Probably my most favorite time of the year!

Peony bouquet on table July 9

Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ bouquet July 9th

Well hello, and welcome to my blog! There is something about summer that creates a feeling of being carefree, don’t you think? The bright evenings and, when we get it, the warmth of the sun energizes me. The all too busy family schedule takes a bit of a breather, which is a welcome reprieve. Best of all, we get to spend more time with family and friends. The garden, on the other hand, is full steam ahead!

Peony bouquet up close Sarah Bernhardt July 9

Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ bouquet July 9th

The peony season was fantastic this year! The very last of my peony (two ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ plants) finished blooming just this week.  Oh they were so pretty!

Peony Sarah Bernhardt July 9

Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ July 9th

Also coming to an end this week were the poppies growing in my rose bed. There were hundreds of flowers! I was surprised how strong some of their roots were, which I discovered as I pulled them up. One ‘two handed pull’ had me landing on my backside when it finally came free! 🙂 They were pretty, but the downside was that they didn’t allow any air circulation around my roses, which I think was quite unfortunate.  I will have to thin them out next year, and not allow them to take over the bed!

Purple Poppies Full Bloom Rose Bed

Purple Poppies in full bloom in the Rose bed – Where are the roses?

Purple Poppies ONE bloom Rose Bed

Just a couple of blooms of the Purple Poppies left in the Rose bed

Poppy heads

the Poppies I pulled from the Rose bed

Rose bed

A look at the Rose bed just after pulling the purple Poppies (and after a bit of weeding)

I did manage to get some pictures of some very pretty roses (ones that weren’t hidden by poppies!).  Over the past few years I have planted quite a few David Austin roses. All of them are scented, some more so than others. Sometimes their blooms can be so heavy that they face down, and therefore are harder to photograph (if you see me crouching on the ground, this is why!). But other than that, I think they are absolutely wonderful!

Light Pink David Austin 'Olivia Rose Austin' Rose July 13

David Austin ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ Rose

David Austin 'Teasing Georgia' Rose July

David Austin ‘Teasing Georgia’ Rose

Boscobel David Austin Rose

David Austin ‘Boscobel’ Rose

The hosta are in bloom with tall lilac colored flowers. Hosta would prefer shade, which I have very little of in my yard. For now, they seem to be doing OK.

Hydrangea, Lilies, Hosta

Hydrangea, Lilies, and Hosta in bloom

Lilies + Hosta

Lilies in a pot, Hosta flowers in bloom

The area in the background of the above picture was originally all brambles and weeds. Over the past two years, after clearing the area, I’ve added some really hardy perennials to see if they will overtake the weeds. This year looks pretty good! The perennial geranium, bergenia, and Lychnis coronaria (rose campion) came back and are doing well!

Lychnis coronaria rose campion

Lychnis coronaria (also known as rose campion) is a real eye-catcher in the garden!

There are different varieties of hydrangea in the garden, and the Incrediball is just now coming into ‘color’ bloom (creamy white), which you can see in the picture below. The pink lupin (or lupine) to the right of it is just about finished, and there is some Lychnis coronaria (also known as rose campion) in there, too. The hydrangea paniculata is still forming its blooms, with no color just yet, while the lavender is perfect for harvesting (to dry) right now!

Front Gate Garden July 18

Our Front Gate Garden July 18

Front Gate garden hydrangea lavender lupin

The same Front Gate Garden the week before: with pink lupin (or lupine), hydrangea ‘incrediball’ and lavender

Early morning view of lavender

Lavandula angustifolia – Lavender July 18th and ready for harvesting (for drying)

Phew! There is so much going on in the garden! And the lavender is just calling me to do something creative with it. 🙂

I hope you are enjoying your summer, too!

In peace,
Dana

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt' fully open July 9

Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ fully open July 9

Gardening – it’s worth the effort!

Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’

Hello there! It is a rather funny name for the post today, but as I was working in the garden most of the weekend, it seemed apt. Maintaining and growing a garden *is* a lot of work, and I think even more so when you do it organically. This is worth it to me, though, as I absolutely love being in the garden and seeing how it is transformed and how it brings such beauty into our lives. And when things start to not balance out, it’s time to change things up and find easier plants to maintain!

Playhouse garden

Playhouse garden with yellow lupine, Iris ‘Benton Storrington’, and bleeding hearts

The weather hasn’t been great recently, so I haven’t been keeping up with the weeding. It reached the point this weekend, though, that my husband even pointed out to me that “those flowers would look much nicer if there weren’t so many weeds! How sweet of him to notice  🙂

early stage pears

early stage pears

You’ve heard me say it before, and it remains true, that we like to grow what is easy (to grow and maintain)! Our fruit trees are a prime example. We’ve been very fortunate with an abundance of pears and apples the past few years. We’ll see how it goes the rest of the season, but as of right now we have a bumper crop of pears! All of this with just composting on a regular basis and light annual pruning.

Iris ‘Benton Storrington’

Iris ‘Benton Storrington’

I try to add some new flowers every year. This Iris was added in 2016 and has done really well in my yard. I started with just two rhizomes, and last year we divided what had developed into a huge clump. I was actually trying to find spaces around the yard to fit in the divided plants! We planted several rhizomes around the yard, all of which are now ready to bloom.

Purple Sensation allium

Purple Sensation allium

The Purple Sensation allium is a new addition which we added into two beds last fall.  Actually, I bought “Purple Sensation” allium years ago, but it most definitely was not Purple Sensation as the color is quite light, which you can notice in the picture below.

Purple sensation allium

Purple Sensation allium and NOT Purple Sensation allium

a view of the main rose bed

a view of the main rose bed to the right of Abies Koreana (Remember when I planted those boxwood plants? Spring 2018)

The longest blooming flower in our garden is the rose, so we created a second rose bed a few years ago, and filled it with David Austin roses. The empty space between the roses was filled in no time with poppies (I didn’t plant them here, they “moved” from different beds in the garden, and possibly from my compost!).

Rose bed filled with Poppies

Rose bed filled with Poppies (with a few allium “popping” up!)

Poppies love my yard.  I’m not sure if I’m going to be 100% happy with them in this rose bed. They’ve grown incredibly tall, but thankfully they are also sheltering my rose plants from the harsh wind we’ve had recently. Pity you can’t really see the rose plants here though!

David Austin roses light pink

David Austin roses (the far side of the poppy invasion)

David Austin Standard Tree Rose Princess Anne

David Austin Standard Tree Rose Princess Anne

My first Standard Tree rose went into the garden last fall. It is rather tall and the roses are bright pink and very much visible!

Poppies

Poppies in the Rainbow garden

The Rainbow garden is filling out even more with the addition of two varieties of Iris last year. Poppies are definitely hogging the stage at the moment, though.

Iris + Poppies

Iris among the poppies

Rainbow garden with one chicken

A full view of the Rainbow garden (with one chicken)

2 chickens in Japanese Maple tree bed

the chickens love to roam the garden!

Hawthorn trees + Japanese maple

Hawthorn trees in bloom (Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’ is the bright flowered shrub) + chicken about to jump!

flower bed of iris, hosta, sedum

this flower bed at our front gate is filled with Hosta, Sedum, Iris, Roses, Asters, Lavender, Bergenia, and the White Lilac is visible from the other side of the fence. We added the Bergenia (at the very front) last year.

Front gate garden

front gate garden today

This little ‘Front gate garden’ has Aster, Sedum, Foxglove, a new Climbing Rose, and two new Primula capitat subsp mooreana, Woodlander (thank goodness for plant tags!). They are right on time for blooming now and should go until July (we’ll see!). My one variety of peony has just finished blooming – the blooms usually fall through from the other side of the fence and give a splash of color here (you can just see the spent redish flowers on the other side of the fence).

Primula capitata subsp mooreana Woodlander

Primula capitata subsp mooreana, Woodlander

I’ve already made many “new flower/plant/tree” purchases for this season! Hopefully, everyone will settle in and adjust to our garden (and not be eaten/dug up by the chickens). There is just so much going on in the garden! The next flowers to bloom should be the rest of my peony plants.

Garlic beds + sweet pea plants

Garlic beds with sweet pea planted in the middle.

Oh! and I almost forgot that we’ll be harvesting our garlic in July!  I’ve planted some sweet pea down the middle of one bed, and sunflowers down the middle of the other.  I’ll find out soon enough if that was a good or a bad idea!

So the main point I make to myself, on a regular basis, is to keep a balance. I can’t spend all of my time in the garden. I’ve learned to be O.K. with weeds – I’ll get to them eventually. The garden is a long term project for me anyway, no point in rushing!  🙂

I hope you get to spend the perfect amount of time in a garden and enjoy every minute of it!

In peace,
Dana