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My Spring vs. Summer Gardens

Posted by Nippstress 5-Nebraska (My Page) on
Wed, May 21, 14 at 4:04

Hi folks

I love the way gardens can totally transform from spring to summer with dramatically different impacts from the same spaces. I've posted some spring vs. summer contrasts below, which is also a secret excuse to show off the bulbs that turned out quite nice this year. My philosophy is that everywhere there's not another plant there needs to be a spring bulb, and I never quite get there but it's fun trying. Given how many roses I have, there's always an epic battle to maneuver between huge fall roses to plant the bulbs, then not mangle the spring bulbs while planting new roses.

As many roses as I have, I find that nothing gets attention from neighbors and other passers by as the bulbs, particularly the tulips. They're one of the few things in my yard that can actually stop traffic - the neighbors have given tours of my yard to visiting family members and my mailman brought his wife by after hours to see the plants. The summer of 2012 was such a wicked drought that I didn't plant any new bulbs for a change (most of the tulips need replanting if you pack them in this tightly and water enough for roses). The next spring, my husband plaintively remarked, "So when is the garden going to explode?" I was touched that he missed it, since he's not a gardener, and I absolutely love that spring explosion myself, so I put in my usual array of bulbs last fall. All of my daffodils, allium and smaller bulbs are basically perennial, but they don't have the zowie impact of those gaudy tulips, so that's mostly what you'll see in the photos, since the other bulbs are earlier bloomers.

The pictures below show more or less the same garden areas in spring/summer, but it's cheating a little, since the bulbs are from this spring and the roses were from the extraordinarily nice June flush of roses last year. Almost none of that cane survived this last winter, so there's no way the spring flush will be that nice this year. Still, it's interesting to see how crowded the garden can look and yet have hidden surprises waiting to fill in with exuberance in the next garden phase.

Here are the bulbs in the front of the house that are actually sort of color coordinated in apricot, white, and purple - my preteen son noticed this and mentioned how he really thought that was cool (not a common compliment to a parent from a preteen male).

TulipFront3 May 2014 photo TulipFront3May2014.jpg

I don't have a full array shot of the roses in the front bed, but this shows the ones at the end of the bed, with Quadra holding up the arch at the back.

PrairieSunriseQGd June 2013 photo PrairieSunriseQGd.jpg

These are the "hot color" tulips in my hot sun bed that's a zone 6 pocket of my yard, so about 2 weeks before the other beds to bloom. You can see Madame Isaac Periere ready to escape her cage before long, even after being cut to the ground.

TulipsHotSun April 2014 photo TulipsHotSunApr2014.jpg

The summer shot then shows MIP holding her own to the right of the photo along with Savoy Hotel at her feet and various OGRs and HTs mixed in.

OGRHotSunGd June 2013 photo OGRHotSunGd.jpg

This is my shade garden with some Virginia bluebells peeking out at the back and hydrangea sticks I didn't get trimmed yet.

TulipShadeR May 2014 photo TulipShadeRMay2014.jpg

For summer, this is the same bed being taken over by hardy shrubs and hybrid musk roses, with a hint of the climbing roses on the fence at the bottom.

ShadeFrom B's June 2013 photo ShadeFromBs.jpg

This is the back garden where you can see a clear split in the cool vs. hot colors, and the shade section is visible to the rear.

Tulip FarBack1 May 2014 photo TulipFarBack1May2014.jpg

Here are two views of the same bed last summer.

Far Back Right Red/Pink June 2013 photo FarBackREdgarDGd.jpg

Far Back Center R Arch Good June 2013 photo FarBackRwArchGd.jpg

This is the deliberate mishmosh of colors around the mailbox, with Liverpool remembers already staking a claim on its space, again after being trimmed to the ground.

TulipMailbox4 May 2014 photo TulipMailbox4May2014.jpg

Then here's the same corner with Liverpool Remembers and friends in all their glory at two different seasons.

 photo MailboxCornerGd.jpg

MailboxFall with asters August 2013 photo MailboxbedPerennAug2013.jpg

This is another random color mix on the east side between houses with a few roses peeking out in the foreground and some catmint already a good size.

TulipEastSide May2014 photo TulipEastSide1May2014.jpg

Then the East Side Survivors take over in summer, in my cold zone 4 pocket of the yard.

East Side Survivors June 2012 photo EastSideRedcream.jpg

This is by my garage where I try to echo the color of the bricks, but it usually ends up more "hot colored" than I planned.

TulipGarage1 May 2014 photo TulipGarage1May2014.jpg

And here's part of the garage in summer, with Illusion, Sunrise Sunset (pink) and Hot Cocoa in view.

Illusion w Sunrise Sunset June 2013 photo IllusionGarageJune2013.jpg

Here is a delicious mix of the colors further down the garage that actually does echo the brick and show fascinating fading patterns of the original colors of tulip Gavotta.

TulipWoodpileFaded May 2014 photo TulipWoodpileFadedMay2014.jpg
I don't have any corresponding rose pictures for this bed because it's too new, but I love the explosion of the bulbs.

TulipWestSide5 May 2014 photo TulipWestSide5May2014.jpg

Here's my lavender/cream rose bed that also doesn't have particular rose shots to show off (yep, lavenders are wimpy roses in cold zones), but you can see the previous tulip area and the garage in the background as a nice panorama.

TulipVeggie Panorama May 2014 photo TulipVeggiesPanoramaMay2014.jpg

OK, enough showing off, but I do have fun with springtime. I was tempted to add a subtitle to this thread "...why I'm not that into spring blooming roses", but that would be cheating since once bloomers can scatter throughout the season. For me, I like the dramatic transition from a primary focus on bulbs to iris/clematis/allium to roses and other perennials, and that's one of the few gardening benefits we can claim in cold zones. Polar vortex weather can be frustrating, but it creates an unmistakeable change in garden seasons!

Cynthia

P.S. Ingrid, you'd asked me to post some photos of my garden a while back - does this fit the bill for the time being (smile)?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My Spring vs. Summer Gardens

Cynthia, I love your spring beds. I always plant some spring-blooming bulbs, but never have I seen that many tulips anywhere. That is absolutely amazing--and I'm overcome with admiration for anyone who can plant that many tulips! They are show-offs when they bloom, aren't they. Thank you so much for letting us enjoy your spring explosion of blooms.

And the contrast with the summer roses--which look so happy and healthy and beautiful!

I tend to think of the spring-bloomers in stages. First there is the daffodil stage (accompanied by things like crocus, hyacinths, forsythia, etc.). Next is the tulip stage (accompanied by flowering shrubs, creeping phlox, pansies, etc.) After that is the iris and peony stage--talk about show-offs! They are gaspingly beautiful! And accompanied by a growing assortment of perennials and annuals. Then the roses start coming into their own and taking over the scene. At that point spring is officially ending.

Then there is the changing summer scene although the roses keep on blooming periodically throughout the summer season. In June larkspur overrun the scene and the bulb lilies start showing off (they have their own stages also as we move from early-summer bulb lilies to late-summer lilies) and the earlier-summer hydrangeas vs the later summer hydrangeas. The end of the summer is announced by the dramatic crepe myrtles--time for mum season and lots of newly planted pansies--also time to start planting all those tulips bulbs, isn't it! And of course our beloved roses keep right on blooming, sometimes into December.

Some of my non-gardener friends have sometimes lamented that I'm unable to find ONE flowering scheme and maintain it without variation all growing season. I always look at them in amazement. Why would I want ONE garden when I can have EIGHT or TEN different gardens every year! It is the changing season that is half the enjoyment of gardening as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks again, Cynthia, for those wonderfully lovely contrasting views of your gardens as you move from spring to summer. I really enjoyed that.

And those colorful rivers of tulips--absolutely amazing!

Kate


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Awesome pics!


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Lovely, lovely garden!


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A really treat for me....Thank You!


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Breathless!


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RE: My Spring vs. Summer Gardens

how many bulbs total? no daffodils?


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RE: My Spring vs. Summer Gardens

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Wed, May 21, 14 at 18:09

Oh, Cynthia, it's absolutely magnificent no matter the season! I do a lot of spring bulbs too but nothing as grand as yours!

This spring wasn't very spectacular anyway. Some things came up but didn't bloom. And everything bloomed at once because of the odd weather. I had daffs, hyacinths and tulips all in bloom together. Even the grape hyacinths bloomed at the same time. They're all mostly done now though and I should have roses coming into bloom. Not this year. Most of mine are just coming up from the ground with nary a bud in sight. I may get a flush in July though!


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RE: My Spring vs. Summer Gardens

Glad you enjoyed the photos! MoleX - I do in fact have hundreds of daffodils and hyacinths, as well as countless smaller bulbs (e.g. snowdrops, crocuses, glory of the snow, frittilaria, iris reticulata), but they were already finished by the time I took these photos. I can hunt for some daffodil photos, but I don't think I took any this year, and I don't know how to download off my old camera. As for total number of bulbs, it's anyone's guess and the number is constantly increasing. The smaller bulbs and daffodils are mostly perennial and increase, and you can fit hundreds of glory of the snow (for instance) in a very small space. There are probably thousands of early bulbs like these, then I plant about 3000 new bulbs every fall (about 3/4 tulips as many don't last long). Sounds like a lot of work but I have a system and they can usually get planted in around 2 weekends.

Seil, I know what you mean about the season being compressed because spring was so late. Usually there's a clear progression of bulbs exactly like you mention, then a month of hiatus with only the iris, peonies, columbine, and allium blooming. This year you can see the iris, columbine and allium (big globe-like blooms) all overlapping with the tulips. I usually consider May-blooming tulips a myth, but this year they'd barely started by May and the front bed is still going strong. I'm afraid like you that June-blooming roses might be the myth this year, though I seem to have plenty of buds starting on the usual suspects. What I find ironic between seasons is that the tulip pictures this year were mostly taken mid-May, and the overflowing rose pictures last year were mostly June 2 and 7 - a huge contrast! I'm sure you'll have a great season once you get some heat kicking in, and the amount of rain you've had should help the roses rebound from their extreme haircuts.

Kate, I'm so in agreement with you about the changing gardens! I can't imagine not wanting the season-long excitement of watching for those evolving changes in the garden! Give me 8 different gardens any day. I think the folks that want unchanging gardens are thinking of their yard as a relatively static "installation", like a lot of landscape designers. If you design it one way, you must want it to stay that way so there's the same relationship between the garden and the rest of the environment. I admit there's a certain peace about that kind of approach, and my shade garden tends to settle into that kind of stable calmness that a lot of folks comment on and find appealing.

For me, interspersing perennials that pop up for a season of bloom throughout the year adds immense excitement, and provides a whole new way to enjoy the roses themselves. For instance, those pictures of the mailbox bed change the whole feel of the roses from a mix of hot colors in the first one, to a hot-cool contrast that sets the roses off. Not only do I get a "new garden" every few weeks with the daylilies, asiatic lilies, phlox, agastache, asters, etc. kicking in, but I get to experience "new roses" from the same old ones I already have.

And you're entirely right that the panorama of seasons continues to evolve constantly from the earliest spring (usually March) through the latest fall (usually November). My very earliest bloomers are the bulbs Iris Reticulata - small 3" high mini-iris blooms even before the snowdrops and crocuses, in vivid eye-popping colors. The fall season has its own progression from goldenrod to asters to mums to the very late monkshood well after frost kills off the annuals. In cold climates, it's nice to have that dramatic send-off so the cold months don't seem quite so long.

Thanks for all the comments!
Cynthia


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RE: My Spring vs. Summer Gardens

I can vouch for how beautiful this all is in person! Cynthia was kind enough to let me piggyback on her rose order this Spring, so I drove out to her place last weekend to pick up my portion... I could tell right away which house was hers!

Cynthia, I was so blown away by the beauty! You've created an amazing space. So beautiful, all over. I hope someday my space looks half as good. Thank you so much for all your help!


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Cynthia, to say that I'm blown away by your garden is actually an understatement. It is absolutely exquisite and so well thought-out that I'm sunk in admiration. The tulips, oh my gosh the tulips. I didn't think I was even a tulip person but I am now! I can see why your husband missed the spring show, and why people come by to view your garden. The rose season is equally wonderful, and again with that great sense of color and form and overall harmony. I love how the different gardens flow into each other and yet still have subtle or not so subtle differences. You're a garden artist who has taken full advantage of the changing seasons in the most beautiful and magical way. I'm so happy you allowed us to visit; the idea of showing us the changing seasons is inspired. This is a garden that I'm sure I won't forget.

Ingrid


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RE: My Spring vs. Summer Gardens

Sara - glad you joined me in a joint order, and I know your garden will be lovely with all those Queen of Sweden bushes. This recent rain will definitely make them happy, and they're off to a great start in your hands. All of our gardens have evolved over time, so be patient and enjoy the growing time. I'm glad you got to catch the tail end of my spring garden, and I appreciate your kind comments.

Ingrid, you're so sweet - I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures! In warmer zones like yours, you can't grow tulips and other spring bulbs, so I thought I'd share some of mine with you. You have an exquisite sense of taste and balance in your own gardens, so I appreciate so much your kind remarks about the harmony and flow in my gardens. I am woefully unartistic in any other sense of my life (can't draw worth beans), so I love your label of "garden artist'. Truthfully, I'm just the hands and it's up to the Maker of the garden for the actual artistry in action. Still, it's fun to be a part of the process and sit back in wonder at the surprises waiting in the garden at every season.

My first roses bloomed this weekend - Quadra actually beat out Felix Leclerc (who is usually first), and in a cold part of the yard to boot. Time to move into summer mode!

Cynthia


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Lovely pictures - I was blown away by the lovely colors in the picture with the roses, catmint and purple asters. What a lovely, soothing combination.
Carol


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That garden is delightful!!! I can't wait till my flower beds are finished so I can interplant everything with bulbs. Thank you so much for sharing. It was a definate inspiration

Grace e


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Yummm!!


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Yummm!!


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Truly lovely. Thanks for sharing. It's a work of art. I'm a huge fan of riots of colour.

M


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I am ENVIOUS of your tulips, Cynthia! The only way I can duplicate any of those beds is to buy them, refrigerate them for two months and plant. Then, repeat the next year. Those are gorgeous! Thank you for posting them. Kim


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Thanks again for the kind comments. I like that fall photo with the asters too, Carol. It's a nice way to tone down the "in your face" coral of Liverpool Remembers. in general, though, I obviously am going for profuse and bright blooms when I can get them - a riot of color is a great description of my target, MirandaJean, even if I never totally get there.

Kim - yep, tulips in your zone would be way too much like work. It's like the work of planting and digging dahlias or glads or agapanthus or the many bulbs that are happy to the point of being weeds in zones like yours. Isn't it fun that roses have the diversity to span the range of climates from zones 3 to 11 and beyond? In picking a passion, roses are good for the long run in my world.

Cynthia


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Just ASTONISHING! Oh my goodness, that is lovely! Any part of the yard--the roses, or one bed--is incredible.

The entire sweep--mind boggling! Wow, I think your whole town ought to give you some sort of award for bringing so much beauty to their world.


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