Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rained out

We awoke to rain… chilly rain, in fact. A wonderful thing, really, and definitely an indication that Someone thought the inside of the house deserved some attention, too. So a long overdo bathroom was attended to, bread baked, and laundry done. Work could not continue on the arbor for ‘Clotilde Soupert, Climbing’ today what with all the dripping. Photography could only be zoomed from the dry porch for the sake of the slipper socks. So the gardener warmly nested on the sofa while the garden gloried in the gentle rain, not seeming to care about the chill.


The arbor was unplanned for this weekend until Cyd pointed out on Friday that Clotilde was bearing flower buds. That was an awakening moment. I realized that I could not procrastinate any longer.


The long canes of ‘Clotilde Soupert, Cl’ were laying on the ground, draping the azaleas and, more importantly, sprouting side shoots that were needing guidance now before they get set in their ways.


My procrastination was due to my cluelessness as to how to proceed.

There’s the matter of the guidance of the rose that is now all in a jumble, stiff and going the wrong direction from the one that it needs to go. When the moment comes and I’m facing the rose, I’ll wing it like I do with everything. I won’t know how flexible Clotilde is until I touch her and find out how much persuasion she needs to be put in her vertical place. I won’t know what attitude all those new shoots will be assuming once the main canes are moved over against the arbor. I don’t know so I don’t act.

There are arbor designs that are beautiful, and then there are arbor designs that are feasible. Without plans (and sometimes with plans) I have to have a picture in my mind that shows me how to put the parts together which I generally do in an unorthodox way anyway. One could say 'non-male' way. DH suggested that I attach the two cross pieces to each post while laid flat on the porch floor (the wood not me), but the weight of that was so far beyond my strength that it couldn't have been farther from my mind, so I thought he only meant pre-drilling the cross boards on the porch before attaching them to the posts. I could barely lift each 4x4 off the sidewalk, but he says I’m thinking like a girl when I don’t think of attaching two 10-foot 1x4s to the post that I then have to lift into place unassisted. Yes, I’m a girl. So I will jerry-rig some way to hang/hold the 1x4x10s in place while I drill and screw them securely to the post from atop an 8-ft ladder. Hmmm, this is sounding less and less feasible as I explain it. Maybe there’s a reason it didn’t happen today.


On to a more comfortable subject. I did go back to Lowe’s and get the lovely, rose-like double begonia, Solenia Begonia. I think this is Dusty Pink, and it claims to thrive in high light and higher humidity, be mildew tolerant, have larger flowers and more blooms, and love full sun and high humidity in the garden. I always make it a point to have a Dragon Wing begonia in my garden, because they’re such an exuberantly beautiful plant to me. I hope this new begonia earns such a place in my heart as well. That’s the sage green pot I bought last year, finally home to a plant though not the ones I originally had in mind. So what else is new?


I’m betting you can’t guess what the heck this photo is. This is an 8-foot garden stake standing in that skinny bed next to my garage that I finally planted last Sunday. It has snapdragons, ‘Paint The Town Red’ daylilies, and two clematis vines, ‘Westerplatte’ and ‘Henryi’. These clematis were refugees from previous locations where climbing roses no longer are, refugees without a home until I saw some packages of bird netting marked down at Lowe’s. Instantly, I knew what to use it for…‘Westerplatte’ and ‘Henryi’ in their new home against the garage wall. This photo is the epitome of “nothing to see yet”. Stand by, please.


Here is ‘Westerplatte’ in one of those ghastly “before” shots. I’ll be cutting him back soon. By the way ‘Westerplatte’ is sort of burgundy-red, and ‘Henryi’ is white. Can you say 'spectacular someday’?

Here’s a multi-purpose photo containing my inspirational bird netting, the two ‘Chrysler Imperial’ markers that I conveniently had not yet peeled off and re-used since I again have two ‘Chrysler Imperial’s (yes, I bought a second one for $7 yesterday. It wasn’t quite as bedraggled as the first one. It will go in the ground, too, even though it’s probably on Dr Huey, and I will drool over its drop-dead beautiful blooms that are so photogenic), and the burlap fabric I bought for the purpose of protecting new canes (especially on 'Maman Cochet, Climbing') from the deadly squirrels. Yes, I know. I’m desperately grasping at straws now.


Last but not least, the oaks are re-leafing today, and this is what the tiny new leaves look like from forty feet away.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

‘Blush Noisette’ in winter

I have seen some beautiful photos of mature ‘Blush Noisette’, but unfortunately they were not taken in my garden.  My bush has been in the ground now almost three years which means it is still immature, but I always have doubts that his less than debonair looks are due to bad soil or insufficient feeding or any number of issues about which I am insecure.  I don’t mean to whine, but I find it difficult to be confident and self-assured growing these large, slow-growing, blooming bushes that don’t start looking like what they’re supposed to look like for four or five or more years. Remember that old TV commercial?  “What’s a mother to do?”

So I don’t have a lovely photo of this guy, only hard-to-see shots of this immature, awkwardly shaped bush that’s fairly unleafy.  So this shot that I took on January 27th is it.  In the fall and early winter he started throwing some six-foot laterals, and he gained some size (at least in one direction), getting to be a good eight feet wide.  If I had the luxury of ample space, I would have let him be, but my roses are planted cheek by jowl, so this was not acceptable.  I had to “prune for size” and hopefully arrive at a shape that is good for ‘Blush Noisette’ and good for me.  Below is my gawky teenage ‘Blush Noisette’.


And here is a borrowed photo from Ronda in North Carolina’s garden.  ‘Blush Noisette’ can be a billowing mass of shrub or a climber.  Either way, it carries clusters of sweetly fragrant light pink blooms repeatedly through the season, but you can see that mine has a lot of maturing to do.

Ronda.Blush Noisette

I took the following photos to post on the Antique Roses Forum with my question on how to properly prune it.

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The responses I received were helpful though a tad confusing for this first-time pruner of an arching rose bush.  I will post them here just as my rosey friends wrote them.  Maybe they will be helpful to others. They helped me.
  • Sherry, prune her like you would an arching bush. Those long, climbing canes can be trimmed back a bit lower than the rest of the plant to encourage them to throw laterals. When you've seen bush training of this rose, it's required regular "shearing" to keep and make it bushy, full of flowering laterals. Just do the same, as you would for any shrub which wants to periodically throw "wilder shoots". Don't let it intimidate you. You CAN'T do anything wrong. BN has already shown you she wants to grow and is going to no matter what you do, unless you dry her out, fry her with nitrogen or chop her to the ground. Even after chopping, I think she'd probably thumb her nose at you and grow how she wanted, anyway! Go for it! Kim (Zone 10 SoCal)
  • I'd take those huge climbing canes back by half, then generally shape the plant into the shape you want it. Cut it back up to a third smaller than you want and keep pinching back the longer, more vigorous shoots to see if she responds the way you desire. If she isn't cooperative, give her to a good home and replace her with Maggie. You can't really hurt her. As I said, she's going to do as SHE desires anyway. All you can hope to do is encourage her to cooperate with you. Kim
  • Hi Sherry, Firstly, take a few deep breaths and have a real good look. Some of those arching canes are thicker, greener and healthier than others - tie a string around them. These are going to be your framework structure - you only need half a dozen. Then, follow each of these canes back to the base, cutting all the laterals back to a couple of buds - 4 - 6 inches. While you are doing this, you can cut out a lot of the little twiggy stems which are doing nothing much. Cut them off - right off. Same if there is anything which looks a bit dead, a bit brown and dry (scratch the stem with a finger nail - if it is alive, it will be green under the outer bark -Any that are brown or pale and dry, with no green, will probably even snap off. Any canes rubbing together - lose the thinnest. What you should end up with is a more see through version of what you already have. I agree with Kim, this rose is showing you very clearly how it wants to grow. Now, to make it a little more shapely, cut a couple of the outer canes which arch towards you, a third shorter than the more upright ones. You want to leave less cane to throw out the summer laterals, keeping new growth as tight in to the lower centre as possible. At the sides of the bush, there are a couple of canes which have got long laterals - chop them off. Eventually, some of the framework canes will look a bit ratty - you have a choice to keep new basal canes or to keep a lateral which is growing as near to the base as possible. You can let the new lateral form the framework structure and chop all the old basal back to where the lateral grows from the original cane. Not explaining this too well, am I? Never mind, if you just trim all the annoyingly long canes and have a good thin out, then that will suffice. There is nothing funny looking about this rose to me - it looks as though it wants to make a lovely fountain shape which, if you were inclined, you could support the bottom 3 feet with some basic supports - either stout poles with crosspieces or (what I use) half an old metal obelisk thingy with the top taken out. Or, I have even used an old umbrella stand with the bottom removed and even the metal outer cage of a municipal dustbin!. The aim being to keep the long canes from flopping on to the floor, taking up tons of room. Take charge, Sherry, you can do this without worrying - this is a tough and capable you are a tough (well maybe not that much) and capable (for sure) gardener. Courage! (Campanula in UK)
  • Sherry, that is NORMAL for this rose. It, supposedly, is a hybrid between bushy, twiggy China roses and climbing musk roses. This thing is expressing the growth traits of both types...generating the elongated, climbing canes while pushing out twiggier, bushier laterals. If you shorten the long, main cane, those laterals will bulk up, lengthening and thickening and flowering profusely. You're just not used to seeing anything with this genetic combination, demonstrating these traits. Don't worry. Don't let it intimidate you. As campanula said, both you and the rose are resilient. You can't hurt it (though it can bite the heck out of you!), so reread the above, have a nice, strong glass or cup of tea or coffee or your choice of beverage to gird yourself and dive in! The earlier you do it, the more profuse the bloom you'll have. The longer you wait, the more flowering wood you'll remove and you'll have to wait for it to generate more. Kim
  • How about just "prune to shape"? Make it look like you want. (Bellegallica – zone 9)
Did I follow directions very well?


I hear some chuckling out there and perhaps some gasps.  I guess I should have gone back and re-read Campanula’s directions before I took pruners in hand.  I shortened the longest canes, and I shortened the laterals on all the canes to from two to four nodes in length.  That was mostly shorter than Campanula’s four to six inches.  However, I did not thin out the canes from the base.  Of course, I can still do that, but I’m not exactly sure how.  I’ll have to put my eyeballs on it real hard.  The bush is now about four and a half feet tall and four feet wide.

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My only concern is whether this is the way ‘Blush Noisette’ is happy being.  If it only wants to be a billowing pile of canes ten feet wide, then how will it respond to this shearing?  What will it do next?  Am I going to have to shear it two or three more times in the season?  Will it be happy staying twice (or three times) the size of the pruned bush?  I guess I will see the answers to some of those questions as the season goes on.  I’m pretty certain I didn’t hurt the bush, but I'm not sure if I didn't go too short.  We’ll see that, too, won’t we?  I’m eager to see how BN responds to this cutting.

My advise to other pruners is the same as I received.   Be courageous and go for it.  Roses are forgiving, resilient plants.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gravel down

Remodeling has its stages if not quite its finales.  No, mine’s not done – yet, but it will be.  I have hopes for April arriving here, too, but more than anything I’ll just be glad when February is gone.  Quite surprisingly (at least to me) the two nights in the 20’s that we had a week ago did hardly any damage – except to brand new canes. They’re toast, but all the early-spring foliage is fine. That’s a relief.  In fact, looking in the rearview mirror, it was almost much ado about nothing, but then panic and worry is part of the human condition, isn’t it?

The gravel isn’t two colors.  It’s just dry and wet.  I hosed it down to settle the granite dust and compact the gravel, locking the cut stones together and making it less squishy under foot.  ‘Louis Philippe’ at the top left finally got his trimming today. He had gotten wide, and with so many side-shoots coming off thin canes he was hanging so low that you couldn’t see the daylily on his right.  He was also invading the path.  So I trimmed off bottom canes where they came off the older cane, lightening the load and allowing the canes to return to vertical.  Trimming continued, taking off dead stuff and whatever would run head on into the fence.  I did not shorten or thin him, my reasoning being that everywhere you cut Louie three or four new sprouts happen, clogging up his structure bigtime.  So right or wrong I kept the cuts to a minimum.  We’ll see how he does.
White Pet’ (center bottom)  is leafless still, never having acted like he thought it was spring.  Very smart of him, eh?  To his left is ‘Borderer’, fully leaved out and oblivious to those mid-20’s temperatures.

Leonie Lamesch’ at the bottom center is now leafing out, and I’m waiting to see if any basal breaks utilize the camouflage offered by the snapdragons and dianthus planted at her feet which, of course, have to start growing real quick.  The ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ on the left in the island isn’t as well leafed-out as her sisters in the front garden, but she’s pretty large at six feet across (but oblong).  My new shady sitting area by the tree swing came about as a result of dumping rejected crappy soil from the new ‘Mary Rose’ bed and the ‘Mme Abel Chatenay’ renovation.

Here’s the view from the swing area.

And here’s the swing area waiting for another half yard of gravel to complete it.  This is at the top of sloping ground and piling the dirt raised the area, requiring a bulkhead of sorts and a wavy one at that.  I’m really happy with it since it neatens up the garden nicely.  Going to have to invest in a string trimmer though.  That St. Augustine will be a bear to mow up to the edging.

I have visions of a bistro table and chairs over to the left… someday.  The poor, beautiful white camellia was relegated to the pot for lack of suitable camellia-soil in my garden.  It hasn’t grown a millimeter, but at least it’s alive.

The medallion of broken paver blocks is buried. I was going to remove them because the area puddles and then raise the level of the crossroad with extra gravel, but after seeing how un-far a ton of gravel goes, I decided to leave the blocks where they were as filler.  Can you foresee the bed on the left ever being widened?  I sure hope not!

That’s Louie on the left.  The daylilies had become so green and strong in the false spring. Now they’re all  pale and limp like frozen lettuce. I was thinking tomorrow might be the day they all get cut back.

I like this view.  One might get the impression that I live on a huge country estate instead of the postage-stamp sized lot hemmed in with fences.  I’ll have to somehow incorporate this view into the garden more.  I wonder how.  Did you notice that the tree previously designated for removal (extreme right) is still there?  I’m saving my pennies.

This is ‘Arcadia Louisiana Tea’.  She hasn’t really done much since being moved to this spot more than two years ago.  Believe it or not, her first year there leaf-cutter bees deleted so much leaf area that she started to decline, and I thought I would lose her.  Since she was the only one attacked, I attributed the attraction to the wax begonias I had planted all around her.  I have no proof, but I haven’t used them in the garden since and there have not been anymore leaf-cutter bee attacks.  Maybe this year she’ll impress me.  To her right on the arbor is ‘Jaune Desprez’, supposedly a huge Noisette climber but a snail-paced grower.  It’s all of five feet tall after two and a half years.  Again, maybe this year it will begin to do something… and maybe not.

On the inside of the left leg of that arbor is the pink hollyhock that came in a bag from Walmart.  I hope you are duly impressed.  I’m hoping it’s baby pink.

Here’s Louie again in all his slenderness.  I was amazed at the thinness of his canes since he’s been there since February, 2007 – one of my first five roses.  He’s more than six feet tall.

Daylily Point planted with ‘Inherited Wealth’ and ‘Marietta Dancer’.  Across the path is a baby ‘Mary Rose’, a David Austin rose that I am incredibly excited about.  Interestingly, a neighbor gave me a couple of old magazines recently because they had roses in them.  Imagine my glee when there before me was a cluster of luscious blooms of ‘Mary Rose’.  Oh, my goodness!  I can’t wait.

Of course, that’s exactly what I’ll have to do since here is all twelve inches of ‘Mary Rose’.

A postscript:  Recently moved 'Mystic Beauty' is looking really bad - like almost dead. I can't understand what the problem could have been.  'Baronne Prevost' on the other hand is a definite dead.  At the time I moved her into the big pot she had five canes.  Almost immediately they started dying.  Today she had one and a half good canes.  It took almost no strength to pull her from the pot, and she went to the pile of Louie's trimmings.  And now I'm wondering which roses will go into their places.  I've been dreaming of 'Maggie', but she's a big rose bush. (Groan) ... more digging and rose-moving in my future, I guess.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Our spring apparently will be short lived, and to be truthful, it wasn't spring at all, I guess.  Following the front that's coming through now and the rain that it's bringing, the forecast is for lows of 29 degrees on Sunday morning and 25 degrees on Monday morning.  That qualifies as a hard freeze.  Crapola!!  I was so hoping this wouldn't happen, and I certainly hoped it would have waited a week or two for this new growth to harden off some.  Probably even a couple of weeks wouldn't be long enough.  Dang!  The rose bushes are looking so beautiful.  Tomorrow I'll take some photos of them in between rain showers... and say good-bye to spring for a while.  Of course, now would be a good time for the meteorological computers to be wrong, wouldn't it?

Hold the presses and praise God!!  I just looked at the forecast again (an hour has passed), and now it says the low on Monday morning will be 27 degrees.  That's an improvement!  Maybe, just maybe, there will be more upward revisions.  I certainly pray so!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"I won't be outside long."

I was absolutely serious when I hollered back to DH that I was just going out to put epsom salt on the roses and I would be right back.  I was so tired that I really wanted to sack out on the sofa, but I was way late with the epsom salt since it takes 30 days to start working.  So... no excuses.  I had to!  But what is it about the garden that wakes you up and energizes you??  Instant pick-me-up.  Sleepy no more.

Two hours later...

Well, I needed to remedy the pruning that 'Clotilde Soupert' received last evening at dusk.  And then I had to pick up the trimmings that I had left where they fell.  And then I decided I had to work on the driveway bed which I had gotten my first look at in months (weeks?) while I was administering the epsom salt.

Gosh!  'White Maman Cochet' is going gangbusters!!  She's covered with red new growth and even has several big flower buds, but she also had a bunch of freeze damage.  And underneath her was a whole crop of undesirable weeds. Now since I only came outside to toss some epsom salt... no, I'm not the always-prepared type of gardener who never goes anywhere without her gloves in one pocket and her pruners in the other. Who does that??? Personally, I prefer to repeatedly go back into the house for every implement and amendment to be used in the garden that day - one at a time.  Why carry them all and strain myself?  Sunday I went back in the house four times in the span of sixty seconds!  Just so we're all on the same page, I did not have my dirt-proof, latex-coated gloves on my person.

Eeewww!!  Damp, black compost under my fingernails. Yuck, is this what gardening is?  Not in my garden!

But I got over it and then persevered until all the little weeds were gone. Is it oxalis that sort of looks like clover? Those buggers have deep, thin roots/runners that really need to be grasped deeply in the soil.  My disgust was great, but it was tempered by victory and the presence of lots of little Purple Coneflower seedlings.

I moved around the bed, and after much trimming of the 'Victoria Blue' salvia from last year I finally just pulled out its ten-pound rootball, realizing it was going to be too large growing under WMC which, after all, isn't a baby anymore.  I pulled dozens of salvia seedlings before making this decision, and I was wishing I had just one to transplant near this spot, because I loved it last year.  Even better, though, I just sprinkled some coneflower seeds from the surviving deadheads there instead. 

Then came 'Madame Antoine Rebe' who has never had more leaves in her whole life.  It's amazing what some sun will do.  She even has some of her signature long, slender, red flower buds, but she also had freeze damage that needed to be removed.  She has put on lots of growth since being relocated here, and much of it was crossing and closely parallel canes. With leaves obstructing the view of her structure I really didn't make much of an attempt at thinning her except for one sizable side-shoot grouping.  It's hard to remove something like that that's flourishing with growth, but it had to be done - and even more that didn't get done, but that's another day.  It's a good thing that this rose has never indicated any sensitivity to chopping.

Then I had fun sprinkling more echinacea seeds among the daylilies I planted near 'Mme Abel Chatenay' and between the old SDLMs and other places. I've got lots of deadheads and seed packets.

Tomorrow it's on to 'Louis Philippe' who is completely leafed out and huge.  The rope that had been holding him vertical broke recently, so he's leaning over.  He's definitely a project.  And definitely, I won't shear him too short like I did last year.  I really don't think he liked it.  I'll only trim away enough to clear the path and give a little sun to the daylilies and 'Richard's Rose' who is all of eight inches tall and directly north of Louie, meaning Louie basically eclipses the sun.  Hopefully, all will be sunnier when that golden orb rises higher in the sky.
Sorry about the lack of photos. Dirty fingers and cameras don't mix well... plus I forgot.  Remember, I was only going out to throw epsom salt.  Oh, well, here's an ad lib.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Garden remodel continues

Tis the season, you know, for reinventing the wheel, garden-wise.  It has happened every year so far in my garden.  I guess I’ve given up vowing that it won’t.  What the heck.  We move furniture around. Why not roses and other plants?  Today after work I spent the most productive two and a half hours moving plants.  Don’t you feel thrilled with yourself when things go well and smoothly??  That was me when I came in at dark.

Working in the front garden – as everywhere – certain things must happen before certain other things can happen.  How many times have I walked past certain roses and certain empty spaces in total frustration with the status quo?  Don’t answer that.  Well, today things were moving! 

Mary Guthrie’ has been jammed between two ‘Red Ruffles’ azaleas and the Tea rose, ‘Duquesa’, literally buried under these other plants.  The damp ground made the move easy.  She was up and out in seconds and in her new home next to ‘Louis Philippe’ in minutes.  I was amazed by her large size since I’d never been able to see her where she was.  Now those big, bright pink single flowers will be much more visible.

Capitaine Dyel de Graville’ and ‘Mystic Beauty’ were in an even more awful situation.  I had planted them very close to each other (two feet apart) as babies, knowing it was probably unwise, er, definitely unwise.  The double whammy was a lack of sun, so they were looking pretty scrawny – if you could see what you were looking at.  When ‘Pink Perpetue’ moved away to Rose Petals Nursery, she left a prime space on the front circle.  The move of ‘Mary Guthrie’ left an opposing space across the path, so these were the destinations of CDdG and MB, both being kin to ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’.  After some bed preparation of MG’s former spot (lots of sand astonishingly close to the surface) I slipped the Capitaine out of the ground. Wow! He was bigger than he looked. Now he’s settled in next to ‘Duquesa’ with room in front for daylilies.

‘Mystic Beauty’ was a bit more reluctant but did submit, and on the way to the new spot, it dawned on me (palm to the forehead!) that I had planned to put MB next to ‘Duquesa’ and CDdG next to SDLM since MB is basically SDLM’s twin – just the opposite of what I had actually done.  Oh, well, move on, right?  So as I dug MB’s hole, it occurred to me that what I will have is a bank of ‘Souv de la Malmaison’ – three bushes next to each other! This could be quite a sight in full bloom!!  And MB will be surrounded by echinacea plants, because seeds have sprouted all over that area, and so many seedlings are growing there that I transplanted several over to CDdG.  This is a prime example of how a garden evolves and grows.

The azaleas got planted elsewhere, and a displaced Ilex crenata ‘Compacta Holly’ was placed in CDdG’s old spot.  And a good time was had by all!

My January hardscaping efforts finished off the edging on this corner and made a place for seven daylilies, using the last of my topsoil pile.  The bare shrub behind the daylilies is ‘Pinky Winky’ hydrangea, and behind that is ‘Mrs B. R. Cant’.  On the right is my new camellia that was potted on to a large pot since my ground is inhospitable to camellias.

The old plastic edging was allowing soil to spill out of this bed, and with more composted horse manure to be added soon I had to make a change in the edging, so I chose the same scalloped concrete blocks that I used in the new bed under the ‘Francois Juranville’ arbor.  It really wasn’t as difficult as you’d think. It took about half an hour. Those invisible bushes behind the newly planted daylilies are ‘Red Ruffles’ azaleas, looking much the worse for having been through the freeze.

As a way to hide new basal shoots from marauding squirrels, I planted snapdragons at the base of ‘Leonie Lamesch’ (above) and ‘Arcadia Louisiana Tea’ (below).  When they get bigger and bushy, I think they will offer some protection to the new cane breaks.  Speaking of squirrels, my plan to rid the garden of them was peanut butter and plaster of paris bonbons.  I read a report that hypercalcemia would result in a heart attack for the squirrel.  Alas, after I made 20 of them and put them out last Saturday I was doing more research and found an actual experiment where someone tested the lethality of these bonbons.  A squirrel was fed nothing but the bonbons for four days and didn’t die. Drat!!  Anyone need a big bucket of plaster of paris?


Lovely new growth on ‘Maman Cochet’ (above).

This is my ‘Quietness’.  Admittedly, at only one year old she has been in a less than total-sun position, so I moved her to a possibly less beneficial position on the west side of the house.  That means no sun until one o’clock in the afternoon.  Have I doomed her?  Well, possibly, but I made room for daylilies, so what’s done is done. Go for it, ‘Quietness’!!  I think it will take me all of one minute to prune her.

A Mophead (Hydrangea Macrophylla) making a break from winter.  Yay!!

‘Foxy’ Foxglove, having survived our summer, is blooming beautifully.

One of the snapdragons that I planted last winter along the front sidewalk next to the garage lasted through the summer and has become quite large this winter, and now it’s blooming beautifully, too.  I’ll have to be more lavish with my care of the new ones I have to plant, so they’ll live long and bloom again.

Remember last summer when I was dropping coneheads around the garden?  Here is one of the results.  I’m still dropping seeds around.  I really think echinacea is my favorite plant and flower.

Volunteers.  A weed at the top of the photo and ‘Victoria Blue’ Salvia seedlings.

Another Echinacea ‘Purple Coneflower’ seedling.

And a sweet viola volunteer.  Teensy, teensy blue flowers.  Love them!

David Austin’s ‘Lilian Austin’, a gift from Carol, is now in a big pot.  Hopefully, the clay pot won’t dry out too much in the heat of summer.

Newly planted daylilies. These are ‘Chinese Scholar’.  My planting plan was to keep plants of the same cultivar grouped together rather than scattering them around willy-nilly, figuring they would have a bigger impact that way.  There’s another cluster like this one nearby.

I also tried to plant the daylilies with roses of a similar color. These Dianthus chinensis (my other most favorite flower) will go under ‘Polonaise’ and some other red roses.

I’m really loving the cut in my job hours though I felt differently when it happened.  One extra hour a day is wonderful for getting a lot done in the garden before dark sets in.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, the rain gauge registered .90 inches.  Happiness is almost an inch of rain!!