Sunny Sunday and Lovin’ the Lilies

Temps have come down a bit–into the mid-80’s.  And the humidity is better.  I had a little get-together for neighbors Friday night and it was so pleasant in the garden. So, good company and companions make for a lovely evening.

Lilies and the Lady

The day lilies are in their glory. But I’m discovering that my record keeping last summer is slightly flawed.  Which clump of lilies is Druid’s Chant?  And why doesn’t Lavender Stardust look like the pictures on the internet? I suppose in the end it doesn’t matter.  They are just as lovely.

I found this dragonfly resting on a lily frond.

Dragonfly on Lily Frond

He/she was very patient as I took a picture.

I’m still struggling with the “False Garden.”  I bought the wrought iron bench a couple years ago at the Garfield Park Art Show.  It has sat in a number of different places, none of which has been quite right.  It’s now in the False Garden, and I’m not sure this is the right home for it either.  Perhaps I need to take out the False Lupine and the False Sunflower, move the bench closer to the arborvitaes, and put the lupine and sunflower someplace else.    For the time being, some house plants have taken up residence on the bench.  I moved them out there when I had my concert because they were taking up too much space in the sun room.  I needed seating space.  As it turned out, I needed standing room, too.  Almost 50 people attended.  That’s a lot of audience for my house.

Below are a couple of shots of the Secret Garden this afternoon.  I love the textures.  The white liatris in the west side of the garden is starting to bloom, but the clump on the east near the garage isn’t quite there yet.

West side of Secret Garden

East side of Secret Garden near entrance

Below these Secret Garden images are a couple of before and after shots of the False Garden.  “After” isn’t quite accurate, though.  I have a lot more to do in this garden.

I am, by the way, officially out of those flat limestone rocks that I found in the secret garden that first summer I lived here. They have served me very well.  This picture reminds me that I have to paint that cross piece on the garden gate.

False Garden July 11, 2010

False Garden in 2009

Steam Heat

It’s been in the 90’s here, and high humidity turns that heat into steamy afternoons.  And though there was a lot of moisture in the air, there was no water falling from the sky.  But it rained today.  And while the temperature is climbing again, at least the garden has gotten a nice natural drink.  Watering systems are nice, but nothing works quite as well as rain.  When there was a small break in the rain this morning, I grabbed my camera.

Tardiva Hydrangea

Tardiva is getting ready to bloom.  I’ll soon have white pinnacles nodding above the day lilies.  This was one of the first things I put in the secret garden.  The spent blooms even look interesting during the winter.  But I have to stay in control.  This hydrangea could get huge and crowd out all the day lilies.  I had to tame it a bit a couple weeks ago, nipping branches that hid a couple of Pandora’s Box lilies.

I love the fact that Tardiva blooms at the same time as that dark, dark red day lily.   It makes for a wonderful contrast.

Dark Red Day Lily Against Tardive Hydrangea

Rhapsody in Blue is starting her second bloom cycle.  I’ve been vigilant about keeping the Japanese Beetles off her.  And a hearty thanks to Jean for suggesting the dish-water method.  I have a jar of soapy water handily placed in the rose garden.  When I find the latest colony of Japanese Beetles, I hold the jar underneath them and shake the flowers.  Yesterday I happily drowned at least a hundred of the hungry little beasts.  There are a couple dozen floating in the jar right now, victims of my latest beetle killing spree.

There are still enough hansa rose blooms to scent the air.  What a wonderful, hardy, healthy, fragrant addition these bring to the garden.  And, I have to admire their spiny canes.

Rhapsody in Blue

The Rosey Returns day lily near the kitchen window is doing quite well.  And soon the Limelight Hydrangea will bloom.  That was planted about a year ago.  I realized I needed some height at the corner of the house, so I transplanted some of the day lilies and put Limelight there.  It works.

Rosey Returns and Limelight Hydrangea

Next year I’m probably going to have to thin the day lilies in that bed.