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.
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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.
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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.
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Perennial hibiscus in the Secret Garden.
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Love the wild abandon of echinaceas. The white are Fragrant Angel. That’s white phlox in the middle right.
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Tardiva is a wonderful draw for native pollinators.
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More marigolds.
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The very last daylily of the season–Kathy Perkins.
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H. June in the Secret Garden.
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Pink anemone, a gift from a friend years ago.
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That’s Limelight in the background. It got a hard prune last fall and it’s now taller and fuller than ever.
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Blackberry Lily in the entrance garden.
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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

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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.
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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

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.

June 15: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

The corner nook where a few bleeding heart blooms are hanging on, the old climbing rose is trying to come back after a hard winter, and the hidcote lavender have been thinned.  In the foreground are to blue salvia annuals waiting to be planted.
The corner nook where a few bleeding heart blooms are hanging on, the old climbing rose is trying to come back after a hard winter, and the hidcote lavender have been thinned. In the foreground are to blue salvia annuals waiting to be planted. The red is Sweet William.

Thank you again to May Dreams Gardens for creating the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day meme.  Check out her website for links to gardens all over the world.  Scroll down to see what is blooming in mine.

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The Walkers’ Low catmint is putting on a wonderful show. I have it growing in several spots. Here it is at the entrance to the Secret Garden.
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Here the Walker’s Low catmint surrounds the cat statue in the front garden.
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The Kousa dogwood is an explosion of blooms.

 

Here is another view of Kousa.  In the foreground are white snapdragons that self-seeded.
Here is another view of Kousa. In the foreground are white snapdragons that self-seeded.
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Sorry for the blurriness. This David Austin rose continues to struggle. It is the sole survivor after gallant efforts to keep the fragrant roses healthy.
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More catmint!! The red is Sweet William gracing the corner nook garden. The rain has knocked down the catmint.
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This entrance to the Secret Garden features a potted geranium and white clematis winding its way through the dutchman’s pipe.
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This is a nice shot of the Lower Garden. The blue in the middle is some sort of hardy geranium that is a bit unruly. As soon as the blooms are finish, I lop it off and get a few flowers for the rest of the season. Those are the hansa roses to the left. The White Dome hydrangeas are full of buds. These are doing so well this year!! I was tempted to yank them all out.
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These hansa roses are so wonderfully fragrant.
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This is the last of the poppies in the Secret Garden. I wish they lasted longer.
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I’ve moved the heuchers so often I’ve lost track of them. This could be Palace Purple.
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The little seating area in the Entrance Garden gives a pop of color against the Dwarf Albert Spruces.
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This view of the Secret Garden includes Alchemilla in the foreground, Blue Ice Amsonia, and Euphorbia Perkineses. Some of the daylilies are already producing scapes.
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A closer shot of Euphorbia Perkineses
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I did a hard prune of James McFarlan lilacs as soon as they were finished blooming so that I could enjoy the mock orange.
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The Francis Williams hostas are starting to bloom. Again, this seems early. The White Dome hydrangeas are a titch ahead of the ones in the Lower Garden.
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Another shot of Francis Williams,
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White Dome Hydrangea.
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Wildberry Breeze Hansa rose.
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The charming climbing rose in the corner nook.
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Red Knockout rose in the rose medallion. Too bad it isn’t fragrant
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Inexpensive basket in the corner nook.
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Just a few bleeding hearts left.

 

H. Abiqua Drinking Gourd is blooming.  This is a bit early.
H. Abiqua Drinking Gourd is blooming. This is a bit early, too.

 

October Bloom Day: Fade to Red

First, a shout out to May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.  I always enjoy looking at what is blooming in other gardens all over the world.  Thank you!

Honorine Jobert anemone in the Secret Garden
Honorine Jobert anemone in the Secret Garden

It is fall here in West Michigan, and the rains have arrived.  I love how everything glistens. But the garden continues to withdraw.  And while I love red, and Michigan’s autumn leaves are spectacular, those leaves will fall and the garden will go into hibernation.  The anemones are gorgeous again.  Despite it’s very French name, Honorine Jobert is a Japanese native.  It loves moist soil and that makes it the perfect perennial for Michigan autumns.  Honorine Jobert is a sport of the more common pink anemone and was spotted in the royal French gardens, hence the French name.  I am five feet, two inches tall, and my anemones are taller than I am.

Mums and a few annual geraniums in the lower garden
Mums and a few annual geraniums in the lower garden

Also blooming are the mums, the chrysanthemums.  I have a few that survived the winter in pots, and I scoop up lots of new pots so I can eek out a bit more color into the shorter days of autumn.  One of the pots that wintered over is in the entrance garden, nestled behind the Walker’s Low catmint.  That, by the way, is still sending out blooms.  Sadly, Callie the Calico cat who loved nibbling on the catmint died in September.  She was 14 and had a good life.

Walker's Low Catmint and yellow mums in the entrance garden
Walker’s Low Catmint and yellow mums in the entrance garden

Along the narrow bed under the sun porch is a bit more Walker’s Low and a few gazania that never seemed to thrive.  I won’t plant them again.  But, they do make for a pretty picture.  And, so do the maple leaves that are falling rapidly now.

The Knock Out rose in the lower garden has suddenly popped.  I really had hoped for something like this all summer.  So, now it decides to go crazy.  The Hansa roses are a little more subdued.  I’ll probably see a few more blooms from them before the first killing frost, but they are pretty much done for the year.

The hydrangeas are still kicking out some fresh blooms.  I love how the color deepens as they “cure.”

Forever and Ever hydrangea "curing" as the season winds down
Forever and Ever hydrangea “curing” as the season winds down
Pearl beads of rain on the back of a fallen maple leaf
Pearl beads of rain on the back of a fallen maple leaf
Maple leaves
Maple leaves