Rain, rain, rain, and still more rain; that is what this week has been about. We can always use the rain, of course, so I am not really complaining, but the plants need sun too and that has been lacking. True, there has been a little sun, and some cloudy times too. In fact the cloudy periods have given me a chance to get a lot of planting done so the annuals, vegetables and containers have been given much needed attention. Temperatures have been mild to warm and my seeds have germinated well but none are ready for transplanting. In contrast to the gray weather, the hot border of the formal garden is warm and glowing with color. Yellows dominate in this corner by the birdhouse with dusty meadow rue standing tall in the background with yarrow (left), Asiatic hybrid lily (far right) and rue (forward right) forming the foreground.
I grow rue for the blue-green foliage but the flowers add quite a bit of color this time of year as other plants get started.
The meadow rue, Thalictrum glaucum, bears fluffy heads of pale yellow on top of blue-green foliage, and stands at least 5’ tall. Both flowers and foliage are pretty in flower arrangements too.
The hybrid Asiatic lily is the cultivar ‘London’ with just a hint of spots.
Unfortunately, the deer like the lilies too. Why don’t they eat those lovely blue Johnny Jump Ups…they are about to be pulled up anyway.
The yarrow is Achillea ‘Moonshine’ noted for its blue gray foliage frosted with silver highlights. The sulfur yellow color of the flowers combines well with other colors especially blue.
Two other yarrows grow at the opposite end of the hot border. The yellow yarrow, ‘Coronation Gold’ , stands 3+’ tall next to a rosy colored yarrow I bought at the local Home Depot, name unknown.
‘Cornation Gold’ has lovely grayish -green fernlike foliage very similar to that of ‘Moonshine but its flowers that are definitely more golden yellow.
The red yarrow is a soft rosy red and is very well behaved.
The yellow pokers are budding up. These bloom on and off all season and the plant is not as aggressive or large as the more traditional ones I have elsewhere in garden.
The daylily Stella D’Oro is beginning to bloom. Everyone else in the neighborhood has blooming ‘Happy Returns’ but my ‘Happy Returns’ is always a week or more later.
The Bishop’s weed has lived up to its name this past year and I have had to pull it out by the handfuls. Still, it is very pretty and adds soft yellow to this border with its variegated leaves.
The flowers are similar to those of Queen Anne’s lace; they are light and airy and I think of them as a filler flower while they bloom.
In the parterre just across a grassy path from the hot border is this variegated iris, Iris pallida ‘Aure Variegata’. When it blooms the flower is a rather non-descript pale blue but the yellow variegated foliage carries the yellow of the hot border to the parterre.
Another bright and cheerful yellow flower is the sundew.
Houtonia ‘Chameleon’ grows in and about the sundews. Some of the houtonia is yellow variegated with a red tinge.
As the houtonia spreads many non variegated plants show up; they are the ones that bloom with a simple white flower that is appreciated this time of year.
The orange tones of butterflyweed are just beginning to show.
I had a hard time getting this plant established in this garden because it was too wet. I finally found the right amount of water to suit butterflyweed as well as some of the other plants around it and it puts on a good show for me that will last quite a while and end with the picturesque pods that I like so much.
The orange-yellow combination comes out most vividly with Gaillardia ‘Goblin’ that I grew from seed last year.
In the white border a variegated Japanese iris is blooming. The flowers of this variety are relatively small compared to some of the other Japanese iris I have but they make a nice show and I bought the plant for the white and green foliage so the flowers are a bonus.
Euphorbia ‘Sea Foam’ is an odd looking plant but makes a nice contrast with the Lamb’s ear next to it.
The magnolias ‘Little Gem’ are putting on a modest display with buds that are as beautiful as the open flowers.
A white veronica blooms in the white border in front of Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ with lilies in between.
This veronica, Veronica alpina ‘Alba’, has done very well in my garden, blooming for many weeks if I deadhead it faithfully.
Between the formal garden and the iris garden is an arbor covered with the rose ‘Olive”. We know virtually nothing about ‘Olive” as we bought it from a local grower and can not find it in the American Rose Society listings. Last year it looked as though it was dying but this year it is vigorous and gorgeous.
The last of the iris here are blooming; the yellows are among the last to say good bye.
But this heavily veined one suddenly appeared and is doing well in this last gasp of German iris display.
Clematis ‘Jackmani’ is slow to start but sure puts out a ton of flowers on the fence behind the iris.
The wet conditions in the bog garden favor the blossoms of Louisiana iris like this well known ‘Gamecock’.
The flowers of ‘Gamecock’ are truly magnificent.
Many vegetables were planted this week like these tomatoes. We are trying to restrain ourselves this year and have just 14 plants.
I harvested 8 radishes but have eaten all but three and they now belong to the head gardener. Hopefully, more are coming along with lettuce and beets. If only the sun would come out for a few days!