Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hot Pink and Surprises Abound

I'm joining up with everybody at  Bloomin Tuesday  and Fertilizer Friday so take a tour and then head over to Jean's blog and Tootsie Time's blog to see all of the wonderful posts there!   (Sorry for the excessive length of this post - I was only going to post a few pics and apparently didn't know when to quit)

I have neglected my garden for a week and the guilt was overwhelming.  The school year had ended so in celebration of everyone in my household (three teens and my husband) having the entire summer off - everyone except for me that is - I took vacation time last week.  Yes, the whole week to go nowhere!  It was supposed to be a week of self indulgence, ignoring househould chores to laze by the pool reading books and basically doing what I wanted.  (Yes, I hear you laughing).  In reality it ended up being a frenzy of cookouts for family, hosting of pool parties and bonfires for the masses of teens,  followed by the successive days of recovery needed to recuperate from all of that 'doing whatever I wanted'.    Reality bites.  On a positive note, I was not at work confined to a cubicle with windows that do not open (why, I say, why?!? Corporate America can be so cruel) and the weather was positively gorgeous.   My daughter passed her driving test on Thursday, so I have officially retired from taxi duty and have been promoted to massive debilitating worry duty instead.  On Friday,  all of the kids left for vacations with their 'other parents' and hubby and I fell to the couch in bliss, not believing the absolute quiet and ensuing peacefulness. 

I have finally worked up the energy to get out to my poor neglected babies to spread some love.  After being completely ignored for a week, they have rewarded me ten times over.

Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria) has exploded everywhere - it is one of my favorites.  I just wish it wasn't biennial.  I didn't have any blooming last year (they were in the growing phase so they just hung around doing their best "I look kind of like Lamb's Ears" impression) and I missed them terribly.  This year I started many from seed and stuck them around the border of the veggie garden so that I won't miss out on their spectacular blooms next year.  They self sow like crazy - I started with 8 plants and now have at least 60, and had to donate at least that many to the compost pile.  I know it sounds like they are terrible invasive little things, but they are small and beautiful and so striking and so easy to pull up.  You will see them everywhere in my pics - and yes, I know you aren't supposed to plant them near red because they clash.  Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn   :-)   I love them and want them everywhere and I think they are just fine with red.  The hummingbirds think they are just fine too so they are staying.
Lavendar 'Blue Scent' and Coreopsis 'Early Sunrise' are spectacular this year: The Coreopsis on the left is at least 3 feet high and the two plants (incredibly those are just two plants in the picture below) have absolutely hidden the Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' in between  :

Shasta Daisy 'Snow Lady' is an absolute favorite.  The biggest clump is 3 ft around and about 2 feet high.  It blooms prolifically for a long time.  The foliage is very pretty also - full and not floppy at all.  Around it are Rose Campion, Speedwell  (Veronica spicata) 'Red Fox', Speedwell (Veronica spicata) 'Sunny Border Blue', Knockout Rose 'Radrazz' and oriental lily (I can't remember what kind):
Gaillardia, Rudbeckia and this surprise tall Shasta Daisy are blooming; there is also Rose Campion and Lavendar in the background:
Monarda 'Jacob Cline' is blooming (early - I don't normally see Monarda, Rudbeckia or Echinacea blooming in my gardens until July):
Check out this 'menage a trois' (get your minds out of the gutter folks).  I did not plant any of these here but ended up with a self-sowed Rudbeckia, Echinacea and Monarda in the same exact spot.  The Echinacea and Rubeckia have not quite bloomed yet (and I know it is hard to see with the Rose Campion glaring it's hot-pinkness behind them):
The Delphiniums are as stunning as always.  How can you not love these?  All of mine came from Graceful Gardens (I highly recommend them - very nice selection of delphs and beautiful healthy plants that bloom the first year.  
Delphinium 'New Millenium' (the first one to bloom - the others have tons of buds):
Delphinium 'Magic Fountains' (bottom pic also has Peachleaf Bellflower, still blooming like crazy, and Rose Campion):

Clematis 'Jackmanii' is blooming like mad (these are actually a darker purple than the color the camera captured):

Clematis Perle D'Azur was a big surprise. I had forgotten that I had planted it with Clematis 'Betty Corning'.  'Betty' is winding down and Perle took over where Betty left off (Betty Corning blooms all summer for some but it never has for me) And surprise!  More Rose Campion in the background... and foreground):

And as always, the parting shots are the standard overall garden pics:

And just for fun, here are a few pictures of our yard when we first bought our poor landscape deprived house 12 years ago.

See that garden above? This is what is used to look like:

This was our backyard - all of those pine trees are gone and this is where the pool, fence and gardens are.  The old horse shed is still there, hiding all of our pool & garden equipment:
This is the same view we have now:
A new deck and partway through clearing:
This is what it looks like now:

Side of house 'Before':

And 'After' (you can use that rotton old telephone pole as a reference to where everything was.  Or where 'nothing' was):

Happy Gardening everyone!  Thanks so much for stopping by


Zoey said...

Wow, those Delphinium 'Magic Fountains' are stunning! Everything looks great. I noticed everything in my garden is blooming a week to two early.

I love rose campion, too. It's so easy to pull out if it's growing where you don't want it.

Most people think red and orange clash, but I love the two together.

Your Coreopsis 'Early Sunrise' is so pretty. I planted two last year, but they never came back this year.

How nice to have some time to yourself. I used to love the freedome when my son went with his father for 4 weeks each summer.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Wow, your flowers are still going strong. I love all the colors together. What a beautiful place you have!

Sherry said...

You have beautiful gardens. The pool looks pretty inviting also. I was reminded that I have no coreopsis in my garden at this time and I must plant delphinium. I do have rose campion and I also love the bright color it adds to my garden. I hope to really start picking those raspberries this week. Thanks for visiting and your kind comments.

Tracy said...

Hi Zoey - The freedom feels wonderful :) Last year my coreopsis were puny, but sure made up for it this year!

Thanks Sue!

Hi Sherry - We love our pool (and our flowers!). Jumping in to cool off after yardwork is the best feeling.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Tracy your flowerbeds are just gorgeous. The lavender is so pretty and I have an awful time keeping it alive here. I love the Rose Companion but I have never tried to grown it.I need to find a place to plant some.And wow, your Lupines are just gorgeous. I am babying mine to get them to grow up from seeds. Love your garden.
Thanks for dropping by.

Tracy said...

Hi Lona - Thanks so much for stopping by! Our lavendar is planted in terrible soil surrounded by hot cement in the baking sun. It apparently loves it. If you would like some Rose Campion seeds, just let me know & I'll send you some. I have about a million!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Everything looks great, so colorful! The flowers really pop against the fence background-enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow! You've done such spectacular work. Now there's a property that's been loved and cared for. What a green thumb you have!

Jean said...

I vote with you about color. The more the merrier! I think all colors look great together in nature. You sure started out with a blank slate. You've done a super job. Everything looks fantastic! Jean

Anonymous said...

Wow you've put alot of hard work into your gorgeous garden and it shows! I love that Rose Campion, I've seen it on several blogs this season. It's on my must add list this fall! ;)

Bonnie said...

What beautiful beds! I love them all!!!

Becca's Dirt said...

What a transformation. The hard work is paying off and in a big way. Beautiful gardens. They don't look neglected at all. It is apparent you have worked hard and that's a very inviting pool.

bettyl said...

What wonders have come since you got there! I know you enjoy your garden and thanks for the tour!

Laurie and Chris said...

You sure have done a lot of work in the past 12 years. Everything looks beautiful.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I haven't found that many fellow Massachusetts garden bloggers so it's great to meet you in cyberland! You garden is gorgeous and so are your pictures. I love how blooms look against the white fence. My perennial garden has been a bit neglected... I've been focusing more on the veggies so need to get out there and do some cleanup. The weather has been great for the garden... a little too humid lately though so I've got some fungus in my perennial bed, but overall it's been nice. I hope it stays that way! -Jackie

Diane said...

Tracy - I can't believe I haven't commented on this post yet....I've looked about it about four times and I'm just in awe. I'm overwhelmed with things I want to say and comment, so I just have been putting off even trying.

But I'm still speechless, so I'll just say that your flowers are glorious. Please keep these photos coming!

Ann Flowers said...

Stunning picture of the flowers, will definitely make my day. Keep posting.

Darla said...

you have turned it into a place of beauty...

Beth said...

Tracy, Your garden and yard and pool are fabulous! Love the coreopsis and the delphinium. How unfair that everybody but you is off for the summer! I say, make them do all of the housework and cooking!!!
Blessings, Beth

Maureen said...

You have done a great job! Phenomenal transformation!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Beautiful, really enjoyed visiting your site! Your flowers look so wonderful, looks like you have done a great job with this property.