Monday, August 30, 2010

Hiatus to Garden Yoga

I took a hiatus from blogging / tracking my garden, and here is the reason... Vacation bliss!  But I'm back just in time for Bloomin' Tuesday over at Jean's Blog and Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers.

Our entire extended family (ie: 12 crazy people from 3 to 67 yrs old) rents a house for a week every year.  We had always gone to the ocean but this year decided to try something different.  This beautiful house on a pond with it's own private beach / dock was heaven... no beach crowds, no packing up loads of stuff for the beach. Our teenagers missed the boardwalk / crowds but the rest of us didn't.

Upon returning, I was worried about the yard.  We hadn't had any rain in at least a week and the poor plants were gasping for water, although they still looked surprisingly decent.  We let the sprinkler go all day upon our return so.... Murphy's Law.... it rained for 4 days straight after that.  Hey, I'm not complaining!  

The only drawback is that after getting ready for vaca, the actual vaca and then almost a week of rain upon our return, not much 'gardening' has been going on. I now have spent several days deadheading, clipping and performing my own version of Garden Yoga (Downward Dog seems to be the most prevalent pose, not sure what to call all the other poses when bending in / over / around trying not to step on the soil or plants.  I'm too tired to be creative tonight)

It seems like months since I walked around taking pics for the weekly blooming parties - and it felt great.  I miss the freshness and anticipation from early summer but realizing how much is actually blooming the last day of August and how well everything has held up in spite of the heat and dryness amazes me.  

This is long..... blogging withdrawal.....

First up, Geranium Rozanne.  Still blooming and has sent up fresh new foliage after I gave it a little trim before vaca:

Dianthus 'Garden Spice'.  Silly me, I thought this was a perennial.  Technically it is.... in Zone 8 - 11.  Sadly I am not even close to this, in my Zone 5 so there's no hope of this returning next year:

Daylily Stella d'Oro, foliage looking a little ratty but I was too lazy to clip off the yellowed leaves:

Sedum Autumn Joy is one of my favorites.  The foliage looks great all summer and the blooms come out early, starting as green, slowly turning to white, then pink and on to a maroon rust.  I added a lot of these to the yard this year:

Rose Campion, still blooming it's fool head off.  I would classify it as high maintenance if you clip every deadhead like I do, but to me it's worth it because it blooms for sssoooo long.  No lie, they have bloomed the entire summer and are still going strong.  It takes me a long time, but I have at least 50 of them in my yard this year:

Fringed Bleeding Heart has perked up after the rain and cooler weather:

Echinacea 'Pink Baby Swan' (my White Baby Swan didn't have any good non-crispy blooms this week but for getting this plant by mistake... it was mixed in with the Pink Swans that I ordered ..... it was the best mistake ever.  I love it because it stays fresh looking longer than the pink, which tends to fade in the sun):

More Echinacea Pink Baby Swan with Shasta Daisy Snow Lady.  I cut all of my daisies back to the basal foliage a few weeks and they are all growing back with fresh foliage and sending up another round of blooms.  You can see Heuchera Firefly in the background; this is also on it's second round of blooms and has been blooming since the beginning of June:

Another fabulous long bloomer is Peachleaf Bellflower... also has been blooming since the beginning of June.  You also have to deadhead each individual flower, which can be tedious, but the pay off is worth it:

Buddleia Black Knight is full of blooms.. and butterflies:

Rudbeckia, Catmint and Sedum Autumn Joy:

Phlox Nora Leigh:

Dianthus Ideal Mix was another great surprise.  They looked pretty ratty after blooming about midsummer so I cut them all back to the ground.  They have all filled back in and are now re-blooming.  Love it!

Echinacea Big Sky Sundown (another new favorite - I just love the color of this):

Heliopsis Summer Sun.... they look good here, but that's because I took a pic of the small area that isn't seriously infested with powdery mildew and red aphids. Ew...  Every year it's the same story.  As much as I like the cheery yellow blooms, I want to get rid of this but until I figure what late-summer blooming flower to replace it with, it stays:

Echinacea Baby Pink Swan, KnockOut Rose Radrazz, Helopsis and Phlox Norah Leigh:

Helopsis Summer Sun, Gaillardia (I just realized that I want more of these in my side garden) and Rose Campion:

A whole mess of stuff here..... Heliopsis Summer Sun, Echincacea Pink Baby Swan, Platycodon, Veronica Sight Seeing Mix, Rose Campion, KnockOut Rose Radrazz, Campanula White Clips, Petunias:

More of the same:

Delphinium Chinensis Summer Nights that I grew from seed this spring using winter sowing method:

Gaillardia - just love this... blooms for a long time and looks good, no pest bother it, no powdery mildew....:

Gaillardia goes well with Rudbeckia:

KnockOut Double Pink & Radrazz.  If you don't have any of these, I highly recommend them.  Although the Japanese Beetle bastards still munch on them - like all roses - they are easy and bloom from spring until frost:

I was ecstatic to discover the amount of buds covering our Sweet Autumn Clematis vine.  This is it's third year - last year was it's first year to bloom.  It was spectacular! And I didn't take any pictures.... you can bet your a*s that I will be taking pictures this year.

If you don't have one, I highly recommend it (I read that it can be invasive is some places, but it definitely is not here in Zone 5.  This vine is 2 plants; we purchases 6 more this year to hopefully cover the back fence in a year or two).  This is growing atop the back of the pool fence and it was hard to capture the volume of buds.  I'm including one shot of the entire vine and some close ups:

On that note, I'll wrap it up with some overview garden picttures.

Front of house:

Backyard distant view:

My favorite garden, the Side Garden:

Front of pool fence:

Side of pool fence (between pool and Side Garden):

Back of pool fence: