Walating yesterday - photo heavy

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)June 5, 2010

As of this morning, we've had 3" of rain in June! That's helped make up for the dry/snowless winter and dry spring but I hope there's more to come too. Most things are looking good at the moment - it's hard to decide what to take a picture of! When the sun is out, it's very intense so the pictures don't come out very good. I did a walk-about yesterday with camera in hand and this is the result...

The roses and peonies on the north side of the driveway are doing great so far. Last year, for the first time, we had a dreadful invasion of Japanese Beetles. I'm holding my breath at the moment - I haven't seen them this year so far... The Angel roses at the base of the big white rose have some mildew - that's newer happened before. I'm assuming the dry start to the year is responsible for that.

This is looking up the south side of the driveway, along the herb bed and down the south side of the house towards the south alley gate, from the street:


The big pots of peas in front of the herb bed are doing nicely; we should be getting peas from the earliest maturing ones by the end of next week.

Randy picking strawberries for breakfast:

Poor Vyvyan is hanging in there but not looking too healthy. There is one stem almost to the top of the lattice today though. There hasn't been any wilted bits in a few days. She was looking a bit pale and we gave her some fertilizer yesterday.

Speaking of clematis... The tripod seems to be working although looks a bit more daddy-long-legs that I hoped. I won't post a picture of the whole thing until it (hopefully) gets fully covered in vines. But this is a section of it now:

The Niobe on the arbour (which wilted every year) doesn't seem to have showed up this year. The honeysuckle on the right side had died out. We took a cutting from the one on the left last summer. It rooted well and is now making its way up the right side.

The empty spot on the left in this picture (which Randy took from the garage roof) is where the iron tuteur will go. I haven't heard back from Mario on when it will arrive. Since he had called a month ago to say it was delayed due to his wife having heart trouble, I haven't wanted to bug him about it. They also have an adult mentally-disabled son at home, so they've got a lot to deal with. I will probably have Barb call next week - she worked for them for a bit so can make more tactful enquiries than I can...:-)

This picture is a ground-level look towards the bench with the colors less washed-out:

We got a rain barrel for the southeast corner of the house. The downspout there kept washing out the path to the south gate so we hope a rain barrell might help. The brown rain barrel disappears quite nicely as does the black overflow pipe. But the green drain hose is definitely the wrong green! As is the green one Randy attached to drain the barrel towards the roses on the south gate. We're going to change that to a black soaker hose. We got 9mm of rain last night and the barrel overflowed! So it might not be very useful...

In the backyard the Beautybush is putting on a nice show at the back of the house:

Ramona and her big friends are looking good at the south fence:

My favorite group of greens near the shed:

The back porch from the lawn - Misty and I spend a lot of the summer hanging out on the lounge chair there:

This is an odd little experiment. A few years ago a bird-sown Angel rose seedling showed up at the edge of a pine. I let it be, not expecting it to live. It did nothing much for a year or two and then decided it needed to climb up if it wanted enough light to bloom. We stuck a bamboo pole in and tied it up, once again not expecting it to survive. It appears it's going to make a go of it so now we need to do something to give it a more attractive support!

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Splendid group of photos Woody, it all looks terrific.I love all the wonderful ferns you have, my garden sure is lacking in that area, and many ferns do pretty well here. Glad to see that Vyv is holding her own after the unfortunate wilt incident. What do you call the area where Marios tuteur will go ? I've been referring to it as the roof garden, but Im sure you have another ID for it. I really like the area and how it's arranged.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 8:19PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Kathy - it's just the front bed :-)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 8:58PM
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I think you were right about the brown colored rain barrel...I'm going to keep that in mind as I look for rain barrels.

Everything looks so lush! I really admired the rogersias! I'm just putting them in this year.

Hi Misty!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:57PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow Woody! everything looks wonderful! You've done so much with your gardens since I visited a few years ago. Love the clematis and huge hostas. Marvelous! I surely hope Vyvyan makes a complete comeback. Did I tell you I've bought yet another because I love yours so much! Crossing my fingers that this one survives.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 7:21AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Woody...I can't wait to see your tutor too (hey I like the lyricism). :-) Anyway, I remember when you shared a drawing you had made of it.

You're gardens are *gorgeous*..isn't it amazing how everything will perk up and look so lush after a nice rain...I'm glad you got it.

Love that long shot with Misty...I would love to walk that path.

You are certainly in full bloom right now and it's *all* lovely. I agree Ramona is looking lovely. That was my first Clematis a gift from Rose who owned the old home and greenhouse by me (that is sadly gone now). My Ramona is still alive!...though no blooms. She's all shaded out and should be moved and given a good spot she deserves...like your Ramona. I was always a little nervous about moving her, but now it seems I might as well as she certainly can't be her beautiful self where she is.

Thanks for sharing the pics.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:00AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - I love rodgersia! All mine are Rodgersia aesculifolia. All the information on them say they need moist conditions but I don't find that to be true. Certainly the leaves are bigger in damper conditions but I have ones in dry shade under the white pines and they do fine. So do the ones in the front porch bed in the rain shadow of the roof - they only get watered when I remember to, which is not as often as I should! The ones in the picture with the Remona clematis are under the oak canopy so once the oak has leafed out, it gets quite dry there. They are very tough plants! Here are the ones in the porch bed - you can see that they are a bit smaller in leaf size but still vigorous.

Deanne - yes, we've done a lot to the garden since you were here - time to head north again and check it out...? The big hosta in the Ramona pictuse is Bressingham Blue. I have several of those. I was disappointed in them at first. It took a couple of years for them to get big, but they are now BIG! I meant to divide a few of the hostas in the patio bed this spring but they took a long time to appear this year - and then they grew so fast I didn't have time to get to them until they were too big to divide! What happens if you never divide a hosta?! Does it eventually die out or split off into multiple crowns on its own? I think Vyv is set to make a comeback but the flower show will definitely be less this year. I hope you have good luck with her this year in your garden.

Ei - isn't it nice to have plants with a 'history' in the garden?! I'm worried about what will happen to my Ramona - the neighbours on the other side of the fence she's on are elderly. I expect within the next 5 years or so that house will be sold. The most likely thing that will happen then is that it'll be torn down and replaced with a big, fancy house. The new owners would no doubt want to replace the somewhat tatty chainlink fence with a solid monster one and there will go my garden conditions on that side. I'm hoping I might be able to persuade a new owner to go for something like a Jerith 400 series aluminum fence that has the look of a classic wrought iron fence and would be suitable for an upscale home. The closer spacing of the pickets would give some privacy while still allowing for light and support for growing plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jerith fences

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 11:27AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

How pretty and romantic everything is looking, Woody! I just love all your romantic blues and whites. And how great that you can do the veggies/fruits in containers - I should try that.

Neighbors are always challenges - we each have our own horror stories of some sort, I expect. That's a gorgeous fence -- I hope you find them amenable.

I really love how lush everything is looking this year, rain we are all so happy about!


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 9:31PM
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Lovely, Woody! I've always wanted to try Rodgersia but can't find enough free real estate in the shade garden. Thanks for sharing yours!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 10:56AM
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You could consider installing the fence yourself, on your side of their fence...just a thought.

I have a hedge that is a monster but it keeps my privacy in the backyard. If it ever comes down, then I will have to fork over the money for a privacy fence.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 12:34PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Re the fence - we'll probably just wait and see what happens - hopefully the neighbours will last as long as we do and it won't be an issue :-) I certainly have a better understanding though of the neighbour to the north's fears when we bought this place and started a major renovation. They begged us not to do the big, solid fence (which we had no intention of doing anyway, but they didn't know that until after they had a chance to talk to us...) Maybe the neighbour to the south would sell the house to one of their daughters - the neighbour to the north is the son of the original owner. If that happened, there'd be no problem because the daughters love our garden! :-) Or maybe a new owner would not mind a see-through type fence if it was a suitable style. We would certainly contribute to the cost if they went for something like the Jerith 400 series. Actually, the greatest privacy issue for the property to the south is not one that can be fixed by a fence. The way the properties slope, our office looks down on their backyard and the current patio area in their yard is almost directly under the south window of the office. The only way they could reasonably make a private patio area is to extend their house (presumming a tear-down and rebuild or major reno) down the property line across from the office and then put a patio in the L that would make with the main part of the house. Or a simple alternative would be to put a pergola over it - that would give more privacy than a fence. There already is a 6' solid fence along their patio area, which worked until our addition extended this house past/above it... So hopefully it will all either turn out to be something we don't have to worry about afterall or something where we can come to an arrangement satisfactory to both property owners. Time will tell...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 2:25PM
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Your gardens are looking fabulous! I love the romantic colors.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, the tiny rose you gave me a few years back (from under the lights of your plant stand) has been blooming nicely this year! Pale pink blooms....

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:19PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - does it have scent? Some do; some don't - I don't remember if that one did. Does it have true canes yet? That one little plant will form a colony in a few years so watch out...!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 9:11AM
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