Tag Archive for hydrangea

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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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day in Connecticut

Mid-way through June and it’s again garden party day in the garden blogging world. On the 15th of each month, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. She posts what is blooming in her garden and gives bloggers all over the world the opportunity to share what is blooming in their gardens. Whether you garden or not, the photos are wonderful and inspiring. In my Connecticut garden 2012 blooms continue to be about two weeks earlier than they were in 2011.

The Endless Summer hydrangea (H. macrophylla ‘Bailmer’ is already showing color.

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Most of the iris have gone by but this Iris louisiana ‘Black Gamecock’ is still in bloom while my two types of iris ensata should open any day.

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My favorite weird bulb, Allium Hair, is at her peak.

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Nasturtium, self-sown from last year, are happily dressing up a long planting bed near our pool where I grow potted peppers, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce.

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Some nasturtium flowers peak out from under their variegated leaves.

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Rose campion in front of a blue spruce play nicely together.

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Spirea Double Play Artist, a 2011 gift from Proven Winners, has grown quite a bit from its tiny 4-inch pot size and now begins to show its true colors.

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Rose bloom has been spectacular so far this spring. The current star in my gardens is a shrub rose, Mystic Meidiland, that struggled for years in a different location. It’s very happy now that it is protected from browsing deer.

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Foxglove have also bloomed amazingly well. This bed of foxglove dresses up the edge of our front yard. The photo shows it’s peak, on June 6. It still has color today, but is nearing the end of its show.

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There’s so much more – daylilies just opening, sage and salvia, astilbe and more roses, lamb’s ear and lavender, yarrows, sedum and scabiosa – but now it’s time to visit the other gardens on display at May Dreams Gardens . Enjoy the show.

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A bad combination-A Gardening Oops

Garden bloggers love to share pleasing photos of beds or containers they’ve created or seen and wax poetic on the attributes of this plant or that. Gardens are supposed to be beautiful … well, duh … so why wouldn’t bloggers flock to their computers to post their best, most spectacular photos and plant wisdom?

But, in real life, gardens are not always beautiful. Sometimes things just don’t work. A plant is in the wrong place, the season is too wet or too dry for a plant to thrive, or plant-eating creatures/plant-attacking pathogens take over.

To deal with these real-life gardening issues there’s GOOPs Day. GOOPs is the acronym I created for Gardening Oops. I’ve declared the first day of each month GOOPs Day … the day I share one of the gardening blunders I’ve made in my 30+ years of tending Connecticut gardens and the day I offer you the chance to do the same.

I come to my October 2011 GOOPs after missing, thanks to hurricane/tropical storm Irene’s power outage, the chance to post a September 2011 GOOPs. Irene’s life and land damage was enough of a regional and local mess that I need not go there. So, back at it this month, I present a plant combination from one of my gardens that caused me wonder what I was thinking!

I love coleus. I grow them in pots on windowsills during cold months. I start new coleus from seeds each spring. I grow them in outdoor containers and use their seemingly endless foliage and color variations for interest when garden flowers are taking a rest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I’m always on the outlook for new coleus and this spring ‘Saturn’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) caught my eye. When I purchased Saturn the yellow-green mid-leaf color was more pronounced than that depicted on the plant tag. But it was early, Saturn had been growing in a greenhouse in partial shade so, I reasoned, its darker red coloration more similar to the plant tag had not had a chance to fill in as it might have if grown in full sun.

I brought Saturn home to plant along the outer edge of a morning-sun bed dominated by two hydrangea, a variegated lace cap and a classic blue Endless Summer. The bed also contains ivy ground cover punctuated by what ever dark-reddish heuchera decides to survive. I thought Saturn’s dark-red-tinged-with-a bit-of-yellow-green foliage might complement the heuchera and ivy without distracting from the hydrangea.

Well, plants don’t always turn out to look like the lovely photo on the plant tag.

My Saturn’s foliage never developed more burgundy. It continued on its mostly yellow-green leaved path. It never bushed out in response to pinching back, as other coleus do.

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It grew lankier than I expected and, at the same time, the lace cap hydrangea grew more bushy and wider.

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The blue-green-edged-in-white variegation of the hydrangea foliage and the yellow-green-edged-in-burgundy variegation of the coleus foliage became a visual cacophony that makes me cringe!

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The best thing I can say about this combination is that it’s provided me with GOOPs fodder.

I still like Saturn … it still has a chance in my gardens. I’ve taken Saturn cuttings to see how its foliage acts when grown in pots with indoor light but, if it survives the winter without coming down with aphids, I’ll find a more complementary spot for Saturn to thrive.

Now it’s your turn to share a gardening faux pas. Leave your GOOPs in a comment below or share a comment and a link back to your own GOOPs Day blog post. Here’s hoping my GOOPs prevent similar GOOPs in your gardens.

Garden thoughtfully …

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