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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

8-06 ~ High Summer Garden.

Posted on 2011.08.06 at 10:39

The fire-orange asiatic lilies in the detail above are finished, the orange daylilies are on the wane. Most of the roses are having downtime (the blooms are gone, but buds are forming that will open before summer's end). A few varietals still have not bloomed (eupatorium, sedum and most of the rudbeckia). But otherwise the garden has entered its high summer state: more flowers are out at once than at any other time, offering the greatest variety of form and colour.

Here are some views of the beds in what will probably be my last large-scale garden post.

Side view of the front retaining wall bed, brighter than ever:

Different angle of the same bed, showing one of the few roses still in bloom, "Chateau Merlot", lower left corner:

The same bed viewed from the walk; note the purple liatris in the foreground, pink big-buttoned cone flowers behind the liatris and red monarda, with airy blue-lilac sprays of Russian sage rising high beside them, just blooming:

The bed under the front window, shasta daisies in the foreground, glimpses of purple liatris, orange day lilies, red monarda, lilac hosta, yellow achillea and pink cone flowers beyond:

This is how the front gardens look from the living room window (Charles and Elsa barely discernible in the cat bed on the left). I love the way the gardens look from the house, clearly visible from the kitchen, dining and living rooms:

East entrance to the little patio in the back yard, such a pleasant place to sit in the afternoon and evening:

How the garden looks from my favourite chair. The yellow flowers are coreopsis zagreb in the foreground, achillea in the background. Two monarda, red and pink, are a favourite of hummingbirds, territorial little blighters that constantly chase off the competition. Not a bit cooperative, like gregarious crows or grackles.

View from the west side, highlighting the red monarda. I wish monarda bloomed all summer, bees and butterflies love it so much:

Here's a closer view of the flowers at the top of the stone wall. You can see the spikes of liatris, just starting in this bed because of more hours of shade. The thin bluish sprays behind and to the right of them are the blooms of anise hyssop. I had never heard of this plant before I purchased it a few years ago. I'm very pleased with it. It divided nicely, too. And the foliage has a beautiful smell when bruised.

This is the back bed, by the wood table and benches. It hasn't changed much except that the pink astilbe is fully in bloom. Liatris flowers are just emerging on the right, in front of the weathered phone pole.

The last photo is a close-up of a peach-coloured day lily in the small, shady, often too-wet bed below the apple tree. I bought this at a neighbourhood plant sale, a division from a very nice garden up the street. At first it was planted in the front bed and I didn't think much of it. It was not tall and was so pale it was nearly invisible in the front bed, otherwise teeming with florid blooms. I was thinking of throwing it out, but moved it instead. In this little bed it has come into its own. The other plants, which also have pale, delicate colours, accent rather than overwhelm it. In its new location, it has become one of my favourite flowers.


Previous Post:

~ "Of Humans and Hobbits" by jan-u-wine, Frodo's actor considering returning to his famous role.


verangel at 2011-08-06 16:00 (UTC) (Link)
ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! I love the wild mix and the colors that pop out. Its like a fairy garden. I loved the rocking chairs. I could just imagine sitting in them. The house, gardens, neighborhood look charming. You make magic happen in your yard. hugs you xooxoxoxo love v
mechtild at 2011-08-06 20:16 (UTC) (Link)
I am delighted you like the gardens so well, Verangel. They are my special pride. Our sorrow is that the season here is so brief, but, in a way, that only adds to their loveliness. :)
jan_u_wine at 2011-08-06 16:28 (UTC) (Link)
i couldn't say it better or more enthusiastically than Verangel, so I will simply say: 'that goes double for me!'

not only did you plant and manage this plant menagerie, you also know all the names......amazing!

and I love your pale Lily...there's a story there, to be sure!
mechtild at 2011-08-06 20:13 (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha! You are right! The description of the pale peach day lily *does* recall a certain person, short, pale, overwshadowed in the presence of showier, taller, more colourful characters, but coming into his own in a small setting, in the company of those more like himself.
jan_u_wine at 2011-08-06 21:34 (UTC) (Link)
lol! well, i wasn't thinking of that 'fairer than most' lily, the one that might have died but prospered, instead, when replanted elsewhere....but you are right, there are surely similarities....

mechtild at 2011-08-06 22:53 (UTC) (Link)
You weren't? What were you thinking of? The general message of someone showing to their best in the most appropriate surroundings?
jan_u_wine at 2011-08-07 00:08 (UTC) (Link)
Well, I rather thought *this* (and perhaps it may do both justice)


How very small my life is.

Rose-hued afternoons,
fragile, petal'd dremes

(from which there is no real

the slender stalk of me
held sweet
within the patient,

warm dark
of velvet earth,

the sky's blue
lake-gloaming above,



warm and

upon me.

And the nights.

All silver'd moon

and far-off,


with silent fire.

I can not reach them,

the stars,
the yellow moon,

the fierce Sun
or friendly sky.

I cannot reach them.

I am too small,

bound to what and

I am.


I am part of them,
part of their

setting and their

part of their stillness
and their motion,

part of their everlasting

and dying.

And they are part of me,
in *this*,

my small life.

mechtild at 2011-08-07 00:56 (UTC) (Link)
This is gorgeous! Did you just write this? Was it something you've got in your files?
jan_u_wine at 2011-08-07 01:15 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

i wrote it for your Lily of the Day, just now

(although I will admit that a week ago, i'd written "my life is small" upon a scrap of paper, then put it aside)

When I saw your picture and then you made the cross-reference to Frodo (of whom I was thinking when I wrote that opening line a week ago; about how the smallness of his life, the very plain-ness and simplicity of it, would have been a great comfort, surely, to him), it was but a *small* leap......

mechtild at 2011-08-07 01:22 (UTC) (Link)
I gasp that you were able to write that, just like that. I am thrilled, and envious. :)
jan_u_wine at 2011-08-07 01:45 (UTC) (Link)
but, you see, if not for your lovely lily (and the story behind it), I'd not have written it. When I read your beautiful entries, *i* am envious of them, of the care you take with them and the melodies within your wording.

lol (a fond lol!), my dear Mechtild. Often can I turn a phrase, but not ever so nicely than when in concert with you.

I guess, though, that I do wish i understood that what i have is a gift and not commonplace. It just feels natural to me, that's all. And that is what it is: so beloved and natural, so a part of who I am that I forget it's .....special. Lol, that's why i make no money at it. You may as well charge for breathing, or the blood running in your veins.....

I am quite jealous of your gardens. I don't have the patience for that, even though i long for it. It seems a serene place, even if there is a lot of work.

How I wish Julchen could come here and see your garden (or you go to Germany and visit hers). Two more lovely and garden-kindred souls there never were.

well, believe it or not, I am going to a star-party tonight (that's when a bunch of solar-system geeks look at heavenly bodies that are NOT scantily-clad women or men through a telescope). Hopefully, there will be a lovely lemon of a moon (or at least a rind) and some burnished (or not) stars....
mechtild at 2011-08-07 12:16 (UTC) (Link)
May a star shine on your greeting (or viewing)!
jan_u_wine at 2011-08-07 15:06 (UTC) (Link)
ha! well-put. But....ummmm...i fell asleep and did not go....

bad jan
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2011-08-07 22:35 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's beautiful!! (-:
jan_u_wine at 2011-08-08 00:58 (UTC) (Link)
thank you, LT! :) I rather like it myself. I think (actually) it makes a nice companion piece to "....and All the Small and Simple Things"

*this piece being about a fair flower, the other being about Frodo. Perhaps indeed, not much of a difference....*

v. glad you liked it!
primula_baggins at 2011-08-06 16:44 (UTC) (Link)
I'm guessing a lot of the flowers that are blooming in your yard are not blooming here, any longer. Many of them are Spring flowers, I think. I have some petunias blooming here and some celosia, but not much else at the moment. I've always wanted some of the asiatic lillies, but for some reason, I've never gotten any of them.

Do you feed your plants or does the magnificence happen with the nutrients already in your soil?

They are so gorgeous. Thanks for continuing to share with us.
mechtild at 2011-08-06 20:11 (UTC) (Link)
I'm happy you've enjoyed the garden reports, Primula. :) No, I don't feed them anything. I don't think perennials must need much. I don't topdress or fertilize. We did have to buy top soil to fill in the beds once we'd dug them, same with the trees and bushes we planted, the soil in this neighbourhood being mostly rocks and clay (one sometimes must resort to using a pick to dig a hole), so that meant the plants started off with pretty decent soil. I believe annuals and vegetables need far more nutrients, but I don't grow these.

Asiatic lilies are beautiful when in bloom, but it's good to "hide" them in a garden. Flowerless, they are rather an ungainly plant, not gracefully shaped like clumps of daylilies.
just_ann_now at 2011-08-06 18:49 (UTC) (Link)
Your gardens are breathtaking. I'm so jealous.
mechtild at 2011-08-06 20:06 (UTC) (Link)
Are you? I'm flattered, Ann. You seem to have the gardener's eye in your writing.
shirebound at 2011-08-06 19:06 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, lovely! It would be delightful to sit in that garden (or on your lush lawn) with Pippin, talking about Shire-ish things.
mechtild at 2011-08-06 20:05 (UTC) (Link)
...talking about Shire-ish things.

Or Shirebound-ish things. *g*
lindahoyland at 2011-08-07 05:02 (UTC) (Link)
Just lovely!
mechtild at 2011-08-07 12:15 (UTC) (Link)
Glad you enjoyed the tour!
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2011-08-07 22:32 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that really is stunning! The liatris really set off everything around them. Thanks for sharing this with us. Enjoy being in it. (-:
mechtild at 2011-08-08 01:40 (UTC) (Link)
Aren't liatris lovely? And to think, they're simply domesticated prairie flowers. Like cone flowers, lovely perennials culled from wild prairie meadows.
julchen11 at 2011-08-12 14:55 (UTC) (Link)
wow! What a beautiful garden, you're living in a fairy tale...Be sure I'll join you mentally!
Here the rain ruined nearly everything, the rest did the snales. Only lavendar survived, the rest of the flowers is blown to the wind. But maybe next year. It's raining for 8 weeks now with a single day of sunshine! hey,Indian summer where are you???
Last Saturday was the only chance to mow the lawn - Wolfgang needed 4 hours instead of 2. But never give up hope - I'm sure after 2 missed summers there will be a sunny summer 2012!
mechtild at 2011-08-12 16:55 (UTC) (Link)
This is the second rain-filled summer for you? How dreary. Although too much is better than too little. Reading about the places in our country, and around the world, that are having severe, long droughts, too wet seems better than two dry. Too bad we can't share it!
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