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 CafĂ© 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

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

Fabulous Flower Friday: Sunflowers

in the beginning

It is Fabulous Flower Friday!  Our focus today is on Sunflowers.

perfect for bees

I have to say that I am a huge fan of perennials, but sunflowers are one of the few flowers which I love to plant every year.

They love full sun, and in our windy area I have to have supports for them.  I’ve just done some reading on them, and honestly everything I read doesn’t hold for me so that leads me to believe that sunflowers will grow anywhere and in any condition!

support for the short ones, too

We usually start seeds in late spring in medium sized pots inside where I have a sunny hallway.  Then we plant them in the garden after all chance of frost has passed.

these teepee-like supports worked really well (from 2015)

fall view 2016

fall view pears and sunflowers 2016

There really is very little extra work involved in care, other than supporting them.  This year the stems on the large plants were more than two inches thick!  Their roots were substantial, too, which left me fighting with them when it was time to pull them out!

Beautiful throughout the fall

LOADS of seeds

I did save the seeds this year, but I might have waited a bit too long before I gathered them.  We’ll see!

so many varieties!  This is a single dwarf plant

so many blooms

squished blooms!

Sunflowers provide beauty in the garden through the entire fall and well into the winter, too if you leave them be!

sunflowers to the right

And that’s a wrap.  What variety will you grow this year?

In peace,
Dana