Cool temps and plenty of rain. That’s the kind of summer we have been having so far as we enter the middle of July. That means the gardens are green and full of blooms. Here is what is blooming today on Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: July, 2014.
Ah, June. It’s a happy month in the garden. The temps this year have been mild and we’ve had enough rain. I’m getting ready for my big shindig next Saturday which means I’d better hurry up and get the last of the annuals planted. I have a flat of purple petunias to put in and a few red impatiens. And there is a dwarf sweet spire that I need to find a place for. I’ve ordered two more chairs for the sitting area in the Secret Garden. And, I’m in the process of getting estimates for a new fence that separates my yard from the park. And, of course, I am enjoying my new brick pathways. What a lucky gardener I am…
Many thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.
Our warm weather has urged the garden into mosaics of green spires of day lily foliage, scalloped and beaded lady’s mantle capes, and hosta caves for Callie to doze the day away. And now the promise of winding brick paths against the backdrop of late spring is here. I love the pathway that my friend Maja put in last fall.
I spent a lovely Memorial Day shopping for plants with a friend. This has become a tradition. In fact, long before I moved to Grand Rapids, she and I would drive to Motman’s in Allendale and fill my car with plants and baskets. Now that I live closer to Allendale, she drives to my house and we then launch ourselves west to Countryside and Motman’s and any other place that draws us in. It becomes a special day of catching up, comparing aches and pains, and marveling at how old we’ve gotten. Neither one of us can quite understand how we could possibly be the senior citizens that we’ve become.
I haven’t planted everything I bought, but I will within the next few days. In the meantime, everything is clumped together in a spot where the sprinkler system will keep it watered and in great shape until I can get everything in the ground.
The shredded bark went in this week and I love how it makes the beds pop. The pathways that now wind past the barked beds provide a great boundary between the plants and the paths. The crushed limestone did what it needed to for a long time, but they were getting tired and difficult to maintain. The bricks make it look like the garden has always been part of the house. And, they make me look like a better gardener than I am.
This is my first bloom day of the season! A shout out to May Dreams Gardens for starting this wonderful tradition of reporting out what is blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month. I love going to her website and following the links to gardens all over the world.
Lots of life is happening in the garden.
Like so many others, I’m seeing so many earlier-than-usual blooms. The hydrangeas are at least two weeks ahead of schedule. And, the day lilies are budding. They usually don’t come on until July. I’m wondering what August is going to be like if everything is ahead of schedule. I’m glad I’ve planted a lot of marigolds.
My annual garden party and recital is coming up on the 16th and the gardens should be in good shape. The guys came and spread the shredded bark, and that always makes the gardens pop. I removed six caryopteris bushes and that has helped de-clutter three beds. I love caryopteris, but they love my soil and were just too big. They’ve been given new homes. I also removed three David Austin roses, and Rhapsody in Blue. They already had black spot and looked scraggly. It was time to admit they just weren’t ever going to thrive.
But gardening is a lot like writing. There are endless opportunities to revise.
Today was the 5th week I’ve set up at the Fulton Street Farmers Market. The weather was wonderful, I sold out of most of the cookies, and I even sold a hosta.
They say the heat dome that gave us temps in the 90’s has moved on, but it’s still hot and humid here in west Michigan. But the day lilies know it is their time to shine, and shine they do! It’s also time for the crocosmia and this is its best year. I love that bright red.
But also blooming is the old rose of sharon. The bees and the hummingbirds love it.
So, today, this is what the Secret Garden looks like.
I stumbled on this picture when I was searching through images on an old computer. It’s a wonder the thing will still boot up! I think I took it during the second summer I lived here at 337. I’d just planned out most of what I call The Lower Garden, the section of the back yard that is closest to the house. I had cleared the “brush” from the “Upper Garden,” and didn’t know yet what I was going to do with it. I was wishing for brick pathways but knew I couldn’t afford that. Good friend and voice teacher Dale came to the rescue and suggested crushed limestone paths and added the magic words “I’ll help you.” But this is what that space looked like before the paths went in. I see a couple of lime stones that at one time formed a patio. I pried those up and used them to line the beds in the Lower Garden, but this picture shows that I still had a couple of stones to place. Actually, from time to time I discover another flat limestone piece when I’m digging deep. That “upper garden” become the Secret Garden, by the way.