Bzzzz June 23rd, 2012

There is so much to be done in the garden this weekend. But before I head out into the humid heat, I thought I would just share a few updates from the garden.

June is hydrangea season around here. The two Nikko Blue hydrangeas situated at the back of the house are heavy with blooms. I’m grateful that the one you see on your left is finally blooming.

Nikko Blue Hydrangeas

Two years ago I had some landscape workers here to move around some large shrubs. There was a monster butterfly bush situated between these two hydrangeas and I asked them to relocate it to behind the potager. I was inside on conference calls while they worked. Later that afternoon after they had left and I was finally liberated from the telephone, I went outside. Rather than moving the butterfly bush from between the two hydrangeas they had moved the hydrangea on the left! The butterfly bush and the hydrangea on the right were left squeezed together with a big gaping hole on the left!

I ran back to find the wandering hydrangea. It was sagging from the move and in the heat. Yes, I broke down and cried.

Of course, the workers apologized and moved the hydrangea back to where it belonged. But I nearly lost it. I certainly lost two summers of blooms from it.

Endless Summer Hydrangeas

I have friends who call the Endless Summer hydrangeas Endless Bummer hydrangeas. I can’t agree with them because although they haven’t reached the impressive size of the Nikko Blues they do put on a stunning display.

Rigorous cutting of the blooms helps the plant to regenerate, so the shrubs will continue to bloom throughout the summer. And the house is filled with hydrangeas to boot.

Sarah with Microgreens

Finally, what is a blog post without a photo of a cute little dog? So, here’s Sarah posing with the microgreens.

Now, off to tackle the long list of garden tasks!


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Bzzzz June 1st, 2012

I am, by nature, a very tidy person. “Everything has a place. Everything in its place.” That’s my motto.

But tidy in the garden can be a little difficult to accomplish sometimes. Unlike some plants in my garden, my shoes don’t grow and grow until they are tumbling out of the closet. My books stay tidily on the bookshelves rather than growing little booklet vines up the family room wall. And the items in my kitchen cupboards have yet to send out tendrils that scratch at passers-by.

But out in the great outdoors nature has a way of getting away from me from time to time. Take my New Dawn roses.

Lovely, aren’t they?

The New Dawn roses have much to recommend them. They bloom magnificently in May, sending a heady fragrance wafting over the yard. They continue to bloom—although not as vigorously as in May—throughout the summer and through the first frost. They have the healthy vigor and constitution of a sun-kissed peasant.

Oh, that my clematis would be so blessed! What I wouldn’t give for my tomatoes to have a bit of the New Dawn heartiness genes!

But all is not perfect with the New Dawn roses. I have written about them before. Yes, on more than one occasion I have had to take drastic measures to rein them back in.

But look what has happened now!

I barely turned around and they’re crawling across the driveway.

They have created twin mountains on either side of the driveway!

In my defense, my husband added new 4″ x 4″ posts so that I could train them. But, with one thing and another that didn’t happen when it should. So now I am faced with a very untidy—if lovely smelling—mess.

I have had two landscapers and one garden designer tour the property and insist that “The New Dawns simply must go!”

Really? Just cut them down in their prime? That’s like shooting a bride!

Okay, I’ll admit that I placed them before I was truly acquainted with what the New Dawns are fully capable of. And their placement on a bit of a slope makes integrating them into a proper mixed border a challenge that the professionals have declined. (Remember: “Cut them down!”)

So, you see what I am doing this weekend. The roses have begun to drop their petals and the lovely mountains are beginning to reveal their tangled innards. I must do something about this untidy mess.

What do you think? Are they irredeemable? Or irreplaceable?


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