Thursday, May 31, 2007

a day in the life of...

This is Vivid Rose - isn't this a gorgeous peony?

Vivid Rose again - it's my only true pink peony. I had two others many years ago - Sarah Bernhardt and another one - but they had tall, floppy stems - and just when they would be loaded with huge, fragrant, pink blooms, the stems would bend and all the blooms would be lying on the ground. I lost patience and gave them away. I have kicked myself many times since. But I still have Vivid Rose - and it's a gorgeous peony.

I think this one is called Samba - but when I tried to find it on some peony related websites, I couldn't. So I could be mistaken. The color is really hard to photograph - but this is close to the true color - so here you are!

William Baffin. You will be seeing many photos of Baffin - it's a huge rose bush and is covered with buds. When it's in full bloom, it is pretty awesome. I have only had one good bloom per year with this rose, even though it's listed as a repeat bloomer. But you'll see it has so many blooms the first time, I kind of have to cut it some slack.
Baffin again - it's a very hot pink - almost too hot really - but I love this rose and the way it performs in cold climates.

Miss Tess - keeping cool in the grass.

Kobie - Mark woke him up to take this photo. He likes his sleep time.

This is a corner of the lakeshore garden. We inherited an old rusty wheelbarrow when we bought this house. A few years ago I stuck it in this corner and put pots of flowers in it. It was almost impossible to keep the containers watered without dragging a hose through the garden or scrambling over the rock riprapping. A couple years ago I put these iron pumpkins in it for a fall display and decided since they don't require quite as much watering, they would get to stay year round. I am thinking the cement block can probably go - it's just not adding the look I was hoping for :) (The wood in the upper left corner is a wren house. All three bird houses have sticks and other nesting materials in them - but I haven't seen a lot of activity around any of them.)
This is the good news, bad news photo. The good news: the lake water is warm enough for swimming! The bad news: the lake water is warm enough to get in and start pulling seaweed.
I spent a couple hours this afternoon in the lake with a small windsurfer board (without sail etc). I pulled the seaweed and put it on the surf board and then hauled the full loads to the dock. Tomorrow I'll get to haul all the weeds up to the compost pile. Once we start this, the fun just doesn't end! We clear all around our dock and a path out to where the boat traffic is so I can swim without touching weeds. I hate having weeds grab me when I swim. There are a ton of weeds, so I have a lot of work ahead of me.
More goods news: the seaweed makes the best compost for my gardens. Makes it all (almost) worthwhile.
While I was playing in the lake, Mark took some photos of the gardens. This is what I call the river birch garden. It has the fairy, river birch clump, and a mix of shade and sun lovers. Right now about the only thing blooming is spiderwort. This area always seems very restful to me.
This is the west lake garden: gazebo, about half my roses, armillary, etc. It's mostly hot, full day sun. Right now the bloomers are the roses, bearded iris, siberian iris, spiderwort, mountain bluet (just winding down), catmint, clematis on the gazebo, and a couple perennial geraniums. The bare spots on the right side are a new space I prepped last fall. This year I just have a couple things I bought at the Arb sale and a bunch of dahlias. Next fall, I'll probably plant it out when I dig up the dahlias.
The dahlias and mini glads I planted are starting to come up. I've never had either before this year, so that should be fun.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

buds yesterday, blooms today

This has been the most fragrant year. The lilacs earlier were wonderful. And now the roses and bearded iris are fabulous. When the wind is right, the house is filled with a wonderful scent, and the yard and gardens even more so. It's great!
This is Carefree Beauty - yesterday I showed you a closed bud. This was one of the first roses I purchased - many years ago. It's been moved a few times, and just keeps on keepin' on. It has a slight fragrance - some days very fragrant, other days not. I love it.

This is the Japanese or anemone peony that I showed just opening yesterday. I don't think I ever really knew the name of it. It's one of my favorites - I love the single bloom - so loose and blowsy. It reminds me of a girl at a summer dance.

This isn't a great photo - I really do have to learn to use this camera more effectively!! But wanted to show you how much prettier the fountain is with blooming things at its base. Here you see Marie Bugnet rose and the Japanese peony. It would have been good if I'd cleaned the fountain and turned it on too, no doubt!

This is Marie Boisselot again - these blooms are the size of my hand - just huge. (Well, my hands aren't THAT big, but you get the idea - big blooms.)

One of the pretty little spiderwort plants I have scattered throughout my gardens. Such a sweet little bloom - and they have a really long bloom time. Some people don't like how wild or messy the leaves are, but they fit into my gardens perfectly.

This is Kansas again - this is really much redder in the garden - not a true red, but darker than it shows here, I think. I have it planted beside a false indigo, which is in bloom now too. The combo is very pretty. (of course every photo I've tried to get of the two together has not turned out)

This is what I did yesterday - the garden originally ended at the fairy's feet. I'm not real big on borders usually, but this shady area does have a border of variegated hosta. So I continued the border - making it deeper - and (maybe by next year!) fuller. I think I'll stick a few caladium corms (or whatever they are) in here this year just to fill it in a bit later this year.

This is Kobie's favorite chair in the yard - it's in a nice shady spot just for him. Sometimes he shares with me, but he always seems to hog most of the chair. However, if I have the super expensive cushions out on the other chairs, and he has dirty feet, those are his favorites. He's really a joy to have around.

I just finished this book - "The Divide" by Nicholas Evans. I enjoyed his previous three books, and this one was really good too. He tells a good story and really develops his characters well, I think.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

tomato blossoms

"Carefree Beauty"
Today flew by: French class this morning. I was going to quit for the summer, but when we figured out how few weeks we would actually all be in town, decided to keep going. Nadine is going to France to visit her family for 3 months in September - lucky, lucky!!
Single, Anemone, Japanese peony
After class, I started digging out grass: in front of the fairy and around the rust urn by the dock. The urn space is going to need lots more work, but I dug up and divided a bunch of variegated hosta and planted them in front of the fairy. I think it looks good - and if not, I'll just put something else there next year. I have caladium to plant between the hosta since they won't be very full this year.
J.F.Quadra climbing rose
Now Mark is throwing dinner on the grill - and we'll have to hope it cooks fast because we have thunder and very black skies out there! Even though we've had pretty good rains, we can always use more. And then maybe it will be nice tomorrow and I can get more done outside.
Tall bearded iris
So I plan to spend the evening with a good book. Oh, oh - it just started raining, and I'm pretty sure the burgers aren't done yet. Guess that's why they put lids on grills! And why husbands are water-proof!
Tomato blossoms!!
And this is my favorite photo today - tomato blossoms!!!! Yippee!

Monday, May 28, 2007

bring on summer

What a great weekend. Hope everyone else had a good one too.

I finished all the containers I'm going to do - I'll do a post on them, but right now they all look pretty pathetic, so we'll give them a couple days!

My neighbor gave me a gorgeous purple fountain grass for my birthday. I still need to put it somewhere, but otherwise, all annuals are present and accounted for. (That's me breathing a sigh of relief!)

Pretty much just hung out here - working in the garden - reading - enjoying the nice weather. Sunday my niece, Becca, graduated from high school, so I went down to my brother's for the afternoon and hung out with my family - very fun. My nephew Tom said he thought it would be cool to see his name in my blog - so Hey, Tom! (Now I'd better see something in the comment section if you read this!!)

Lots of stuff is blooming - so here are a ton of photos:

This and top photo are Marie Bugnet - nice scent

Solomon's Seal - almost ready to pop into bloom
Frau Dagmar Hartopp
Frau Dagmar Hartopp - bud - had to get this little bee on the post!
"Kansas" peony
An iris I posted a couple days ago - they're all pretty much open now
Caesar's Brother - I love how dark this is - and also very tall
A clump of Caesar's Bro
Belle Poitevine - so fragrant - kind of spicy scent
Magnifica - also very fragrant
Today's photo of Therese Bugnet!!!!
Mine is 3 1/2 feet tall - and about 3 feet wide right now
Jens Munk
My species rose - very fragrant
Species rose again - look at all these blooms and buds!
A new clematis open on the gazebo - "Marie Boisselot" - it's actually a pure white - and huge.
And this is my Lady's Mantle and Coral Bells - I love these two together.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I am lovin' Therese Bugnet

This is my species rose. It was open earlier today - a single that opens up fairly flat. But I was working on containers this afternoon, and didn't get out to take photos until almost 7. Thought the sun shining on it like this was kind of pretty. (think the orange thing in lower right is my finger - I had to hold it steady in the wind to get the photo)Therese Bugnet is stealing my heart! I apologize that these photos aren't exactly color perfect, but not too far off. It's a very pretty pink with blue or purple undertones - but not lavendar (like the next photo) at all.
The blooms are just gorgeous - whether they're just opening or halfway or full blown.

Each one that was open today looked just a little different from the next.

This is a really poor photo - but had to show you how many opened up today - yesterday there were only a couple with a ton of buds. Today it was covered with beautiful blooms. There are still lots of buds too.

I am really looking forward to seeing how this performs the rest of the summer.
Wanted to show you the hanging baskets on the gazebo. My gazebo has 3 windows and 3 doors and I hang baskets in each window. This year I bought some ivy geranium for the baskets. I hope you can see the foliage - it's a gorgeous variegated white and green. Very fun.

finally made it to the Farmer's Market

Mark and I went to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market this morning. I love going there and usually buy a lot of my annuals and a few perennials, and, of course, some yummy food items each year. We don't go every weekend, but it's fun to go a few times each summer.

I don't know if this sign is true or not - but I guess that's pretty blatant if it isn't!!! It is a big space - and on weekends it is packed with vendors and people. It's excellent for people watching.

Today it wasn't very busy - but with the holiday weekend, tomorrow and Sunday and Monday it will be crazy!

You can buy everything from food items to fresh flowers and bedding plants to garden decorations to t-shirts.

I bought some of my annuals earlier this week at a very fun little nursery in Long Lake - Kelly & Kelly. If you are ever in the Cities and need to buy plants, go to Kelly & Kelly. It's a family run business. If you go later in the summer when the first gardening frenzy has died down, they will actually dig plants out of their display gardens for you to take home. It's one of my favorite nurseries in the Twin Cities area.

Anyway, today I just bought a flat of double impatiens and a flat of petunias - so pretty light day at the Market for me. But it was fun to be there. (And it's fun to surprise Mark once in awhile by getting in and out quickly - keeps him on his toes!!)
P.S. You know I couldn't get a page to look like this if I tried - I have no idea what that one photo and words are doing - but I just spent a ton of time trying to get everything where I wanted it - and I GIVE UP!