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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

7-23 Garden Update: warm weather brings warm colours....

Posted on 2011.07.23 at 12:41
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My, my, how a few splashes of orange and red brighten the palette of a garden. It's been ten days or so since the last garden post, flowers have gone, flowers have come.


In bloom in the tiny east bed are a red 'Champlain' rose, dusty-pink astilbe, orange day lilies, white shasta daisies, fiery asiatic lilies and candy-pink astilbe:




The heat wave arrived, stayed, and is being ushered out (for now) by a line of thunderstorms. It's been storming on and off today, the temperature down twenty five degrees from yesterday. The wind is fitful, lashing the trees and making the rain stream down the east windows when it's blowing, but it feels wonderful.

While the local human population moaned about the heat, the plants loved it. Best of all, the mid-summer orange and red-flowered plants have opened and have added much to the look of the beds. The tall yellow day lilies finished last week, but the orange ones are out, the tallest of all my flowers, their blossoms floating above the gardens like tropical birds. Bright red monarda (bee balm) are frequented by hummingbirds. Fire-red asiatic lilies (protected from the deer who love them with spritzes of stinking 'Liquid Fence') blaze like the beacons of Gondor. The white shasta daisies, fully out now, are providing the sparkle only white can give, and the yellow achillea (yarrow), along with evening primrose and coreopsis zagreb, add the gold. Astilbe in various pinks and reds are beginning to show their plumes, adding yet more of the red-pink family that, apart from the roses, was so sparse a week or two ago.

The pink-orchid heads of tall cone flowers won't open till next week, but they will add a great deal. The missing colours, now that the irises are gone and the salvia mostly spent, the purples and blues, won't arrive for a week or two: anise hyssop and Russian sage, then liatris. Shortly thereafter, summer will be over. It's swift here, but so beautiful. To help commemorate it, here are a few photos of the gardens showing the newly opened warm-palette blooms.




A side view of retaining wall bed: now blooming are red 'Chateau Merlot' rose, red monarda, fiery red asiatic lilies, orange day lilies, yellow achillea and evening primrose, white shastas and pink spiderwort.






The same garden from the other side showing the last of the purple salvia, freshly opened yellow achillea, red monarda, yellow evening primrose, white shastas and orange day lilies:






The bird bath peeks from the flowers. The birds like to stage themselves on the flower tops to use it. A popular bathing spot for robins, crows also dip their dried crusts in it and dogs drink out of it:






The bed under the front window with lilac-white flowers on the hostas, purple salvia, light blue balloon flower (tiny patch), pink astilbe, short yellow day lilies, red monarda, fiery red asiatic lilies, yellow achillea, white shastas, orange day lilies:






A small corner bed with fading Elizabethan bells, fading purple sage and newly blooming creamy-lemon achillea, very much brightened by tall orange day lilies.






The patio beds are definitely enhanced by the orange day lilies and red monarda:






The back bed, quite shady, is considerably brightened by the orange day lillies and white shastas. The feathers of a pink astilbe are just starting to open. The yellow is small evening primrose:






Again, what a difference that flight of orange makes to the composition.






Mechtild

Comments:


Ariel
elasg at 2011-07-23 18:06 (UTC) (Link)
Lovely! A very nice pallet! And not a weed to be seen! (Wanna come do my place?) lol!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-23 18:36 (UTC) (Link)
If you only worked part time you wouldn't have any weeds, either. When I worked full time, what fun the weeds had. :)
bagma
bagma at 2011-07-23 18:23 (UTC) (Link)
What a beautiful garden you have! I too have a weakness for orange flowers.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-23 18:37 (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately I don't have any other orange flowers. Once they are gone, that's it. Rudbeckia are an orangey yellow - they bloom in August, but that's not the same thing. Guess I need to plant some annuals to be happy all season. :)
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-23 18:40 (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if I have a gift, but thank you, Mews! I've learned by trial and error, and reading, since I created my first garden, back when our daughter was little and we were living in our first house (military housing, but it had a yard, a whole half of a yard!). To think I told my dad, furious and resentful to be made to do yard work on the weekends when I was little, "When I grow up, I'm going to have a cement yard!" Ha ha!
wendylady1
wendylady1 at 2011-07-23 18:28 (UTC) (Link)
Mech,
Your garden looks amazing !! What a difference a few months makes - it only seems days ago that you were desperately waiting and waiting for the Spring to arrive,and now look at you ...

I love the orange day lilies and the beautiful purple spiky flowers which look like Veronica, but are possibly something different...and I also like your circular patio design too..

These photos make your garden look huge - is there actually loads and loads of acreage or am I just being taken in by the camera angles ?

The other thing is : How on earth are your beautiful great big Hostas pretty much slug-free when my Hostas are simply no more than a party-venue for them, even with the judicious use of vicious blue pellets...I love Hostas, especially the white-edged ones, but sadly the pesky slugs like them too !!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-23 19:12 (UTC) (Link)
That blue-purple spiky stuff is perennial sage. Here's a link about it: http://www.youcanlearnseries.com/Landscape/Plants/Salvia.aspx

I think my variety is East Friesland. It says it blooms all summer if you deadhead it, but our season is so short it is only coming into bloom again when it's time for the first fall frosts, lol.

The hosta pest here is deer. I think it's normally too cool here for a real slug presence. When we lived in San Francisco, which has a cool but almost never freezing marine climate, we had a lot of slug depredation. Not here. Deer, however, adore hosta flowers, cropping them before they bloom. They treat the leaves like salad. This year I sprayed them with a repellent. So far it's working. Glen saw a ten-point buck munching the flowers in pots on our neighbour's deck the other day, but it didn't munch ours.

Our yard is slightly bigger than average for a town lot in Duluth. Average is 50 feet wide and 150 feet deep. Ours is 75 feet wide, typical for "ranch" style one-story houses. The yard looks bigger than that because there is no sidewalk and no alley. The first thirteen feet of yard (where we planted all those bushes in front of the giant rock) actually belongs to the city. The back, the trees and bushes behind the wooden table and benches, would have been an alley if the original homeowners hadn't voted against an alley, so that is city land, too. It doesn't mean we can't have the use of it, but landscaping city land is always slightly risky since they could one day tear it all up to do repairs or a project. I will see if I have a picture of the front yard that would show how big the gardens are. They are not huge, but they aren't small. What a time I have every fall cutting down all those perennials, and what a lot of time and work it is to put yards and yards of mulch on them!

Here's a shot taken from the neighbour's yard on their little hill, showing the front yard away from the gardens. Trees and the big rock and the streetside shrubs and mulch are not visible to the right:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v382/mechtild/2011-07-23yard1-RED.jpg

Here's a view from the neighbour's hillock of the back yard, showing the patio and such from the other direction:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v382/mechtild/2011-07-23yard2-RED.jpg

I'm glad you like the patio. I designed the patio and beds and planted it out, my first and only hardscaping project. The constraints of our budget forced me to be creative, and more fit (garden work can be very strenuous!).



Edited at 2011-07-23 07:16 pm (UTC)
Wendy
wendylady2 at 2011-07-24 08:22 (UTC) (Link)
Yes - your garden both front and back is way, way bigger than ours...I guess that's not too surprising, since we live in Ealing which is in West London - the houses in big cities are never blessed with much garden space, I'm afraid !!

Our season is much longer than yours, so we get more variety to play with I think, but the space is very tight...Spring bulbs under-planted with later-flowering perennials and any tiny spaces filled up with temporary annuals is the way forward ...

The arrangement of your front garden space is very similar to Adam's parent's front garden in Canada actually, except they have a side-walk in front of their lawn...they don't have a monster pet rock though !!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-24 12:11 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Great Britain is blessed with a long, lovely growing season, except for the far north, I suppose, even though it is much further north in terms of latitude. Nothing like the Gulf Stream to moderate a climate. :)

Our lots are much bigger than the lots of houses that are in the older part of town, just so you don't get the wrong impression. There are almost no parts of town where the houses are built wall to wall, like a real city's residential blocks, but in many older areas the houses are separated only by narrow greenways or a walking space, a small garden in front and a long narrow one in back that goes to the alley. These are all two or three-story houses with narrow, deep floor plans. Our area was nearly rural when the oldest houses on the street were built, in the 1920's. Our house is one of a group of one-story homes begun at the start of WWII and finished when the men, who went into the armed forces for the war, came back. Ours was completed in 1946. The block to the east of us has homes from the 1920'3 and 1930's. The blocks have alleys and sidewalks and narrower lots, though not as small are old downtown. (Ha ha - "old" - here, remember, "old" is anything older than one's self, whatever that is per the speaker.)

Adam's parents live in Canada? Which part? I've had a yen to live in Nova Scotia, in lieu of the UK, for several years. But Canada is a b - i -g place. :)
Shirebound
shirebound at 2011-07-23 18:29 (UTC) (Link)
I love your yard. It looks like it's celebrating summer.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-23 19:18 (UTC) (Link)
It is celebrating! And it had better make it snappy, growing here. :)
Prim
primula_baggins at 2011-07-23 18:54 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, wow, wow! Absolutely gorgeous!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-23 19:18 (UTC) (Link)
Glad you and Sam enjoy it!
Maewyn
maewyn_2 at 2011-07-24 02:18 (UTC) (Link)
An absolutely beautiful garden - so vibrant and full of colour! I can see how much work you have put into it. Well done!

I'm so glad you're having a "real" summer this year. If I remember correctly, last year it was very short?

I recognise the shasta daisies, the day lilies, the petunias in the tubs and of course, the red roses!

Speaking of red roses, even though we're in the middle of winter here, I have a couple blooming at the moment. I'll try to post some pictures later - after we come back from Sunday lunch at Ryan and Sarah's!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-24 05:27 (UTC) (Link)
Roses in winter! That's Perth, I guess. I need to see them, Maewyn.

Actually, last summer was probably the best we've had in the twelve years we've lived here. It didn't get nasty-hot, but it had more warm sunny days than usual. I was able to grow a couple of pots of cherry tomatoes to ripeness. I got a nice crop for nearly a month before the frost. Usually only people living away from the lake can get even cherry tomatoes to ripen. I think for tomatoes to form blossoms, creating the future fruit, it has to be a certain degree of warmth at night, or warmer than it gets here right by chilly Lake Superior. But last year there were many pleasantly warm nights, starting from June. The first time I tried growing tomatoes there were was enough early warmth to set a lot of fruit, but not enough warm sunny days later on to ripen them before the first frost. This year, except for the short heat waves we've had in July, the summer has been cool or cold, including nearly all of June. But while this is hard on summer vegetables, the landscaping plants and grass don't mind a bit. It just means the growing season has arrived late. Maybe that's why the garden looks so colourful: the available weeks of blossoming are a bit more crammed together. :)
Maewyn
maewyn_2 at 2011-07-24 11:30 (UTC) (Link)
I must have been thinking of some other time! Your summer is so short, in any case, to me. Ours just drag on for interminable months!

I'm glad you were able to get your tomatoes to ripen. It's very satisfying to grow your own food. It tastes so much better!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-24 12:03 (UTC) (Link)
Are you growing any winter vegetables this year?
Maewyn
maewyn_2 at 2011-07-24 12:14 (UTC) (Link)
Yes - peas, carrots, silverbeet, bok choy, onions and potatoes! I've just made a post in my journal with some photos (includes the red rose!).
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-24 13:18 (UTC) (Link)
A new post? I'll have a look when I get back from mass. :)
frolijah_fan_54
frolijah_fan_54 at 2011-07-24 13:23 (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely gorgeous - thanks so much for sharing those pics!! You did an amazing job planning out all the colors and varieties (including flowers of various heights).

We are finally getting a break from the heat for a few days - back into the 80's which sounds VERY appealing!! Glad the flowers enjoy the heat though!!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-24 16:45 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so pleased you enjoyed the gardens, Frolijah Fan. They really are starting to hit their stride.

The 80's sound good to me, too! I don't want 80's when it's super humid, but balmy 80's are "summer" to me in its best sense. After the highs last week the temps plummeted with yesterday's storm system. I'm sitting here typing this in a turtleneck and sweatshirt and jeans. It's 66 and grey. But the sun is supposed to bring it into the low seventies later today. Yay!
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2011-07-25 04:24 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, your garden is so gorgeous!!! It looks like it's the jewel of your neighborhood--how lucky your neighbors are to have it to gaze upon! How wonderful it must be to sit by your window and look out upon it.

I love the fluffy pink astilbe--such a nice vibrant shade. But orange flowers so set off the vibrancy meter. Orange isn't my favorite color of itself, and yet it's often my favorite color in flowers. I like lavender roses, but I just love orange roses the best, and bicolor yellow-orange roses ripped with deep orange to crimson edges. So yes, those orange lilies do crown the display. And it's nice to see you're not one of those staid people who keep their garden to a one or two color themes--yes a whole bed of all red flowers or all purple flowers does look effective and tidy, but give me a patch riotous with every color any day.

Such a short growing season would just kill me though. You just have to live on your memories of it alone for so long. A garden of indoor meezers does help with the coping though.
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2011-07-25 04:28 (UTC) (Link)
*tipped roses, not ripped ones--I wouldn't want to be around a rose that's been drinking with those nasty thorns they have . . . (-;
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-07-25 21:08 (UTC) (Link)
Hi! Sorry I'm late answering. For some reason I couldn't open LJ this morning and then went busy till now. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the photos, Lavender. I know you're someone who loves natural beauty, wild or cultivated.

Orange isn't my favourite colour either, and I wouldn't plant most marigolds, for instance, just to get some. But some orange flowers are wonderful and add so much pizzaz to the palette. You don't need a lot, just a splash here and there. Yeah, I'm a "riotous colour" fan, if I have but one yard in which to do my garden thing. I've visited a garde in which everything blooming was in shades of white that was sheer enchantment, but mostly I don't appreciate gardens that are compositions of one or two colours as much as gardens that have a profusion of colours. Two weeks ago I just had greens and yellows and purples. It was very pretty but I would be very tired of it after a while. The white and orange and red and pink made it come alive, I thought. Somehow this didn't apply to the white garden I mentioned. Perhaps because whites are so subtle and the plants used were so varied in leaf and habit and flower shape - it was endlessly fascinating, and changing as the season moved, but very fairy-ish. There were a lot of shady places in it, which increased the sense of dreamy magic.
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