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

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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