Perennials & Annuals

Morning garden -blooms, butterflies, and hummingbirds

July gardens, filled with blooms, butterflies, and hummingbirds, provide a sharp contrast to the snow-covered landscape of January. With so many blooms and so much to see, it’s easy to spend lots of time just observing, and soaking up as much summer as possible.

These beds in my south-central Connecticut gardens, thrive in a sunny, fenced-from-deer back yard. Iris, white lilacs, azalea, early blooming clematis, and spring bulbs provide the first wave of color, then roses, spirea, lavender, and scabiosa take over. But now, daylilies, phlox, hosta and daisies step in while roses take their early summer rest and lavender nears the end of its flowering.

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Perennial border-1

Early, before the sun becomes too hot and pollinator activity is still somewhat low, is the time to remove spent blossoms and pull a few weeds.

Fritalaria? on a daisy

Fritillary? on a daisy

 

Once the sun rises higher in the sky, blooms become a flurry of activity.

Butterflies flutter from daisy flowers to …

 

 

 

Fritillary enjoy zinnia blossoms

Fritillary enjoy zinnia blossoms

zinnia flowers …

then move to phlox and coneflowers.

 

 

 

In another section of the gardens tall yellow daylilies waft a sweet, lemony scent as they mask the netting concoction (supported by the tall green stakes), placed to keep birds from eating all the ripening blueberries (not visible in this photo).

Perennial border-2

Perennial border-2

Nearby lavender, nearing the end of flowering, is still abuzz with bees.The favored feeding spot for hummingbirds right now is the long hosta border that sits below the elevated deck … a perfect place to enjoy morning coffee and watch the show.

Hummingbird enjoying hosta flowers.

Hummingbird enjoying hosta flowers.

 

Evening in the garden

Few posts of late due to technical issues … still, so many blooms and plant combinations this evening the garden we so lovely, I had to share.

The photos do not live up to what I like to post, they are all cell phone photos. Some are not in the best focus, but you get the idea.

Just a bit of tweaking and a lot of Mother Nature created these combos.

Just a bit of tweaking and a lot of Mother Nature created these combos.

Since I live in a clearing in a hardwood forest, I like to let my gardens go somewhat wild with self-sowing perennials punctuated by a few choices of mine. The result is a bed that looks different every year and every season.

Lavender

Lavender

There’s no such thing as too much lavender!

Roses and lavender

Roses and lavender

The favored rose in my limited rose collection … Star Rose Mystic Meidiland … an everblooming shrub rose with peach-colored buds that fade to pale peach as they mature. Perfect with lavender.

Lime Zinger sedum, annual milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), and the promise of daylilies in the background

Lime Zinger sedum, annual milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), and the promise of daylilies in the background

This annual milkweed does not reseed in Connecticut, but it provides a great punch of color and attracts butterflies … hopefully a Monarch or two.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Let's Dance Rhapsody Blue'

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Let’s Dance Rhapsody Blue’

Notice the name of the above hydrangea, yet it’s not blue. It grows in a raised bed created by manufactured concrete blocks that … obviously … raised the soil pH enough to turn the hydrangea this lovely shade of pink.

Endless Summer Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bailmer'

Endless Summer Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Bailmer’

And, what’s life without a bit of sweetness fresh from the garden …

The season's first raspberries.

The season’s first raspberries.

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Morning in the garden – April 18, 2015

Spring has, at last, taken hold and greenery and flowers are awakening all over the garden, enough to start the morning in the garden series to document the growing season in my zone 6a, south-central Connecticut gardens.

The well-established crocus planted in the south-facing front beds are done blooming while those in the cooler rear beds still greet the morning sun.

Crocus tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant'

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’

Nearby, are fleeting blossoms of Iris reticulata.

Iris reticulata 'Cantab'

Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’

The crocus and early iris blooms show my love of blue and purple, as do the potted violas on the front porch.

potted violas

potted violas

daylily foliage

daylily foliage

blueberry buds

blueberry buds

Elsewhere in the rear beds daylily foliage adds more green each day and blueberry buds swell.

 

 

 

 

The sand crane statue, that just a few weeks ago was almost completely buried in snow, stands tall and seems relieved to be perched among growing plants.

sand crane statue

sand crane statue

Stachys byzantina or common Lamb's Ear

Stachys byzantina or common Lamb’s Ear

Allium rosenbachianum

Allium rosenbachianum

In the front beds the Lamb’s Ear borders are shaking off their sad winter face and soon will be nothing but fuzzy gray foliage, while allium foliage shows where 3′ tall globes of violet will stand come June.

 

Thankfully, local deer leave both Lamb’s Ear and allium alone.

 

The two dwarf white pines planted last autumn came through the winter well in spite of being totally buried from January through early April.

Pinus strobus 'Nana (Improved)'

Pinus strobus ‘Nana (Improved)’

Magnolia stellata 'Centennial'

Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial’

Sanguinaria canadensis, commonly known as bloodroot

Sanguinaria canadensis, commonly known as bloodroot

The weather forecast promising two warm, sunny days should entice the first magnolia and bloodroot blossoms to open …

 

and the sun will soon dry the dew droplets captured by emerging Lady’s Mantle foliage.

Alchemilla mollis, commonly known as Lady's Mantle

Alchemilla mollis, commonly known as Lady’s Mantle