Format, Font and Flora!

June 30, 2011

First of all, about the new colours: I've been playing around with some new designs for my blog. I realize that the writing is more difficult to read on the black background and I've made the font a little bigger to see if that helps.

I'm still not happy with the ease of reading, but I don't have a lot of time to work on this today....PLEASE HAVE PATIENCE WITH ME, I'll try to get this rectified before my next post.

Now, to today's photos: I wanted to take some overall shots of the garden. I know I'm always intereted to see what other gardens look like as a 'big picture'. Hope you enjoy these.

Happy Gardening, everybody!

Back Border
Side Border
Front Shrub Bed
splash of color in the back border

Peony Love - "Pretty in Pink"

June 27, 2011

For my money (at least in my zone) peonies are the Number One perennial for showiness. I love the way they look as a plant, the way they look as individual flowers, the way look as cut flowers, and the way they smell.

Below is my very favourite of all the peonies, the 'Bowl of Beauty'.

I bought a lovely new perennial book on the weekend, Lois Hole's 'Perennial Favourites'. In the book, she tells at what stage to cut the flowers and also how to dry them. She has a lovely photo in the book of dried peonies. I had no idea you could dry them. I'm experimenting with that now. I'll post photos later, if I'm able to accomplish it!

Happy Gardening, everyone.

Paeonia 'Bowl of Beauty' Peony

Paeonia 'Sarah Bernhardt' Peony

Cottage Garden Blooms on Fertilizer Friday

June 24, 2011

Here we are on the last Friday of June.   We've had a pretty much a good solid week of wet here, but one of my peonies has started to bloom and the other ones are close!   I think I look forward to the peonies opening more than anything else. 

I love to cut them, soak them in soapy water to get rid of the ants and put them in my best crystal vase!

Here is a little mosaic of the one that's blooming now.  It's the only one I don't know the name of.  It was mislabelled as a 'Bowl of Beauty' when I purchased it at a garden centre a few years ago.  There are two tones of pink, and the difference in the two shades is ever-so-subtle. 

Another of my favourites, that is in full bloom right now, is Salvia nemorosa Sage 'Caradonna'.  It's dark purple flower stalks fade to an almost black seed head, which I leave on right until frost.  The seed head looks almost as lovely as the flowers. 

The hostas and ferns are really starting to fill in, beside the limestone walkway.

Ditto for my little hosta shade bed in the backyard.  (I think I will ask my long-suffereing husband to trim some of the lower branches of the pine tree behind it.  That way when the tree is bigger, the hostas will look wonderful under it.) 

Happy Weekend and Happy Gardening to everyone!     And please check out all the Fertilizer Friday happenings at Tootsie's Blog 

Fertilizer Friday for June 17!

June 17, 2011

I'm joining up with Tootsie and friends over at Fertilizer Friday.  It's another nice way to meet garden bloggers from all over the world. 

This is the time of year that the perennial borders seem to have a lot of lovely green foliage, and a lot of buds waiting to come out. 

For colour in my borders right now, I have all my irises in bloom.  In addition to the ones I have shown in recent posts, I have my Really Giant white one in bloom, as well as a purple one with white, a very dark one (almost a blackish-purple) and my favourite - a lavendar coloured one.

All these irises were gifts from my wonderful friend, Rita. 

And I really cannot resist posting this photo of our little friend, who seems to live under our deck:

Happy Fertilizer Friday!
Have a great Weekend!

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

June 15, 2011

I met lots of interesting gardeners by participating in Garden Blogger's Bloom Day last month, so here I am to do it again.   It's a fun way to showcase what's going on in your garden on the 15th of each month. You can find out more about it May Dreams.

I have buds on a lot of my perennials now and a few more things coming into bloom. This is just a lovely time of year...what is more fun than going out into your garden after a long day of work, and seeing what has started blooming while you were away?

Papaver orientale Oriental Poppy 'Paradiso'
my side border with the Oriental Poppy against a backdrop
of blue cornflowers
Aconitum Monkshood
my little hosta bed in the shade

can't wait for the peonies to open!
one of the few annuals I bought this year
a salmon-coloured geranium in a pot my Dad gave me

Flower of the Week: 'Rita Heritage' Iris

June 13, 2011

These are what I like to call my 'Rita Heritage' Irises! They were given to me by my dear friend, Rita, who got my lovely gardens off to a wonderful start by giving me many perennials out of her beautiful garden in 2008. She said that these irises were given to her, forty years before, by the woman who started HER out in gardening.

They are particularily tall and bloom early, but mainly because I have them planted against the white wall of our swimming pool, which also faces south.

I have come upon purple and white bearded irises that look suspiciously like these, in photos only, and think they may actually be called 'Wabash' irises.

But I will always think of them as my 'Rita Heritage' ones.

PS - Just so I don't give anyone the wrong impression, this 'Flower of the Week' post that I started last week isn't meant to be taken as any kind of advice or expertise or anything like that! As I mention in my 'About my Blog' section, I'm an amateur gardener who just likes to share information about my own garden.

I'm just going to pick my favourite flower that's blooming each week and kind of showcase it. Any sharing from the Blogging World is more than welcome in the comments section.

"White Choral Bells"

June 10, 2011
Lilies of the Valley
More of my lilies of the valley. Just a favourite! When I was little, my Mom and I sang while we did the dishes. A little round that went:

White choral bells, upon a slender stalk,
Lilies of the valley deck my garden walk.
Oh don't you wish that you could hear them ring?
That can happen only when the fairies sing.

Wordless Wednesday

June 8, 2011

Heuchera Coral Bells, Iris

Convallaria Lily of the Valley

Flower of the Week: Centaurea

June 2, 2011

This beautiful flower is something new to me this year. I bought two of them at a plant sale last spring. This looks like one big plant now, which shows you how quickly they spread. The Centaurea, also known as Cornflower or Knapweed, is just starting to come into bloom. There are a good many buds on it, and it already looks great.

From what I read in my books, they bloom in early summer, but will also have a smaller flush of blooms in autumn. We shall see if they do in my zone.

The flowers look like little thistles, but they are soft to the touch. They make excellent cutting flowers and will do well in light shade as well as full sun. Mine are getting full sun, but I will experiment with moving some into light shade.

You might be asking yourself, should you put anything in your garden that has 'weed' in it's common name? I'll let you know about this time next year!

As I've already found out, they are fast spreaders, so they probably aren't a good choice for smaller gardens. I'm the type of gardener who doesn't mind quick spreading plants, as I have lots of room to move things to, friends to give plants to, and two composters for what's left over!

And you can't have too much blue in your garden. In my garden, anyway.