Sunday, June 26, 2022

June Blooms

June Blooms

It's cool this morning, unseasonably so at 59 degrees. By Tuesday we'll be in the 90s again, so we'll enjoy the respite while it lasts. June, though, is about spent. This week the notable new blooms include the Red Hot Poker (knophia), a newly planted poppy; and pure white daisies planted late last summer. A lot of hot color cooled down with white daisy.



The water lilies began blooming a month or more ago. In the center pond rests a giant clump of growth that for a while we thought was maybe a lotus, but alas, it is not. I've featured this water lily through the years of garden blogging. My dad originally brought it from Texas decades ago and planted it in his own farm pond. Winter hardy, it literally grows as a weed, escaping its pots to form one large clump. This summer the blooms have been spectacular and large. 


I've added two new lilies. Well, one is not new. It broke off from somewhere, I repotted the small tuber and it is now growing new leaves. The one tiny leave amidst the the red rock is a new pink lily since my pink one did not bloom this summer. 

To start new water lilies, divide the wood tubers with a sharp knife then simple plant them in a container will good drainage. Put a layer of small gravel in the bottom then add some garden soil, place the tuber on top and cover with more garden soil--straight from the garden, not commercial soil. I cover that with a layer of pea gravel or ordinary gravel from the year to help old the soil in place. If there are any leaves on the tuber, don't cover them. I also put a commercial tablet of fertilizer in the soil too. 

These new plants are planted in the clear plastic containers that strawberries are sold in-- a nice recycling. Of course as the lilies grows they will be repotted in larger containers. 

You will be amazed at how fast the water plants grows.

New this last week, the yellow lily surprised me. The blooms don't last more than a few days, but hopefully she will have more.

I had to photograph two together to make sure that the new bloom was indeed yellow.

Even though he's fake, the Blue Heron keeps watch over the gold fish. Were he real, he'd gobble up my little fish. The decoy keeps the real ones away.

More in the Barn Circle

The barn circle garden continues to take shape. The newly transplanted hostas and the elephant ear have taken to their new home nicely, so this week we added 3 new plants, Brunnera Marcophylla, aka Autumn Forget-Me-Knot. I don't know why Autumn because they bloom in the cool of spring and they are shade plant.

I love the delicate little blue flowers, but I especially enjoy the contrast of the colorful leaves, which is why I chose them to go with the blue hostas. This plant is in the shade garden on the north side of the patio.

The new plants are off set with the large hostas with the the bluish green leaves. As the for-get-me-nots mature I think that their colorfully veined leaves will create a beautiful contrast of texture and color in the garden. 

As we walked through the shade plants at the garden center, I looked for shade loving summer blooms, but they didn't have any, except for coral bells, so I if I want color I may just have to go buy some of them. 

Here's a view of the barn circle from the patio, my favorite garden spot at the moment.

On the Move

Dug up from the north side of the house that receives little sunlight, these 3 roses appeared to have retuned to the original old rose, which is common for the hybirds to do when the graft dies. I should have moved them last summer, but we never got around to it. You know how that goes.  Now they have been relocated to an irrigated bed along the east chicken pen where they are on a timed watering system with a good drip head that will give them plenty of water that will help stimulate good root growth thus bringing on new leaf and stem growth. We shall see. 

Jackson and Perkins rose: Veteran's Honor came out with any sort of root system.

David Austin Winchester Cathedral may be all old rose, and has only one tree sprig with leaves a couple of inches away from the main root system. We are hoping that the main root system will generate leaves. We can try. 

Another Jackson and Perkins rose, St. Patrick may need a lot of tender loving care, too. She did bloom, so I know that she is the hybrid tea rose. I gave her a sever pruning to force new growth. I hope that works.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'll be linking up with Angie at Letting Go of the Bayleaf for Monday Mosaic. See you there. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Roses, Hostages, Hogs and Hay

I have to admit that when it comes to roses, I am bit of a rose snob because I only purchase registered roses, particularly Weeks roses. I consider them an investment in the perennial garden that will bloom all summer long, grow with few demands or complaints, and last for years. I've had some real rosy fiascos, too. Most memorable, expensive, and disappointing were the David Austins that just didn't thrive in our harsh winter climate; not so much because of the cold; rather, because I would guess, the dry winters. Or maybe they didn't like the dry summer heat. Who knows?

 I have one of those lovely roses left, the climber Gertrude Jekyll, certainly a favorite. 

On one our early visits to the local garden center, roses were not our shopping list; tomatoes and peppers were the mission, but a stroll through the rose collection did me in. I came home with two lovely Weeks hybird tea roses.

                   Painted Porcelain                       Legends                                  


Gertrude, known for her fragrance is planted in our front entry courtyard. Her sweet perfume scents the walkway. I love her pink layered petals as they gradually swirl open. I don't often cut the roses because I just enjoy seeing them out my kitchen window, but I cut a few the other day to dry the petals for Lucy to try in homemade soaps. 

For best results and most fragrant, the roses should be picked when they first open, but I just couldn't do that, waiting instead until the blooms were waning. I picked on red rose, Veteran's Honor and some of the little miniature roses that I purchased years ago on the sale rack at the supermarket. I stripped the petals away and spread them on a thick layer of paper towels and just let them air dry. The kitchen did smell wonderful.

Look at that pink!

I had a really hard time deciding where to plant the new roses. I really wanted them in the courtyard with the other roses because they do so well there, but there isn't any room, so I opted for the eastern exposure at the back of the house. This bed is relatively new. Though it was original to the house, it had a small evergreen tree that wasn't doing well, so we had it removed, giving plenty of room for the two new roses.

Yesterday we planted the roses next to the butterfly bush--Buddleja-- along with the infant hydrangea that survived the winter and my hibiscus.

This morning the roses looked wonderful and didn't seem to go through any shock.

So we have Painted Porcelain, Legends, and older Home Depot rose, Shakespeare, that is really having a hard time. The pine tree was choking it out, so hopefully it will recover and grow. I look forward to seeing how this little garden grows. In the fall, I'll replant some spring bulbs for some early color.

Earlier in the spring the granddaughters were helping with spring clean up. With the center circle in the front growing on a wild rampage of bindweed, Canada thistle, and tons of self-seeded giant alums, the time has come to clean up this bed and redesign it, but first we have to remove the good stuff. So I talked to the girls about helping move the hostas. Little 9 year old Lily asked after a hour's worth of debris removal when were we going to move the hostages. 

We transplanted 3 that day, waiting for the others to make their way through the soil and over growth so that we find them to dig them out.

So today we took more hostages and relocated them in the newly redesigned barn circle. Come along to see the transformation.

The Head Gardener was able to dig two healthy hostas which sort of naturally divided when he lifted them out of the ground, giving us 5 new plants. We also dug up a bleeding heart that will transplanted to the new Barn Circle shade garden, too.

I have a lofty plan for this nightmare of garden space. It went crazy wild last year with a particularly wet spring. The bind weed and morning glory weed took over, along with vinca, columbines, and the alums, which are an onion and are a large bulb, and they self sew and come up just as aggressively as the weeds do. 

The plan: transplant the good stuff--if we can find those plants. Some will have to go through their blooming cycle before we move them like red hot poker (knophia) and some mounding mallow. Once the bloom cycles end, the Head Gardener will go with the week-eater then the mower, then the rototiller, with the final step to lay sod. The project take all summer as the plants do their thing. I'm excited to have grass instead of weeds. 

The EZ-Go suffered a fatal engine malfunction last year, so we finally took in to have it repaired and now it is back on the job. What life-saver it is

as as we haul our payload from one spot to the next, along with tools and mosquito repellant.


I thought I had written about the transformation of this garden out by the barn, but I guess not. In 2019 we held the HG's 50th class reunion here and the next week had a wedding in our barn. This spaces was a mass of over grown pine tress and weeds. The HG pruned the pines tress--raised their skirts as the arborist calls it--dug out weeds then rototiled it and laid sod. Today it is a beautiful shade garden in progress. These are 3 hostas that we transplanted earlier. They are doing quite well. 

I planted the bleeding heart at the base of the old stump, thinking that its pink blooms will look pretty next to the old, gray wood.

Three of the green hostas joined the elders, sort of following the outline of the bed.

The two variegated ones were placed in the smaller bed beneath two aspen--that pine tree must be take out. It was a self started, so it's very crowded.

Heather grew this elephant ear from the the bulb last year and gave it to me this year. She starts the bulbs in the house after the first of the year to get the plant growing then the plants them outside, and in the fall brings the bulbs in and lets them rest for the winter

I FaceTimed her to make sure that this spot between the two variegated hostas was good and it was.

And I said: That pine tree has to go.

So it went.

As if all that wasn't enough, the neighbor cut the lay earlier in the week and today put it in windrows then baled it. Fastest hay cycle ever! 


I took a moment to savor the fragrance of newly baled hay. 

With Sundance gone and Pop not able to chew hay, all the hay goes for the granddaughters' horses, so it's family affair to load up the hay. 

From roses to hostage transplanting, to hay we end with Frank the Hog.

Hogs really don't get much respect. Supposedly they are ranked higher on the intelligence chart than dogs. I'm not sure what made Elinore decide to take on a hog 4-H project, but this is Frank, the marshmallow loving pig. He's in training now for his big show debut. She uses a hog whip--don't really know what it is called--to herd him, rather than lead him. He's fairly cooperative, especially for marshmellow rewards.

So there you have it.

It's what happens at the Garden Spot.

I'll be linking with Angie at Letting go of the Bay Leaf for Mosaic Monday.

Join us there

And thanks so much for visiting.


A Rose by Any Other Name

Jackson and Perkins roses have been in the garden for at least 10-12 years. This year they have been spectacular. The bushes were taller and...