Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Garden Update

The Knock Out roses are in full bloom and are just radiant. Late in the evening when the sun is low, the blooms almost glow.

The following three photos are of the Knock Out roses by the driveway out towards the entrance gates.The next photo is of the Knockout roses, Midnight Blue roses, and Gourmet Popcorn roses directly in front of the house and along the edge of the driveway.Here is a photo of Gourmet Popcorn. It is a small spray type rose that works well as a filler in arrangements.This rose is Midnight Blue and when it is not in bright sunlight it will appear very very dark purple almost a royal purple color.The next two photos are of a Japanese Lilac tree. Notice the white flowers in the center of the photo. This tree makes the whole yard smell wonderful.
This is a close up of the flower.On both sides of the driveway just as you enter the driveway through the iron gates I have planted Nearly Wild roses. None of these photos do it justice. Even though this variety is regarded as hardy, it took me 4 years to finally get them all to survive and flourish. But it was worth it. They look great despite what my photos show. In person the blooms are hot pink with white centers.

The following two photos are of a Catalpa tree. My friend Carrie gave me two 6 inch Catalpa tree twiglets. Today those two tiny little things are now 6 foot tall and blooming. This was the first year for flowers and each tree only had several blooms.
Check out an up close individual Catalpa flower. The next rose was purchased on eBay. When it arrived, I was shocked to see how tiny it was. The entire plant was 4 inches high and the thickest part was all of 1/8th of an inch in diameter. I thought to myself "no way will this survive." Well it did. 'Louise Oldier' is thriving nicely and blooming profusely. It is a bourbon rose with a wonderful strong scent. Currently it has grown to 12" high and 16" wide.Two years ago we purchased two discounted Wisteria vines at the end of the season. They were cheap. We had always heard that they were a difficult plant to get started but hardy once established. So we felt if they didn't survive it wouldn't be a big loss.

This year we have a flower. The vine is healthy and growing. Our plan is to have it grow up and across the deck along the rim joist.

Our inspiration for this was a house located down the street from R's mother's home. Every summer we would marvel at this huge Wisteria trained along the entire front of this ranch style home. The Wisteria started at one end of the house and grew up the downspout and along the whole length of the gutter to the other end of the house. Huge Wisteria flowers appeared to drip from the roof. It was just plain gorgeous. The house sold and they immediately ripped out the Wisteria and to this day the front of the house is completely barren and ugly.My Apple Blossom yarrow is in full bloom. I usually get two flushes of blooms by dead heading the first flush immediately once they start looking brown and gangly.And finally a photo of a sign I purchased at a garage sale last year.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Garden Update

This hosta bed tends to be very dry. I don't know if it is because the pine tree blocks the rain or if the pine just soaks up all the moisture. We added some mulch to see if we could keep some moisture in the soil. I normally don't use mulch because it is so difficult to rake up the leaves and twigs in the spring.

The next two photos are of two different spiderwort plants that I have. The lighter flower is considered a pink but tends to be more of a light lavender. The darker one is called Concord Grape. In real life the darker spiderwort is a medium to dark purple. I shot about 5 photos of the Concord Grape and they all came out light.
This rose is called Purple Carpet and it by far has the strongest rose scent of all my roses.This photo is of one of my window boxes that is planted with chives. Originally I had several other herbs in there but they didn't survive the winter. The chives multiplied and now it is just chives. I really like the looks of the window box planted with chives. I do not however like the looks of the shingles and cannot wait until the house is painted.And what would my garden blog be without a gratuitous photo or two of my black irises.While shopping with my sister on Saturday we stopped by my favorite place to buy plants. It is located in Spring Arbor and is called The Hobbit Place. I purchased two more 'black' plants. One has black foliage and is a black snakeroot called 'Hillside Black Beauty' and the other is a black viola called 'Black Magic'.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Black Iris

Another day...another iris and this one displays more black than the first iris. Notice yesterday's bloom on the right side of photo close to the edge. Today's bloom is in the middle of the iris bunch and directly in front of the tree trunk. Disregard the beautiful lighter dark purple blossom, that is from another cluster.
Still having trouble locating the black iris??? Here is a closer view.
Is that one gorgeous black iris or what??? And black is so slimming, too. That boulder never looked so trim!!! Amazing what a little black iris can do for your garden.

Do you need a closer look?
Before the Storm

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Irises and Rhododendrons

I bet you were beginning to think that 'The Gear' only had gardens filled with hostas. Let's put that to bed (flower bed) right now. Check out these irises.

These are two different varieties of dark purple/black irises. The above and below iris is Before the Storm. Normally these irises are much darker and blacker. This year they are definitely royal purple.
The iris below is another variety of almost black iris that is showing dark purple this year. I wonder what is up with that?
Here a cheap bargain bin iris that was almost dead when I purchased it for 99 cents. I bought 3 of them. The flower is nothing special just your basic blue. The reason I bought these were because of the variegated foliage. Two of the three rhizomes bloomed this year. I'm happy and I think next year (fingers crossed) that all will bloom.
We also have rhododendrons....dark pink, red, and lavender. I purchased 12 plants for $2.99 each and thanks to R's constant watering we have not loss a single plant. Next year I plan on spraying them with Wilt Pruf for winter protection.
I think the buds are as they say.....waaaaay cool.
Not too shabby for $2.99 per plant.
I think that they have earned their keep for another year.