Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, July 15, 2013

Crocosmia adds such a wonderful pizazz to the day lily bed.  I love the way it drapes over the Garden Lady.
Crocosmia adds such a wonderful pizazz to the day lily bed. I love the way it drapes over the Garden Lady.

The temps rose yesterday to 90 degrees, but the heat isn’t unexpected.  And, we are not experiencing a drought like last year.  July blooms are on schedule and it seems like the whole garden is making up for last year.  The cherry tree is still full of gorgeous red tart cherries.  In fact, I picked 4 cups last night and made a cherry crisp.  Last year I didn’t even bother with picking.  The early warmth and subsequent freeze killed last years crop.

Blooming in the garden right now:

First Knight day lily, one of my favorites.
First Knight day lily, one of my favorites.
Zagreb Coreopsis and rose campion that a neighbor gave me years ago.
Zagreb Coreopsis and rose campion that a neighbor gave me years ago.
A few white clematis keep blooming.  I didn't get much of a show this year, but will take whatever I can get from this lovely vine.
A few white clematis keep blooming. I didn’t get much of a show this year, but will take whatever I can get from this lovely vine.
The Garden Lady is framed in day lilies and crocosmia.  The is the view from the entrance of the Secret Garden.
The Garden Lady is framed in day lilies and crocosmia. The is the view from the entrance of the Secret Garden.
Annabelle Hydrangea putting on a great show.  Last year Annabelle did not do much because of the heat.
Annabelle Hydrangea putting on a great show. Last year Annabelle did not do much because of the heat.
White Dome hydrangeas and Zagreb coreopsis in the lower garden.
White Dome hydrangeas and Zagreb coreopsis in the lower garden.
This is about as blue as this variegated lace cape hydrangea gets. Each year I ammend the soil with acid and it never seems to be enough.
This is about as blue as this variegated lace cape hydrangea gets. Each year I ammend the soil with acid and it never seems to be enough.
The Francis Williams hostas in the front garden are starting to bud.  Behind them are the White Dome hydrangeas that are in full lacy bloom.
The Francis Williams hostas in the front garden are starting to bud. Behind them are the White Dome hydrangeas that are in full lacy bloom.
I removed a lot of the Strawberry Candy day lilies in the front when I took out the Pana Rhododendrons.  This is one of the only clumps left.
I removed a lot of the Strawberry Candy day lilies in the front when I took out the Pana Rhododendrons. This is one of the only clumps left.
Newly planted just a month ago, the Walker's Low catmint is doing very well in the entrance garden.
Newly planted just a month ago, the Walker’s Low catmint is doing very well in the entrance garden.
Red Knockout rose in the rose medallion seems to not only avoid disease, but Japanese beetles. Yes, they've arrived for their yearly feast.
Red Knockout rose in the rose medallion seems to not only avoid disease, but Japanese beetles. Yes, they’ve arrived for their yearly feast.
Limelight Hydrangea is just starting to bloom.
Limelight Hydrangea is just starting to bloom.
Nameless dark lily doesn't seem to be quite so dark this year.
Nameless dark lily doesn’t seem to be quite so dark this year.
Looking west from the eastern part of the Secret Garden.  The Japanese Maple and various hostas seem happy.
Looking west from the eastern part of the Secret Garden. The Japanese Maple and various hostas seem happy.
Stitch in Time Hosta is starting to bloom.
Stitch in Time Hosta is starting to bloom.
Francee, Stained Glass, June, Great Expectations, and various heuchera.
Francee, Stained Glass, June, Great Expectations, and various heuchera.
Barbara Mitchell day lily in the Secret Garden.
Barbara Mitchell day lily in the Secret Garden.
Day lilies and crocosmia in a riot of bloom.
Day lilies and crocosmia in a riot of bloom.
My Sweet Rose day lily.
My Sweet Rose day lily.
Lavender Doll day lily, Cool Cat Nepetha, Jean Davis Lavender, purple cone flower from a friend, White Dome hydrangea.
Lavender Doll day lily, Cool Cat Nepetha, Jean Davis Lavender, purple cone flower from a friend, White Dome hydrangea.
Purple cone flower just starting to bloom.
Purple cone flower just starting to bloom.
Fragrant Angel echanacea with a friendly bumblebee.
Fragrant Angel echanacea with a friendly bumblebee.
Zagreb coreopsis and a purple coneflower that isn't sure what she is supposed to look like. But she's blooming in her own unique way.
Zagreb coreopsis and a purple coneflower that isn’t sure what she is supposed to look like. But she’s blooming in her own unique way.
Purple coneflower from a friend and Fragrant Angel echinacea.
Purple coneflower from a friend and Fragrant Angel echinacea.
Marigolds and purple petunias great me at the back door.
Marigolds and purple petunias greet me at the back door.

Fresh Snow

It snowed last night and I was greeted this morning by the reassuring rumble of a snow plow clearing out my drive way.  We didn’t get enough to snow anyone in, at least here in Grand Rapids.  The lake shore may have gotten more.  But everything is dressed in caps of snow.  I emptied another bag of cracked corn and set it out in the rose medallion.  The cat and I enjoy watching the large flock of sparrows and juncos who seem to find the corn moments after I set it out.  I suspect the cat’s bird watching motivation is somewhat different than mine.

Snow capped stadle

The wind is picking up and the forecast says we will get gusts up to 22 miles per hour.  So, I bundled up and ventured out to take a few pictures before the wind blew all the snow caps away.

 

 

Limelight hydrangea dressed in snow
Entrance to the secret garden
Blue light special
Nobody home
Caryopteris

Butterflies and Blossoms

I’ve been slammed with work, and, I confess, a new diversion.  I bought a recumbent tricycle and have been exploring local bike trails.  But whether I’m riding past Indian burial mounds and Grand River bayous or reading masters theses, the garden grows.  And grows.

Butterfly on mandevilla flower

I planted several mandevilla vines hoping they would temporarily fill in the empty spaces along the west side of the Secret Garden.  They aren’t, but I like the flowers.  And, apparently, so does this skipper butterfly.

There are lots of white flowers happening in the garden right now.  Tardiva is in full bloom.   As is the phlox.  I had hoped the moonflowers that bloomed last night would still be opened this morning when I took these shots, but, alas, they were not.  I keep thinking I need to go out at night and take pictures.  But the moonflower plants are so big they completely drape across the pathway.  I discovered a ripening seedpod, though.  These are such strange looking fruits!

Datura Seedpod (with Nicotiana)
Tardiva

The white liatris on the west side of the Secret Garden is done, but the clump on the east side, next to the garage, is just starting.

Just outside my kitchen window Limelight Hydrangea is in full bloom.  I love the way it turns from green to white.

Limelight Hydrangea

And lastly, I couldn’t resist including here yet another picture of the entrance to the Secret Garden.

Entrance to the Secret Garden

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.