Monday, May 27, 2013

Rhododendren 's on Memorial day.

Enjoy a walk around my garden looking at the Rhododendrons on this Memorial Day weekend.

Its amazing what a few days of 90 degree weather followed with rain off and on for two days will do for a garden. The Rhododendrons are bedazzling jewels against all the different greens of other perennials waiting patiently for their turn to be the lead act in this summer play.

I braved the squads of mosquitoes attacking in strike forces not once but twice trying to get photos I could use in between the on going waves of rain.

This white Rhododendron is a huge ball of white blossoms. Quite beautiful.

This small orange one was bought last year. Orange is one of my favorite colours and I love how it really "pops" in this bed newly mulched.

This shrub will only get bigger and more spectacular with each passing years growth. Planted in front of it is a huge clump of Siberian Iris purple/blue colour that I think is going to look spectacular. They are actually just about to bloom. Im hoping that they bloom while this intense orange is still on show.

This one is opening slower and actually looked more purple then it turned out. Its a goal of mine to find some of the purple ones I saw last year in the garden of John Migas. I have a vision of creating a Rhododendren walk like I blogged about in his garden. With all the spruce having to be limbed up around here its created a great place to plant them.

This plant is suffering. I did give it some special fertilizer but I'm wondering if it will be enough. Its like it has leprosy for plants!! It keeps dropping off bits and pieces of its outer branches..If you look at the yellowing in the leaves I would think it indicates a lack of nitrogen or something so I Im hoping that the fertilizer will help!... I love the apricot tinge it has and the speckles which I remember my entomology teacher saying is plants way of acting like landing lights and directing bugs in so that they get their pollen collected etc.

Do you have favorite Rhododendrons...what colour or species are your favorites. What do you like to plant near them to contrast and show off their best features...
Thanks for stopping by and virtually visiting... I'm glad you aren't actually here to suffer the mosquitoes too but on a positive note...both the bats and the frogs will be enjoying them!
By the way.... anyone have any suggestions on how to stop the incredible itching I have all over my body!!!  I can not stop scratching!  Is anyone else out there finding this year a bad year for bugs?

I hope that your weekend was wonderful and that you took time today to think about how this freedom we have certainly did not come free... I hope you gave thanks for those who gave it all and for all those who gave.
Work has been crazy busy this week again as homes are really selling....Therefore, I have to cheat and link in with this post rather then a new one I had planned!
Have a great weekend everyone.

Tootsie's been busy too!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tree Peony... debut

Its Fertilizer Friday over at Tootsie Time which I love to link up with since I moved from Alberta only last year!... 

While trying to out run the mosquitoes the other night taking pictures of the Rhododendrons I almost missed that the Tree Peony had bloomed during the day after all the rain from the two nights before and several waves of rain during the day...I do have irrigation but the rain water being positive charged always works wonders on a garden.

This is the Tree Peony that I got from a friend who was moving. Its the first one I have owned and this is the first time I have seen it bloom so a wonderful surprise as she was unable to tell me what colour it would be. There is a second one that was given to me but its much smaller and very unlikely to bloom this year. Obviously I do not know which species it is...Anyone out there confident enough to give me a name for this beauty?

This bed is filled with Aquilegia of several different species and colours. Love how the dividing and moving and mixing of the Hostas in this bed has turned out. I'm liking this look far better then groupings of 5 or 7 of the same species as it was.  A very good friend of mine loves hers to all be the same in straight lines. Our gardens are very different and we love each others garden. As gardeners even if it isn't how we would do it in our garden we can still appreciate and learn from others design styles.

I never noticed the blue hue to the tulips until looking at this picture. I do have some Hostas with blue leaves and Im thinking I should put some into this grouping.

Another Iris opened up today too! Several more of the newer ones are very close. Its exciting to get home each day to see what is waiting to greet me.

I actually took this picture for the Lupin...But all my eyes see in this picture is the beautiful wine colour of this Heuchera. I think its "purple palace" but again it was a huge clump that came with the home. I've split it in several pieces and moved them around to contrast with other perennials bringing out the best in both!

So out I went to take this picture... The garden is getting very lush . I am seeing a lot of the same green in this picture though. I've got a lot of different foliage texture and plant forms as well as the different bloom types and colours. But, I'm wondering if I took a black and white picture would it all just blend as one!..... I can't remember who told me that trick. Have any of you ever tried that or is it taking it all just one step too far?
The garden is teetering at the very moment of incredible bursting forth with a fireworks display. The birds and frogs providing the accompanying music.  Its worth braving the mosquito's to see what is new. I'm actually wondering about getting in a "bug man" but,,,,,, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be very "green" of me or do the birds and frogs any good...not to mention the bats!
As Im writing this the skies have opened up again and rain is coming down good. It might be the best time to go out and mulch. Perfect timing for all the farmers who have been out planting the fields with corn. Or the gardeners who've planted their veggies!
What are your plans for this Memorial day weekend? I might try to build a new something something for my garden.... stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

taking Springs changes further.......

Another couple weeks have sped by in such a blurr I'm left feeling like a movie segment where they have fast forwarded a scene of a very busy highway at night....Do you know what I mean? Where all you see is the steady streak of white headlights and red taillights.... It's been a fantastic couple weeks with daughter number two here and her other half Jason. We've been able to squeeze in quality mother daughter time. This has included trips off to other towns enjoying walks, shopping and meals. Its also included us joining the "Funky Buddha" hothouse yoga.... Yep! Its awesome to work my body to that extent again. All I'm saying is thank god for muscle memory because I thought I would have my butt handed to me on a plate! 
Tulip time is now over and all the vender's have long since gone home. The tulips are fading fast though we do still have avenues that obviously had the late blooming tulips planted. At Frog Hollow the lashing of rain through out the past couple nights has taken care of what blooms I had clinging on for dear life! Work in the middle bed has continued and I certainly have embraced the change.
Luckily I took advantage of a mail offer for 100 hostas..unlabelled of course and no way to know exactly what your getting. I originally ordered them for the outside beds to give it some distinction. I have now decided that planting them under the limbed up spruce would be far more advantageous.

The order arrived..a big box of four bags of 25 mixed bare root hosta

some of the chunks were a fair size and quite a few were actually smaller then the small one on the bottom left!

The instructions said to soak them for a minimum of six to eight hours.. What surprised me is just how many of them sent out shoots in that time... by the time I started planting them I was able to see the "eyes" on all of them.  I went into the bare empty area where I had pruned up the limbs and decided to transplant my Sambucus canadensis or golden elder to add some brightness. I put in a couple Hellebore's, Dicentra and Heuchera's. Then I took the hosta and placed them around. I tried to look at the "eye's" and determine which were likely to be the same and not place them all in the same area. They were actually quite different looking so it will be very interesting when they actually leaf out.
I traced out a pathway where I wasn't going to plant making it easier to get in here and weed without stepping out into the beds. Then I decided to take rocks I had found at the back of the acreage and use them to mark out the pathway clearer. I'm sure I will add to this somehow. 
I'm still carefully mulching the original outsides of this bed having let the self seeded starts grow bigger. I likely will not mulch this area letting it have the year to grow and see if I like how "random" unknown species look or if I want to move some! I'm also thinking that adding some ferns along this walk would be a nice contrast in texture. I have lots of other ideas too that I'm not ready to reveal... stay tuned..

/This was a full days work...My reward other then satisfaction was to be eaten alive by mosquitoes and some other critter that have left huge welts. Not at all very flattering to look at when Im doing the hot yoga. However, I do believe that the sweating actually helps get rid of the itch! Have a fantastic week. Whatever you are going to do, do it with all your heart and soul. Give thanks for all you have and please pray for the family's who have again this week lost so much in the EF5 tornado in Oklahoma.

I'm going to try to link up with a couple different mid week links... a year ago I didn't even know what that meant...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Springs further changes...

Spring brought many surprises not all of them well received. But one that came in the disguise of spruce needle rust cast.  I spent a few weeks having a pity party about the lose of privacy that they provide from the front of the property and neighbors driving by. Then the designer in me kicked in and I decided that seeing that the option is to leave it looking like this picture I spent several hours the past couple weeks not only pruning the affected branches, dead trees and then raking up the accumulation of spore covered dead needles.

If you ignore the Peter Pan moment going on you will see that perhaps this is actually going to create a whole different of which I am happily going to embrace.

This reminded me of what Karen from Quarry garden and stain glass went through when she had to limb up her spruce.

The challenge that could be interesting is that this front bed will actually rotate through waves of primary colours of blue, red, yellow, orange and white.  Behind it is a bed that has softer pastels shades of blues, purples and pinks.

 This is a Rhododendron that sits at the end of the perennial bed behind the pond.

There are still a couple small piles of needles to pick up and then edging around joining this with the perennial bed to the right of the Rhododendron  I have a few ideas of what to do under these trees which I will share in future posts.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tulip time Holland Michigan

Happy Mothers day....
I thought I would share with you some of the photos from the past week here in Holland.
For the past 10 days or so its been Holland Michigan's Tulip time. People come from all over the world to enjoy this festival.  Its been a great year this year with the tulips starting to bloom only a couple days before everyone started to arriving with more and more opening up and begging for attention.

There are miles and miles of tulips planted all over the town. They line both sides of the streets in all colours and types.

This is out at Veldeer Tulip farm. Fields of every tulip there is.

I thought I would attempt a video. 

Arn't these beautiful and so very different from any I already have planted at home.

I thought that perhaps some of these on the North east side which is where I have a lot of  "pinks" blooming throughout the year.

These photos some how lose there focus when enlarged... These whites were actually "fringed" and looked quite interesting.

Here's a bed showing the signs that help you identify them.

Bi-colored tulip... 

Here's the Interact club of Holland New Tech.. Holland Rotary's first ever Interact club.
We are taking part in the Saturday Tulip Time parade. It rained. It hailed and the wind blew cold for the full two hours! We blew bubbles and sang and danced. 
We meet every Tuesday. These are 14 to 18 year old's who give up their lunch to plan what next to do to help out throughout their community.  We've done several community projects around Holland through out this past year. Its been a real privileged to work with this great bunch of teens. There are actually over 20 in the club. A lot of the members were in bands, marching with athletic groups and also doing the Dutch dancing.We are hoping to raise money and then actually go with either another Interact club or with the Holland Rotary club to Honduras or the Dominican Republic to install them. To raise money for water filters is a wonderful thing. But, to actually go and install them will be life changing for these members. 
So from Holland Michigan and the end of another Tulip Time...
I wish all of you a very wonderful Mothers day...

Im now linking this with May Gardens Bloom day to share Holland Michigans Tulips with the rest of you..... Enjoy!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Frolicking bulbs -May 8th

The weather has brought the garden out with a bang. Blooms everywhere. Im getting up every morning and walking through the garden to see what is new. I've even been taking some pictures and then comparing the flowers on my return at the end of the day. My Mermaid is being a bit more modest then usual.

The Tulips continue to change their looks with the additional orange and then yellow blooms adding to the clusters and then the blooming creeping phlox.

Something bright and cheery at the beginning of our walkway.

The double flowering daffodils along the rock wall.

These are in a separate bed along the north west end of our house with the Peris and the Rhododendron and Sweet mountain laurel.

Dwarf Iris at the front of the driveway. These will fade and be over taken with the foliage of the  orange Ditch Lily's.

I love the boldness of this deep blue Iris sitting in with all the pastel yellow. 
Where it actually came from I do not know or perhaps I missed it blooming last year somehow.
I would actually love to find some more and add into this border.

I think I showed you this beautiful large pottery pot that I got at Jonkers in Holland Michigan 
It actually badly cracked and so I picked it up for next to nothing with the sole idea of laying it on its and making it look like the hen's and chick's are spilling out of it.

Then to add repetition and balance I added this similar pot on the opposite side of the driveway. 
I've yet to plant it up. I will plant it with plants that will contrast and fit in nicely with what will be blooming on this corner of the bed towards the beginning of June.
This will likely be the last post that will show the daffodils for sure as the temperature has been up into the 80's this past week although cooling down considerably for the next few days. We are even expecting rain which is good as we have the usual spring irrigation issues to work out.
Thanks for stopping by and walking my garden... 
Come often as its changing rapidly...
Im linking up with Fertilizer Friday .....even if a wee bit late!

Friday, May 3, 2013

May 1 Surprises

All of a sudden Spring has arrived. It is amazing what three days over 80 degrees did for our garden.
I went out and got lost in the mulching....lifting my head three days later I grabbed my camera to share the wonder that is happening in my garden. First thing I did was to bring the Mermaid outside to take up her post.

Although I appreciate the pastels of spring I can't help being drawn to the bright colours of these tulips
They are in the front beds on either side of the driveway happily saying good bye as I leave for work or greeting me as I drive in at night. 

 Fiddle heads are wonderful sauteed but I just couldn't bring myself to sacrifice any this year.

  Grape hyacinth is something I haven't always liked but I have really grown to love as they spread and     carpet  areas of this garden.

This is a great example of how I try to place contrasting textures of plants. "Brutes to dainty".

Isn't this Ginger a beauty. Its nestled very quietly at a point of the pond where sitting on a bench you can admire it. Not quite in the White or Moon garden but adjacent to it on its own.. The White or Moon garden was thought of because from the vantage point of our upper deck where we sit and over look the pond in the evening the white flowers or variegated foliage will stand out at night. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I could add to the "Moon" aspect of the White garden?

Marsh Marigolds are stunning at the moment. They are actually in the White garden..But, I figure its okay because they will be past blooming by the time the rest of the White garden gets going. I love the glossy green of their foliage even once the blooms are spent.

This Epimedium is stunning especially with the Golden Nettle as ground cover all around it.

It seems as if in the past ten days the garden has burst forth with an abundance of colour, contrasting textures , shapes and forms. Im eagerly waiting to see how all the dividing and moving things around will look compared with all that I added last year and have to add to it tomorrow. 
Holland Michigan is now enjoying our "Tulip Time"... streets are lined with Tulips and fields are all waving colourful heads beckoning tourists to stop and admire. Street performers will be out along with the traditional wooden cloggers all proud of their Dutch heritage. Its an amazing place to be. Why not come on over and join in all the fun....
I hope you have enjoyed your walk in my garden. Please let me know you dropped by.

 PS... I received another wonderful surprise May 1... I was expecting to go Sunday and pick up my number two daughter who has just spent the past year living over in Australia  But, Bear who turned 50 on May 1 actually spent his day driving to Chicago and back to pick her and her beau up so they could surprise me.
I do love surprises.