Thursday, May 9, 2013

Time to Admire the Flowers

This clump of iris endured battering wind and rain in the bud stage making some of the stems lean crazily.

This camera setting is meant to 'sharpen' the primary image while creating a 'softened' background.

I did a bit of clambering about in my attempts to avoid the shadows from the nearby trees.

I am easily distracted from tasks at hand when the garden breaks into bloom.
I can find excuses to head outside, camera along, simply wanting to see how a clump of iris looks in afternoon sunlight as opposed to the shade of morning.
There were iris dotted about in clumps here and there when we bought the place.
They are the earliest to bloom--not extraordinary, perhaps, but a beautiful display.
My thought is that the original owners bought a few and kept dividing the root colonies and replanting where ever there was a space to tuck them.
I've continued that practice.
The gardening budget of a retiree places  restraints on how many plants I can order from a nursery or
buy locally.
I can lust after the endless variations of iris or peonies or roses in a glossy catalog, but choosing to cultivate more of what is already here seems a good alternative. A flower which is lovely as a single specimen can only gain in impact when staged as a group.

You can see some bare spots in the top perennial strip.
Rather than purchase more of what didn't survive I plan to fill in these sposts with divided existing plants  or plants raised from seed.
Most invasive in this spot are the achillia and the swath of dianthus/pinks.

These iris are the earliest to bloom--not extraordinary, perhaps, but a beautiful display.

An apricot-hued beauty. This one seems to increase more slowly than the smokey urple ones, but I now have several cherished clumps.

The very last blossom on clematis candida.

Going to seed.

This elegant iris rises from the tangle of honeysuckle vine which smothers the lamp post--at the end of the sidewalk to nowhere! There is also a yellow iris struggling to be seen in this spot.
I have grappled a number of times with the honeysuckle--I never win!
I may dig up the iris and move them to a location where they can be the star turn.

Clematis Nelly Moser is having difficulties adapting to the new trellis.
I found several sprigs of the vine clambering up an adjacent nandina shrub.
I grubbed about at the base of the trellis yesterday attempting to separate some of the clematis roots.
I planted several in a big pot to [hopefully] grow on, and stuck several lengths of vine in a jug of water
thinking they might root.

The salvia is very attractive to bumble bees. The one buzzing about wouldn't be still long enough to show up in a photo.

My first rose of the season: Therese Bugnet.

Roseraie de l'Hay in bud.
I'm braced for the usual invasion of Japanese beetles who arrive just in time to spoil the roses.

Columbine in the shade beneath the Double Red Knock Out roses.

Iris in the strip which lines the upper garden fence.
The soil is rather shallow here and taken up with tree roots, but iris and peonies thrive in the dapple of sun and shade.

Pinks! Sweetness and spice!

Mockingbirds sing from earliest morning until nearly dark.
Their varied 'playlist' of melodies is there as a background music whenever we are working outside.
Often one has to simply stop for a moment and pay attention to them.
I'm quite sure that one was saying, "kitty, kitty, kitty" when the boy cats were 'helping' me plant yesterday!

A yellow iris in the midst of the apricot ones--I may move that one later and let it spread to make a dramatic show.

Iris buds with the shimmer and sheen of taffeta--so fresh.


  1. Oh my... an apricot Iris.

  2. Lovely! Iris' are one of my favourite plants. I love the apricot iris.

  3. Just what I was thinking, Deb! They look so beautiful. I have a Roserie de l'Hay too, in a corner plot underneath an apple tree. She is always the earliest to flower, but you're well ahead of me this year as we had such a cold spring. I now have a dreadful yearning for a BIG bed of Pinks . . . that SCENT . . .

  4. Your iris' are stunning the apricot one xx

  5. Loved the stroll through your garden, - I am particularly fond of those apricot coloured iris - I have just planted some pinks and look forward to them covering a nice area and sitting close to their wonderful fragrance.

  6. All flowers are extraordinary to me! We are just starting spring here with daffodils and tulips. I do a lot of dividing of plants and starting from seeds to fill my garden. Who can afford the prices at nurseries? I'm finding good old chives make a pretty background plant and they certainly do multiply! The birds better watch out out calling "kitty, kitty, kitty"! I know what our cats would do with such an invitation. Ha!

  7. Love the Iris. I find them stunning, I just wished that they lasted longer.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  8. I love your Iris', we can't grow them here, I've tried everything, even ordered special ones from Louisiana guaranteed to grow here, a waste, so I'll just enjoy yours.

  9. Gorgeous flowers. I love mockingbirds. I remember working out in the garden when we had our country place and laughing out loud at all the different changes of tunes the mockingbird would come up with.

  10. I like your idea of dividing the flowers and filling in. I have always been lured by the nursery's beauty but lately, all I want is to begin from seed - so much cheaper! :) Your garden is lovely... have a blessed weekend! m.

  11. Loved the stroll through your garden, and the irises especially. It is so cold in England but the flowers are beginning to shoot up, went to a lovely old fashioned garden centre yesterday with loads of unusual plants.