Garden Treasures

This is the first year I haven’t bought any garden flowers – no hanging baskets, no geraniums, absolutely nothing.   It was cold with snow flurries until mid-May so the pop up nurseries had a pathetic selection of small and withered looking plants.   We went straight into hot humid weather and I was waiting for them to go on sale but then never made it to any of the big box stores or nurseries. 

On the plus side I don’t have to water, especially welcome in this record breaking heat.   On the minus side, I miss the beauty of having baskets, even the humble geraniums, but I’m trying to focus on my hardy perennials.  Due to the late spring it was a bad year for lilacs (exactly 3 blooms) and peonies (a poor showing, only one or two on the new bushes) and some of the rose bushes did not fare well.  The ones on the north side are very sparse and two had to be dug out entirely.   On the other hand, the rest of the roses were abundant and the lavender was so plentiful it deserves it’s own blog.     

Here’s a recap since May.    A carpet of blossoms on my daily walk.

cherry blossom carpet

My 50 cent purple iris was a beautiful bargain once again.

purple iris

purple iris

The daisies showed up early.

Daisies

Second year for the prolific purple clematis.

purple clematis

The older purple clematis is still hanging in there.

purple clematis

The fuchsia clematis.

fuchsia clematis

Purple salvia and pink roses make a colorful contrast.

Russian sage and roses

The heirloom roses were bountiful.

roses

fifty year old roses…

And so were the Pink Knock-Outs,

roses and lavender

and the newer lavender bushes are doing well.

roses and lavender

Stay tuned for The Lavender Blues next week…

roses and lavender

And speaking of blues, the hydrangeas were more cooperative this year – some lavender hues and my favorite blue tones, aided by a generous dose of aluminum sulfate to acidic the soil.    I wonder how much you have to add to get that brilliant blue you see in gardening magazines? 

Blue hydrangeas

Blue Clematis

The garden is my backyard oasis, a tranquil respite from this crazy COVID world.   How is your garden growing this year?

27 thoughts on “Garden Treasures

  1. Anne says:

    Your garden looks BEAUTIFUL – what a range of flowers you have been able to enjoy! I am sorry you had miserable weather until so late in the year – your perennials have done their best to make up for it. Your photographs give me a little bubble of anticipation of the warmer weather that lies ahead. I am hoping we get spring or early summer rain so that my garden can come alive again. I have thoroughly enjoyed the flowers you have shown us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Ruth…..if I have time I’m going to blog on the lavender next week as I have some really nice pics of the front bushes – I’ve never seen so many buds on them before. I’ve never trimmed down to reflower…..just usually strip the buds off when I harvest.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins says:

        I have a corner of the house that is out of control weedwise. I’m going to pull out the groundcover (it’s lovely but doesn’t stop weeds from growing through it) and either put down mulch or stones. It’s a corner I can’t see from the back patio so it’s a lot of work for little return.

        Liked by 1 person

    • annieasksyou says:

      Wow! 50-year-old roses! Hope I look that good when I—oh, never mind.

      All look beautiful. Truly a pleasure to view.

      We planted hyacinths and crocuses and daffodils last fall. We’re hopeful that this past spring’s pathetic showing is just some adolescent behavior, and next spring will be more productive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        HA! Adolescent behaviour! I hope they act more mature next year. The roses came with the house, which is 53 years old and are always prolific…there’s something to be said for age and wisdom.

        Like

  2. Linda Schaub says:

    Your garden is beautiful Joni … I love the idea of all the perennials. I had some really old and established ones so when I lost them due to the first Polar Vortex I was pretty upset. My neighbor had halved all his Coneflowers, Black-eyed Susans, and August Lilies and they thrived – he did nothing fancy, just stuck the spade through the root and carried them around to my garden. As you know I have few real flowers – one clematis, the Twist-and-Shout Hydrangeas and roses. Net time I will buy flowers for a colder zone than I live in and hopefully that works down the line. I was at that volunteer garden in Memorial Park last weekend – they have planted a butterfly garden there and had some orange Lantana. There were beautiful butterflies there – very scenic and peaceful. They are lucky we’ve had a lot of sun and warm temperatures plus an abundance of rain. It has brought lots of blooms and with no maintenance at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      That’s what I like…..no maintenance. I have tons of weeds Linda, but they doesn’t bother me. I don’t mulch, like you did….it would cost a fortune. Sometimes I do if something is newly planted, but the next year it has to be able to survive on it’s own. I figure it’s kind of like the overgrown English garden kind of look. Late, going to bed. Worked on my Lavender blog tonight for next week – I have some very purple pictures!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I have to get in the backyard this weekend. I’ve kept up the front/side yards weeds, but all of a sudden it looks wild out back again from all the rain and the heat. A real problem is the elm seeds that fell long ago and grew into small trees. I have to get out there this Fall with a small saw and cut them down … they dropped near fences on the neighbor’s side, grew through the fence. Have one in my yard that I never cut down – it looks wild … I’ll cut it down one day, two weeks later it is wild-looking again. I have some type of big weed with milky stuff inside it. It is huge – it grows about a foot a week. No one sees it as it is near the Pyracantha and neighbor put up the privacy fence so only I see it. Last year when I paid in advance for going to the Sunflower Festival (September) and Pumpkin Festival (October), the farm where they were located bought thousands of lavender for a July lavender festival. I just looked today on their website to see if it took place – yes it is. I intended to go to this (that was assuming I’d know how to get there having been there 2 times before). Oh well. I’ve never had lavender in the yard – is it difficult to grow? I’m afraid to plant anything after losing so many perennials. I’ll look forward to your post Joni.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        It’s very easy to grow LInda…..just plop it in the ground….very drought resistant, so I seldom even water it unless we go 2 weeks without rain. I’ll post the blog next Thurs. Have a good weekend….and don’t spend it all weeding!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That sounds like my kind of perennial Joni. You may be warmer in the Winter though – we are 6B. I did spend 2 1/2 hours outside – had to come in as my eyes were burning from sweat going into them. I wanted to walk first when it was cooler – I don’t care for being out when it is hot, and at 10:00 it was already hot and humid. I’ll look forward to your post Joni.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    I only bought some geraniums and marigolds this year. I grabbed them at the grocery instead of going to a proper greenhouse. I planted some zinnias and that’s it. Your photos are nice to see, the colors are great. I want to plant some hydrangeas when I can. I’ve never seen a birdbath with tile on the inside like yours. Did it come that way or did you add the tile? It’s pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I love zinnias, as my mother always grew them in her farm garden, but never seem to have any luck with them myself. I have five hydrangeas, most in partial shade, in various stages of fullness. One really nice big bush was just covered with blooms two years ago but has only had a few since. I thought I had pruned/cut it back wrong, but my gardener/grasscutter guy didn’t fare any better. It’s near the neighbours cedar trees so the cedar droppings make the soil nice and acidic which is what you need for blue blooms. The mosaic birdbath was from Homesense about ten years ago when mosaic was in. I think at that time you could also make your own mosaic stuff by smashing dishes and gluing etc. I have a matching garden bench to it with the same blue/turquoise mosaic top and a garden turtle, which I remember driving home an hour with all of it weighing down the trunk of the car!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jo Shafer says:

    I love your summer garden, Joni! It looks so English, according to my books on Virginia Woolf and Gertrude Jekyll, and like mine. Yes, I enjoy the juxtaposition of roses with blue salvia (or Veronica) and my huge white Fleeceflower. I’ve written before about the bountiful Grande Dame roses the size of soup bowls, but the dahlia tubers Hubby and I planted in the spring never came up. What happened?

    My herb garden, on the other hand, is happily producing baby vegetables this year — Brandywine tomatoes, cucumbers, and summer squash. This morning I pottered in it for two hours, with little breaks to rest my back, trimming overgrown lemon balm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I like the overgrown English look in gardens as it hides all the weeds! I’ve never had a herb garden before. I only planted one tomato plant, which is doing well, and some lettuce, (bunnies ate), and one cucumber plant which turned out tough and full of seeds as we had no rain for 2 weeks. It’s good you were able to work in your garden, if you need rests for your back….very therapeutic! I’m posting on lavender next week and am almost ready to harvest my plants for sachets, but it’s so plentiful this year I may have to recruit some help!

      Like

  5. J P says:

    This has had an effect on me that is the opposite of encouragement. Instead I resolve to pick up my phone and take in your beautiful flowers whenever I get in a mood to see such a thing, and will totally ignore my own yard/garden as I luxuriate in the cool, conditioned air.

    Like

    • Joni says:

      Thanks for the compliment JP but I hope Mrs. JP is okay with you ignoring your garden. I try to have plants which don’t require too much maintenance and are ground spreaders to hide the weeds, as I don’t weed or mulch. The sprawling English type garden is good at that. I’ve been inside for most of July too as we are now on Day 20 of over 30 C / 90 F plus humidex…..it hasn’t been a pleasant summer so far but I have hope for August.

      Liked by 1 person

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