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

What’s happening in the garden in August?

Hello there! Is it just me, or is this summer going super fast? Do they say that as you get older, time goes faster? I think it is true! The garden is shifting to ‘end of summer’ mode, with a few plants finishing their season.

We have had some *terrible* weather recently – as in lots of rain and gale force winds. Not a great mix for plants. I have to say that the garden has held up pretty well (I’ve seen worse). Thankfully, I captured some nice pictures of my roses *before* the weather turned. Some roses still look well even after all of the bad weather. They’ve had a lovely season so far! I’m afraid that my sunflowers have definitely seen better days though. They just didn’t shine as bright this year as they usually do.

The lilies have finished off their season with a bang! They were just spectacular this year. I love flowers with fragrance, and they do not disappoint. Their many blooms are pure white atop tall strong stalks.

My project this weekend was to cut some of my mophead hydrangea. I have not (yet!) perfected the exact time to cut them to have the petals dry properly. By “properly” I mean that the petals stay open and keep their color. If I cut them too soon in the season, the petals shrivel up and it really is not pretty. But, if I wait too long before cutting them, they lose their color! I believe it has more to do with the maturity of the flower than the time of the season. I am hopeful that most of the flowers I cut today will be O.K.. Last week I cut some stems off of my Vanille Fraise hydrangea paniculata ‘Renhy’. I had mixed results with some stems drying well, and some shriveling up. But I tried again about 5 days later and they have dried perfectly. I had wanted to cut them before they turned completely pink, which is why I cut them a little early. I think I’ll have a good mix of white and pink. Did you see my Instagram stories where I showed the cuttings? 🙂

Another plant near the end of its season is the globe artichoke. My plant is well established in the garden, and takes up quite a bit of space. It has produced many, many artichokes this summer. This is another plant that I like to dry and use for decoration. Earlier this summer, I tried cutting teeny tiny baby artichokes to use in wreaths, but they just shriveled up and turned brown. I’ve discovered that if you cut them right after they’ve bloomed (after the thin purple spike-like form in the center of the artichoke appears) they keep their purple color. The artichokes themselves don’t keep their lovely green color, but have a molted coloring. I like how they look in a large vase, as they are quite unusual.

I hope you are well and enjoying good weather wherever you are in the world! Are there any flowers that you like to dry and use again?

In Peace,
Dana

two Princess Anne David Austin Roses
From David Austin, this is the Princess Anne shrub rose.

You might notice that the leaves of my roses will usually have black spot. I have some varieties that are more hardy, but at some stage it usually hits all of the roses. If I had a bit more time I’d treat them with a milk and water solution. I’ve done that before and it does work. But I now have a lot more roses and it would take a fair amount of time to treat them. This just goes with the territory when not using chemicals.

Ancient Mariner David Austin Rose close up
Ancient Mariner David Austin Rose
Gertrude Jekyll rose with poppy pods
Another David Austin rose, this is Gertrude Jekyll. This is actually a ‘replacement’ rose, as the first plant completely died on me. There is a three year guarantee with all of the David Austin roses and they very quickly sent me on another plant. It was a pleasure dealing with them and I’m happy to say that this plant is doing very well!
Harlow Carr group
Harlow Carr – of course a David Austin rose!
Eustacia Vye, from David Austin, a new addition to my garden.
Eustacia Vye David Austin Rose cluster
Eustacia Vye, a lovely light pink with apricot coloring.
These light pink roses are called Olivia Rose Austin.
LIght pink david austin roses group
Deadheading is a full time sport when you have lots of roses!
Here’s another light pink variety that I’m not sure of the name of – it is either Olivia Rose or the Ancient Mariner or Scepter’d Isle (all from David Austin). Two problems here: when I take a lot of pictures I don’t always remember where the plant is when I go back to name them. The second problem is that some of my plants no longer have their name tags (and I didn’t note which ones went where when I first planted them – BIG MISTAKE!).
two Lichfield Angel David Austin Roses
These two Lichfield Angel David Austin Roses are not in a rose bed, but mixed with other flowers in the Rainbow garden.
Englands Rose collage
England’s rose, a David Austin rose
Scepter d Isle David Austin Rose collage
Scepter’d Isle, David Austin Rose
two Strawberry Hill Climber David Austin Roses
Two Strawberry Hill Climber David Austin Roses
Teasing Georgia David Austin Rose cluster mid August
A cluster of Teasing Georgia David Austin Roses in mid August
Garden view with roses
Blue skies make everything look beautiful! It helps though, when the roses are all in bloom!
full view sunflowers morning sun
This is a full view of the two sunflower beds. The one flower on down on the ground will appear in a vase later in this post.
Sunflower center
A sunflower closeup
Sunflower bed in mid August
Sunflower bed in mid August
Blue tit eating sunflower
Blue tit bird eating seeds from a sunflower
Blue tit sitting on sunflower
Blue tit bird sitting on a sunflower
Sunflower beds higher view
View of Sunflower beds from an elevated view
Back deck flowers sunflower
The back deck flowers have a late summer look, including the sunflower which I saved after it was knocked over in a storm.
White lilies closeup in morning sun
Fragrant white lilies in morning sun
Full view white lilies
Every possible bloom opened!
Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata Renhy full plant
A very full Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata ‘Renhy’
Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata Renhy close up of group
Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata ‘Renhy’ closeup. They start off white and turn pink as they mature.
hydrangea vanille fraise paniculata renhy white closeup
Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata ‘Renhy’ – a bloom that is still white!
hydrangea collage
One mophead hydrangea was so full of blooms!
basket of hydrangea
This is a very special basket, given to me by my nieghbor Betty, when we lived in Manlius, NY. Betty loved gardening and flowers, so I love it when I can use it in the garden.
Globe artichokes in vase closeup
An arrangement of globe artichokes. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was unusual looking!
Globe artichokes in vase room view
The globe artichoke arrangement fits right in to our family room! (on the couch is the ‘poppy blanket’ which I crocheted).

Phew! There were a lot of photos for this post! I hope you enjoyed them all. 🙂

Take care!