Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Garden Open Today

Beverly Nichols, the hysterically funny British garden writer of WWII vintage, more or less, has a series of books about his gardening adventures and mis-adventures, including Garden Open Today.

Those words came to mind today.  "What's blooming in your garden?" is the question I hear most.  Come see for yourself.   These are mostly in alphabetical order thanks to iphoto.  

Alchemilla mollis, lady's mantle, lights up the shade.  It's brilliant under blue hydrangeas, they bloom at the same time.  And in a dark corner the foamy yellow flowers perk things up.  Try it with Caitlin's Giant Ajuga.
Blue chalk sticks.  The first time I saw this I was bowled over.   Had to have it, and that's not usually my problem, I am mostly content to admire from afar.  But not this one.
 Little water, tolerates some shade here, has decided to trail down a wall.  Brilliant.  And I'll share.
 All my buddleia are volunteers,  all in shades of purple, all swarmed by hummingbirds, the fearless dragons of the garden.  I have extra seedlings.  Bring a shovel.
 Chilean Jasmine is supposed to be frost tender.  That's gardener speak for turns to slime in the winter...but not this one.  It grows from under a boxwood hedge up onto a trellis.  I have heard lots of theories about why it survives, all conflicting.  That's gardening.  And it smells fabulous, but only at certain times of day.
 Dahlias are my new darlings.  Tough (if you protect the new shoots from snails and earwigs), and in fabulous colors, they come back stronger every year.  Other than crabgrass, that's a pretty rare thing in the garden.  I'm thinking of the coral bells that are in desperate need of dividing, of the narcissus who have multiplied and are now as crowded as a tenement.  And about as attractive.
 Despite the drought the hydrangeas are happy.  We are not looking forward to August, the hydrangeas and I.  
 If I don't put True Blue on them they are this insipid shade of pink.  These should be blue soon.  And ignore those who say at this stage it's too late to change the color.  It Is Not.
 White hydrangeas are a gift to the shadiest corner,
 Lychnis has seeded itself all over and raises the hottest pink flowers over low gray leaves.  It is most welcome, tough as nails and appearing in the most unexpected places, the flowers waving high above the foliage.  
 Blue morning glory, also supposed to die in the freeze, did not get that memo and climbs the post opposite the Chilean jasmine.  I hope they meet in the middle this summer.
 Sweetly scented Philadelphus is a spring bloomer.  The one at the bottom of the garden is still blooming; the one by my bathroom window finished weeks ago.  Plant the same plant in different places and watch the fun.  
 I'm not a great rose gardener - I won't use poison.  But this rose (name unknown) seems to get on okay, and it lasts for 2 weeks in a vase.  That's enough for me.
 Salvia 'Black and Blue' (guess why) spreads beneath the orange trees, and below the tall white birdhouse.  Sun, shade - it doesn't seem to care.  This intense blue is rare in the garden - I cherish it.
 You can break the rules in pots.  Aeonium (red) and scaevola (purple flowers) love sun.  Key Lime Pie heuchera (lime - duh) needs shade.  And here they are all getting along in a pot.  Some people I know could take a lesson from these plants.
 Star jasmine cascades down a wall by the pool, and climbs the wall by the barbecue.  Makes a great ground cover, will disguise an ugly fence.  And the fragrance takes me straight back to childhood summer evenings.  
 Tradescantia, after John Tradescant.  John Tradescant The Older or John Tradescant The Younger I do not know, but if you know enough to ask that question then you know enough to find the answer.
Ivy geranium trails down a wall.  If you have a concrete wall, I highly recommend some lovely finials from Haddonstone, and some ivy geranium (actually you know it's a pelargonium if you've been paying attention, but you're more likely to get what you want at the nursery if you ask for ivy geranium).

So what's blooming in your garden?

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