Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Surprises

 

There is a lot of waiting in gardening. 

And then there are the surprises both good and bad.


I have been patiently waiting 3 or 4 years for the Chocolate Vine, Akebia quinata on the backyard arbor to bloom. 

I actually picked this vine because I liked the foliage and the fact that it was a vine that didn't mind a bit of shade. 

At the time that I bought it, I would even have been content if it never ever bloomed...



but after a while curiosity began to kick in and I started to wonder what the flowers on a "chocolate" vine were like.

Finally this spring, there were a few tiny flower buds. "At long last!", I thought to myself. 

Hopefully this is going to be good!

Imagine my utter disappointment when the tiniest, most drab colored flowers opened up a few days later. There are no pictures here because there was simply nothing worthy of a picture! 

Maybe when there is a greater abundance of flowers I'll be impressed, but for now, I have gone back to liking Chocolate Vines for their foliage.


Early this morning I was picking roses for the house when I got another surprise. The first of the Japanese Beetles were lurking in among the scented petals!

They are late to appear this summer and I even started hoping they might be a no-show. Maybe that full-on Canadian winter we had this year did them all in? 




That has proven to be a bit of wishful thinking! 

Sadly, this Canadian Explorer Rose above happens to be one of a Japanese Beetle's favourite snack foods.


The surprises aren't all bad though. 

There is a climbing rose on the same back arbor as the Chocolate Vine. For years it has been rather pathetic and scrawny, but this summer it has come into its own and it is simply glorious!


Then there is this Agastache 'Blue Fortune'. I was pleased that it took off so well in its first summer. This is it blooming last August. 

OMG! You should see it now! It is the size of a small shrub after just one year. 

What was I thinking when I put it in a tiny spot in a narrow flowerbed!


'Blue Fortune' is not the only thing out of control. There has been so much rain that the 
garden at the side of the house is a veritable jungle. 

There is actually a path leading to the front door in there somewhere!



This clematis on the picket fence is reaching skyward.





I have always found the view along the front of the white picket fence lacks a little color in early July and so last week I added some hot pink Veronica, 'Red Fox' to the present mix of soft pink 'Fairy' roses and cobalt colored Meadow Sage, Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' .


I also bought this beauty to add in there somewhere. This roses start of deep maroon and fades to a deep mauve. ( Wild Blue Yonder Rose, Rosa X 'WEKisosblip')


Along the driveway, these two roses have been putting on quite the show this summer. 
(The deeper pinky-red rose is Hybrid Musk rose 'Marjorie Fair' and the lighter pink 
is the Hybrid Musk rose 'Robin Hood')

 Close-up of Hybrid Musk rose 'Robin Hood'

Who dosen't like that kind of surprise?


Here is wishing that all your gardening surprises are happy ones!

44 comments:

  1. Just gorgeous - your garden looks like a paradise. So many beautiful roses, too. Perfect!

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  2. I love these photos. Especially picket fence pictures, so beautiful garden !

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  3. Such a GORGEOUS garden you have. I enjoyed every beautiful photo!

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  4. The happy surprise here is seeing so many wonderful photos of your own garden. You go for color and impact, and it shows. Thanks for the tour -- disappointments and all. Just beautiful.

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  5. I love big blowzy gardens - yours is stunning!! I can't wait for mine to mature. On the topic of not so great surprises, any ideas why my Caesar's Brother Siberian Iris refuses to bloom? It went for 5 years at my last house without blooming, so when I moved I made sure the roots weren't too deep and that I planted it in a sunnier spot. I have Butter & Sugar Siberian Iris right beside it and it's happy as a pig in .... I can't figure it out!

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    1. I have had a similar problem with my Siberian Irises Anne. I think in my case, the plants are overgrown and are in need of division. I would suspect lack of sunlight might be an issue for you, but if you have an iris next to the one that isn't blooming and it is performing well, then I would think the amount of sunlight is adequate.Perhaps the nutrient balance is wrong causing the plant to produce foliage, but not flowers.

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  6. I love your bell shaped clematis most of all and I think I have commented the same thing on three other bell shaped clematis this week! I just love them all! Yours is such a lovely lilac color. And your roses are glorious as well. Everything is lovely, except the japanese beetles.

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  7. The salvia Caradonna is so spectacular...had two last year and bought a few more this year because of it's structure and beauty. Just blooms it's heart out so good choice for us I think Jennifer. As for the rose over the arbour..fantastic!! Do you know it's name as it is a stunner. And..the clematis...surely that is not the 'little' blue clematis I have that has not done a darn thing for five years except feed the earwigs and slugs. Would most appreciate the variety of that. If it is the same..mine is moving to a new location.

    Your planting along the picket fence is wonderful, as are the roses. We have Robin Hood as well, so it goes to show..ours is not in bloom yet and yours is. Your season does burst along, ahead of ours here in Nova Scotia.

    Always a pleasure to see your abundant blooming garden.

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  8. I love all your pictures, but the second one is just grand. It doesn't look like you placed the pup right in the middle of the arbor, but he's just perfectly framed in the middle of the shot. Well done.

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  9. Jennifer, your garden looks stunning. Like a paradise! I don't wonder if the beetle loves your roses, because so do I. Happy gardening, Jennifer!

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  10. Wow! Jennifer, you showed us absolutely wonderful pictures! Variety, vivid colors, healthy plants! I hope that good thing will always overweight bad things!

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  11. Your garden is gorgeous. I like the way you mix all the colours together. I used to try to group colours, but much prefer this way of planting, it looks so much better to me. The rose on the arbour really is a beauty.

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  12. You have a truly beautiful garden. Your roses look stunning, especially the last two. Your path has certainly disappeared in your flowerbed :-)
    The white picket fence looks very inviting.

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  13. Love the roses, the fence, the clematis, all your beautiful flowers ... Simply gorgeous !!! Sorry for the vine and the bugs ...

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  14. Your Gardens are looking so lush and full , must be all the snow last winter and all the rain this spring...... The roses are beautiful ..... darn japanese beetles, not a pleasant surprise.....

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  15. May be Japanese Beetle won't damage much and your wonderful roses will perfectly bloom! I love your combination of colors along the white fence, especially Robin Hood' rose.
    Have a nice weekend!

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  16. The bouquet you've put together in your first photo is gorgeous! Your roses and clematis are really performing this summer and your front garden looks a lot like mine - a jungle of growth! (Love the peonies in your last post)

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  17. Your roses are breathtaking! I love your exuberant, joyful garden. I'm afraid I might have a hard time making it to your front door, as I would have to stop and admire all the colorful flowers.

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  18. My goodness! Where do I begin here! Your colors in your garden are so sensational! Your roses and your bouquets are sooooo pretty!! I have always wanted a white picket fence and seeing yours just reminds me why I love them so very much in the garden! WOW! And as for the beetles I hope they leave your lovely roses alone! Thank you for the inspiration today!!!

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  19. Jennifer - it's gorgeous!!! Love the fairy roses, love that clematis, love the chocolate vine (leaves and all). You have a wonderful way of mixing colours and combinations . Stunning!!

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  20. You know Jennifer...you travel hither and thither and we all love that you share the photos (keep doing so please!) but oh boy oh boy I love your garden best. Luscious, gorgeous and wonderful. I remember your Mum's gardens and I can tell you the rose petals don't fall far from the rose! :-) Beautiful garden Jennifer!

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  21. The garden looks spectacular! It is already so hot here that alas all of the lovely spring flowers are long gone...it is a delight to share yours. I love the rambling, charming, abundant look you have created, it is my idea of what a garden should be.

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  22. My goodness, what a beautiful garden. I think I like the photo of the nodding Clematis flowers best. I have two versons of the Five Leaf Akebia. One of them is a white bloom and the other a kind of browny mauve. The flowers are rather underwhelming but the foliage is lovely.

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  23. Looks to me like you have lots of consolation for the Akebia disappointment. Your roses are truly glorious! Agastache foeniculum, which is one of the parents to 'Blue Fortune', will also grow to shrubby dimensions. I always cut it back at least once in late May. It is one of my favorites, and the bees' also!

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  24. The chocolate vine flowers may have been a disappointment, but those beautiful blooms on the climbing rose certainly make up for it! I was just saying to someone yesterday that I hadn't seen a Japanese beetle yet this year either; I hope I didn't jinx my garden. Your roses look spectacular in spite of those pesky beetles.

    Everything looks so beautiful in your garden, Jennifer--I like jungles:)

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  25. Your garden is breathtakingly beautiful, so lush and vibrant. :) That's too bad about the Japanese beetles, there's always something, it seems. (I just spent the morning trying to deal with my first ever slug problem...ICK!). Your agastache is fabulous...I honestly didn't realize they grew to such proportions. Awesome! Have a wonderful weekend!
    Sheryl @ Flowery Prose

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  26. What a fantastic collection of roses you have, they really are gorgeous. I love the nodding blue bells of your clematis too, so pretty. You battle with Japanese beetles, we battle with the scarlet lily beetle, there's always something isn't there!

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  27. As always, everything looks beyond beautiful. Agastache is a terrific plant, don't you think? It is the bees' number one favorite and yes, it gets huge and shrub-like. I saw a new variety at the Raulston Arboretum called Blue Boa that is an even prettier shade than Blue Fortune, so keep your eyes peeled.

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  28. Lol....I wish all gardening surprises were good ones....me being something of a amateur...I get lot's of unpleasant ones!!!!

    I love the reality and honesty of this post, and as always really enjoy your posts....I could smell the blossoms from here though! You do have an awesome garden growing there....says I a little green eyed!!! Sighs and gets myself!!!!

    Oh....love to see one of your boys adding an additional elegance and charm to the garden!

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  29. Fabulous roses Jennifer - fabulous garden too - so full of colour and abundance. I love garden surprises - only the good ones though.

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  30. How do you avoid blackspot on your roses? I'm still fighting that scourge. I saw a few Japanese beetles today and immediately squished them in my hand. Nasty little things! I usually only get a few and will be on beetle patrol tomorrow. The neighborhood bunnies have been munching their way through my garden and they even chewed down my cypress vines to stubs. I was so mad! They've sniffed out every aster and are munching them to the ground. Grrr!

    You and I have many of the same plants. I have quite a bit of veronica 'Red Fox'. Great plant! Your garden looks spectacular. :o) I love that Marjorie Fair rose.

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    1. I have been really lucky Tammy and have never had to battle blackspot on my roses. I tend to favour roses that have shiny, leathery leaves and I look for " disease resistant" in the rose descriptions when I am considering a purchase. I am not sure if this accounts for my success with blackspot or its just dumb luck.
      I haven't had a problem with rabbits this year. I put it down to the road construction at our intersection. I think the local rabbits don't like the noise or the apocalyptic sound of the big machinery that rattles the windows and the artwork hanging on the wall in the living room. I am not sure what is worse- a bunny chewed garden or the noise of the heavy machinery!
      Glad to hear you recommend the veronica 'Red Fox'. I am looking forward to that shot of hot pink to shake up the softer pink and blues I have at the front in early July.

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  31. I am sorry to hear about the J beetles...we are awaiting their appearance too...I love your jungle...mine is similar as the rain continues to pelt down the garden...1.25 inches this morning...it accumulated very quickly with a burst of a storm. Your roses are amazing!

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  32. Love the shots of your garden Jennifer. It always amazes me how lush and full it is. So much to look at. I see you have agastache growing, wish mine did as well as yours. Planted 5 of them last year and every last one expired. I love the smell and the colour, as well as being an insect magnet but I guess my drainage just isn't that good.

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  33. There is something so reassuringly beautiful about a white picket fence and colourful blooms spilling all around it. Gorgeous photos! I like the arbour too.

    -Karen

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  34. The outside of your fence looks so beautiful! And your red climbing rose is a stunner. I have had many surprises in my garden too and the good ones are a delight, the bad ones I try to forget...we don’t have the Japanese beetles but we have the red lily beetles to battle with, with almost 100 lilies in my garden I do a lot of patrolling too!

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  35. Jennifer - you certainly had good and bad surprises. What a disappointment about the chocolate vine. Oh well. At least you know now not to expect anything jaw-dropping. And despite Japanese beetles, your roses look magnificent. I especially like how you arranged them in the last photo. Just like a painting.
    I realize the rain we've had has definitely turned certain sections of the garden into jungles but hey! I appreciate not having to water every morning like we did with the drought last summer.
    Gorgeous photos of a gorgeous garden!!

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  36. Hi Jennifer,
    I don't know how arid it is where you live, but to dry peonies for wreaths and to leave as bouquets it requires very dry air or they will brown and rot before drying. It is extremely dry here so I just leave in the vase and they dry naturally. The water evaporates and I am left with a beautiful bouquet.
    Have a wonderful day,
    June

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  37. Love your roses. I find so few I can grow without using pesticides, so I just don't grow them. The old fashioned roses that bloom early spring make it out before the beetles, but also have such a short bloom time.

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  38. Wow, the growth in your garden plants is so very lush. I think a disappointment here and there is bearable with so much good stuff going on.

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  39. Your chocolate vine reminds me of my trumpet vine. Now mine blooms, and blooms quite profusely, but to me, the flowers were somewhat of a disappointment. Not sure why, because they are surely not awful. Just not what I expected. HOWEVER, the hummingbirds love them, so a bright spot after all. :-)

    These roses are gorgeous!

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  40. Your photos are just wonderful. I am in love with that clematis.

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  41. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who can't get that darn Chocolate vine to flower. I have been waiting three or four years now too. ugh. Now I'm scared I'll be disappointed too (if they ever decide to gift me with any blooms). Thanks goodness the foliage IS pretty.
    I wish there were some way to spread the weather around evenly too. We could use some rain and sounds like you could use some sun. Hope we both get our wish soon.
    Your garden looks beautiful, as always....

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