First of all: the delphiniums I was mourning about not being able to grow, in yesterday’s post about Posie Gets Cozy’s post? Those weren’t delphiniums. They were verbascum Southern Charm. I already owned three verbascum Southern Charm and didn’t know it. They were part of the last batch of new plants for the year, which also included three blue verbascum, which joined the “mystery plant” in my patio bed that looked just like a delphinium stalk growing out of foxglove leaves–remember me wondering what that was? It was verbascum. And it likes my garden. Hooray!
Anyway. It is cool today and I took a walk in the woods this morning for the first time in about two weeks. The early spring flowers are gone and it is honeysuckle season. Both sides of the trail are just draped in the blossoms right now, and you can imagine the divine smell. I took pictures. I edited their curves. Here they are.
My favorite blog of all time ever is Posie Gets Cozy, and this post just hits it out of the park. Her garden pictures are so beautiful they hurt my heart a little. I love delphiniums, but delphiniums hate my garden. I want delphiniums (sigh).
Notice the beautiful golden tinge to the pictures in the blog post. I think I know how she does that. She uses the curves tool, goes into the blue curve, and pulls it down. I tried with a picture of my own, and it worked.
Here is my “green” columbine, which turns quite white in my garden. I’m glad I took this picture because the deer ate it last night.
And here’s my other giant allium, a white one. It caught a maple seed. The maple seeds have been falling like snow for four days now.
Iris <3. If you have some money to spend in your garden, spend it on some nice irises.
I don’t remember what this groundcover is called, but it is supremely happy in the patio bed and I have three of them. Love it.
And I have five of these mounding blue geraniums, which I hope will get bigger every year. The deer ate some of these last night, too.
Sometimes when Mimi and I are walking on the trail we’ll pass an out-of-towner standing dead still and watching deer in the woods. Usually they stop us and point out the deer with excited whispers. We are always polite.
And my favorite iris, a medium-height one with nice sharp contrast.
My “garden pictures” season is short but intense. Here comes another one.
We hadn’t done much with the north border of the house. It was already home to a large rose-of-sharon in one corner. We planted mint and oregano in the other sunny corner, and two gooseberry bushes in-between. The north side of the house gets no direct sun at all… it was a difficult spot and I wasn’t ready to buy hostas yet, so we just left it alone. Until this year.
Three blue-and-white hosta varieties. My first hostas ever. I love them an awful lot and I don’t even know what colors they’ll bloom. Oh well, it’ll be either white or lavender, right?
Astilbe has done so well in the similarly wet and shady garage bed that I put in three white-blooming astilbe here.
I had put in a few plugs of lily-of-the-valley last summer, not thinking anything except that if the border was going to be full of weeds I wanted to decide which ones.
Also from the groundcover, weed-control angle, some sweet woodruff which is supposed to spread like wildfire and bloom white. I love it and it’s already spreading after just a month in the ground.
Lastly, the gooseberry bushes, which have gotten huge and seem fairly happy. We might have enough berries to bake a patty-pan sized gooseberry tart this year.
I just read up on “curves” and what they do to an image. This is my first practice with adjusting curves myself. I like. I had been wondering what I was missing when I couldn’t get the contrast I wanted–I’ve known about levels for a long time, but it turns out there is more.
Anyway, these are my new coupes. They’re from the Hotel bone china collection by Macy’s. Sparks got me mugs, dinner plates, salad plates, and cereal bowls last Christmas. These are a great addition, especially since we eat a lot of salads, curries, stir-fries, and other things that need to be scooped to be eaten. If I was on my high horse I would say that the Hotel dishes are for dinnertime and my blue-and-white Johnson Bros. stoneware are the breakfast dishes. I am still too much in the habit of grabbing the blue-and-white things at dinnertime, though. I need re-programming.
It is a hot day here. Sparks and I spread mulch on the flower beds this morning. Now he and Mimi are both napping and I have a strawberry rhubarb crisp baking. This afternoon will call for a long session with Mimi’s water table, I think.
Summer is here. The temperature went over 80 every day this week. I blew up the water table Mimi’s aunt gave her, and she has been having a lot of fun with it. I sit on a deck chair and admire my gardens while she plays, occasionally directing her to water some flowers. On Friday we sat on the back deck in the shade of our hawthorn trees, which are blooming and so full of honeybees that they buzzed. The grass was lush and green, the blossoms were thick, the back border is filling in, and those hawthorn suckers Sparks cut to use as pea frames–oh my. Picturesque.
Today we went to a big party. Our friends Laura and Jonathan are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and both of their boys just graduated from college. All of Jonathan’s six siblings came. They rented a tent in case of rain. I’ve written about their very special house and garden before; today the orange poppies were in bloom, an unbroken semicircle around the front yard. Mimi wore a gingham dress and red cowboy boots. She soon discovered the goldfish pond at the very back of the garden, and led one person after another around the house, among the lily of the valley, between the lilacs, and to the pond. I wish I had taken pictures. Or maybe I don’t. Life isn’t just for photographing.
I am so happy with my flower beds this year. A few parts of them are starting to look like they weren’t created and tended by a total incompetent. With three summers under my belt, I know what plants do well in each bed and how they will behave. Also, things are maturing, getting bigger every year.
The front beds are purple and white and lots of things are blooming in them now. The back beds, which are pink and orange, are mostly summer and fall blooming plants, so there isn’t much to show back there except foliage.
This lone giant allium took about ten days to open fully. I am told that they multiply… right?
What is this plant? I want more! The flowers look a lot like delphinium, but it grows out of a low mount of oval leaves, a lot like foxglove. Is it some weird cultivar of salvia? Lobelia? I can’t remember.
The taller a bearded iris is, the longer it takes to bloom. This clump, my oldest and most established, has three blooms open today and dozens more in the offing. The newer fancier ones from Schreiners are putting out about three blossoms each in their second summer, but none have bloomed yet.
These weird columbines. Why did I buy these weird columbines?
Probably because I was so pleased with these Winky Blue columbines.
The chives are a constant presence here at Low House. The blossoms have a mild oniony flavor and look beautiful in salads.
And pansies… why do I feel compelled to buy lots of pansies and take LOTS of pictures of them? I’ll just share this one with you. I took nine more.
The weather has been perfect for rhubarb. I’ve cut three batches of it already.
But that’s where the pictures give out. Pictures of the crumble topping, before or after baking, are sadly not available. This is old-fashioned green rhubarb, super sour, so acidic it makes your teeth feel soft. Lovely as that is, I think I prefer it with strawberries and vanilla.
We’re just happy to have rhubarb. And that’s the truth.