My gardens are colorful and lush this time of year before the summer’s heat starts to wreck its havoc on the leaves and flowers.
The most striking things right now in my St. Francis Garden are the volunteers you see stretching up to the sky in the middle of this shot.
These sunflowers sprouted from seeds distributed by the birds and squirrels who frequented our bird feeder this winter. I suspect we’ve had these volunteers before and unwittingly yanked them as weeds in early spring. This year I allowed the little sprouts to stay out of curiosity.
The buds are forming. I’m very excited about these, especially considering the sunflower seeds I planted have never prevailed due to small creatures eating the seedlings.
These little annuals are visible in the bottom left corner of the above garden photo if you look hard enough. (Clicking on the photo helps). I don’t know their name and forgot to keep the tag.
I have high hopes for this Mandevilla on the trellis. They’re supposed to attract hummingbirds I’m told.
If you look down past the feet of the sunflowers, you might be able to spot these bright little daisies. I used to have three nice bunches of them along the stone steps through the garden, but the bird feeder placement had a detrimental effect on them.
These are the same daisies Mark and I planted at Annie’s grave, where Mom and Dad are now also buried. Since the cemetery is about an hour and a half north of here they bloom a little later. I will wait about a week or two and then make the trip to see them blooming on the gravesite.
At the bottom of the garden near the woods, these white astilbe are blooming. I think I need to plant more of these for next year. The other shade plants here—sweet woodruff, lilies of the valley, columbine, bleeding hearts—have all had their moment in the spotlight and are now done for this year.
We have a nice little patch of yellow Stella d’Oras blooming at the end of the garden before you get to the back yard.
I love the flowers on this variety, although the lighter cream or vanilla colored stella doras in our Angel Garden are my favorite. They have a lot of buds, but aren’t blooming quite yet.
You probably noticed the spot of color provided by these purple petunias. I added this hanging cone-shaped basket last year.
I’m trying to use more containers, but am not as vigilant as I might need to be to be successful at it. I rely heavily on Mother Nature in my perennial gardens.
I think these are verbena, but don’t hold me to it. You’d think I’d know not only the common names, but also the biological ones for my plants— but, no.
In the background you can see my biggest splash of color this month – the oak leaf hydrangeas.
They bloom all along the upper edge of the Angel Garden. We have our home’s original owners to thank for them.
Our daisies in the Angel Garden are doing quite well. This is the shorter variety like those we have in the St. Francis Garden. We also planted a taller version that haven’t started blooming yet. Initially we had those behind the shorter ones, but we transplanted them this season to the far end of the garden where they won’t be competing with the Stella d’Oras when they all bloom.
We put in a little patch of vanilla marigolds in an open area near the far edge of this garden. Some of them are doing fine, others not so much. You might notice an occasional orange or yellow one interspersed. Someone wasn’t watching the tags on the flowers very closely when we bought them.
Here is our little section of chameleon-ivy-infested liriope. Last year, or the one before, we dug these up and cleared this section of the ivy, but apparently not well enough. We will have to do it again. Most of the rest of the garden we worked on two times. I don’t think we’re going to see the end of the chameleon in our lifetime.
We have a few princess spirea bushes that are blooming now.
I love to run my fingers across the soft flowers. I think we must have had these somewhere when I was young, because it brings back an early memory.
I’ve taken my container-gardening to the deck. We always had the railing boxes, but I’ve added several other pots. I’m starting to appreciate all those articles I used to read about the joys of container gardens. But they do require constancy in their care. You can’t neglect them for weeks at a time and hope they’ll get by with an occasional rain shower.
This one is particularly demanding. I think it is some kind of rudebeka, so I assumed it would be low-maintenance. No so. It wants to be watered every day. And if you forget, it reminds you by completely wilting. At least it has the courtesy to revive in short order once given some water. I have a bad feeling about this one in light of the weekend trips on our calendar.
Container gardens can still present a surprise or two. Could these be more volunteer sunflowers?
What to do?
I planted a lot of red on the deck this year to encourage the hummingbirds to stop by. They don’t seem to be that crazy about the geraniums though.
Here’s another Mandevilla. I have to give it occasional haircuts at the top or it starts looking like it has a mohawk.
You can see why the hummingbirds like these.
Here’s a little gallery of the rest of the pots on our deck.
And finally, the little container I found under our deck and planted with red petunias sits on the table we got from Mom and Dad’s yard, and the glider Dad loved to sit in—just one more reminder for me of those I loved and lost.
I hope your world is filled with color. Send me links to posts about your flowers.