Sunday, June 14, 2015

Six Years

The Heat Wave may be on, now. The sun has come out perhaps to stay. The June thunder clouds roll in late in the afternoon, rumbling into the night threatening rain, hail, and other storm relate mayhem. Sometimes they turn loose of rain; other times they just make a lot threatening noise. The sky darkens and we put way our hoes and water buckets and head for the house. Another day in the garden done.

The Head Gardener has missed out on great gardening weather over the week-end, but he is taking a much needed break and having  a great time camping with the grandsons. This is 6 year old Nathan's first camping trip with grandpa where the boys will shoot their bows at fake animals (as Nathan calls them.)

The HG earned his weekend away. There has been so much work to get done this year since he worked part-time last year for the company from which he retired. Jobs really do get in the way. I do have a couple of projects on my list that I need help with. This one, for example. I am moving my strawberry bed to a new location for a couple of reasons.

The Egg Production Project has expanded with the addition of Chanticleer, a rooster and his aggressive hen that picks on the other hens. We needed some sort of holding pen/quarantine place that now seems a permanent home for Chant and his mean old lady. 

The strawberries winter killed, so a new spot was a good idea.

We removed two clumps of iris, hauled in new top soil (saved from when we dug the water garden hole), added commercial top soil, and compost. Now I need to buy strawberries--this afternoon when I am done blogging.

I planted strawberries in my hanging baskets for the pergola. They did well last year. I like seeing the red berries trailing from the hanging pots.

Originally the hen house was a garden shed for potting plants and such. Now we have a mobile potting bench. How handy is that!

Strawberries planted and hung. 

I feel a bit foolish that I should have listened more closely to Judith at Lavender Cottage to not get in a hurry to replace seeming dead roses that looked like they had winter killed. She advised that perhaps they were just slow to wake up after a long, hard winter. Truer words were never spoken, for some have indeed awakened.

A rather blurry photo, but Veteran's Pride blooms happily, though not with large flowers this round. In fact the first buds were frozen in a Mother's Day freeze, but she is coming out of it. Now she has a sister.

First Prize is rewarding my lack of patience with small, but splendid pink blooms. She, too, has a sister.

And would you look at Gertrude Jekyll, for is producing her lovely pink swirls. I do think I have lost Shropshire Lad just around the corner from the girls. He is sending out tall, lanky shoots like the other roses that reverted back to their wild beginnings. I'll give him another few weeks.

Right now the lad is having to wade his way through the profusion of peonies. There are 3 three here ordered 3 years ago from White Flower Farms under the simple title of Old Fashioned Collection. The heads are so heavy that they droop miserably.

Miss Eastern Red Bud finally has proven that she is hardier than I gave her credit for. She comes out the winner of the Best Surprise award this year.

I think this is Dark Knight (or is it Night?) I had iris planted in the back that grew so huge and out of control that I had the HG help me move them last year. We got in a hurry and didn't get them all named when we divided them. So far only one of the 4 has bloomed. So dark and purple, he looks black. I am glad that he is back.

Here is a profusion of Pink:

Even a pink water lily. I was so glad to see them bloom this year. All accounted for and blooming finally after the water warmed.

The coral bell blooms, too. I had to take this shot using the 75-300mm zoom taken through the long leaves of the Siberian iris. 

The hay looks fabulous, chest high on a short woman. 

Years ago daughter Heather gave me a white Siberian iris that we planted at the Old House. It bloomed maybe once. I moved it to the Garden Spot 6--nearly 6 1/2--years ago planting in two places: in the garden behind the house and out in the iris patch where we planted all of the "I don't know where to plant these because I have too many of them" place.

Do plants have telepathy, I wonder, because I had determined that I would dig out this iris because obviously it wasn't going to bloom and it is right in the middle of the perennial bed, taking up a lot of good real estate just sitting there soaking up water, taking up space, annoying me.

Well, I guess I have changed my tune.

The mosaic will appear in Monday Mosaics hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage. Be sure drop by the see the other mosaics. 

Have a wonderful week. Lots to do this week. We will take the boys back to Denver Tuesday then hit the garden work hard again. Love it. Thanks for stopping by. 


  1. Your roses and peonies are looking fantastic. Everything, including the weeds, seem to be taking off now that it's warmer. We've had scorcher weather this week, sunny and 60F in Northern Ireland - this is hot for us! Really great and the plants are loving it.

  2. You have so many beautiful blooms and berries and I can imagine the fields and chickens keeping you and your husband busy. And jobs on top of this. So nice to hear you talk of the beauty and magic in this great outdoor nature world of ours. Yay!

    Jane x

  3. Your garden is giving you some show stopping blooms! Judith really knows her stuff about gardening. So glad the roses were just sleeping.

  4. Your flowers are just beautiful, I love the roses, peonies and the irises. The camping trip sounds like a fun time with the grands. Have a happy day and week ahead!

  5. Wow! Your gardens are gorgeous ... roses and peonies ... and strawberries! I bet the grands had fun with Grandpa. Your rooster and hen should be very happy in their new abode. :) :) Happy Monday. have a grand week!

  6. Ann, patience is a virtue and I'm glad yours has been rewarded with wonderful blooms. Sylvia D.

  7. Lovely photo's of the garden spot Ann! Your roses and peonies look particularly beautiful. Wishing you a good week with milder temperatures.

    Madelief x

  8. The garden is looking wonderful and here we are getting almost daily rain....I had never thought of growing strawberries from baskets and will have to give it a try....I am working on a new strawberry bed for the fall.

  9. I'm glad that patience prevailed and rose blooms rewarded you. Isn't it uncanny how a plant that is not blooming or performing will suddenly pull up its socks the year you finally decide it has to go? Personally, I think the garden fairies convince these plants they better shape up! :-)
    Do you use peony rings for the heavy doubles that like to droop Ann? Lee Valley has some fabulous huge ones I use on mine and you can raise or lower the hoop as required.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  10. Your roses and peonies are beautiful!

  11. Wonderful gardens ... Your place is as good as many a Botanical Garden people pay to visit. Even a lily pond! And you have all your flowers named, I love that ( I know they come with names, but I love the way you think of them as unique individuals ... No wonder they bloom so beautifully for you.). That dark knight Iris is the closest thing to a black flower I've ever seen!

  12. Hi Ann! Wow, you are surrounded by beauty.
    The HG is a good worker bee!

  13. Dear Ann, all your hard work has paid off the garden is looking so good that you could give garden tours!
    I love all your pinks, the roses and peonies especially.
    Hats off to you and the HG.

  14. So many different lovelies in your garden Ann - your hard work is paying off. You certainly know how to keep the HG busy.

  15. That's fun for the boys to go camping and 'hunting' with grandpa and sure he deserves his days off. You keep him ever so busy with the gardens and animals. Good idea that mobile potting bench you háve such a large area. Is not it amazing that everything is growing and flowering fine after that long winter, nature surprises me each year again.

  16. Beautiful flowers! What a dream, to garden in Zone 5. :-) There are so few things that do well over winter in Zone 3. Thanks for stopping in to read my Canterbury Cathedral post. It is a marvel, and we too have enjoyed seeing several of the cathedrals. I am so drawn to them.

  17. A lot of work went into that garden and it appears a lot of love as well. Beautiful post!

  18. A mobile potting bench sounds like one of the best ideas I have ever come across in the gardening world, brilliant. No more lugging heavy pots around, killing your back, just take the soil to where you need to go. Does your Redbud have blooms? I'm fed up with my 3 year old's not behaving like it should, and I think it's going to be moved this fall, not a bloom, and very little growth silly thing, it had better perform, or it's going to be second fiddle! LOL.


  19. A mobile potting bench sounds like one of the best ideas I have ever come across in the gardening world, brilliant. No more lugging heavy pots around, killing your back, just take the soil to where you need to go. Does your Redbud have blooms? I'm fed up with my 3 year old's not behaving like it should, and I think it's going to be moved this fall, not a bloom, and very little growth silly thing, it had better perform, or it's going to be second fiddle! LOL.


  20. Oh my you have so much going on here I love it all! Favorite photo is the hay 'chest high on a short woman' lol : )

  21. That dark purple iris is very dramatic, I think I need one like that!

  22. I LOVE the Dark Knight lily! And your photos of our flowers and garden are just beautiful!