Hello, Garden

My hair is beginning to grow back and I think it is going to be curly. Cool.

I spent a year away from my garden and my blog, focusing instead on endometrial cancer.  That explains my bald head. I can’t say that i sailed through chemo and radiation, but I made the best of things. I was through with treatment and eager to get back into  a life that didn’t involve toxic drugs, radiation, and endless doctors’ appointments  But I needed one more procedure.  In March I lost my gallbladder because there was a slim chance there was a cancerous polyp hiding in there.  But, there was no cancer.  And now I’m suffering from the lack of a gallbladder.

 

Such a lovely little hellebore.

Nothing is going to keep me from enjoying my garden this summer.

There isn’t much blooming yet, but the garden is full of green anticipation.  At the moment everything that blooms is pink.

What I love about the hellebore here is that it gets darker and “moodier” as it ages.  A friend gave me this little beauty and it sits right outside my back door.

And, I cannot resist falling in love with my pink bleeding hearts.  This one outside my back door is always ahead of the one planted in a lush corner of the Secret Garden.

My garden friend saw a redbud at a garden center so he borrowed a truck, and I now  have a lovely redbud that will give my hydrangeas some desperately needed shade. Someday.

These lovely chains of flowers are so lovely. Each spring they greet me.
Hello, Redbud. Welcome to my garden.
Several years ago I went to a gardener’s conference in Toronto. That is where I fell in love with allium.

Bloom Day, May 15, 2017: In the Pink

Ok.  It’s a cheesy title.  But, everything that is blooming right now is pink.  The most prominent of today’s blooms are the globe allium.  The two year olds are the most dramatic, and I’m hoping the allium that I planted last fall will be as tall next year.  Or, I’ll know I bought the wrong variety.  Always thankful for May Dreams Gardens for this meme.

These allium are in their second year. I love the way they stand above the boxwood.
These are like pink ballerinas. This clump greets me at my back door.
Columbine at the back door.
This new allium lives in the lower garden. I love that deep pink.
One of the new allium that was planted last fall. It’s a work in progress.

July 15: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

What a frustrating day!  I should be in Minneapolis enjoying the camaraderie of fellow bloggers and some amazing gardens.  But, I’m stuck in Chicago because of travel problems.  I can’t blame the airlines, though.  I missed my flight, and tried to get to Minneapolis on standby via Chicago.  As it turns out, I just can’t get a break on flights out of Chicago.  So, I’m staying in my niece’s apartment in the loop and hoping my luggage gets to me.  Unlike me, my luggage is in Minneapolis.

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I planted a number of gazania in the Secret Garden and I’m enjoying the grey foliage and lovely pink and white blooms.

But the garden is in full bloom even though I’m a little bit wilted

This is Red Pinnacle and isn't she gorgeous.  This is another daylily I planted late last summer.
This is Red Pinnacle and isn’t she gorgeous. This is another daylily I planted late last summer.
Purple Coneflowers in the Secret Garden.  The white in the distance is Fragrant Angel.  I do not recall what the purple ones are.  That is Grosso Lavende behind the purple coneflowers.
Purple Coneflowers in the Secret Garden. The white in the distance is Fragrant Angel. I do not recall what the purple ones are. That is Grosso Lavende behind the purple coneflowers.
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I’m not sure what variety the purple coneflowers in the foreground are, but the white ones behind it are Fragrant Angel. That is Grosso lavender next to the purple.
And, then there is Bridget, here looking proud amongst the daylilies in the ecret Garden.  That is Crystal Pinot near her nose and Barbara Mitchell to the left.  Behind her is a purple coneflower that I thought did not survive.  But, there it is.
Bridget, my Standard Poodle, looking proud amongst the daylilies in the Secret Garden. That is Crystal Pinot near her nose and Barbara Mitchell to the left. Behind her is a purple coneflower that I thought did not survive. But, there it is.
The crocosmia is starting to bloom.  I seriously thinned this patch late last summer to give the day lilies breathing room.
The crocosmia is starting to bloom. I seriously thinned this patch late last summer to give the day lilies breathing room.
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In the little nook outside the dining room and sun porch this finicky variated lace cap hydrangea is enjoying a bumper crop of blooms. This is evidence that hydrangeas love cool, wet springs.
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The carpet rose is flourishing in the rosebed.
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Love this riot of daylily blooms. Zagreb and Moonbeam coreopsis are in the bottom right, followed by Rosey Returns daylily. That is supposed to be Crystal Pinot in the lower left, but it either reverted to a parent or self seeded into something else. Next to it is Sea Urchin. The yellow is First Knight. The peachy flower mid-right is Siloam, one of last summer’s additions.
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I’m loving this Euphorbia Perkinensis in the Secret Garden.
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Despite my liberal and multiple applications of acid, my Endless Summer hydrangea in the lower garden is only partially and lukewarm-edly blue.
Another one of last summer's purchases, drumstick allium. I can't wait for these to multiply and fill a space in the Secret Garden.
Another one of last summer’s purchases, drumstick allium. I can’t wait for these to multiply and fill a space in the Secret Garden.
Meet Strutters' Ball, a daylily I planted late last summer.
Meet Strutters’ Ball, a daylily I planted late last summer.

GBBD: Spring 2016

It’s been a long time coming.  A week ago there were five inches of snow on the ground.  The hellebores, though in full bloom, bent double under the weight of the snow.  But those hearty plants are built for Michigan springs.  They are the only thing in bloom right now.

I do have an addition to the garden, a four footed helper. Say hello to Bridget, an 8-year old standard poodle.
I do have an addition to the garden, a four footed helper. Say hello to Bridget, an 8-year old standard poodle.
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This Painted Hellebore has always been a welcomed spot of spring.
A friend gave me this hellebore, a division from his garden. I think it is a Heronswood Purple, but there are a number of deep purple hellebores.
A friend gave me this hellebore, a division from his garden. I think it is a Heronswood Purple, but there are a number of deep purple hellebores.
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Most of the faded hydrangeas get trimmed in late fall, but a few limelights were left behind. I like the way the sun catches them.

September Bloom Day

September Bloom Day

There is something about the light in September, especially at magic hour before sunset when the sun is bright but lower in the sky.  The gardens are bathed in golden light and petals are backlit.

Here is what is blooming today in the garden.

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The potted geranium lights up against the early evening sun.
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What would a late season garden be without annuals. These provide the bulk of the color in September. But, enough catmint is blooming to feed the native bees and butterflies.
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I tend not to keep track of annual plant tags. So, I will just have to appreciate this nameless marigold for being hardy and lovely.
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I am always amazed at the fragrance of Sweet Autumn clematis. It has been looking fairly puny this summer, and though I wish it had grown farther up the arbor, I have to love the abundance of white fragrant flowers.
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A friend gave me this pink anemone years ago. It’s been moved a couple times, but continues to thrive against the garage.
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The queen of the garden might just be this hibiscus. It is at least seven feet tall.

GBBD: August 2015

One of the great things about Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is that it keeps you honest.  If you are going to post pictures of your garden, then you need to make sure the garden looks well tended.  It also sends you back to your blog.  And, because a community has arisen around this meme, you get to visit other gardens and get a peek at other aesthetics.

This month I decided not to focus so much on close ups.  Today my hope is to give visitors a feel for what I experience when I go out into the gardens. Sadly, WordPress would not cooperate with me today. The images below simply would not go in the order that I wanted them to.

Another view of the magnolia hosta bed. Here you will find Golden Tiara, Guacamole, more Lakeside Beach Captain, Bressingham Blue, and Elegans.
 Here in the magnolia bed in the front garden, you will find Golden Tiara, Guacamole, more Lakeside Beach Captain, Bressingham Blue, and Elegans.
Though nothing is blooming here, the hosta bed under the old magnolia tree always catches my eye. I think I need to think the Frances Williams. The very light hosta on the right is Pineapple Upsidedown Cake. The hosta with the pale stripe in the center is Lakeside Beach Captain.
Another view of the hosta bed underneath the old magnolia, this time showing off Francis Williams, Lakeside Beach Captain, and one of my favs, Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
The Nikko Blue in the foreground is the first bloom this plant has sent out in years. I'm not sure why it only produces foliage. Next to it are several favorite hostas: High O Silver seedlings a friend gave me, My Friend Nancy, and Deep Blue Sea.
This Nikko Blue in the foreground is sending up the first bloom this plant has had in years. I’m not sure why it only produces foliage. Next to it are several favorite hostas: High Oh Silver seedlings a friend gave me, My Friend Nancy, and Deep Blue Sea.
Stained Glass, one of my favorite hostas, is sending out its fragrant blooms. Not all hosta flowers are fragrant, but Stained Glass makes up for those.
Stained Glass, one of my favorite hostas, is sending out its fragrant blooms. Not all hosta flowers are fragrant, but Stained Glass makes up for those.
The day lilies have finished blooming and the last of the canes will come out this week. I'm in the process of taming the Tardiva hydrangea, so it looks a bit lopsided. As soon as the flowers fade, I'm going to give it a hard prune in the hopes of getting a bit more symmetrical.
The day lilies have finished blooming and the last of the canes will come out this week. I’m in the process of taming this Tardiva hydrangea because it looks a bit lopsided. As soon as the flowers fade, I’m going to give it a hard prune in the hopes of getting it a bit more symmetrical.
The sunny border by the garage in the Secret Garden has gone through some revisions this summer. I took out a lot of the Zagreb coreopsis and complete removed the Friesland salvia. It just got too floppy, no matter how I staked it. So, marigolds and annual salvia are filling in the bare spots. I'm hoping the blanket flower takes off
The sunny border by the garage in the Secret Garden has gone through some revisions this summer. I took out a lot of the Zagreb coreopsis and complete removed the Friesland salvia. It just got too floppy, no matter how I staked it. So, marigolds and annual salvia are filling in the bare spots. I’m hoping the blanket flower takes off. That is Moonbeam coreopsis in the upper part of the picture.
This gorgeous hosta went in late last summer. It is On Stage and the foliage is particularly lovely.
This gorgeous hosta went in late last summer. It is On Stage and the foliage is particularly lovely.
Looking east toward the Kousa Dogwood in the Secret Garden shows the power of snapdragons. I didn't plant these this year. They are volunteers from last year, and I rather like their tenacity.
Looking east toward the Kousa Dogwood in the Secret Garden shows the power of snapdragons. I didn’t plant these this year. They are volunteers from last year, and I rather like their tenacity.
In the Secret Garden the echinaceas are finishing up. That is white phlox in the back.
In the Secret Garden the echinaceas are finishing up. That is white phlox in the back.
I've been using the rose medallion as a watering spot for various potted plants that I bought early in the summer. That began when I went to a conference and wanted to make sure everything got watered. And there those pots have remained for the rest of the summer.
I’ve been using the rose medallion as a watering spot for various potted plants that I bought early in the summer. That began when I went to a conference and wanted to make sure everything got watered. And there those pots have remained for the rest of the summer. That is a Limelight hydrangea sending out more blooms than it has ever produced before.  The red you see in the foreground are the wonderful hips on the hansa roses.
In the lower garden behind the house are more hostas and catmint. I love that the bees love the catmint. And its long bloom season provides a constant supply of nourishment for both native bees and honey bees. The rose of sharon is still blooming.
In the lower garden behind the house are more hostas and catmint. I love that the bees love the catmint. And its long bloom season provides a constant supply of nourishment for both native bees and honey bees. The rose of sharon is still blooming.
The red Knockout Rose and the red Carpet Rose provided consistent color in the rose medallion.
The red Knockout Rose and the red Carpet Rose provide consistent color in the rose medallion.
Looking east from the lower garden to the entrance of the Secret Garden. The Annabelle hydrangea blooms are turning green and in a month I will pick them for winter bouquets.
Looking east from the lower garden to the entrance of the Secret Garden you’ll find the Annabelle hydrangea blooms turning green. In a month I will pick them for winter bouquets.  This week the Zagreb Coreopsis will get deadheaded.
Again, though nothing is blooming here (except the rose of sharon and a couple of stems on the white dome hydrangeas) I'm quite intrigued by my lewd hosta bed. It includes Seducer, Obscene Gesture, Naked Lady, Boyz Toy, Stiletto...I'm looking forward to watching this bed mature.
Again, though nothing is blooming here (except the rose of sharon and a couple of stems on the white dome hydrangeas) I want to show off my lewd hosta bed. It includes Seducer, Obscene Gesture, Naked Lady, Boyz Toy, Stiletto…I’m looking forward to watching this bed mature.
Looking west and into the entrance to the Secret Garden is another border with Walker's Low catmint.
Looking west and into the entrance to the Secret Garden is another border with Walker’s Low catmint. The white asiatic lilies are spent, but they were so wonderfully fragrant when they were in bloom.
I trimmed Walker's Low catmint a couple of weeks ago in the hopes that it would sent up new blooms. It is starting to do that. In the meantime, I am enjoying the Rudbekia and the blackberry lily.
I trimmed Walker’s Low catmint in the entrance garden a couple of weeks ago in the hopes that it would sent up new blooms. It is starting to do that. In the meantime, I am enjoying the Rudbekia and the blackberry lily.