Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Two old Dogs in a Garden


The garden in May was lovely, and at the same time, a bit of a disaster. At the front of the house, the white picket fence was taken down and is still sitting in the driveway waiting to be painted. 

We live on a busy street corner, so the garden always feels a bit exposed, but with the fence down, it feels more so.

Salvia 'Caradonna' with its deep purple stems.

Last winter the city's sidewalk plow removed about a foot of soil off the front of the garden along with the snow. With their roots exposed, many of my roses perished.  

But as you can see from the picture above, many other plants held their ground and continue to flourish.

Amsonia tabernaemontana

In May and early June, Blue Star makes a great companion plant for Gas Plant, Dictamnus albus and the indigo colored flowers of Baptisia australis.

Blue Star, Amsonia tabernaemontana has green willow-like leaves and clusters of sky-blue flowers. Full sun or light shade. Average soil is fine and it will tolerate dry to moist conditions. Height: 60-90 cm (23-35 inches), Spread: 75-90 cm (29-35 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.


Gas plant, Dictamnus albus forms a bushy, upright clump of bright green leaves and has tall spires of white flowers in late May/early June. The plant gets its common name from the tiny amount of methane gas its flowers produce. A lighted match will flair if held near the flowers.
This plant is very slow to establish. Average soil is fine. Height: 60-90 cm ( 23-35 inches), Spread 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.


At the far end of the front garden, Baptisia australis just coming into flower. Blue Star, Amsonia tabernaemontana is in the foreground.


This Dwarf Korean Lilac smells absolutely divine!



Duetzia "Yuki Cherry Blossom' is a relatively new addition to the garden.

Deutzia 'Yuki Cherry Blossom' preforms best in moist, well-drained soil. Prune in spring after it flowers. Height: 30-36 cm (12-14 inches), Spread: 30-36 cm (12-14 inches). USDA Zones: 5-8.


Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow' has shaggy white flowers with a deep magenta centre. The foliage has a downy texture and a silver-grey-green color. Full sun and average garden soil.  The plant reference I found suggests this plant likes moist soil, but mine seems happy enough in a fairly dry sunny spot. The front of a border is the perfect spot for this plant. Height: 30-40 cm (12-16 inches), Spread: 30-60 cm (12-23 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.



The backyard is in a state of upheaval. The area just inside the gate has been dug up to address concerns with our septic system. A temporary shed is half-down and a new replacement shed is half-built. Everywhere there are tools, piles of wood and other building materials.

Despite the mess, there are pockets of pretty.


All my Bleeding Hearts were fabulous this year.

Self-seeded Sweet Rocket

Siberian Irises

Columbine


We went for weeks without rain in May, so the garden hose has had to come out earlier than usual. 

Already this spring there have been a few days of 30 degree weather.




The vet surprised me the other day when he told me Scrap was 10 years old. I was fully convinced he was 8! 

He is still pretty spry for an old dog.


Buddy is 15. 

He still likes to follow me out into the garden, but unlike Scarp who always wants to play, Buddy plunks himself down in a comfortable spot in the shade and takes a nap.


This poor neglected clematis is growing up through a tomato cage. I meant to move it this spring to its final home, but never got around to it. Now the move will have to wait for fall.

The white flowers are huge!

In spring Clematis 'Hyde Hall' has nearly white flowers that are 5-7 inches in size. It reaches a height of only 5-6 ft. Prune all top growth by one third in late winter/early spring. USDA zones: 4-9.


I have been growing Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' in my nursery bed. I'll move it to its final home in the front garden next spring. 

Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' forms a vase-shaped mound of bright green foliage with canary-yellow flowers mid-spring. This plant prefers moist, slightly acidic soil. Full sun to light shade. Height: 90-120 cm (35-47 inches), Spread:75-90 cm (29-35 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9

 
Euphorbia epithymodies 'First Blush'

Euphorbia epithymodies 'First Blush' tolerates hot dry conditions and yet pulled through a very cold Canadian winter. It likes light, well-drained soil. Full sun. Height: 30 cm (12 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-24 inches). USDA Zones 4-9.

Euphorbia Polychroma

Cushion Spurge, Euphorbia Polychroma has become one of my spring favourites. It has fresh green foliage and bright yellow flowers. Full sun. Average to sandy soil work best for this plant. Once established it likes dry conditions. Height: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches), Spread: 45-60 (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.


Geum triflorum will grow in most soils, but like many perennials, it will be happiest in well-drained soil that has been enriched with some organic matter. Full sun is best. Once established Geum triflorum is pretty low maintenance and is very drought tolerant. Height: 30 cm, Spread: 40-60 cm. USDA Zone: 3-9

There is a sea of plum Geraniums at the back of the garden. There are a mix of two varieties of geranium: Geranium phaeum 'Samobor' and Geranium phaeum 'Mourning Widow'.

I have learned the hard way that it really pays to cut these prolific self-seeders to the ground the moment the flowers start to go over. Not only do you eliminate unwanted seedlings, you get a fresh flush of new growth that keeps the plants looking attractive all summer.



Geranium maculatum 'Chatto'

What a pretty geranium this is! The color is so light and delicate.

Geranium maculatum 'Chatto' forms a bushy upright clump of green leaves and is among the earliest geraniums to flower. Mauve flowers appear mid-spring and the plant may repeat bloom mid-summer if you cut it back hard after the first flush of flowers. Full sun to light shade.  Average garden soil is fine. This plant prefers slightly moist conditions. Height: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.



The weather has been more unpredictable than ever. 

I wonder what June will bring?

42 comments:

  1. Lucky you...you get to grow all of the wonderful plants I long to have in my garden. Alas, it is much to dry and hot here. Your garden, looks spectacular, so pretty and the colors are wonderful, it reminds me of the beautiful gardens I have visited in England.

    I have had Shelties in the past, they are wonderful dogs but like many plants they also do better where it is not so hot. Please give your lovely dogs a pat for me...or maybe a kiss on the nose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kisses have been awarded on your behalf Adrienne!

      Delete
  2. Oh your garden is so pretty and so many lovely flowers. It's way to hot here in SO CA to have some of them and with the drought I will probably loose a lot of my roses.
    Love your dogs, aren't just the most wonderful companions. They both are so pretty.
    Have a great week.
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing that it already so hot isn't it. This is only the first of June. What will July bring? I hope you get some rain soon Mary!

      Delete
  3. Yes the weather sure has been unpredictable! We were in the 40's last weekend. Just look at all of your beautiful combinations Jennifer! I am just drooling over that Prairie Smoke! Your photos are incredible! And your pups look right at home in your bursting garden! Sorry to hear about your roses but knowing you you will have something else blooming in their place! Stunning garden! I always enjoy when you feature your space...so inspiring!!! Nicole xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wilt when the temperature climbs over 30, I can't imagine temperatures in the 40's! It is only the first of June. I wonder what temperatures July will bring?

      Delete
  4. There are so many beautiful flowers growing in your garden. I love the salvia and your columbines! I remember your prairie smoke from last year and I still love it! The sweet rocket also caught my eye because it is growing everywhere along the trail by the creek and it is very aromatic. I'll also go out and prune my samobor geranium. Is Buddy a sheltie as well? He is a gorgeous dog. My husband would like to get a border collie but I think a sheltie would be better for our family. I learned a lot from this post. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Buddy is a Sheltie. Black and white Shelties are less common than the tri-color Shelties that are so familiar. Buddy is very smart and understands language better than any other dog I have ever had.
      Border Collies are great dogs too. Australian Shepherds are another similar breed. I think any of these breeds make great pets, but all of them are working dogs. Smart dogs like to be busy and active, which means lots of walking and playing ball.

      Delete
  5. I can't believe how quickly your garden changes once the snows have gone - it is already looking pretty as a picture and has overtaken mine in the flowering stakes. So many beautiful plants mingling and looking their best.

    What a lovely face Scrap has, all smiling and friendly - a lovely dog to keep you company whilst you work and take photographs.

    As usual plenty of ideas to inspire as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the garden does rush forward here at full speed. The weeds and the flowers! LOL The dogs are my most faithful companions. I think that is why I miss Rusty so much.

      Delete
  6. You have the most beautiful garden!! Love all the informative details you provide, and I come back to check on things here. I lost my 'first blush', but I'm not sure if it was the winter or my husband's enthusiastic cleaning up of the garden in early spring. It was doing really well too. Love that prairie smoke ... so lacy! I didn't make it to the garden tour in Port Credit, but since it was a day of cold rain here I wasn't all that sorry. I'll have to plan ahead for it next year.
    Wendy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lost one of my other Euphorbias last winter, so I am no expert, but I find they really like a sunny spot and good drainage. I mixed some fine gravel in when I planted mine.

      Delete
  7. Despite all the upheavals going on in your garden, you have so many lovely blooms! I love Amsonia, too; I only wish its blooms would last longer. Centurea is a plant I've tried to grow a couple of times with no luck, and I'm not sure why--'Amethyst Snow' is one I especially coveted. But I have planted more 'Prairie Smoke' this spring; fingers crossed I don't accidentally pull it out like last year:) Good to see Scrap and Buddy enjoying the garden!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I forgot to add--enjoy the Fling in Toronto! I certainly wish I was going, too, but it just didn't work out this year. I would have so enjoyed meeting you, Jennifer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rose. I am looking forward to meeting so many bloggers I know, but have never met.

      Delete
  9. Beautiful! You have such a lovely garden and your pups are adorable!!

    My mom said it was very hot & humid in May - hope that doesn't mean a bad tornado year is coming! Take care xox

    ReplyDelete
  10. Such inspiration! Most of the plant varieties I have never seen available locally but worth searching out. Yes to Mourning Widow...she weeps everywhere ;-) Your garden is about one week ahead of ours. The Baptisia are all out of the ground (yes, yours also so can't wait to see the blooms xo) If you do come by this summer, would appreciate a look at your camera and some tips. Your photos are always so wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure that is why they named that Geranium Mourning Widow. LOL I am glad the Baptisia I brought for you has made an appearance.
      As to the photos, my camera isn't all that fancy and I could use a few tips myself. Shade is always a challenge for my photography skills. I wish I handled it better. Thank you for your kind words though Bren!

      Delete
  11. Loved every single amazing photos of your garden blooms Jennifer! Such beauty! I could stay here all day!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your garden is fantastic! So many beautiful plants and blossoms! I love all the info you provide too. It must be so heavenly to sit in those red chairs in your garden. Your canine companions are sure lovely too

    ReplyDelete
  13. Everything is so fresh and beautiful! The bouquet you made from the garden is wonderful. Too bad about the roses...is there a way to protect the plants from the plows? The dogs look happy to be out in the nice weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband has self-appointed himself as my rose protector (I think because he hates having to buy new ones). When the snow is deep it is hard for the man operating the plow to know exactly where on the sidewalk he is.
      My husband has tried talking to the guy who does the plowing, but they alternate routes and it is not always the same man doing our sidewalk. He tried putting up markers, but the city complained they obstructed the plow's path. I think next winter we will try a different type of marker.

      Delete
  14. Such a shame about your roses, will the council compensate you? You have so many wonderful flowers, it is impossible to pick out one or two, they are all fabulous! My old dog used to follow me round the garden, but always lying in the shade like yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find you get very different reactions to a complaint depending on the bureaucrat that answers your call. I have had more close encounters with the mean and nasty kind of bureaucrat than the nice, sympathetic kind. I fear they will just tell me my garden is too close to the sidewalk. It seems less stressful to buy new roses.

      Delete
  15. Your spring/early summer garden is lovely. I am particularly taken by gas plant which I know about but have never seen. I will have to find a place for it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Despite all the work going on, your garden looks amazing. What a shame about the roses!!! I loved seeing pictures of that section of your garden - it looked like a magazine shot. So far, I'm liking June - some rain, some sun and not too hot!
    Hope you'll share this on What's Blooming This Week

    ReplyDelete
  17. OMG!...your pups are absolutely the most beautiful flowers in your garden!

    ReplyDelete
  18. The sidewalk plows made a mess in our area too, thankfully all my plants are well back and didn't get injured. I see there is a pink baptisia now, I have lemon meringue like you and am very happy with it.
    Buddy is doing well for 15, my little guy will be 12 and hasn't slowed down yet.
    Happy gardening!

    ReplyDelete
  19. So nice to see the old guys featured. Just makes me smile when I see them cuddled up to the corners of the garden. 'Pockets of pretty' - it's such a positive way to think of things when all those things out of our control conspire to make our gardens not quite what we want. Your pictures are absolutely heavenly. B.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love this posting ... beautiful blooms and adorable dogs! I feel for you with the fence upheaval, as we removed our front picket, too. It was totally rotten, so we had to be replace it and paint the replacement. We can't plant anything in front of that particular picket fence as the plow comes within inches of it, but I have others further away from the road with plantings. We had a lot of painting/staining work done and it was a month of upheaval. Now it is all finished and so much better. Hope your lovely garden is soon back to normal. P x

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am really interested in what you wrote here. This looks absolutely perfect. All these tinny details gives me a lot of knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  22. You do have some gorgeous plants, I loved the geum and the columbine and the amsonia and baptisia are heavenly, I enjoyed seeing the last two as I am growing them from seed this year.
    It's always difficult when jobs are interfering with gardening, and what a shame about your poor roses!
    Scrap and Buddy are adorable little angels, I say post more pics of them!xxx

    ReplyDelete
  23. That was a lovely tour through your garden. Such pretty flowers and sweet dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ugh, I'm sorry to hear about the snowplow incident. That must be frustrating. Still, your flowers are gorgeous. You take such good pictures.

    My dog used to love to play with a soccer ball too , even though it was almost as big as she was.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Love to see those dogs of yours amongst your beautiful flowers! It must have felt strange to find out he was older then you thought. We don't really know how old Hudson is and I wish we did for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You have such a lovely garden as well as beautiful garden companions.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I adore the photo of Scrap standing beside the birdbath in your garden. He looks so happy, and I would not think him a day past four! Your garden is filled with all the wonderful flowers I dream of, but many could never tolerate my summers. Your Geum triflorum is lovely; I love those wispy tendrils it leaves behind!

    ReplyDelete
  28. So lovely to see the pictures of Scrap and Buddy among the flowers and garden.

    Your blooms are just so lovely - I always enjoy my visit.

    Thank you ... and have a lovely June

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  29. I was SO excited to see this was a post from your own garden! Your photos never cease to take my breath away and make my heart go pitter patter. I loved seeing what you have growing and blooming now, I've added more plants to the wish list, and I think I pinned nearly every single picture. :) Fantastic post.

    ReplyDelete
  30. P.S. The four-legged babies are adorable!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you. Thanks for leaving a comment.