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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Summer is here....!

Posted on 2011.07.05 at 18:06
June 25, 2011

Yes! We've had FOUR summer days in a row - upper seventies to eighties - even in the nineties away from the lake. The flowers are beginning to do their thing in earnest.

These photos are from yesterday, the 4th of July. It's been nine days since my last garden photos. The Dutch iris are done, the French lilacs, too. But the hybrid lilacs (Miss Kim, dwarf Korean) are still in full bloom, their perfume everywhere in the warm air. Also in full bloom are the yellow day lilies, Siberian iris and Snowmound spirea bushes. There are even some roses blooming. The garden is lacking in red/pink/orange, but those flowers are nearly ready. How pretty it will be.

Here are those bushes around the big rock again. The big Bridal Veil spirea (not in the photo) are still in flower but past their prime. The little green bush above the red barberry is just coming into flower, a Snowmound spirea.



Here are those lilacs I was talking about. The big bush in the front in Miss Kim, the Korean behind. I should have planted the Miss Kim in back, but I didn't realise what a fast grower it would be.


Here's a photo of the back yard, from the back corner of the house. You can see those lilacs up there behind the table and benches. In the foreground the first shrub roses are blooming, a red and a white. They're still quite small, only planted the year before last when the patio area was put in.


This is the west side of the yard, looking into the back. Those white flowering shrubs are the Tor Birchleaf spirea. The Cape Honeysuckle vine has the orange flowers, Siberian iris below and beyond it.


This is one of three big patio pots of annuals I planted this year. Last year I grew cherry tomatoes in them. Even though it was an extra-warm sunny summer, we didn't get very many. I'm so glad I planted flowers instead, this summer has been so cold. The annuals, planted at the end of May, nearly dormant during our cold grey June, are finally taking off and beginning to fill their pots. Yay!


Here is a front garden shot to show the yellow day lilies. They are not only pretty, hardy and great growers, they have a nice fragrance. The purple-blue on the left is Siberian iris, the short blue flowers on the right are some salvia. Like most of the other gardens, this bed has tall orange day lilies, pink astilbe, red asiatic lilies and white shasta daisies, all nearly ready to bloom. How pretty it will look when they do. It will be weeks before the yellow rudbeckia, purple liatris, pink cone flowers and red monarda are ready, but I'll take a few photos when they come into flower.




shirebound at 2011-07-05 23:59 (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful! How Pippin would love that yard.
mechtild at 2011-07-06 01:04 (UTC) (Link)
Pippin would love it. But would it love Pippin? *g* Actually, a very aged beagle lives next door. She gets tied out in the yard and we can hear her. She doesn't whine or howl or bark; she bays, really bays, just like it says they do in the books.
jan_u_wine at 2011-07-06 00:13 (UTC) (Link)
i'm vacillating between love, extreme jealousy, and.......extreme jealousy.......

(*hides the debacle of her own garden, which is super easy to do.....*)
mechtild at 2011-07-06 01:01 (UTC) (Link)
You say you've got a debacle in your garden. Is that like a garden gnome? ;)

Edited at 2011-07-06 01:02 am (UTC)
antane at 2011-07-06 00:18 (UTC) (Link)
I was out on the balcony for hours on Sunday and Monday - just glorious!! This is the life I want! Yes, yes, yes!

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)
mechtild at 2011-07-06 01:01 (UTC) (Link)
Wasn't it wonderful? I am sure you were enjoying the same weather system. It's still really, really nice. There was a short thunderstorm last night just before midnight, no damage, no power outages, just enough to give everything a good drenching. Whoopee!
julchen11 at 2011-07-06 01:54 (UTC) (Link)
Wow! I really really love your garden. My garden looks like a huge catastrophe this year. It was too warm in April, the flowers grew and looked nice and then we had two bad frosty nights in May and all the little plants, sprouts got frostbitten. The rest of May and half of June was too dry - it seemed the plants grew backward. Then it was raining for about 3 weeks non stop and the lawn looked like a paddy field. And millions of snails attacked everything green.
Now (they say) it will become very hot and dry for the rest of summer. Phewwww... I hope the flowers will recover NEXT year, LOL.
But your garden looks like paradise. Are you a relative to Samwise?
mechtild at 2011-07-06 02:22 (UTC) (Link)
Nope, no relation to Sam. Just lucky this year. It's been wet, but awfully cool, so there's been no mold or mildew, no snail infestations. Just lush and green. but behind the season, in terms of flowering times. We had a very cold spring, so no one planted any annuals until the end of May or even June, just in case.

Your weather this year sounds terrible, Julchen. Not your usual weather at all, am I right? But you've been so busy, or laid up, I'm in awe you have got out there to garden at all.

Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2011-07-06 02:57 (UTC) (Link)
Oh how beautiful!!! Ah, the smell of lilacs!!! I don't think this was a good year for lilacs around here. Your pretty birdbath among the day lilies. I love your patio. Oh to sit there talking Tolkien while admiring those birches and enjoying the scent of lilac in the air. So when are you having us all over there for a moot? :-P
mechtild at 2011-07-06 03:24 (UTC) (Link)
Well, let's see. This year the patio should be pleasant for two or three more months. September is possible, but we'd have to dress warmly and use throw rugs. :)

The lilacs have been extra good-smelling this year, I think because they opened so late down here. They opened very late, and opened slowly, so that now that it's warm the hybrids are still in flower. Up the hill all the lilacs are done, but down here by the lake where it's cooler (last week it was 90+ degrees three miles from the shore but 57 at the harbour), they are having an extended season. Yay!
Jo Ann
yeuxdebleu at 2011-07-06 03:51 (UTC) (Link)
Wow! More gorgeous photos. I have a "Miss Kim" lilac, too, and I know what you mean about it being a fast grower. I planted mine the same year I planted a white lilac, "Beauty of Moscow," and "Miss Kim" has grown about three times faster.

In the last photo, are those stone pavers on the right side of the pic or the new synthetic pavers? Yours are beautiful. I have seen artificial stone pavers that look amazingly real. I need to look into that. I have a lot of paths in my gardens and I'm tired of picking pebbles and wood chips out of my flower beds. Dragging a garden hose along the paths scatters chips and pebbles everywhere.
mechtild at 2011-07-06 13:20 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, the Miss Kim totally dwarfed the dwarf lilac. :) Too bad, because I actually like the Dwarf Korean better with its delicate little leaves. But they are way too big to move. I'm going to cut out the old wood in the Miss Kim after the flowers are done. That may help the ones behind it.

Those stone pavers are one of now popular "tumbled" pavers. They go in already looking old and distressed, but they're actually not old so they're quite durable. This is the third summer they'll be in place and they are holding up very well. I had thought we would go with standard holland pavers, which are cheaper, but the landscaper we chose much preferred working with this product, which he said was easier to lay well and held up well. This is what they are, the "Charleston" series by Anchor:


The colour we chose in Millstone. The round pebbly rock is Minnesota river rock and the dark sandy stuff for the paths is actually taconite (a low grade iron ore north of here). It's not round-edged like most gravels and not as fine as sand. It's flat and jagged-edged up close, so it compacts well and stays put. I like the contrast it makes too.

ETA: The tumbled pavers I linked are only in the new patio, I should say. In the photo of the front garden, you can see the edge of a walk. That was put in several years ago and is made from a type of less expensive holland paver, smaller, and not tumbled. The pavers are holding up well, although we are seeing movement of them, uneven places, as cycles of freeze-thaw and erosion from water running beneath parts of the walk changes the base on which they sit.

Edited at 2011-07-06 01:36 pm (UTC)
lame_pegasus at 2011-07-06 05:36 (UTC) (Link)
That's honestly a gardener's dream of a garden (so to speak). The only thing my "inner Sam" is missing are the taters, of course. *smiles*
mechtild at 2011-07-06 13:22 (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. I'll bet we could grow taters. They are a cold weather vegetable. Peppers and Tomatoes and melons, very iffy. :) That is, down here right by Lake Superior. A few miles away from the lake and you can grow all those things. It's much hotter in the summer just a mile away.
pearlette at 2011-07-06 12:02 (UTC) (Link)
And I thought summer in England was all too brief ... :)

Your garden is lovely, Mechtild! And very, very neat.

Sam would enjoy puttering round it but I'm sure he couldn't resist the urge to tinker with new herbs and plants ... ;)

Frodo would enjoy reading in it ...

mechtild at 2011-07-06 13:29 (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha! Yes, it does look neat. It always does before the plants finish growing up each season. Then they crowd each other nicely. The new shrubs and bushes will take longer to look less neat, they are still so small.

Sam would want a very different kind of garden, I think. More like my father in law, who is a gardner for real. He doesn't just want to arrange plants into a nice setting (that's me), he revels in examining seed catalogs, looking for new varieties, then buying seeds and starting them in trays in the basement, to set out later, annuals and vegetables. He loves putting in a new garden every year, from the choosing and sprouting of the seeds to the harvest. He's a tremendous appreciator of the growth of the soil, I'm more of a decorator. It's a shame he can't do the gardening he used to do (he's 88), although he still manages to plant a few beds.

Yes, Frodo would enjoy reading in this garden. It's quite nice sitting there in the sun under the umbrella (when it's opened up), or later in the day, the umbrella back down, when the sun is behind the tree tops to the west. There are squirrels and chipmunks to watch and loads of birds. When more flowers open there will be lots of honey bees and butterflies, some hummingbirds, too. Ahhhh.... Yes, our summer is very, very brief, but almost the sweeter for that. It's my favourite time of the year.
bellewood at 2011-07-06 15:15 (UTC) (Link)
We have rain here at the moment. I envy you your sunshine.

I adore your garden.. every bit of it. I would love to be able to sit out on your patio and take in the fresh sights and smells.. *sigh*. Well done!
mechtild at 2011-07-06 15:50 (UTC) (Link)
The patio is very nice to sit in. Before it was built, the back yard was not so appealing. It's made a tremendous difference. I just wish the time to sit out there weren't so brief! :)
primula_baggins at 2011-07-06 18:16 (UTC) (Link)
What a lovely garden you've created.
mechtild at 2011-07-06 18:23 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It was a lot of work over the years, but we enjoy it. :)
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2011-07-06 18:34 (UTC) (Link)
It's a super rock, and such a gift from the yard gods. I told another poster about it in a previous garden entry. If you missed that reply, you may want to look at these images of the rock when we got it. It was a near-miracle they managed to get it in place. It had to fit in front of the birch, between the gas and water lines, and behind the utility lines under the ground near the street. AND, they got it facing the best way, the right side up - with the glacier scars facing up. The two photos linked below show how they worked to get it into the yard after rolling it down the street, with a back hoe and and an excavator (I think that's what they're called). The second one shows the neighborhood kids standing on it after it was in place. They played "Pride Rock" (from The Lion King) on it. After it was in place I made the garden for it and planted shrubs, so it wouldn't look like a rock from outer space. :)


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