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Garden Journal: June 13, 2010

High temperatures and humidity, with occasional torrential rains set the stage for the gardens this week. The rain was wonderful for the vegetable but was a negative for the roses or at least for their spraying schedule. We have to spray in the morning when the hot weather descends on us because of the protective clothing I have to wear when spraying. On the other hand, we can’t spray early if dew or rain has left the roses wet. Tough choice. No doubt about it, the fungi did well this week. Well, at least the slime molds. We had several different ones making an appearance in various parts of the garden. The first was a white one in the formal garden growing around the base of a Siberian iris.

Another white one appeared in the rose garden, far from the first one

An orange one also appeared in the rose garden.

And out side the rose garden, another white graced the lawn. Oddly enough no mushrooms appeared. Some years we have been overrun with them.

The rose garden itself is quiet. I have been deadheading as the flowers fade and very few bushes are blooming which is probably a good thing as I spotted the first Japanese beetle in a blossom of Rose de la Rescht, an old garden rose.

On the Saturday road trip with the local rose society I could not resist buying a new rose to fill a hole that developed in the rose garden when I had to remove a rose that developed rose rosette I choose a peach-orange blend floribunda, ‘Easy Does It’.

I love the colors but also the ruffled edges of the petals.

The action this week is with the daylilies along the allee.

Three years ago I put in the daylily bed on the outside edges of the allee when a friend of a friend eliminated all her daylilies and I was the lucky recipient. One of the most beautiful is this golden yellow very double ruffled one.

Growing in shade created by the crepe myrtles planted down the sides of the allee are these vivid red ones.

Last year I took out some of the daylilies that had become too aggressive and I replaced them with clumps that I bought from a couple of local daylily farms. They seem to be later than the ones already in the allee but no less beautiful. Here is ‘Strawberry Candy’

In the formal garden, the white border took top billing.

The species lilies joined the other lilies in bloom elsewhere in the formal garden.

Their back-swept petals and brown freckles give them a special homey look.

The crazy daisies are in full bloom and flooping on other plants. They don’t last long but the clump is very attractive while in bloom.

The flowers have a special appeal with their shaggy petals; they remind me of English sheep dogs.

The yellow border continues to show color with torch lilies, coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’, and berberis providing lemon yellow and balloon flower adding a touch of blue.

Balloon flowers are gorgeous even without the lemon yellow.

Last year I started Chinese lanterns and planted them in the formal garden in the fall out of desperation for a place to put them. Now they are growing large and flopping on the nearby plants and I wonder what I was thinking when I planted them there.

Then I found the lanterns, green right now, and I know exactly why I gave them such a choice spot. I almost wish I could keep the lanterns green.

The coneflowers continue to thrive and some odd ball ones are coming into bloom. This guy is definitely and oddity.

This coneflower is actually very pretty with its tubular petals.

A butterfly found this normal pink one irresistible.

The white coneflowers look especially nice with the blue spiderwort.

Most of the spiderwort clumps have grown too tall and they are beginning to fall on the nearby plants so will have to be cut back this week.

Astilbe chenensis var. pumila has come into bloom in the secret garden. It is my toughest astilbe and thrives in dry soil and the shade created by taller plants that fall over on it. You would never know that these plants were covered by a fall blooming anemone only hours ago.

As I walked around my garden this week I was struck by the large number of volunteer plants I found. This snapdragon came from nowhere; I haven’t planted any in this area for 2 years.

I grow celosias every year so this volunteer is not a big surprise; but I am glad to see that it has a bright desirable color.

This tomato plant growing with a patio rose is a bit too much. I get tomato volunteers every year and they are always cherry tomatoes so I never buy plants and just depend on the volunteers. I have several more growing next to the compost heap but I expect them since I have them there every year and count on them reseeding. But this one????

On the other hand, the tomatoes growing in the vegetable garden are doing well and beginning to fill their cages.

The wax beans have been nipped by rabbits but seem to be recovering.

The hills of squash and cucumbers make my heart sing.

The flowers of the squash are quite striking against the lush foliage made lush by the recent rains.

One volunteer acorn squash has produced a fruit. It has a long way to go but hopefully is a sign of good things to come.

Not to be outdone, the banana peppers are producing a couple of fruit.

One bell pepper plant has a tiny pepper developing.

The head gardener has just about completed the sundial, it just needs the feathers welded on the arrow. It is quite handsome and adds a lot to the iris bed where it sits in full sun.

It shows Eastern Standard, Eastern Daylight, and Local Mean Time by setting the dial to the time you want. It was 1:45 when I took this picture and that is what the sundial shows.

I think I will enjoy this garden ornament; it is attractive and very interesting when you think about it telling time. Did you know that a sundial reads early sometimes and late other times because of the earths elliptical orbit and tilted axis in relation to the plane of its orbit around the sun? Kind of interesting…

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