Last night I finally got the fountain up and running. It needed a new hose. And I have to sort of emotionally prepare myself to work in the yucky water that accumulates. Algae and birds do a number on still water. In the midst of doing that dirty little chore I learned that Callie the Calico had been using the oriental rug in the guest room for purposes other than intended. It’s now sitting in the driveway. I hosed it down last night, and hoped I’d gotten most of the stink out. Nope. Next step. Vinegar. If that doesn’t work, I’m tossing it. Too bad. It’s a nice rug. Note to self. Don’t put a good rug in that room. Note to other self. Board the cat when you’re away. Or, cover the rugs with plastic. Ugh.
But the roses are blooming! They smell far better than that rug. The bluish purple rose in the bottom left is Rhapsody in Blue, a shrub rose. It’s blossoms get bluer as they age. The flowers are semi double and very fragrant.
The scene stealers in the rose medallion are the Hansa Roses. They are huge, even though I constantly chop them back. These rugosa shrub roses are very hardy and tolerant. They bloom throughout the summer and develop large red hips in the fall. They are practically black spot proof. In fact, I’ve never seen any black spot on them at all, even when the other shrub roses in the bed struggle with it every stinkin’ year. Hansas were developed in the Netherlands in the early 1900’s. These are one of the few rose bushes that thrive along the shore of Lake Michigan. They can stand up to the rough weather and bitter winds that come off the lake. In the picture above, the Hansas are the white and red blooms in the upper left, center, and right
The David Austin roses are also beginning to bloom. I have Falstaff and Golden Celebration in the rose medallion. Abraham Derby sits in the Secret Garden. These, too, are wonderfully fragrant. The hansas are spicey. The David Austins have that sweet rose scent that is so intoxicating. David Austins are English roses. They look like the old fashioned English roses, but they are repeat bloomers.
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 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.
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.
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.
Next year I’m probably going to have to thin the day lilies in that bed.
I took this photo from the balcony this morning. It indicates that I forgot to put the perennial spade in the garage last night, and I left a container out, too. Sigh. But it also shows the lines of the lower garden and the Secret Garden. I can barely see the new rose I bought Saturday–a floribunda named Rhapsody in Blue. I transplanted two of the carpet roses to the border across the way and put Rhapsody in where they were.
I also dug up the pygmy barberries for perhaps the fourth time. They were in the “false garden.” But I stumbled on lamiastrum galeobdolon (false lamium, Herman’s Pride) at a garden center on Saturday. So I took the barberry out and will put the lamiastrum there. I’m really struggling with the false garden. I don’t know whether I need to abandon the idea or tough it out. The false indigo isn’t as big as I thought I would be. And I can’t tell whether the false lupine survived. I think it didn’t, but there is one plant I can’t identify. I’m hoping I wrote it down in the garden book, but…
I also bought two peonies and put those in last night. One is white. The other is red. The white one went over near the Rose of Sharon. The red one went near the entrance to the Secret Garden. There was a space there that needed filling. I also planted a Striptease hosta that for some reason never got planted last fall. It survived in its pot all winter, so I gave it a better home in the Secret Garden with some other hostas.
I dug the holes for the next four arborvitae last night. I wonder if I can wrestle them into place by myself. A friend helped with the first four. Stay tuned. We’ll have to see what I get accomplished today. I’m going to get some red petunias for the front yard and perhaps some other annuals to put in containers.