June 30

I think I must be still on Pennsylvania time because up until a few days ago I had a real “well that’s that” defeatist thing going on with regard to the garden. I keep forgetting that seasons are longer here. There is still time to plant new things, to finish old projects, to simply enjoy summer. Some of you might have seen my post on IG recently where I confessed that I feel like I’ve lost my rose mojo since we moved, and it’s true. It’s been so difficult getting roses and other plants to actually do well here (see last post) that it’s really taken the fun out of collecting new cultivars. But I’m getting ahead of myself–more on that in a moment. For this post, I’ve collected some of my recent photos that many of you might have already seen in my IG stories, but what I’d like to do is now provide captions and a few more details to catch you up on what’s been happening in our garden this month. So here goes…

For starters, here is St Swithun. Last year she looked so amazing and flowered all season. This year, we had a late killing frost, and that, plus the warm winter beforehand put a lot of stress on this rose. Jesse and I went in a couple of weeks ago and severely pruned and reshaped it in hopes it will bounce back. This is really the only decent looking flower we’ve gotten in 2017.

Benjamin Britten has been flowering nicely but it’s on my watch list due to heavy blackspot on lower half of plant. I’ve already dug up and tossed a dozen or so roses that were giving me disease troubles but I’d really like to salvage BB. I’m trying underplanting with salvia in hopes that will ease the blackspot burden. The fragrance on this rose is so nice.

One of the few nice days we’ve had since April. It’s been rainy almost every day here in WNC May through June. A stark contrast to last autumn’s drought with wildfires.

This Rock & Roll, one of the roses I picked up at discount through our rose society via Weeks Roses. I really, really like the flowers on this rose. The scent reminds me of the Yankee Candle rose fragrance in a good way!

The gravel courtyard gets so warm we’ve nicknamed it “The Tuscan Garden.” Since it’s really the only part of our garden that stays so sunny, warm and dry, it’s a great place for the roses. I was doodling around the other day with an idea to plant another large, arching rose right here in the gravel. I set this support down for 2 seconds when Maple climbed up on it. They love perching on things!

Have you heard of the new Sunfinity sunflowers? I’m trying these out in a container to see if they’re all they’re cracked up to be. Supposedly they flower for much longer than “regular” sunflowers. I’ll report back! So far, though, my favorite sunflowers have been the Soraya you can read about HERE.

Would you believe this Dahlia overwintered in our garden? It was heavily mulched. This one is called ‘Bee Happy’ and I got it through Swan Island Dahlias.

The poppies and the larkspur are just about finished. I’m letting their seedpods dry a bit and then they will be harvested and packaged to go out with jewelry orders this fall/winter.

I can’t remember if I already posted this photo. This is ‘Dark Desire’ which is currently resting for the next round of flowers. I only ever get about 3 large blooms on one plant so I feel like this would be a much more attractive rose in the garden if planted in groups of 3-5.

I almost didn’t include this photo because it kind of bums me out but I try to be transparent in this blog so I am putting it in. As you can see there is so much more work to be done here. I still haven’t finished planting the raised beds so they look pretty blah, there need to be more containers with color in this courtyard and the exterior work on the house is not complete yet, either. But hey, I painted our front door so that’s nice and even with all it’s work-in-progress warts I still love this garden.

Another dahlia new this summer. I am sticking with collarette type dahlias because A: I like the look of them more, B: they are attractive to pollinators, C: thrips aren’t as interested in their open petal structure. This one is called ‘Bumble Rumble’ 🙂

Cherry treats for the girls. They’re totally spoiled, btw.

Cornelia! Steadily blooming since spring. This is a 3 year plant and I’ve already propagated a couple more off of this one. 

OK so here is one of the roses I recently purchased to add to our collection. It’s called ‘Scabrosa.’ When I saw this flower open that morning I felt a zing I haven’t felt about roses in a long while. The fragrance on rugosas is probably my favorite rose scent. No, not probably, IS my favorite. As you know, rugosa roses are notoriously easy to cultivate, shrugging off pests, disease, cold. You can’t spray them even if you wanted to because it makes their leaves freak out. Some rugosa hybrids are a bit more persnickety (like my Thérèse Bugnet which sometimes gets powdery mildew) but most are pretty tough. Building a rugosa rose collection feels like such a positive step for this difficult garden that I feel a weight lifted! 

Would you just feast your eyes on this lily?! This is ‘Rosella’s Dream’ from Longfield Gardens.

Verbascum ‘Wedding Candles’ is the most popular pollinator hangout. Isn’t it gorgeous?

I love hardy geraniums but they tend to be a bit pricey so they, like hellebores, get added sparingly. I’d like to tell you what this one is called but I’d have to run up to the shed to find the label and it’s pouring rain (no surprise) so that will have to wait!  It’s called ‘Rozanne’! 

I’ve decided to let all my lavender go to flower this year and I am really enjoying it. You can’t walk past them without hearing the happy sound of buzzing bees.

Cornelia, Zaide (which I learned recently is pronounced “Sadie” ), Larkspur, Verbena b., Rock & Roll

I picked up a new “Rose de Rescht” from a fellow society member and it’s been steadily blooming. I really liked this rose at our former garden and to tell you the truth I needed redemption since I accidentally killed our last one. (Left it out in it’s container one winter and even with protection it was too cold. I don’t miss those PA winters!)

Hive inspections in the Langs recently and all seems to be running ticketyboo. 

Harvesting beans pretty much daily. This was just a trial of the variety called ‘Prevail’ and I like them! Next year, more plants and I think maybe sown in succession.

Summer isn’t summer without Calibrachoa. I even managed to overwinter one in the coldrame last winter which I might try again this year since they can be expensive. The pansies are from ‘Terracotta’ seeds I sowed in 2016 and they’ve been blooming since–even through winter. 

Clematis ‘Piilu ‘, another lily from Longfield, a rose I propagated in 2016 and forgot to label, and Veilchenblau. 

‘Pomponella’ blooming since spring, Princess Alexandra of Kent, the garden gate, Lyda Rose.

Did I mention these chickens are spoiled? We took some of the rhody branches that we had trimmed last spring and made perches for them in their favorite spots. I like when they use this one because it’s near the front door where I can see them and know they’re safe. Lots of predators and dogs in our neighborhood which has me a nervous chicken mamma! 

And that’s that! I’d like to get back into the swing of sharing smaller posts more regularly instead of cramming 3 weeks of stuff into one, so next up will be a short how-do-you-do about a couple of the smaller projects in our garden. See you then!

22 thoughts on “June 30

  1. Gorgeous!!! And the photo you think is blah and almost didn’t include, is charming! Love the photos! I planted two Dark Desires with 4 First Crush and $ summer Romance and I wish had added two more of Dark Desire! I also added 3 Crimson Glory this year love them!

    1. Thank you Kimberly!! So, you say you have Summer Romance…and we have that one too but I can’t make up my mind about it. It’s definitely disease resistant (totally clean leaves in our garden) but really stingy with those beautiful blooms. Are you having the same experience with yours?
      Oh and I must try Crimson Glory…I love red roses! 🙂

      1. Last year Summer Romance bloomed tons, much more than First Crush (which is my favorite of the two), then this year First Crush is blooming more than Summer Romance! I did move Summer Romance this year, so that could have affected its blooming. I did not find either to be stingy with the blooms however, I would like another year or two of growing to know for sure! 🙂

        1. OK thank you for letting me know! I think I might have mine in a spot that doesn’t get enough sun. But that’s just the way it goes here so I’m not sure where I’ll move it to. 😉 I think I have to find a First Crush…I keep hearing good things about it!

  2. Aren’t we so hard on ourselves? Your garden is magical, and as we gardeners know, trial and error on this side of Heaven :). I get discouraged during our triple digit heat waves, but everything usually bounces back and fall can be like a second spring here, so we press on! Good work and your structures/gravel/ hardscape are so beautiful and such a lovely foundation for your beautiful garden! xo- accidental decorator

    1. “…trial and error on this side of Heaven…” I really like that!
      Yes, why are we so hard on ourselves? It’s quite silly, really. Triple digit heat you say? That sounds seriously oppressive. I bet you could give us all some tips on good xeriscape plants. 🙂 Any favorites you’d care to share?

  3. It might be time to stop adding to your gardens and property–at least for this summer–and sit back and admire and enjoy it (in between the ongoing maintenance needed, plus feeding the chickens and tending the bees). Concentrate on all that you have done, not what still needs to be done. Besides, you know that a home and garden are never ever finished. So maybe you should take a break!

    1. I so agree, Barbara! We have definitely scaled back our efforts both inside and out so that we don’t lose our minds. 😉 Thank you for stopping by today!

  4. That verbascum is exquisite! I do love towering flowers.

    If you’re looking for rugosas, ‘Therese Bugnet’ does really well here in NC. She’s vigorous and thickety (would probably be more so with your colder winters) with the loveliest red canes in the winter and bright green matte leaves. I’ve never had blackspot problems and one year two leaves got a spot of rust on them– that’s it. Drawback: only flowers once a year for one week and isn’t the most stunning rose. But the clove fragrance is heavenly. (I might have a baby or two somewhere if you’re interested.)

    That rugosa you have there reminds me of purple-flowering raspberry. Tasty!

    I just potted up my very first ‘Petite Lisette’ and I tried very hard to follow your potting-up-roses instructions from a previous post. It’s been about two weeks now and she already has a few sweet little new leaves.

    Focus on the details! There are always very pretty little details. And I think your garden is lovely.

    1. Thank you for the Thérèse recommendation! 🙂
      I do actually have this one already but a very young plant. It’s great to hear your experiences so I know what I can look forward to. So, you only get one bloom cycle? HMF lists it as “occasional” repeat and I was hoping I might get lucky. Either way, I agree, it’s a beautiful rose and I can’t wait for it to get bigger.
      So exciting about your Petite Lisette! I really miss that rose but it’s been left behind at the former garden. I really think you’re going to just love it. Thank you again for your visit today!

      1. I’ve only had one bloom cycle in the past but now that I’ve moved the bush to a new location, who knows! The fragrance is just unbelievable.

        ‘Rock’n’Roll’ is an amazing rose. I miss mine. I wish I hadn’t inadvertently killed it. I have a weakness for peppermint-striped flowers.

        1. Thanks for your reply!
          I do really like R&R I hope it does well for us. And I definitely know what that’s like to inadvertently kill a plant. 😉 I love peppermint roses, too!

    1. Louise, thank you for that…it means a lot! 😀 I need to remember we’ve only been here 2 years. 😉

  5. It looks so beautiful– thank you for sharing with us! Your roses are always stunners — I’m sorry they’ve been so hard on you recently! — but WOW how much diverse beauty you’ve cultivated there! The Verbascum!! The geranium (Roseanne? I’ve been meaning to get one of those…) and your Dahlia choices are exquisite– so unlike many of the dahlia’s I’ve seen and kind of been unimpressed with. Yours are painted loveliness. Definitely adding some to our garden next year!

    1. Claire you are amazing….well done on spotting that Geranium, I checked the label and you are right! I’m so pleased you like the dahlias. Would you believe I wasn’t a fan of dahlias until a few years ago? Once I realized how many different kinds there were, in so many beautiful colors, I got hooked. If you haven’t tried ordering from Swan Island I recommend them. Their tubers have always been very large and grown well for me. Oh and I am working on your reply about the rose midge! I’ll be emailing you soon…. 😀

  6. Wow. You have an amazing garden and home. Funny thing is when I saw the picture you didn’t want to include, I actually said ‘wow, that’s beautiful,’ out loud, before I read your caption.

    I live thousands of miles from you (Lagos, Nigeria) and I stumbled on your blog while researching roses. I only have one in my garden and I was trying to figure out its name. Your blog has blown me away, opening this other vista I didn’t know existed. Scrolling through all your beautiful pictures has made me so jealous! 😄 I wish I could get some cuttings of every single one of those roses and try to see if they could grow this side of the Atlantic!

    I just successfully propagated a few cuttings from my one rose bush and I’m giving them out to some friends as gifts. I tried growing roses from some seeds I bought online, without no success. Unfortunately, we don’t have as advanced a cultivated gardening culture here as you do in your country. But we keep trying to build one. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Gosh! When I read your comment I cheered! It is SO WONDERFUL to meet fellow gardeners from around the world and Nigeria, wow! How wonderful that you found my little blog and I am thrilled that you saw something of use here. I love that you’re sharing your roses as gifts with friends. That’s just the best, isn’t it? Oh and as far as growing roses from seed, it is very tricky, even for experienced gardeners. Besides, unless it’s a species, roses don’t grow “true” from seed so better off just getting cuttings. 😉 Thank you so much for your lovely comment and visit. Happy Gardening!

  7. I was looking at the “I almost didn’t include this photo because it kind of bums me out…” picture when my 13 year old son who has no love of garden chores walked behind me and remarked, “What a pretty garden.” Therefore, I offer you the advice my mom gave me concerning my three teenage sons: “Believe what others tell you about your sons, and disregard what you see yourself.” I think this advice applies to gardens too.

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