The Roses of Summer

My favorite rose started blooming in late May, bloomed right through the dryness of August, and will continue for a while yet. At this point, I’m leaving the hips on to ripen, as they turn a very nice orange. It’s a David Austin rose called Windrush, which has a fabulous scent.

The rose Windrush in full bloom. In the upper righthand corner there are columbines; to the right, there are geraniums, Johnson’s Blue. Photographed on June 9, 2020.

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Texture in the Summer Garden

A relaxing garden has both restful places for your eyes and focal points to enjoy. Green is restful, but it can get monotonous if it’s all identical, as in a yard with a well-kept lawn, but nothing else. Texture is a good way to add interest without losing the restfulness of green. Massing, an application of the design principles of repetition and proximity, is a great way to develop texture that is sufficiently interesting to lead your eyes to an interesting larger plant or something in bloom. Continue reading “Texture in the Summer Garden”

Irises, Native and Not

I mentioned rearranging plants in my last post. This is the best time to rearrange your irises. They are dormant, and they are happier to remain dry this time of year, which makes post-planting attention simple.

Native Irises

I moved blue-eyed grass last week. It seeds where it wants to, but the plants are very easy to move. They are small enough to be a trowel job, even when they have reached blooming size.

Blue-eyed grass in bloom in moderate shade. Photographed on June 6, 2020.

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A Look Back: Purple, Winding Down

There is a lot of purple in May and early June. Here are four purple-flowered plants, two natives and two not, that have done very well. They will all take light shade, although the geranium would probably be happiest with more sun than the others.

False Indigo, Baptisia australis

This native plant erupts from the ground the second week of May, and is blooming by the end of the month! It is very popular with our bumblebees.

Baptisia with a bumblebee. Photographed on June 6, 2020.

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It’s the Purple Period!

The purple period marks the transition from spring, with its columbines and Baptisia, to early summer, with its roses and peonies, and irises bridge the seasons.

The planter box at the end of the driveway runs south to north; just north of it, the Alpine columbines are  coming into bloom. Right behind them are the rather asparagus-looking Baptisia flower buds; the highly divided leaves to their right belong to the geranium Johnson’s Blue, which is just budding up. The last plant wraps around the outer edge of the entire bed; it’s crested iris, which was at its peak Saturday.

Looking across the brick entryway into the backyard. Front to back: Alpine columbines, Baptisia flower buds, and crested iris. Photographed on May 23, 2020.

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March Means Snowdrops

The snowdrops were blooming noticeably by the last week of February, but they really came into their own in March.

All stages of these flowers are very interesting. I am beginning to think that I am a sucker for white flowers decorated with green—just wait for the Solomon’s seal.

At this point, snowdrops had been appearing for a couple of weeks. Photographed on March 6, 2020.

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Hosta Bloom Period Starts With Diamonds

Diamond Tiaras, that is. I bought this hosta for the foliage, but I find myself beguiled by its flowers. The curly pistals add a certain something. These are not fragrant flowers, unlike the only other hosta variety I have, which blooms later in the summer.

The hosta Diamond Tiara in bloom. Photographed on July 22, 2019.

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Bleeding Hearts Come Full Circle

The bleeding hearts are going to seed. This is a plant that scatters its seed a little, but is easily controlled. They are very nice around potentially leggy things like roses and lilies.

A red bleeding heart with seedpods that are nearly full sized. The clump of debris hanging over the seedpod on the left is a cluster of elm seeds. Photographed on June 14, 2019.

A month ago today, the bleeding hearts in the full shade of the house were in bloom; the red bleeding hearts started blooming a couple of days earlier. With even a little sun, the soil warms a little faster and plants bloom a little sooner. Continue reading “Bleeding Hearts Come Full Circle”

Editing the Hosta Border—Deadheading and Tidying

The bluebells were the splashy stars of April, but by mid-May, they are winding down.

The mature bluebells have no pink left. The two thin white lines are all that remains of two fertilized flowers—these are the pistals. Photographed on May 14, 2019.

They go fast at this point. Continue reading “Editing the Hosta Border—Deadheading and Tidying”