WHERE DO I START?

Where do I start? Here we are at the end of April and I’m still accessing the damage from the past winter.

Today they cut down the second Fig Tree…dead . I waited to be sure but there was no hope. The branches snapped off in my hand. Same with all the Gardenia, they look like toast, brown & crunchy!  There is one in the cutting garden I hope recovers; the small leafed one Margaret Moseley calls ‘First Love’. Keeping my fingers crossed.

The Hydrangea macrophylla are pushing new growth from the roots. All the top growth is dead. There will be no flowers this season.

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I am hoping the Penny Mac’s, will produce. They bloomed on new wood (i.e. current seasons growth) in my friend Penny’s garden for  whom it was named.

Penny McHenry                             Penny McHenry

(I wonder if it was because she grew them  in full sun. They always looked wilted during the day but at 6 pm her garden was transformed into the Hydrangea Heaven it was.)

To add  insult to injury a huge old Oak in the Wordsworth Meadow was uprooted last week in the wind storm.

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That is my 6′ 4″ husband in front of the rootball.(below)

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Now that the second shoe has fallen I’m left wondering what else could possibly go wrong. I’m holding my breath!

Forgot to mention the entire countryside was without power for the day since it brought down the power line.

Still there were many nice surprises. Who knew Stachyurus praecox was so hardy?  I was sure she would succumb to the low temperatures. ( This is yet another shrub commonly known as “Yellow Bells’)

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Stachyurus praecox

The meadow is marvelous with the native Phlox (Phlox divaricata) & Trilliums (Trillium cuneatum)  that follow the spent daffodils …

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and  the Viburnums are doing beautifully. This however, is another post.

How are your gardens doing after this very harsh winter?

 

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SPRING IS HERE!!

I’m finally convinced that spring is here! Sufficient rain and warmer weather have created ideal conditions for an explosion of blooms.                                                                      Viburnum plicatum & Azalea

Above, Viburnum plicatum & Azalea indica ‘Formosa’

Hydrangea anomala petiolaris

Climbing the wall;  Hydrangea anomala petiolaris & Clematis ‘Freckles’ using it for support.

Phlox divericata

The Phlox divericata encouraged to naturalized between the daffodils.

Clematis "asao'
Clematis “asao’

I have pruned all the Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, and almost all the Hydrangea paniculata. I still have to deadhead the Hydrangea macrophylla but I like to attend to those last lest I get too enthusiastic and remove this years flower buds.                                                                             Aesculus pavia

Aesculus pavia

  Pruned some of the clematis that require it and took an inventory of the garden.

Some of the news is not good. I have record losses this year. There is no sign of life on several Clematis, and my favorite Quince ‘Apple blossom’ has bit the dust.

Over the last few years I have let some shrubs go and now they require some drastic pruning. Good thing I bought a good excellent lopper. That is another post, promise.

GARDEN TOUR part 1

“You should have seen it last week!” The familiar phrase heard from gardeners, when showing visitors around. Well to avoid that I’m posting a  time-lapse kind of garden tour. Photos from the garden over the last two weeks.

                                                                                        

The Dogwoods in the meadow, like most other spring-flowering plants, cooked in the 80 degree temperatures. the blossoms did not last long. Above, in their moment of  glory with the native Phlox (Phlox divericata).

                                                                                    

 Above, the view from a second floor  window,  Dogwoods, Lady Banks Rose (white selection) & Viburnums. Those ‘Snowballs’ (Viburnum macrocephalum) are trained into trees.

                                                                               

Love the tree right by the house.

                                                                            

Early clematis, blooming now for several weeks.

                                                                                 

Along the North Border….Viburnum ‘Kern’s Pink’  & Baptisia…. (below)

                                                                             

followed by Viburnum opulus, Purple smoke tree  (Cotinus coggygria  ‘Royal Purple’ ) & Styrax obassia ..heavenly fragrant bells.

                                                                                   

                                                                   

Clematis  ‘Carnaby’ &  Cotinus ‘coggygria ‘Royal Purple’

                                                                                     

Look at those knockout roses below.. not pruned this year, they are lush & voluptuous reaching almost 6 ‘ tall.

                                                                            

The rose,’ Madame Alfred Carrier’, burst out of her restraints..

                                                                                         

so….the trellis is moving again… to paraphrase Margery Fish, “In time she will learn to walk!”

                                                                                     

All leading up to the Shocking Pink Schiaparelli bench.

To be continued….

GARDENING IN THE SOUTH

                                                                   

Perhaps what I appreciate most about gardening in the south is the fact that it is year round.

                                                                                    

While many of the deciduous hydrangeas are loosing their foliage, the Arum groundcover is coming into its own and will soon blanket the ground.

                                                                                         

Then there are the shrubs that bloom a second time. Above, the Chinese Witchhazel (Lorapetalum chinensis) in its second flowering.

                                                                                       

For the rest, far from looking bare the camellia sasanqua are putting on quite a show. From a distance they could be mistaken for  cascading  roses ….

                                                                                      

Close up, just as enchanting with as much diversity in form.

                                                                                 

                                                                    

                                                                    

The potager is done with the summer crop and we are now planting garlic (late), seeding lettuce and arugula,  planting kale, cabbage and broccoli. Believe it or not the summer peppers are still going strong, I just harvested these….

                                                                            

When the summer wildflowers die down I can see the bee hives…. wish you could taste the honey….

                                                                                            

No, we don’t do that, we have a beekeeper in fact the bees are his, we just supply the nectar and then share the honey, good deal!

THE MEADOW…YET AGAIN

                                                                                      The meadow is once more looksing like an impressionist painting. Swaths of blue native phlox (Phlox divericata) make their way between the daffodil foliage and the ‘Wake Robin’  ( Trillium cuneatum) .

                                                                                       

                                                          

                                                                   

The trees are now playing an important role, so the focus changes.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                              

This is The Meadow viewed from the driveway on west side of the house looking east. (Above) 

                                                                                   

Soon the weeds & wild grasses will cover this all and it will look wild & wonderful. Then the hum of beneficial insects, bees and butterflies will fill the air. After the plants set their seed it will get the annual cut. This meadow gives me 12 months of joy!!

© all photos 2011

Note: WordPress noted that I published a draft & not the updated version of this post AFTER it was posted…why not BEFORE???

THE MEADOW CONTINUES….

The meadow continues to delight. The last of the daffodils…

                                                                                   

 are joined by  Woodland Phlox (Phlox divericata) and  Trilliums (Trillium cuneatum).

                                                                                        

Unfortunately the colours do not photograph well, the Trillium are a beautiful shade of claret, which is very effective with the blue Phlox.

                                                                                          

                                               

Every one has different markings ………amazing!!

© all photos 2011

WILD THINGS

Time for the WILD THINGS! 

                                                                                                 

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) popping up in the meadow. The name is derived from the red sap which bleeds as the stem is cut or the root disturbed. The Indians used this sap for paint and as a dye.

                                                                                  

 Trillium cuneatum naturalized in the meadow. I cannot take credit for this…they were here before me and keep multiplying.

                                                                                            

Woodland phlox (Phlox divericata) naturalized with the Trillium….delicate & fragrant.

I encourage all these to increase by allowing their seed to ripen and disperse before the meadow is cut. Slowly & surely this is happening. Every year at this time I wonder if I will live long enough to see my vision come to fruition. But then again its about the journey, and I am enjoying this one immensely.

© All photos & text 2011