October 15: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

It could be the last Bloom Day of the season, but November sometimes offers a few surprises. It is the annuals that are showing off, of course, but the mums, a bargain at $2.00 a pot, provide lots of color. And, Honorine Joubert Anemone is shining brightly in The Secret Garden. There is one surprise. The morning glories that I planted late last May have finally decided to bloom. The last hibiscus flower is looking gruesomely beautiful.

I couldn’t resist getting the two standard poodles in this month’s chronicle, though they weren’t very cooperative. What I didn’t know at the time is that Lucy, the black poodle, was busy digging yet another hole in the lawn. See all those bare patches? That would be Lucy’s contribution to the gardens. What is interesting, though, is that I take her regularly to a large dog park where she hasn’t dug a single hole. Anyway, the mums and the Limelight hydrangea in the upper left are blooming. And, of course, there are the annuals that keep summer going a bit longer. I’m always grateful for marigolds.

Mums, marigolds, and, um, moldy peonies are part of the lower garden. I’m looking forward to seeing how the new day lilies look next July.

But, as usual, State Fair Zinnias are still kicking out bouquets. I usually plunk a few hosta leaves in the vases with them.

Here’s a beauty shot of one zinnia.

It’s been a dreary, rainy day, and it perfectly intensified that morning glory blue. The raindrops are just an added bonus. I’m glad my young standard poodle, Lucy, and I got our two mile walk in before the rain came.

I think the Honorine Joubert Anemone is more than six feet tall, propped up, of course by a hidden tomato cage and some garden twine.

They are slightly iridescent so that, even on a rainy day, they glow.

The leaves are reddening and falling. This maple probably found its way from a giant tree in my neighbor’s yard. Last fall I picked up fallen leaves during my walks with Bridget, my 11 year old standard poodle. They are pressed into various books. I think I may have to start collecting some this year, too. The red “sputnik” berries come from the Kousa Dogwood in The Secret Garden.

And, lastly, the gruesomely beautiful dying hibiscus flower. See you next, my beauty.

What’s Bloomin’ on Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day?

What’s bloomin’? Spring stuff!

This past winter was difficult for me. The cold seeped deeper this year. Or perhaps it just seemed that way because I had to go out into it more often. I adopted a second Standard Poodle that I wasn’t prepared for. She needed a place to live and I needed to give that to her. But, my yard wasn’t fenced in so I couldn’t just send the dogs out the door and stay in my warm house.  I had to go out into the cold, too.   The fence still isn’t finished because not enough materials were ordered. I’m dealing with some stylish panels of decorative aluminum fencing and less stylish propped-up chain link. At least the dogs can run through the garden and not the neighborhood.

But enough of that. Here’s what’s blooming today.

Ain’t this just the grandest of magnolia trees!
I hope the scattering of frost that showed up in some places in Grand Rapids did not hit the cherry tree. Its blossoms are beginning to fade and tiny little baby cherries are showing up, so it might be a good year for these sour cherries. I let friends pick them since I don’t really care for cherry pie or preserves. But last year’s late freeze made for few cherries.

The lilacs!

Sometimes called “false forgetmenots,” these hardy brunnera bring a true blue to early spring gardens.
Today’s sun and warmth is just what the Bleeding Heart needed.
I bought this trillium years ago at Wildflowers in Glen Arbor, Michigan. I think this is Trillium Cuneatum. I had hoped it would spread, but each year I only get this one.
Some of the allium are starting to show their color. In a couple weeks there will be huge globes of pink and purple. I love the “architectural-ness” they bring to my more cottage-y gardens.
I wish I could say this lilac was loaded with buds, but it isn’t. Still, this lilac is doing better than the other two. It might be time to pull these out and give them to someone who might be able to get more cooperation from them.
I hope I’m not too eager to put the annuals in. But, it’s so tempting to get buy marigolds and I think they will do quite well with the purple salvia.
Someday this redbud will be a graceful tree. I’m content to wait.

 

August 15: GBBD

Many thanks go to MayDreamsGardens for the opportunity to share what is blooming in our gardens each month.  Here is what is blooming in my gardens today.

The limelight hydrangea in the background is HUGE!! It got a hard prune last fall and that, plus our cool wet spring has urged it on.

DSC_1204
H. Halcyon always stays tidy and keeps its blue.

I'm always grateful for annuals.  Marigolds brighten up the little nook garden outside the sunroom.
I’m always grateful for annuals. Marigolds brighten up the little nook garden outside the sunroom.

DSC_1209
There’s always a love/hate relationship between the rose of sharon and me. It’s lovely when it blooms and it’s a pain when it so vigorously self-seeds.

DSC_1211
Perennial hibiscus in the Secret Garden.

DSC_1213
Love the wild abandon of echinaceas. The white are Fragrant Angel. That’s white phlox in the middle right.

DSC_1214
Tardiva is a wonderful draw for native pollinators.

DSC_1215
More marigolds.

DSC_1216
The very last daylily of the season–Kathy Perkins.

DSC_1217
H. June in the Secret Garden.

DSC_1219
Pink anemone, a gift from a friend years ago.

DSC_1220
That’s Limelight in the background. It got a hard prune last fall and it’s now taller and fuller than ever.

DSC_1221
Blackberry Lily in the entrance garden.

DSC_1222
More of the entrance garden. The Walker’s Low catmint got a big trim and it’s starting to send out new blooms. The rudbeckia gets to shine white the catmint catches its second wind.

Bloom Day: June 15, 2016

catmint615
The Walker’s Low catmint is beginning to fade, but it the bees still swarm to it. Here is the bed in the entrance garden, complete with cat statue.

More of the entrance garden. I love how the pots of geraniums warm up the corner.
More of the entrance garden. I love how the pots of geraniums warm up the corner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love how the impatiens peak out amongst the hostas and heucheras under the magnolia tree.
I love how the impatiens peak out amongst the hostas and heucheras under the magnolia tree.

 

 

 

This White Dawn climber has struggled the past couple of years. It seems to be doing better this year, probably because our winter wasn't as hard as the two previous ones.
This White Dawn climber has struggled the past couple of years. It seems to be doing better this year, probably because our winter wasn’t as hard as the two previous ones.

 

 

 

 

The rose medallion is doing its thing. That's a red Knock Out rose on the right. Th white rose is an hansa rose that is very fragrant.
The rose medallion is doing its thing. That’s a red Knock Out rose on the left. The white rose is a hansa rose that is very fragrant.

 

 

 

The annuals really keep this little nook cheerful. That is an un-named white climbing rose in the corner, a gift from a neighbor. Like the White Dawn, it has struggled but seems a bit healthier this year.
The annuals really keep this little nook cheerful. That is an un-named white climbing rose in the corner, a gift from a neighbor. Like the White Dawn, it has struggled but seems a bit healthier this year.

 

 

 

I'm waiting for the annuals to grow into this space. I ripped out a row of white dome hydrangeas and decided to fill the space with tall zinnias in order to give myself some time to decide what to plant instead.
I’m waiting for the annuals to grow into this space. I ripped out a row of white dome hydrangeas and decided to fill the space with tall zinnias in order to give myself some time to decide what to plant instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another space that was altered last fall. I pulled out a bridal veil spirea and am enjoying the opening it left. The hellebores are still hanging onto their blooms which have dried and provide a nice effect.
Here is another space that was altered last fall. I pulled out a bridal veil spirea and am enjoying the opening it left. The hellebores are still hanging onto their blooms which have dried and provide a nice effect.

 

 

 

I love the hosta bed under the old cherry tree. Seboldiana Elegans is about to bloom.
I love the hosta bed under the old cherry tree. Seboldiana Elegans is about to bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another look at the kousa dogwood.
Here is another look at the kousa dogwood.

The kousa dogwood is in full bloom. What a gorgeous tree.
The kousa dogwood is in full bloom. What a gorgeous tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've been diligently adding acid to my hydgrangeas hoping to get blue flowers. This nikko has never kicked out this many blooms, so perhaps the wet cool spring and the acid will work its magic.
I’ve been diligently adding acid to my hydgrangeas hoping to get blue flowers. This nikko has never kicked out this many blooms, so perhaps the wet cool spring and the acid will work its magic.

Lady's Mantle (alchemilla mollis) is in full bloom. I love to cut it for bouquets.
Lady’s Mantle (alchemilla mollis) is in full bloom. I love to cut it for bouquets. That is grosso lavender in the background, and a hansa rose to the left.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

Well, first, I got my dates muddled and thought the 15th was on a Monday.  What’s really annoying is the fact that I essentially loafed around the house yesterday and could have written this post.  My excuse is that I’m coming off a big concert and am still going through post concert recovery.  I know that sounds a bit weird, especially since I’m only on stage for about an hour.  But there’s something about that process, the warm up, the lining up, the standing up that leeches energy.  And, it’s worth it.  I do want to say that besides all the performance stuff, and I’m one of  130 singers, I bake cookies for each performance. Baking, boxing, carting, and setting up take time and energy.  That’s worth it, too.

This is a screen shot, but if you click on the image, you will land on the website and will be able to listen to the first movement in Carmina Burana.
This is a screen shot, but if you click on the image, you will land on the website and will be able to listen to the first movement in Carmina Burana.

But, it’s also my excuse for not posting.

Our cool wet spring continues.  In fact, a couple days ago we saw snow flurries and a frost advisory was posted.  I’ve checked the hostas and so far most of them look ok.  I have a couple in pots that may have gotten nipped.  I’ll know more about damage in a day or so.

The big bloom news is the tall allium that I planted last fall.  I’ve mentioned before that we saw a lot of allium in Toronto during the Garden Bloggers’ Fling.  I ordered a number of different varieties, but only the tall globe “Purple Sensation” are starting to bloom.  I think the cool temps have kept the flowers from fully unfurling, but it will be worth the wait.  And, there are more allium that will bloom throughout the summer.  I’m definitely planting more this coming fall.

I have fallen in love with allium!
I have fallen in love with allium!

Blue Winky columbine bask in the intermittent sun in the secret garden.
Blue Winky columbine bask in the intermittent sun in the secret garden.

The “Blue Winky” columbine are blooming, too, as are the two bleeding hearts.

I have a house guest!! A mason bee has set up housekeeping in my bee abode in the old cherry tree. Perhaps in the coming years there will be more tenants. This is yet another reason I am looking forward to this year's Garden Bloggers' Fling, this time in Minneapolis.
I have a house guest!! A mason bee has set up housekeeping in my bee abode in the old cherry tree. Perhaps in the coming years there will be more tenants. This is yet another reason I am looking forward to this year’s Garden Bloggers’ Fling, this time in Minneapolis. The arrow points to the plugged up tube.  A female has created chambers divided by mud and laid an egg in each chamber.

The bleeding heart light up the little nook outside the sunroom and dining room windows.
The bleeding heart light up the little nook outside the sunroom and dining room windows.

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.

hellabore1
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.

limelight
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.

DSC_0498
The potted geranium lights up against the early evening sun.

DSC_0476
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.

DSC_0502
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.

DSC_0513
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.

DSC_0518
A friend gave me this pink anemone years ago. It’s been moved a couple times, but continues to thrive against the garage.

DSC_0491
The queen of the garden might just be this hibiscus. It is at least seven feet tall.