A fine June day
June is indeed bursting out all over! A little rain has made everything lush and the heat has brought out lets of flowers. The view from the office window was enticing this morning:
A few minutes before I took this picture, there was a rabbit hopping through, stopping to nibble here and there. Do you think I could get even one of the three dogs in residence today to go rabbit hunting/chasing ?! Not even Misty, the dedicated rabbit hunter, was interested in going out and itÂs much cooler today (although still very humid) than it has been the last three days. Useless beasts!
You can see in that picture the need to limb up the oak. The lowest limbs are now so low-hanging and wide-spreading that moderately tall people have to duck to pass under the ones overhanging the lawn. The plants probably wouldnÂt mind a little extra light too. So tree pruning is on the chore list for Feb./Mar. 2009.
The view, with the aptly named Beautybush, lured me outside for a tour around the yard to see what was fresh today. So I took a tour around the yard, starting from the back porch:
The rain overnight brought down leaves and lots of ash tree junk (seed keys, stems and general debris) so the patio and back porch is a mess. The eavestroughs are full to overflowing Â Randy is not thrilled :- )
You can see where Randy cut the branch off the ash on the weekend. It really improved the look of the tree and the view of the garden from the porch. I wish weÂd got around to doing it soonerÂ. You can also see the new paths I did this spring Â to turn the lawn into a rectangle and, as a side benefit, eliminate the need to edge the backyard beds! I like the somewhat formal look of the rectangular lawn in contrast to the wilder look of the woodland areas. For those of you interested in growing Persicaria polymorpha, there are two in that picture and another one out of the picture on the right down under the pines. There are also several on the south side of the yard in the woodland beds. In contrast to the one grown in full sun in the front yard, the ones in the backyard are shorter, looser/more open and bloom a week or two later. But they do very well in shade and many people donÂt recognize that itÂs the same plant when they see it in shade.
The Beautybush is making a nice show outside too.
I know itÂs not considered ÂproperÂ to plant big shrubs so close to the house and windows but I planted this one deliberately to fill up the blank stretch of wall between the living room and office and to have flowers peeking into the office window right about now! I tried growing a clematis through it but itÂs very dry in the bed along there and I didnÂt keep it watered enough to survive. I might try again this year, planting it on the outside edge where it is out from under the roof overhang and more likely to get moisture.
These painted ferns live at the bottom of the south alley:
They are supposed to be two different varieties but I sure canÂt tell the difference!
I didnÂt take any pictures of the rose swag Â the New Dawn roses have buds but they arenÂt open yet. The next major phase of the rose swag wonÂt happen until after the roses finish their first flush of flowers so that wonÂt be until mid-July.
Just outside the south gate is one of the combinations I look forward to at this time of year. ItÂs one of those Âhappy accidentÂ combinations:
IÂm not sure what the clematis variety is Â most people assume itÂs Nelly Moser. I lost the tag. I have no recollection of ever buying a Nelly Moser but I also canÂt remember what I bought Â itÂs one of the earliest plantings here and my records are spotty for those first years. I also donÂt know if the dwarf Korean lilac is Miss Kim or something else, although I do vaguely recall shopping for a Miss Kim.
Stepping back a bit, you can see that that combination is growing through the mockorange under the kitchen window:
ItÂs a good thing the mockorange is fairly sturdy. The Clematis montana on the south gate arbour throws some stems into the mockorange, as does the New Dawn rose on the house side of the arbour. So the mockorange has lots of company. So far it has managed to hold its own Â I do make sure the C. montana doesnÂt overrun itÂ
A little further up the house wall, just past the fading big lilac, The President is making its usual big snow:
(I should have deadheaded the lilac before taking the picture!)
Just past The President is the driveway with the herb bed running along the south side. The lavender and roses arenÂt in bloom yet so the herb bed is not particularly showy. The white potentilla shrub is looking good though and you can see at the top edge of the picture some of the pots of peas that line the driveway on this side.
In this view of the of the herb bed you can see some of RandyÂs garlic plants Â he tucks them into any available space in the sunny beds!
Across the top of the driveway, under the front porch, is a VERY narrow bed filled with Emerald Gaiety euonymus and Rodgersia aesculifolia. I love big-leafed plants. This is one of my favorites and I have them in many places in the garden.
At the herb bed side of the porch bed there is a Vyvyan Pennell clematis waiting to burst into bloom any day now. This poor clematis used to grow all the way to the top of the lattice by the porch lift but got knocked back severely by spring frost two years in a row. It now seems to have given up on the idea of climbing and is content to stay short. I want it to climb again!
On the other side of the driveway there are big pots of highbush blueberries and pots of strawberries. It looks like we should have a good crop for both this year. Here are a few of the pots (there are 9 in total)
Blueberries (with some lettuce and pansies at their feet):
The wisteria lives at the bottom of the driveway border where the border swings around to embrace the front lawn beds. The wisteria dropped its flowers on Sunday so it is now just a large green shrub Â in need of some heavy pruning of the new growth! The Therese Bugnot rose beside it just started blooming today so weÂve moved from wisteria perfume to rose perfume. This rose has a very strong fragrance - it stopped me in my tracks as I walked down the driveway this morning with the dogs and I could smell it at the bottom of the street when we were coming back from our evening dog walkies. I just planted this rose last summer so this is its first real summer in the garden.
Moving on to the main front garden, things are bursting into bloom along the main path:
And on the cross path:
Blue and white are the dominant colors in the front bed. In this closer view of the bench, you can see the white peony and the flax that are in MartieÂs birthday card:
We call that peony the Âpoke-eye peonyÂ because when Randy was digging the hole to plant it a couple of years ago, he scratched his cornea on a Shasta daisy stem! The peony came from a neighbour who was fed up with it because she had had it in her garden for several years and it had never bloomed. We had no idea what color it was as someone had passed it on to her to see if she could get it to bloom. It bloomed here the summer after it was planted so we got lucky and the color is perfect for that spot.
Nearby is gasplant and Persicaria polymorpha. IÂm surprised that gbÂs Persicaria blooms before mine. Mine is just starting to bloom. ItÂs been a cold spring here with heavy Âcooler by the lakeÂ effect. That has delayed bloom on a lot of things this year.
The lupins this year are not their usual strong colors. I think the last two years of drought have taken a heavy toll. These lupins are a very washed-out color; they are normally a strong blue-purple:
This is a bad picture but I did want to show that not everything is blue or white! The picture sadly fails to capture that the color peeking out of these peony buds is almost exactly the same color as the columbines behind them. I thought they made a charming combination but I couldnÂt get a decent picture of it. By the time Randy has a chance to go take some photos, the columbine will probably have faded and the peonies will be in full bloom.
Returning to the backyard through the north alleyÂ The path is very lush after the rain, with lots of columbine in a variety of colors, although white (faded pale blue ones) is the most visible.
And the path brigs you back to the starting point on the patio.
From the porch there is an excellent Âborrowed viewÂ or the neighbourÂs dogwood that is looking pretty at the moment:
I hope you enjoyed the walk around the garden on this fine June day.