Monday, May 27, 2019

It Rained!

Much needed rain moved in late on Sunday, a brief pounding of water which subsided to a more moderate pattering before the storm moved past leaving a shimmering and cooler evening.
The ground could have used a gentle overnight soaking, but the shower has freshened the landscape.

The main entry has been finished, the door painted [by Howard] and the space begged for the embellishment of plants.

I learned that my favorite garden nursery was having a sale on Friday, so off I went along the narrow winding roads.
Bedding plants and container plants had been sold off since I was there at the beginning of the week, but I was able to gather what I needed.
Many of the container plants are colorful and rather short-lived things with which I'm not too familiar.  They look stunning for awhile spilling from hanging baskets or tubs, but tend to get bedraggled by the end of summer.
I'm happier spending my money on plants that will winter over either in the house or in situ.

I bought begonias, bronze and green leaved varieties.

I tucked my big thyme plant into the tiny space at the edge of the walk way and two lavenders closer to the house.  This is experimental; will they thrive there?

Peonies are long since past their bloom, the foxgloves are leggy.  I plan to harvest seeds before I cut them back in hope of a later blooming.

Poppies grew alongside the porch at the farmhouse and some of the seeds fell into the containers planted to dwarf daylilies.
I'm pleased to have these [Lauren's Grape] and will save seeds.

 Poppies that are fresh in the morning fade as the day grows hot.
The petals fall and lie on the grass like wrinkled taffeta.

Bee balm has come into bloom and has attracted clusters of bumble bees.

Weeds have popped up behind the roses on the retaining wall. The newly seeded grass is showing a green veil, but the weeds have grown far more robustly.
I dug out some of the weeds before the rain when the soil was hard and dry. I moved daylilies [wintered in containers] into the area between the wall and the 'Jane' magnolia.

The knockout roses [birthday gift from Howard and Dawn] were pruned back when I set them out. There is healthy new growth and emerging bloom.

David Austin roses were on sale and three came home with me. The photo doesn't do justice to the colors.  One is apricot in color, one pale yellow and the other a creamy pink.  I hoped to buy one in a darker rose shade, but was concerned that those were showing mildewed leaves and straggling branches.  The plants at the nursery are watered by hand with a wand attached to a hose, the water falling from overhead--efficient, but rough on anything prone to mildew.
These roses will become the foundation of the landscaping on the west retaining wall.

I garden with determination, frustrated that I can't 'keep at it' as in decades past.
I am impatient with aching knees and shoulders!
I hope that 'maintenance' will be physically less demanding than the work of establishing new plantings.
Meanwhile, I totter off to bed earlier than usual or fall asleep at my desk!


  1. Gardening is hard work at times, and I know you slept good that night. I love your blooms and look forward to seeing more of your new roses.

    We need rain down here also. Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; I don't think of Florida as needing rain! Do you need to water your many plants and vines?
      Sometimes hard work in the garden means pitching into a good night's sleep, other times my protesting 'bones' make it difficult to get comfortable.
      Still, for as long as I can manage it, a garden is its own reward!

  2. Too dry here too. We had a little rain this morning but not enough, and a heavy shower for a good while on Sunday which made my onions grow two inches taller! Not enough to replenish our spring though, I fear.

    What a stunning Poppy. I have a rather wan peachy-pink one in flower at the moment which needed propping up. More Geums have come to live with me, and an Astrantia, a Veronica and a Digiplexis Foxglove (last years did NOT survive the winter as meant to).

    I am sure your garden will soon be looking lovely as always once established. Envious of your choosing David Austin roses (they are SO expensive here - at Wyevale they are £24.50 each!!! Sometimes I can buy them at giveaway prices at Malvern . . . I hope you can get some deep pink colours later in the year.

    1. Jennie; I had poppies in several colors in my first Kentucky garden and saved seeds each year. The only ones to appear in subsequent plantings are Lauren's Grape--and I think the color is deeper this season than before.
      I think I paid over $20 for each of the David Austin roses on sale [I didn't really want to know how much, so I concentrated on the savings!] I'm hoping to find some of the deeper colored ones for a fall planting.
      Starting a garden where there has never been one is both expensive and laborious. Confined to the camper trailer all winter there was no opportunity to start plants from seed. I'm hoping to have some ready to go in when the heat of summer has passed.

  3. Isn't it strange, the fact that you need rain and our state is in historical flood stage. (It's so bad it made national news coverage.)I loved seeing your new plants and hope they do well for you. I've had bad luck with my flowers this spring; a wind storm blew a big tree onto my row of lilies, so I'll wait with patience until next year for their blooms.

    1. Red Hen; Your description of weather sounds like the mid-west. It is so disappointing when we wait all winter for the renewal of the garden only to have bad weather--late frost, too much or too little moisture--spoiling the show. Hopefully you have the tree removed soon and--just maybe--some of the lilies will revive and give you some late bloom.

  4. I certainly appreciate your comments about baskets of annuals and their short but spectacular lives. I gave up on them several years ago in favor of the Mandavilla for hanging baskets and it’s relative Dipladenia (probably spelled wrong) for pots and urns. They tolerate heat, direct sun and a bit of drought with aplomb! Bougainvillea and Hibiscus are also fabulous planter material as they too can be wintered over inside. I spent all of Sunday and Monday on my hands and knees in my azalea(deciduous) garden. The soil is as you described....boney, clay and nearly impossible to weed. I’ve amended with compost but need more. Next step is to mulch the b’geezus out of it. None of this is as easy as it once was and at the end of one of those days I collapse into bed with the chickens..... meaning very early.