Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday Vignette

For today's Wednesday Vignette I'm posting a photo I took last weekend at my friend Peter The Outlaw Gardener's Open Garden. It's just one of many, many wonderful vignettes that you see at literally every step you take through Peter's garden. It's a crappy photo (like so many I took that day, in fact, I hesitate to share the rest of them). But it illustrates exactly how I felt while I was there.

Help! I'm drowning in an ocean of awesomeness!

Anna at Flutter & Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. Check out her post here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Monty Don's Watering Can

When I went away to the Fling, I was sick with a cold. Sick enough that I actually skipped the second day of garden touring, and spent the day in my air-conditioned hotel room, watching TV. I was still sick when I came back, with a cough that, because I have asthma, lingered for weeks, despite constant puffing on two different inhalers.

My son and his girlfriend came to visit the weekend right after Fling weekend, and I was still so out of commission that I let them go into Seattle to do the tourist thing without me. Again, I stayed home and watched TV.

For a few weeks after I came back, even just a walk around the garden would leave me out of breath, so I wasn't doing much, if any, gardening. But I was watching a lot of TV.

Gardeners' World, specifically, which I watch on YouTube. If you're an American gardener, you probably know gardening shows in the U.S. suck, because they're aren't any. I don't understand how HG-TV can continue to call itself HG-TV. In this age of rebranding, it really is just H-TV, which for me, would stand for Hell-TV. Anyway, Gardeners' World is British, and the British know how to do gardening shows. Monty Don is the soft-spoken, charming host/presenter, and I fell in love with his watering can when I started watching the show.

You can see Monty Don's watering can in action in the video here.

I Googled "Monty Don's watering can," because I wanted one for my own. It has a brass rose that sprinkles a light rain-like dose for watering seeds or seedlings, but can be easily removed when you need to give a newly planted shrub or perennial a good soak. It's made of galvanized metal with a powder coating. It's a Haws Professional Long-Reach Watering Can, which I found on Amazon in an 8.8 liter size (a bit heavy for me). So I opted for a smaller, one-gallon Haws watering can.

My new watering can -- Beyond, the garden beckons

My only regret is that the larger can has a filter between the spout and rose to prevent it getting clogged, which the smaller one doesn't have. But it's easily removed for cleaning. Also, I didn't realize, I could have ordered one right from the Haws website, so I got mine on Amazon. Apparently, they also make a brass watering lance. For $89.95, I wonder if it leaks.

I'm feeling better now, I'm coughing less. I've already filled both of my yard waste bins with weeds and deadheaded plants that I've cut back. I've given my new watering can a workout.

But I'm still very tempted to sit down every day and admire Monty Don's can.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- July 2017

Here's my one-day late Bloom Day post. Are you interested in excuses why it's late? Probably not, so I won't offer any.

Every year there's at least one plant that blooms in a flash in the interim between bloom days. This year it was the tall Campanula that I got at a bloggers' exchange a couple of years ago. It was just preparing to bloom as I went away to the Bloggers Fling back in June, and by the time I got back, it had very few flowers left that were unopened and unfried by the extreme heat (temps in the 90s) that struck while I was away. I took a picture and then cut the stalks back to the ground a few days later.

Tall Campanula

I took a handful of pictures out in the garden earlier this week, but many of these were taken last evening as the sun was going down, so the light was fading. They're not my best.

Hydrangea 'Annabelle'

Hydrangea quercifolia has become a big, sprawling monster

Cyclamen coum still flowering in the northeast corner, where I've been watering all summer

A few honeysuckle buds are left, all the others are blown

Who can advise me about Agapanthus? I planted one in the front bed about 3 years ago, and this is the first time I've had a flower from it. The basal foliage is about a foot wide, but only one flower stalk?  What a stingy plant. That's a lot of space to devote to a plant that gives back so little. Is it common for Agapanthus to flower like this?

My one and only Agapanthus

I love how Inula blooms unfold

While weeding the front bed earlier this spring, I realized I recognized the leaves on this plant. I was pretty sure it was a self-sown Inula, from a mother plant several feet away. I'm glad to see I was right.

Echinacea purpurea

The daylilies and true lilies are in full swing.


Hemerocallis 'Strawberry Candy'

Hemerocallis 'Bold Tiger'

Some of the lilies planted only 3 years ago in the front bed by the street have created large swaths of blooms from just a handful of original bulbs.

Lilium 'Royal Sunset'

Others still send up just a couple of blooms after several years in the ground.

Lily 'Llandini'

Lily 'Eyeliner'

Lobelia tupa

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Berkheya purpurea, which gets very tall and flops like mad. I may have to yank it. It's an interesting flower, but not interesting enough to justify the ugliness of support poles.

Glaucium flavum aurantiacum

Glaucium flavum auranticum seedhead which gives it the common name horned poppy -- looks pretty horny to me

Unopened Glaucium bud

Acanthus dontknowsius

Dianthus caryophyllus  'Chomley Farran'

Floppy Cupid's Dart (Catananche caerulea)

One of the delicate bell-shaped Clematis

'Lucifer' is the only one of my Crocosmia to flower this year, which also happened last year. Lots of foliage on the others, but no flowers. I thought last year it was a lack of water, so I watered more this year, to no avail. I fear my recourse is to dig them up and divide.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'

Veronica spicata
In the annuals department:

Cerinthe sown from seed this year has started blooming

Annual poppies that have self sown into the gravel

The Nigella is not quite as prolific this year as in past years, with a less interesting range of colors

Flowering in pots:

Iochroma 'Ashcott Red' is a gawky, ugly plant, but it does have beautiful flowers

Aloe aristata

Begonia boliviensis

Tuberous Begonia

As I headed back to the door, I spied this bee settling down for the night on a bloom of Eryngium 'Blue Glitter'

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, on the fifteenth of the month. Check out her post here.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Evidence of Raccoons

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the stream turns off every night and comes back on in the morning, the raccoons are back. Well, at least one we know of for certain. He/She (I think it's probably a she) hasn't done much damage to the garden (yet), but that may be just because she hasn't brought her entire family along for a visit.

I found a few pieces of this 'Blue Spruce' Sedum, which is planted at the top of the waterfall, floating in the stream

I planted this 'Blue Spruce' Sedum at the top of the waterfall earlier this spring, hoping it will eventually obscure the plastic. I've also found a handful of rocks that have been knocked into the weir.

I've also found lots of shredded water hyacinth, which I planted in the streambed for the first time this year. I think she has been rooting around in it, looking for snails.

The water hyacinth has multiplied quite a bit, but so far no sign of flowers. I hope she leaves it alone.

I found this on the back "lawn." All those bits and pieces are made of feathers, fibers and dried moss, which makes me think it was a bird's nest that she knocked out of a tree and tore apart.
One of the larger chunks -- but no sign of eggs or baby birds

And here is the best evidence yet that the raccoons have returned -- a video taken by my son when he visited a couple of weekends ago. There was a lot of speculation at the time that it was Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy, looking for Groot.

Groot, out in my garden, sitting on the recycled concrete wall. I made him from a castor bean root, and posted about creating him here.