Wednesday, June 27, 2007

June gardens

This is one of my favorite garden spots - daisies, mallow, purple coneflower and Raspberry Wine monarda all bloom together. Later purple phlox will join in too. It's a riot of wild bloomers. The monarda is just starting to open - this lakeshore garden used to be full of monarda and looked totally cool when it bloomed. But monarda has a way of taking over a garden, so last fall I took out most of it and, for the time being at least, I'm planning to contain it in a couple spots. We'll see how well that works!
This mallow plant is in one of the porch gardens, and is poking through the railings by the steps. Later a fall blooming anemone will do the same thing on the other side. I love these blooms - and how happily this plant sprawls.

The daisies are opening. I have several groups of daisies spread around various gardens.

All Summer Beauty hydrangea. It needs a little winter protection in Minnesota, and every fall I feel like yanking it out because who needs all this winter protecting work anyway... but then I relent and when it starts blooming, I'm always happy I helped it out. This is one that will bloom either blue or pink - mine is pink, and I'm okay with that.

The hollyhocks are so happy this year! I love this old-fashioned plant. On the right is one of my heirloom tomatoes - the plants are getting very big and new tomatoes are setting every day. I CANNOT wait to have tomatoes from the garden!!

Mark made me a special holder/sling for my kayak. Seems to be working pretty well. Look how clear and calm the water was this morning: you can see footprints in the sand bottom. (The black thing is not a snake - it's the hose for the lake pump. Just in case you were wondering.)
I am loving the kayak - feel pretty comfortable with it, but I'm still avoiding super windy conditions and haven't been out when there's a lot of boat traffic yet. I'll get there though!
(Some of these photos will click big)


some June lilies

what were they thinking????

I think the photos say it all. At 8 am Mark went out and took some garden photos for me. The top photo shows how beautifully the rhubarb had recovered from the poodle assault.

The second photo was taken at 11:30 am. Stupid dogs.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

summer days

The day was hot and sunny. The drinks were cold and wet.
My dad and mom, Gale and Bettie.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

a new toy

I have a new toy!! I love getting new things. This spring I decided it would be great fun to have a kayak. I wanted a sit-on model, and we looked at some on-line and in sporting goods stores. Quite expensive. Mark wanted to be sure I would actually use a kayak if we bought one. He's happy with the canoe. So a friend gave us a long windsurfer board and a yak paddle and I've been playing around with that a little. It's really not the same as a kayak at all!

Today Mark and my dad went garage saleing and found a kayak rep who had a sit-on demo for sale. We picked up the yak, paddle (better than the freebie), and a life vest for less than half price of new. Everyone is happy! I took it out for awhile this afternoon - very fun! I love it. It has a yellow top that turns kind of lime green when it's in the water with the sun shining on it. Cool.

A plus, the rep's wife is a gardener and wanted some ideas on shade plantings. I gave her some ideas and told her to stop over sometime to see what I have. If she likes some of mine, I'll divide some up for her. A new gardening friend and a new yak in the same day - very cool.

My parents are staying with us for a couple weeks. They live in south Texas and come back to Minnesota and Iowa to visit all of us each summer. We're supposed to be sunny and 90's this next week - perfect lake weather! I'll keep you informed on my kayaking progress!


Thursday, June 21, 2007

in the gloaming

Isn't this a fun photo? I was sitting on the porch steps watching Mark work and the dogs play, and decided I should probably get some photos while the wind was calm and I still had some light. The landscape lights by the porch came on while I was shooting, and I thought the way the lights lit the Jackmani clematis on the lattice under the porch was very cool.This is one of the yellow lilies by the porch that just opened. I love when the lilies start - I have a good collection of colors, and they are all big clumps, so lots of color around the gardens right now.
This is Madison - a short but sprawly rosebush. (Is "sprawly" a word?) It will bloom pretty heavily from now until it freezes. The blooms are quite small, but the color and number of blooms really make this a standout. A neighbor has Madison right next to the road, and it survives winter salt and sanding - a great city rose!
A repeat blooming daylily - it opens a light lemon color and ages to a light gold. I'm interested to see how long it actually will keep blooming. I like the bloom time of Stella de Oro - but I don't like the gold color as much as I like yellow in my gardens - so I'm hoping this will be good.
Old fashioned single hollyhocks. I love these flowers.
A very pale pink lily.
Alexander MacKenzie. I bought this rose 3 years ago and planted it in a bad spot - not enough sun. So last fall, I cut it way back and moved it. The blooms are pretty small this year, but it looks healthy, so I think it will make it. Maybe by next year it will be ready to really take off.
This is my Annabelle hydrangea. I've had it for at least 10 years. The first 2 or 3 years I moved it many, many times. Once I finally left it alone, it just took off. The plant is huge and blooms like crazy. Every spring I think I'll cut off a chunk or two and start a new one in another garden, but that has yet to actually happen. I cut the dried blooms in the fall and decorate outdoor containers, wreaths, the Christmas tree, etc - and I leave some blooms on the plant for winter interest. In the spring, I cut it back to the ground, and it just shoots right back up - taller each year.
I think this is some kind of coneflower or rudbeckia. It's a volunteer in the lakeshore garden. I have 2 lakeshore gardens - one has the potential to be wet all the time in high-water years. That one has siberian iris, monarda (bee balm), turtlehead, etc. The other side is usually very dry - who knows why! Anyway, this is on the dry side. The leaves are skinny and hairy or fuzzy. If anyone knows what its proper name is, let me know!
The purple coneflower are starting to bloom. I used to have 2 gardens that were full of this great plant - but I've taken out a lot of it now. It self-seeds like crazy, so when I decide it's time to fill the gardens again, it will be an easy task!
I just did some whiskey barrel plantings for the driveway - more on that project later! For one of them I bought a Knock-out rose for under 10 bucks at Home Depot. When I bury Gertrude Jekyll next fall, I'll stick this guy in the same hole, and then find a permanent spot for it in one of the gardens next spring. I am very impressed - in only a week, it's growing and blooming like crazy. Could be a keeper.
This is an annual I picked up to use in another barrel - with some purple fountain grass and double red petunias. In a few weeks, this could be a cool group, I think. Anyway, I threw the label without really looking at it - but totally cool leaves - green with purple - and it's kind of irridescent. I like it.
Happy Summer to everyone - hope you totally enjoyed this longest day of the year!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

BIG stick

Today while I was mowing the yard, a pretty good sized branch fell out of the old maple tree. I'm thinking this tree will not be with us for many more years. Several years ago it was hit by lightning, and it's been in a slow decline ever since.But Kobie saw this as a great opportunity to get some fiber in his diet and sharpen the old teeth a little.
Tess turned on the puppy-dog eyes - I want a big stick too.

Mark is afraid of these teeth - he jumps back when the teeth come out. I spend a ton of time with my hands in Kobie's mouth. He's a big goof with a very soft mouth.
(All of these photos will click big)

My little Madison rose bush is blooming. I have two of them in the front of the west porch rose garden. These are from the Town and Country roses - they don't get very tall, but spread out a lot. I love the tiny little blooms - the color - and that it will keep blooming from now until it freezes. Very sweet.
I also have some light pink and some yellow lilies in bloom. One of my repeat blooming daylilies has started. And today the first hollyhock bloomed. I'll show all on a future post - very windy out today.

And, we have tomatos! Still little, but I can almost taste them. Yum!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MIKE & ELAINE - a day late, but you know we were thinking of you!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

flowers too, of course

I have these tall lilies by the porch. I think I planted them 5 or 6 years ago, so I have a pretty good clump of them by now. They are pretty stunning when blooming.
These equally tall, but pink, lilies are in the same garden. Together, they put on quite a show.
These gorgeous red lilies are down by the gazebo. I adore this dark red.
Isn't this a great lily?

The coreopsis is starting to bloom. I think these little bright yellow flowers and fine foliage are very pretty. They brighten up the summer garden.

Had to show you this spiderwort. These white and purple blooms appear to be on the same plant. Many years ago, I put in what looked like one plant and it had both colors when it bloomed. Now I have at least 3 clumps that have both colors blooming side by side.
Most of the white blooms have this cool purple center. A few are totally white, but I like the purple centered ones best.

This coneflower is either a native Minnesota wildflower that volunteers in one of my lakeshore gardens - or it's from a packet of Colorado wildflower seeds that Mark brought back from the Denver airport many years ago. Whichever, it's very cool and seems to love lots of sun and fairly dry soil. The leaves are very similar to blue flax.

This is a volunteer bellflower. I love the little flower so much that I have a tat on my ankle that looks very similar to one of these blooms!

This I believe is a cluster bellflower that one of my gardening neighbors gave me. The blurry yellow behind it is the evening primrose. Kind of a nice combo. They are both spreaders, so in a few years, this may be what the entire garden looks like!

fun summer reading

I finished Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews, and I'm now 2/3 of the way through Savannah Breeze.
This is great summer reading!! Fun characters - crazy plots - and very easy reading.