Is this the best idea ever? My friend, Donna, repurposed a non-working grill as her planting station. In addition to being a great decorating accessory, it's also handy for storage. She keeps it on her deck for convenience. When Donna finishes potting up her plants she just closes up the grill top, sweeps the dirt off the deck into her flower garden, and voila, all looks neat and tidy. I thought this was so clever that I just had to share Donna's photos with you.
As much as gardening makes me happy, there are a few things I find somewhat annoying.
Here's my top ten:
Pictured: Daylily 'Green Mystique' inundated with Japanese beetles
Jerry Hyatt is one of the most interesting daylilies that I grow. His look varies depending on the weather and temperature, and he may (or may not) change throughout the day. I'm sharing a few of his different faces so you can see for yourself. I love the animal-print spots in the first photo!
Hybridized by Curt Hanson and introduced in 2004, Jerry Hyatt is a semi-evergreen tetraploid that grows about 27-28" tall and has a 6" bloom. He's an award winner that received an Honorable Mention Award in 2007 and an Award of Merit in 2012. Jerry is a new plant to my garden and thankfully he appears to be happy here.
Jerry Hyatt is a child of the tetraploid Trahlyta, which is where the grey/violet tones come from. I grow the diploid version of Trahlyta, which I have had for many years (and would never part with).
Peak bloom is over in Wisconsin, even though some of my late daylilies are still blooming. For whatever reason, my garden never seems to grow exactly the way I planned or imagined it to. As hard as I try, there are always those areas that need to be fixed. Sound familiar? As the season winds down, I have started my list for fall transplanting and dividing. It's my annual attempt to make my flower garden look even better next year. Those of you who garden know how painstaking the decisions can be. Especially when you are dealing with the ever-present trifecta of size, color, and bloom time being different for each individual plant. In addition, there are so many variations in soil and location (even within my own yard) that can impact the plant's growth, not to mention weather and temperature!
Questions I have asked myself:
I rest assured knowing that Mother Nature always gives me a second (third, and fourth) chance to get it right. So as long as I'm able, I'll just keep on trying...thanks Mom!
Pictured: Daylily 'Carnival in Mexico'
What a perfect name for this daylily! 'Time Stopper' was one of my awesome daylily purchases last year at the Wisconsin Daylily Society Sale in Madison. And yes, time did stand still for me when I first saw it bloom two weeks ago! Although the flowers are registered as seven inches, I measured a bloom yesterday and it was fully eight and one-half inches in size! It is certainly an attention-grabber. The photo I took is very true in color to what it looks like in my garden. Love, love, love the green and burgundy combination. I have it planted in 100% sun and it holds up quite well. Being a dormant diploid, it is also hardy in the north. Hybridized by Jamie Gossard and introduced in 2006, Time Stopper grows about 33" tall in my garden. This daylily will be even more amazing as the clump grows larger!
Isn't she sweet? This little girl lives at the barn across the road from us. I named this tortoiseshell 'Penny-Kitty' because she reminds me of 'Penny,' a cat my friend Mar had for 17 years. The day I took this photo it was relatively cool outside, but our driveway was warm from the sun. Penny-Kitty spent time lounging in our driveway. I imagine the warm asphalt felt kind of like a heating pad. She comes over just about every day to visit us. And she's a talker! We enjoy her visits because she often goes home with a companion. A mouse in Penny-Kitty's mouth is a mouse not building a nest in our garage.
'August Wedding' came to my garden in a very unusual way. In May of 2016 I went to the Minnesota Daylily Society Sale in Minneapolis. I bought daylilies for myself and three of my friends. Upon purchase, all of the daylilies were placed into one large plastic bag. The cultivar fans for each individual plant were held together by a vinyl name tag. Here's where the dilemma happened -- when I got home, after I removed all the plants from the plastic bag, I noticed there was one tiny fan remaining at the bottom of the bag that was not attached to a vinyl name tag. Uh-oh...I had no idea which daylily this fan belonged to. Was it my own or was it someone else's?
So I did what any daylily lover would do. I planted the small fan and waited. Sure enough, this year the small plant sent up a scape and it bloomed last week. It was, without a doubt, August Wedding. Thanks Becky! It was one of yours ;)
I have to say I am already in love with this plant! August Wedding opens fully, even when morning temps are in the high 50's. It has really thick substance as well. August Wedding was hybridized in Suamico, WI (close to Green Bay) by the Korth's of Pinewood Gardens Daylilies. It is a dormant tetraploid that grows about 30" tall. The blooms are between 5-6" in size. Plus, it is an award winner that has ruffles and glitter. What more could a girl want?
As much as I dislike orange ditch lilies, they exuberantly grow on our land across the road. For some odd reason Ange always mows around them. He thinks they look pretty in the distance. Whatever! We had to laugh when we saw a deer munching away at them recently. I have decided in addition to erosion control, ditch lilies do serve a purpose after all. They are decoys for the hybrid daylilies.
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you just might find, you get what you need." - Jagger/Richards
Last year on July 2nd I already had 74 daylilies blooming in my garden. Today there are only 16. Huge disparity! I know the calendar says it's summer, but the cold spring weather has really slowed things down. There may not be many daylilies showing their faces, but here are some photos of what is blooming in my yard right now.
Pictured: Asiatic lily 'Centerfold', Hosta 'Inniswood' (love the crepe texture on the leaves!), Annual double pink and white petunias, Orange Asiatic lily 'Tiny Skyline', Gold/Brown Rudbeckia (NoID), Asiatic lily 'Pink Pixie', Asiatic lily 'Mapira', Asiatic Lily 'Peach' (NoID), Asiatic lily 'Adelina', Clematis 'Jackmanii', Martha's Pink Astilbe (NoID), and a token daylily (one of the 16 that are blooming) 'Eyes on the Prize'.
'Bluegrass Music' is a relatively recent arrival to my garden, but I've grown it long enough to know that it's staying! This daylily is a great performer and each bloom looks exactly like this photo. I have it planted in a terraced rock area where it enjoys a southern exposure. In 2016 it started blooming on June 21st, but bloom will be considerably later this year due to the cool weather we've had this spring. (It was only 48 degrees this morning! Where's my winter coat?)
Bluegrass Music is a Grace-Smith daylily, introduced in 2005. It is a semi-evergreen tetraploid that grows 28 inches tall. Bluegrass Music won an Honorable Mention award in 2010. This award acknowledges performance that goes beyond the local or regional level. Although the flowers are only four inches in size, the amount of blooms it produces (bud count=26-30) provides a beautiful display.
June is full of anticipation and impatience for me. I feel like a little child waiting for Christmas to come. Countless daylily scapes have appeared, and after a year of being patient I'm looking forward to bloom time. My job right now is to spray deer repellent so the scapes remain in existence. And wait...
Pictured: 'Schnickel Fritz' on June 16th with no less than 30 scapes ready-to-go; I counted.
Not what you thought, right? My garden vogue is certainly not haute couture. It is utilitarian attire that makes gardening easier for me.
The gnats have been swarming like crazy lately. You can see clouds of them in the air. If you've ever had a mouthful of gnats or had them fly up your nose, this netted cap may not be as funny as you think! Mosquitoes can also be nasty on hot and humid evenings. Laugh if you will, but guess what? I no longer care what anyone thinks. (Although I must admit that 20 years ago I wouldn't have been caught dead in this hat!) Ultimately, bugs NOT in my mouth = happy.
Netted hats come in quite a wide variety of styles. They can cost anywhere from $1.50 to about $40.00. Mine is the penny-pinching $3.95 variety. It does the job, and keeps all those extra calories out of my mouth. A must-have.
Note: I also use 'Buggins,' a plant-based gnat repellent spray that you can pick up just about anywhere for about $5.00. It is safe to use on children ages one year and older. Buggins smells good too.
I've been kind of obsessed with lupines lately. And there is (of course) a story:
At my office, Vonnie is the resident plant whisperer. She has this mystical ability to convince ANY plant to grow and thrive, be it inside or out. She created a perennial garden by the front office entrance to greet visitors with bright colors and greenery. In this garden Vonnie planted some beautiful hybrid lupines. I have watched these plants grow and bloom like crazy. One of them has blooms that remind me of candy corn! If the spent blooms are cut off, they keep on blooming for well over a month. Lupines do not like hot temperatures and grow best in northern climates. They are toxic if ingested and may cause some discomfort, but I seriously doubt that any office visitors will feel the need to eat these beauties. Lupines do best in soil that is not amended and, well, kind of crappy. Isn't that every gardener's dream? Another plus is the early bloom in a spring garden where not much else is going on.
Lupines have never been on my radar -- until now. I decided that I *needed* a hybrid lupine of my own. So over lunch hour last week, I bought one to try out. I went with the two-tone lemon variety named 'Gallery Yellow.' And I may have to (gasp) move a daylily for it to have a spot.
In addition to the beautiful hybrid lupines, there are also wild lupines. Every year in Mercer, Wisconsin there is an annual Lupine Junefest to celebrate the lupine bloom. Mercer is in northern Wisconsin - not too far from the upper peninsula of Michigan. I know about this Festival only because I have friends who rented a cabin to go fishing in Mercer during that time. Here is a photo they took last year at a random roadside with an iPhone. They said that many roadsides in the vicinity of Mercer look just like this -- lupines as far as you can see. Amazing!
The tall irises have finally started blooming in Wisconsin. A few years back I made a trade for an iris I wanted badly (Batik - shown in the background). Much to my surprise, in the middle of the now established clump, a completely different white iris with purple edging popped up. Note how unusual the top view is. It is gorgeous; a definite keeper. Life can surprise you in small and unexpected ways. So call me grateful!
Tulips never fare well in my garden. Between the deer, rabbits, and moles I don't see much of them. So I have developed a bad case of tulip-envy. And I have *extreme* tulip-envy for my friend Mary's flowers. She puts me to shame. Every year she grows the most gorgeous bounty of tulip varieties. She has dozens of varieties so blooms last for well over a month. This year I talked Mary into sharing a few of her tulip photos so you could enjoy them too. These photos are just a small sampling of what grows in her yard - more or less a snapshot of what was blooming last week.
Mary's tulips were purchased on a budget, quite inexpensively; most of them from big-box stores. She was very pleased with her bang-for-the-buck. From year-to-year she fertilizes her tulips with bulb booster granules to keep them blooming robustly.
These Pasque flowers grow happily in my front garden. They are a harbinger of spring and begin blooming early -- at the same time as my daffodils. Attractive fuzzy heads of seeds follow, so these flowers continue to look good for many weeks. The fuzzies on the plant help insulate it. Like tulips, Pasque flowers close up towards evening, so I posted an open and closed photo. Also note: Deer will not touch these.
Pasque flower is a tundra plant that grows in the northwestern U.S. all the way to northern Alaska. In fact, it has been the state flower of South Dakota since 1903, where it grows wild. Pasque flowers were used as a medicine by native Americans for centuries.
The plants propagate by reseeding themselves. Every spring I find mini-Pasque flowers growing in locations that I didn't plant it, but by no means is it invasive. The new plants are random and few. It grows about 8-12" tall in my yard. Pasque flowers are ideal for sunny rock gardens, crevice gardens, and any spot that is very well drained. I got my original plant from my friend Sally many years ago and continue to enjoy it every April and May.
Since yesterday was Earth Day, I thought I'd share some summer scenes.
Daylilies pictured: "Persian Ruby," "Lady Neva," "Coral Majority," and "House of Orange"; Zinnia: "Profusion Orange"; and Echinacea: "Pink Double Delight"
Our annual dump truck delivery of mulch arrived earlier in the week. Years ago when we were 'mulching rookies,' we had free mulch dumped at our house from the local township. Free is always good, but the mulch was quite chunky and there were often many large branches, and hunks of wood in it. Once there was even a shredded up shoe! We ended up spending quite a bit of time separating the usable mulch from the unusable mulch. Time is money, right? The amount we pay for our mulch is worth every penny. We always order 'natural' and make sure it is double-ground. Going through the shredder twice makes it fluffy and easy to handle. Now, as I weed I can immediately apply the mulch. I like to put down at least 4" on my flower beds.
Reasons I like mulch:
Time to get busy...the weeds are calling.
if it's about
my backyard and garden, I LOVE to talk about it!