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.


violetlady said...

It must be so nice to live on a lake. I live a mile from the ocean and some summers I have rented a cottage on a lake in New Hampshire. I much prefer the lake. I need some advice -- what kind of rose should I buy to climb an arbor? I think we are zone 7. Is it too late to plant roses? Love those poodles! My little guy is so crazy and I love him so much.

Trailhead said...

Love the expression on Kobie's face.

That's a lotta seaweed, by the way.

kris said...

Hi violetlady - I just left you a rather lengthy comment on your blog about the roses. Thanks so much for asking me - what a nice compliment!
We love lake living - we've been here since 1980 and have had a boat on this lake since about '75. I think I'd be happy on any body of water - ocean, lake, river, swimming pool! - but our lake is fun, and I feel very fortunate to be here.
Our dogs are crazy too - they are such clowns sometimes, we just have to laugh. Wish I had half that poodle energy!!

kris said...

Hey trailhead - I don't think Kobie appreciated being woke up just to have his pic taken! That is a lotta seaweed - and it's just a fraction of what's out there - it's ridiculous! Good thing it's so great for my gardens - and a good excuse to spend the afternoon in the water!

Karen said...

Ahh, I love seeing your gardens. And just love those dogs! So cute!

kris said...

Thanks Karen! Those cute dogs are monsters - but we love them anyway. They are wreaking havoc in my gardens - Tess gets all excited when she sees something in the neighbor's yard and has totally destroyed the hosta near the fence. Kobie has started eating the plant leaves - I'm waiting for him to sample something that's poisonous. But all the plants will survive and return next year, and the dogs are really too sweet for us to get too angry, so we just take it all in stride. :)

Zoey said...

Ah, you did post a picture of your wheelbarrow. The pumpkin is perfect in it! Is that at the end of the river birch garden? (I'm trying to get my bearings) :)

Clearing the water of all that seaweed does not sound like fun. Do you ever pull up anything else with the armload of seaweed? Like yucky water reatures....snakes???

Your standard poodles are so cute. Do you give them haircuts yourself or do you have to take them to the pooch parlor every couple of months to keep their hair short?

Tracy said...

Kris: Everything looks so beautiful in your garden! It's interesting to hear William Baffin only blooms once for you - I was thinking of putting it on a fence, but I was really hoping for repeat bloom. I may still do it, but maybe I'll do a little more research to see if there are any other MN-hardy repeat blooming climbers.

kris said...

Hi Zoey - I should post more photos of the overall yard, but I am not happy with the clarity of the photos we get, so haven't.

There is a fence running across the yard by the lake and I have about 10 feet of garden space between fence and lake - that's where the wheelbarrow is. The river birch garden is on the same side of the yard, but there is a space between that garden and the fence where we keep the pump box for the lake pump, hose reel, etc. So, short answer, yes - you're right!!

I like being in the water, so seaweed duty isn't horrible, but not fun either. I sometimes get smelly, dead fish but no snakes. I don't think our lake has snakes (and if anyone knows differently, please, please do not tell me!! thank you!)

The pooches go to the groomer - they cost more than my kids ever did! I have no control over these dogs, so grooming them myself is really not an option. Plus, I need that one day every 6-8 weeks to myself! (When Kobie was little and the only one we had, I took him to doggy day care one day a week just so I could get stuff done without my little helper!)

Hi Tracy - thanks! Baffin is the hardiest climber for Minnesota, I think - but I do only get one bloom. Some others to think about:

Capt. Sam Holland (a very dark rosy pink - I loved the color) - I had it for several years and it was gorgeous - lots of blooms for a long period - and I'm pretty sure repeat blooming. I'll post a photo of it soon. (the only reason I don't have it now is that I lost it when we had to replace a retaining wall, and I'm trying to figure out where another one could go)

JF Quadra (a dk red)looks promising, but only my first year with blooms, so can't say if it repeats or not.

John Davis (a true, clear pink)is listed as a climber, but I really like it better as a shrub. It has a very long bloom time - not necessarily good repeat, but it has heavy bloom for a couple months. Those are the only ones I've had any experience with.

violetlady said...

Thank you for your advice about a climbing rose for my arbor. I will head over to a nursery today and see what they have (after I do some of your suggested research).

Zoey said...

LOL, Kris.
I know it's expensive because a LONG, LONG time ago, I was a pooch groomer. DH (the former) and I had a kennel and groomed dogs. Some of the doggies had to be muzzled because they didn't really enjoy the experience. We used to do doggie pedicures, too.

I lasted about a year blowing dog hair from my nose every night and then we sold the business and he joined the Coast Guard.

I haven't had a pet since. :)

kris said...

hi violetlady - I hope my comments were helpful, but I think your nursery will be your best source. Can't wait to hear what you find!

Zoey - you have a new photo!! Every time my dogs go to the groomers, I hear that one of them was being a brat there - usually Kobie, but if he cooperates, then Tess has a stubborn streak. I give HUGE tips because I live in fear each time that she'll tell me not to bring them back there again!

Kitt said...

Ah, spring cleaning. You pay a price for all that beauty, eh?

kris said...

'fraid so... Most of the time I would say it's worth it, but there are times things get a little old!

Zoey said...

Yes, I changed my picture.

My mother told me I looked way too prim in the other one. I believe she said I looked like a 1950's librarian. LOL.

You tip your groomer? Wow. Back when I was one nobody tipped me. I'm always a day late and a dollar short!

kris said...

Shoot - you mean I DON"T have to tip the groomer??!! lol
Everyone here seems to tip everyone - sorry you missed out on that! :)
I do like this photo better - but I wouldn't have said you looked like a '50s librarian!! (Mom's have all the fun!)