This isn’t an Irish summer!

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

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

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

Enjoy the tour!

bowl of blueberries and bouquet of delphinium Shelby and Blue Ocean

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

Dahlia Café au Lait

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

Magic star lilies

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

Gladiolus Pink Parrot and Rose Supreme

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

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

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

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

In Peace,
Dana

‘An abundance of summer’ flower arrangement

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

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

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

Enjoy the tour!

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

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

sunflowers

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

clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans (Viticella Group)

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

hydrangeas at sunset

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

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

In Peace,
Dana

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the tour!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russian Sage

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

coleus plants

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

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

In Peace,
Dana

Enjoying the warmth of Summer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the tour.

Sunflower with erysimum bowles mauve

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

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

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

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

view of the rose bed and house
Boscobell David Austin roses

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

Delphinium Cobalt dreams

Delphinium Shelby

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

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

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

In Peace,
Dana

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! 🙂