Friday, June 29, 2007

I Guess I Have a Lot

When I think of something I have a lot of in my yard, my first thought is Hydrangea.
Then I think Hosta.
I should think Daylilies also...

This is a better picture today, of the 'Chesapeake Crablegs' Daylily.
It's a bright and sunny bloom. The flowers are soooo long and spidery. I have 3 spider-type Daylilies, this is the first to come into color. I've not seen the other 2 in actual flower, just in I am impatiently waiting to see them.

This is 'Beth Herr'.
I've not seen her in actual bloom until this year. She opened for me today for the first time. Breathtaking. The dark ruffled edges are even more noticeable than the picture can convey.

This side picture shows the 'Beth Herr' dark ruffles a bit better maybe? The creamy color with the dark purple very nice.
We had a big thunder boomer storm last night, and rain on and off all day today. I love to see flower photographs with raindrops all over I got to take some.

'Siloam Cooper's Chantilly' keeps making more and more blooms. It's been a real winner in my garden this season. The closed buds on it are so funny and fat, but I guess they have to be, because so many petals come out!

This is 'Night Coming'.

Lavender with an even deeper purple eye, and yellow center. Today was its first day opening and 5 blooms came all at once. Such an exhibitionist...but great way to end the Daylily show.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

First, Second, Third

I enjoy my Daylilies immensely. I can't wait 'til each new variety opens for the first time every growing season. These are the beauties for today.

Well... not just opened today, because when I came home yesterday afternoon and wanted to take some pictures of the lilies I knew opened that morning...they were already fried because of the 94F temperatures we had during the day.
So these are the second day's Daylily pictures taken this morning before it got too hot.


This is 'Back Draft'. Its a great hot orange with a nice red center. BIG fat flower! It looks like a hot Summer Day.

This is 'Little Grapette', a nice purple with yellow throat. The number of fans on this Daylily have probably quadrupled this year, over last. Gonna be lots of blooms.

'Chesapeake Crablegs', an orangie yellow spider. This particular bloom is not wonderful, hopefully the rest will be nicer, there are lots of buds. Maybe this one needs a third try for a nice picture...its color is worth a try.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

John,Paul,George,and Ringo?

If only it was those Beatles.
...but no, it is these Beetles!

I knew they were coming...the Japanese Beetles invasion. It was predicted to be a bad year (meaning lots of them), because we didn't have a very harsh winter. They are here now having started their Summer Tour, and have chosen for a stage... my 4th of July roses.
No screaming throngs of teenagers to welcome them...just a screaming gardener.

Today's were the first of the beetles I've seen this year. I was not happy. They knew I was coming back for them when I walked away.

I guess they got a ticket to ride...because when I got back to where I spotted them, they were gone.


Do you want to know a secret?

Do you promise not to tell?

(whoa oh, oh)


The 'spray' comes home with me tomorrow! I'm gonna shake it up baby, and these beetles are gonna twist and shout.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm So Blue

In actuality... its my Hydrangeas that are blue.

Be assured...we are all very happy.

I am lucky enough to live in an area where the soil makes my hydrangeas blue naturally. I don't know the names of but one of the hydrangeas in this post. I photographed them for this post because they were the bluest in my garden. Since I don't know their official names, I want to name them myself.

Of course they won't be the real name...just nick names. Bluesy nicknames.

Nickname: Gertrude Rainey seems apropos, bigger than life.

Nickname: Victoria Spivey

Nickname: Howlin' Wolf

aka Chester Arthur Brooks

Nickname: Muddy Waters

Nickname: Robert Johnson

The myth is that he was so good, he must have made a pact with and gotten his guitar tuned by the devil himself.

Its so heavy with flowers the branches are arching to the ground. Doesn't 'Endless Summer' seem too light hearted a name for this Hydrangea now? I need a bluesy nickname.

How about? Willie Dixon "The Blues are the roots; everything else is the fruits"

Great Blues websites to visit

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hippy Hydrangea

I have a Hydrangea in my yard that has been eating funny mushrooms, dropping acid (is that what gets done with acid?), or maybe just feeling its Flower Power. It's a definite homage to the 60's. It's a real gas.

It seems to be tye-dyed. Not only is each flower on the bush a different color, but fluerettes with in each hydrangea bloom are different. It's outta sight! I can't wait till more comes into heavy color...but there's enough color now to show you whats happening so far.

The Hydrangea is in a batch of Hydrangeas that I don't know the varieties of. It's one of five, that until this year, have all bloomed the same color, a deep blue. I have not fed these hydrangea, also no sprays, no soil additives, no new mulch, in fact I have barely taken care of them at all. It's gone ape all by its lonesome.

The bush is the only one of the five to change its color this year. It's really far out.

You can see the color of the other hydrangeas of this variety that are still blue, behind my 'tye-dye' bush.
I think it's really groovy man.

This is another unknown variety. It makes really big blooms, and lots of 'em. I seem to give a home to a lot of the wayward Hydrangea that lose their identification tags at the market. I have a Hydrangea commune of sorts. As long it's a Hydrangea, I don't care what actual variety it is, I know I will like it.

My mantra? You can never have enough Hydrangeas.

They are fab, man!

This little beauty is the variegated Hydrangea I threatened in my post on June 12. It used to be a real drag. But now...this is the first of 4 blooms on the bush. I need to be meaner to this bush, the harsh words seem to be making it work harder. Ain't it a blast?

K, I'm bugging out... know, I'm gonna boogie.

Can you dig it?

Want to find some choice 60' slang? Try it's a cherry website, man.

I'm a Fool for Foliage

I like my flowers... but for color, contrast and texture , foliage plants can't be beat. They are the real work horses in the garden.

Hosta 'June'
My Hosta, of which I have many, anchor down the shade portions of my garden along with azaleas and rhododendron. They look great from May through September. The varying sizes, colors, and shapes are endless. They even get a bloom in Mid to Late Summer, which is why Hostas are also know as August Lilies. I don't actually like the blooms (ick), so I usually cut them off and put them in vases with my other cut flowers. When left on the plant I think the flower detracts from the leaves.

Variegated Liriope

These loverly foliage plants look a lot like houseplant spider plants, but they aren't. There are quite a few varieties out there available, it seems more every year, but they seem mostly to be variations on a theme. They are either white/yellow variegated or solid green, and slightly different in size. The flowers which come in August, are varying shades of blue. They multiply in a year or two you can separate them and have several new plants of the same size as the original.

Gold Mop

This pretty little evergreen is the brightest shade of chartreuse you'll ever want to see. It brightens up any landscape instantly, it akes the hot sun, and requires very little care. A quickie trim in the spring to keep it to the size you like is all it needs. I take a few pieces of it off in the winter to add to my Christmas arrangements, it adds real punch to the normal evergreens used.

Crimson Pygmy Barberry

This deciduous shrub is tough. In the sun, which it prefers, it practically glows with color. With not much sun, it stays green (but,who wants that?). For the most part, dwarf Barberries keep a nice shape if left to themselves. Its a nice shrub to place in front of groundfloor windows as a theft deterent (or to keep teenagers in the house) becuase it is VERY thorny!

Variegated Sage.

This herb is a reliable performer in my garden. It has spread nicely, and nothing seems to bother it much. I walk past it often, and as it hangs over the stepping stones a bit, its wonderful fragrance is stirred up as I travel past.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Beast

There I was, innocently taking pictures of some of my favorite flowers in the world, my Hydrangeas.

The Blue ' Endless Summer'. ..gorgeous.
The white 'Oak Leaf'...yeah baby.
The red, 'Lady in red' for the camera.
The green, 'Lime Light' it, work it.
The purple 'I have no idea' ...
Wow, that's one big flower.
I don't have any idea what this Hydrangea is called.
The flower is huge-mon-gous.
So I think it would be cool to put my hand in there for some perspective.
That was my mistake.
That's when it strikes.

I just didn't know it... until I downloaded the picture onto the computer...and there it was...
You don't see it? What? It must be 6 feet wide! There on the right.
So close it could ...scare the crap out of me 3 hours later.

A Spider!

OK, so I have a borderline phobia when it comes to spiders.

They do look vicious ( know it).

They have long 'leggy' legs. They make scary 'webby' webs. They have 'fangy' fangs (don't they?)

They are very spidery!

... and they really should not attack me on my computer 3 hours after I've left their company.

That's just beastly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nature Lends a Helping Hand

I love Nature, but often I find myself fighting her in my garden.

That sounds terrible, but its true. Diseases. Weeds. Drought. Bird droppings. Birds biting the plants. Bunnies biting my plants. Bugs biting my plants and me. My plants biting me. (you know, poison ivy & oak, and prickles and thorns of all kinds)
All this is nature I'm fighting...or better to say 'rebelling against' I suppose.

Sometimes Nature is helping
...when at the time I thought she was fighting me.

Case in point. My lavender.
This is the lavender I did not trim back. I did not get around to it in time. When I did have the time it was too late in the season, so I just let it go. Its a mess. Wild and crazy.

More Lavender I did not trim.

Yup. A mess. Blooming like crazy, yes, but such a tangle. I've taken 5 bunches off this snarl. They are not the best looking bunches as they are twisted and crooked. I'm just wanting the dried buds for lavender it's OK, but I still would have liked nicer bunches.

Here is the Lavender Nature helped with.

The bunnies trimmed it for me. They trimmed it back to about 2 inches. (8" is what I would have done) I was not happy when that happened. Now it is the best lavender in the yard. Straight. Neat. Blooming nicely, tho a bit behind schedule.

Frosted Kiss Gazania....and friend ?

The Gazania are part of my white garden this year. Next to her is a 'volunteer' zinnia from last year. (there were also volunteer weeds that I pulled before taking the picture) Nature has given me about 20 of these seedlings as returns from last year. They should be 'Profusion Apricot' Zinnias, as that was what volunteered last year as well.

(see the light green? more volunteers!)

I'm letting some of them stay where they are, and moving others away from the grass where they've come up, to better places. They aren't part of the white scheme, but hey...they are free. It's just going to have to be an amendment to my white theme. If it's free it can stay no matter the color. Who am I to fight Nature? Especially when she's being so helpful?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Let the Madness Begin

The Daylilies are Blooming. Summer is here. Life is good.
(it's me that's

In my garden the Stella D'Oro Daylily is the first to bloom. It's a great plant. It is unusual as perennials go, in that it is ever blooming. Yeah, it blooms all Summer.

It doesn't count.

I don't know why I don't count this as the beginning of the Daylily Parade...but I don't. I really like, no, love this plant. I don't work for the affection of any of my Daylilies, that's why I like Daylilies, they are easy. So it's not because Stella D'Oro is easy that I dismiss her. I can't figure my mindset out.

Hey, you didn't start reading this entry because you thought I was mentally stable. We will chalk this Stella D'Oro 'dismissal' up to my cute and adorable 'quirkiness' (This will happen a lot)(the cute /quirkiness to that is).

This is a Purple D'Oro. Great bloom count. Growth rate, excellent.

This one does count. (Don't ask)

This is an Orangutan Daylily.

The photo doesn't do it justice. The color is a lot more orange than it looks. Very large flower too.


Siloam Cooper's Chantilly.

Loverly peachy cream color. A lady-like Daylily.

She counts too.

Black Eyed Stella. A bit of a disappointment I think.

She doesn't count, but for reasonable...reasons. (*see below)

*I was expecting a showier 'Black-Eye', maybe like a Black-Eyed Susan. The plant performance is OK. An OK bud count. OK scape count. I didn't bring this Lily back to sell at the market this year. She was just...OK. I believe I was disappointed in this Daylily because it's Big Sis, is such an awesome plant, and comparatively, this one just doesn't live up to the hype. (Big Sis? You know...the Stella who's performance I dismiss because she is so good.)

So what's this with my dismissal of such a wonderful plant like the Stella D'Oro? I compare others to her. She's on a pedestal of sorts. Other Daylilies pale when put alongside Stella. Bloom/Scape count and length of bloom time?...none compare. Color?...intense. Hardiness?...fantastic.

That's it. She's in a category all to herself. She doesn't count as the first Day Lily because she is just ... Stella. It begins and ends with her. I figured it out.

Cuteness and quirkiness still intact though.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I race home ahead of the thunderstorm (under the speed limit of course).
I weave in and out of traffic (using my turn signals of course).

I had to. I was bringing home plants that had to get in the ground. I had to beat the rain.

This is not a white flower...I know. I am planting only white flowers this year...I know.
It gets to go in the garden this year because it was a 'freebie'.
(Exception to the Rule, freebies can be put in the garden regardless of color. Why? Because they are free!)

I pull in the driveway. I run in the house. I say 'Hey' to the kid, or 'I love you', or 'How was your day?', or... something. Run outside to get the plants out of the car. Run back in the house to get the car keys (its locked). Kid laughs. Run back outside again to get plants out of the car. Get favorite sharp shovel out of garage. Run shovel, and 2 astilbe over to the circle-garden-that-is-not-shaped-like-a-circle.

'BOOM' (thunder, of course).

Move mulch. Dig first hole. Plant Astilbe #1. Replace mulch.

'Pitter Patter' (the start of rain, what else?)

Move mulch. Hurry. Plant astilbe #2. Repl.....

RUN to house! Noah-sized downpour of rain!

RUN back to the circle-garden-that-is-not-shaped-like-a-circle to get favorite sharp shovel.

RUN to house! Put shovel in garage. Go in house soaking wet. Kid laughs.

(of course)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Threatening Plants

Don't get me wrong...
I don't mean plants that are threatened, or endangered.
I DO mean threatening your plants.

I have a variegated leaf Hydrangea. This plant has been in my yard for 4 years. It is in the perfect spot. A focal point actually, because when I bought it, it was beautiful. Loverly blue flowers. Loverly variegated leaves. Loverly in every way.

Since then, plant has been very uncooperative as far as blooming goes. Meaning it doesn't. It won't. It hasn't. It refuses to.

Until this year.
This year I threatened it.

I have a nice size yard, with various gardens within it. I have room for plenty of plants, and I have plenty of plants. I take care of my plants (reasonably so, anyway). I like plants that are reasonably easy to take care of. I like plants that give me reasonable results in return. Hey, I'm a reasonable woman.

So I reasoned with this Hydrangea, 2 years ago after a second year with no flowers. "Hydrangea, please give me some flowers next year. I take care of you, I'd like to see something in return."

No flowers.

The next year I was nice again. "Hydrangea Dear. I really would like to see some flowers next year. You are in a very visible place in the garden. Your fellow Hydrangeas are all performing wonderfully, I need you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps (rootstraps?) and get busy with some blooms. The variegated leaves are nice, but I need flowers."

No flowers.

This year, no more Mrs. Nice-person. The gardening gloves came off. No flowers, no room in the garden (well, not a focal point anyway).

"Hydrangea..WTF? No flowers again?! I give and I give! I give some more! The watering. The fertilizer. The focal point. The nicey-nicey waiting for flowers. This is what I get in return? NOTHING!? I want flowers this year. NO flowers...and you are OUTTAH HERE! Got it? Get it? Good!"

The Variegated Hydrangea has grudgingly given me 2 flowers. They are at the bottom, you could almost miss them if you weren't looking. I of course was looking. Is this all she could muster do to prove herself worthy of being in the garden? Or the least she and could do and still get away with being in the focal point of the garden? Hmmmmmmm...

I have never watched the Sopranos (I know, I know, what rock do I live under?), but maybe next year I will watch reruns, or invest in a DVD and learn how to properly threaten for results. Next year there will be results or this plant gets whacked.

(or moved to the back garden...sheesh, I'm such a wuss)

Friday, June 8, 2007

I Came Home to This

massacre (v.)
1581, from M.Fr. massacre "wholesale slaughter, carnage," from O.Fr. macacre, macecle "slaughterhouse, butchery," perhaps from L. macellum "provisions store, butcher shop." The noun is attested from 1586.

Modern Language Association (MLA):
"massacre." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 08 Jun. 2007.>.

People this is not good. I went away for a few days on a business trip and came home to this. In my driveway. It's rather pitiful. Very hot weather, and nothing watered, not a good combo.

I really thought about getting it all planted before I left, but I just ran out of time. Who would think 2 days would make such a difference. I put them in a spot where the sun isn't too bad. (I assumed) I watered them really well just before leaving for the Airport. (I assumed) I asked Hubby to keep an eye out for them, as it would be really hot. He's a really busy guy, but he would take care of them. (I assumed) I really should have pushed and gotten it done.

/əˈsum/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[uh-soom] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
verb (used with object), -sumed, -sum·ing.
1. to take for granted or without proof; suppose; postulate; posit: to assume that everyone wants peace.

American Psychological Association (APA):
assume. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved June 08, 2007, from website:
Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
assume. Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. (accessed: June 08, 2007).
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"assume." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 08 Jun. 2007.>.

This astilbe might be a lost cause, but I will plant it any way. If it makes it, it will be nice for next year. Arrrggghhhh.

1. arrgghh

To show madness and shouting
Arrgghh my little brother broke my ds lite

The begonias did surprisingly well. They are a bit sun burned on the edges, but otherwise I am pleased with their hardiness.

I have faith in the zinnias even if they do look the worst. They are such tough guys, they should actually bounce back with new leaves.

faith (fāth) Pronunciation Key n.
Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at
belief, trust.

faith. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved June 08, 2007, from website:
Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
faith. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. (accessed: June 08, 2007).
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"faith." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 08 Jun. 2007.>.

This coleus seems totally unaffected by the lack of care. I think of coleus as being some of the weenies of the garden, needing special care and attention. I love them anyway, even if they are a lily-livered plant. (I've always wanted to write lily-livered in a sentence!) This gal didn't even wilt, and it was SO dry! She has so changed my opinion of coleus. Hopefully everything is better than I first thought. If the coleus can make it, so can everything else.

Hope, Bob Originally Leslie Towne Hope. 1903-2003. British-born American entertainer. He costarred with Bing Crosby in the popular "Road" films, beginning with the Road to Singapore (1940). Since 1940 he has traveled extensively to entertain U.S. troops overseas.

American Psychological Association (APA):
hope. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved June 08, 2007, from website:
Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
hope. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. (accessed: June 08, 2007).
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"hope." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 08 Jun. 2007.>.

OOps...wrong Hope, though maybe the best one. Here's the one I meant to use.

The delusion that your situation is not as objectively bad as it is.
Hope is the fruitless denial of the more realistic pessimism.

Monday, June 4, 2007

and in this Corner...

...the Knock Out Rose!
Reigning Champion as best loved rose in my garden.

OK. Only beloved rose in my garden.

These guys really do deserve the name they were given. They bloom all summer...profusely. Not much bothers them. Very few bug problems (even that 4 letter word 'beetle') (...well you know what I mean). Not much if any spraying required. I give them a hard prune in spring, and then just enjoy them.

This one is the original "Knock Out". It's a hot pink called "Radrazz"

This is the "Blushing Knock Out".

It's color is very pale. The bush hasn't quite gotten to the size of the "Radrazz", but is still very nice. Same no care situation.

The only thing I do for the "Knock Outs", is what I do for all my other plants, I give them a bit of fertilizer. I like Espoma's Plant Tone. It's just a general feed for everything.

These roses are very simple, but still cut very well for bringing in the house. I cut just about everything for arrangements. I like very casual styles. These roses are perfect for that.

I will be planting 5 more "Knock Outs" this year to finish the drive. They won't be part of the white garden. The color scheme there will stay the same, it has precedence, and there isn't a white "Knock Out " yet anyway.

:) Hey, I can bend my own rules can't I?