouldn’t it be that we grow the flowers that we want to grow, in the colors of our own choosing? I’m afraid that it is unavoidable that some things will flow in and out of fashion, including in our gardens. Good thing that I don’t pay any attention to that! This gorgous Itoh peony (a cross between a tree peony and a regular peony) is quite a vibrant shade of yellow that I would describe as lemony (not the soft yellow that I thought it was going to be). It is currently in a bed that is all pink, so I’m afraid it just doesn’t fit in. But I think it will fit in perfectly in the ‘Rainbow’ garden, which is the bed right behind it.

Itoh Paeonia Bartzella Yellow peony

The petals of the peony Bartzella are so delicate and pretty. The color looks a soft yellow in this picture, but it is not!

Peony Bartzella Yellow side view with roses

See what I mean about the yellow not fitting in with all of the pink? šŸ™‚

Peony Bartzella Yellow open

There is no doubt that this flower is stunning! I purchased it during lockdown from Leamore Nursery as part of some ‘retail therapy’. I’m so glad I did, but I just need to find the right place for it!

Peony Bartzella yellow with California poppies

You can see the ‘Rainbow’ garden in the background in the above picture, and I think that is where we’ll move this yellow peony!

5 – Pumpkin flowers
Oh how I love pumpkin flowers! They are so bright and cheerful, and the bonus is that they are (sometimes) followed by pumpkins! Male flowers won’t produce pumpkins, but they help to!

Young pumpkin plant in sun

This is a pumpkin flower early in the season (the plant is still small).

Pumpkin single flower open

This flower is on a more developed plant.

Pumpkin arch view end of June

This is the arch that my husband built for me. I say he built it because although we bought the four arches that comprise it, he added the extra fencing support and it was quite a big deal to erect it – which I really appreciate! The idea is that the pumpkin plants will grow up and over the arch and the pumpkins will hang down on either side. We’ll see if it happens that way!

6 – Our cat, Kitty
Kitty is almost always with me in the garden (unless it is her naptime). Funny enough, she is sitting on my desk, next to me, while I type this post! There are many times when I really wish she didn’t think that I create all of the garden beds just for her use. But usually I just enjoy her company in the garden. We’ve had her for 6 years, which is the longest we’ve had a cat.

Kitty watching chickens from driveway

Kitty likes to keep an eye on the girls. She learned early on not to mess with the chickens as they will put her in her place! So she keeps her distance.

Kitty on Rose bed wall in sun

Doesn’t she look to be the boss that she is?

I hope you’ve enjoyed my ‘Six on Saturday’! I’ve really enjoyed breaking things down this way. Be sure to check out the others on The Propagator’s page!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you are keeping well.

In Peace,
Dana

A Simple ‘Six on Saturday’

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! Although I have not posted here in a while, I have indeed been working in my garden. So much has been growing! Honestly, I didn’t know what to write about first since there’s been so much going on in the garden. I therefore thought it would be fun to join in on The Propagator‘s meme of ‘Six on Saturday’, to get me back into the groove. You can check out lots of ‘Six on Saturday’ posts at The Propagator’s site, where we all list our links in the comments. I’ll be screeching in to the end of it at this late stage of the day! Here are my six:

  1. Pink lupine. This huge bunch (almost looking like a clump) of pink and yellow flowers has provided the most lovely display for a number of weeks. It is just fabulous, and I’m so happy with it. This contrasts with a pink and white variety, which I originally preferred because of the coloring, but was lack luster with its blooming.
Full pink lupine plant early June
Pink and yellow lupine on the left (vs. pink and white on the right)

2. Plum colored bearded iris: Benton Storrington. I transplanted this bearded iris late this past fall, in a new bed that was created after planting some birch trees. I wasn’t sure how they’d do, given how late in the year it was. Thankfully, just about every plant flowered and bloomed. They are really quite pretty!

Benton Storrington Iris full sun
Bearded iris: Benton Storrington
Pink lupine and Iris Benton Storrington early June
Pink lupine and plum colored bearded iris Benton Storrington

3. Siberian Iris: Shirley Pope. This sweet little flower joined our garden way back in 2017. Unfortunately, it was in a bed that had very poor quality soil (the lavender does great in there). It has never bloomed until this year! What a beauty it is. Worth the wait.

Siberian iris Shirley Pope
Siberian and Bearded Iris with Birch trees
Siberian iris Shirley Pope in front of birch trees with Iris Benton Storrington in the background

4. Cream colored David Austin Roses: Lichfield Angel. I love roses. Sure what’s not to love? These in particular have centers that remind me of swirled piped icing on cupcakes! They are super ‘ruffly’ with a seemingly endless amount of petals. I believe my area has ideal conditions for black spot, though, and this rose would suffer from it. I do my best with my milk/water combination spraying, which is fine by me. They are so beautiful that I think they are worth it.

Lichfield angel hand bouquet
A hand held bouquet of Creamy white Lichfield Angel David Austin roses, with a backdrop of James Austin roses.
Lichfield Angel David Austin Rose end of June
The centers of the Lichfield Angel David Austin roses are what I find intriguing!

5. Pink Paeonia lactiflora: Sea Shell. Last year during lockdown, through one of my retail therapy sessions (almost all of which were garden related, by the way), this gorgeous peony joined my garden from Leamore nursery. It is pink, delicate and simply lovely. Funny enough, I had to move it this past spring, and it still bloomed!

Paeonia lactiflora Sea Shell
Paeonia lactiflora Sea Shell

6. Last, but not least, coming in at number six, are my six chickens! The big news is that three young hens have joined us over the past month. They are Daisybell, Maran, and Bluebelle varieties, and are just lovely. They join my three Rhode Island Red (hybrids), who are really not happy about the newcomers. They were separated by a fence for a week, but still the pecking order has to be established. That is still ongoing, unfortunately. I’m hopeful that they will all get along well one day soon!

Daisybell, Maran and Bluebelle chickens
The Daisybell, Maran and Bluebelle chickens joined us this month!
4 Rhode Island Red chickens
This picture is from November, when I had four Rhode Island Red (hybrid) chickens. They are now bossing the new girls around!

I hope you have enjoyed my ‘Six on Saturday’! It was a great way to jump back into blogging again! Have a lovely week!

In Peace,
Dana

A peony, bluebell and hawthorn floral arrangement

Hello, and welcome to my blog! May has been quite a funny month this year. Usually, May is a dependable month for sunny and warm weather in Ireland. This year, though, the weather has been cold and windy, although thankfully we haven’t had any frost and we still have had some sunny days. The other thing that went cold was my blogging. Sometimes, I just need to step away for a little bit. But I’m back now, and I have a ‘little’ flower arrangement to show you!

I say ‘little’ because it is actually rather tall. It reminds me of a rocket ship, actually. The great thing about flower arranging for yourself is that you can create anything you want and you don’t have to obey any rules. It’s sometimes good to use rules as a guide, but then again it is ok to just create what you want to create. And that is exactly what I did!

I only had three peony that were near enough to blooming, so that was my starting point. These peony actually grow near bluebells and I love the colors together. I discovered something new about my bluebells this year. I have two varieties! My early blooming ones were actually Spanish bluebells. They stand upright and have conical bell-shaped flowers with open tips, and although I didn’t notice, they would have blue pollen. The currently blooming bluebells have a distinctive ‘droop’ to their stem, narrow bell-shaped flowers with rolled back tips, and creamy white pollen. Apparently, the Spanish bluebells tend to overtake the native flowers, so I’m glad my natives are still doing well. I will try and separate them out at some stage.

So I had my three peony stems and a huge handful of bluebells to start things off. This actually changed my choice of vase as my original choice was now too small. Moving up a size in vase then pushed me to find something a bit bigger for the arrangement. We are fortunate enough to have a row of hawthorn trees lining one side of our property. They are in full bloom right now and they look spectacular! I decided to try working it into my arrangement. But hawthorn have *big* thorns, and aren’t that easy to work with, as it turns out. So while I think I would have preferred more lines in my arrangement, I simply had to work with what I had (a rocket ship type structure). šŸ™‚

Never mind the rocket ship structure, it was created to fill an open space, placed high in my kitchen. I think the sizing was perfect for the location, providing that bit of color and freshness while being out of the way. I have to say that I enjoyed creating it and I was happy with the finished look. (And bonus: my husband complimented me on it, too.)

I do hope that our weather warms up and soon! I have squash, sunflowers and strawberries that are in desperate need of a whole lotta sunshine and warmth! Send your warm vibes this way, please!

In Peace,
Dana

Hawthorn Peony blue bells floral arrangement

A backdrop of hawthorn trees for the peony, native bluebells and hawthorn floral arrangement.

Peony Hawthorn bluebells up close floral arrangement

The peonies were at three different stages of opening, which is perfect for arrangements.

Close up peony hawthorn bluebell floral arrangement

This is my favorite picture of all! A close up of the beautiful blooms!

Spanish bluebells

I hadn’t realized what a good shot I had of the Spanish bluebells. You can see clearly how they stand tall, with open flowers.

Native Bluebell hand bouquet

While I like this picture, it is a little harder to see the droopy stems of the native bluebells. The rolled back tips of the open flowers are easy to see, though.

Peony and native bluebells

This is my peony in the garden with bluebells in the background. I love this combination.

Hawthorn tree blue sky

Look at those hawthorn blooms with a perfect blue sky backdrop! I was actually looking up into this tree when I took the pictures, as below the tree is our compost heap and it isn’t very pretty!

floral arrangement in kitchen

And this is where the arrangement sits now. Although I didn’t manage to get a well lit picture from afar, you get the idea of the space and height. I think it fits in perfectly.

Thank you for stopping by!