Friday, July 28, 2017

The Garden In Mid Summer

Wow, this summer is flying by, without a doubt. I can't believe we are at the end of July!

Here in the mountains, we are already seeing the first hints of fall with pops of autumn color showing up here and there in the trees and shrubs.  Every year it seems to take me by surprise! 

The nights are cool, generally in the 50's with daytime temps in the 70's. My down comforter is back on the bed, and I sleep with the windows open. 

Very pleasant indeed. 

I truly feel bad for those of you that live in climates where you are stuck indoors with the windows closed and the A/C running all day and night. 

I wouldn't survive there. I need to feel the sweet mountain breezes at night and wake to the sound of birdsong. 

Meanwhile, the garden is a jungle, as it always is in July and August. 


The Morning Glory reseeded itself like mad from last year's vines and is now in bloom. The flowers don't seem as blue as last year, but I think that's often the case with the offspring. 


I tried something new as the centerpiece in my large deck planters this year and it's really eye catching. It's called Castor Bean, and although it's not edible, it's worth planting just for the foliage. The flower is really unusual as well!


The pansies are leggy at this point in the season, but the summer annuals are very happy!


I love the sight that greets me as I step off the deck. Yes, it's a jungle....but it's MY jungle!


The Bee Balm is in full swing, and I just adore the bright colors standing tall and proud. The butterflies and hummingbirds love Bee Balm - it's a great plant to put in a spot where you can let it go wild....because it will. 


I planted white Cosmos this year....but this vibrant fuchsia one came up all on its own from last year! Bonus!! I love volunteers!


This is the first time I've had success with Balsam. It's lovely, and very interesting the way the flowers are close to the stalk. Apparently Balsam likes to reseed also....bring it on!


There are literally thousands and thousands of berries growing around my property. I walked down the driveway snacking on the sweetest wild raspberries the other evening! I hope when they all ripen the animals and birds will let me have some. No doubt the bear will make another appearance....I'm pretty sure he was around the other evening, as the dogs were going ballistic. 


In the perennial bed, things definitely come in waves. First it's the ground covers, then the Irises, then we have some blue and some white flowers that I haven't identified yet, followed by Evening Primrose....and now it's time for Obedient Plant. Oh boy, it is amazing how lush and healthy everything is while it's blooming! And then it fades back and lets the next round steal the show. 

The Casablanca Lilies will be next, which I'm so excited about as they are a favorite of mine. 

After that the Tansy will take over. 

Yes....it won the war. I surrender. 



Up at the garden cottage, the potted plants are doing so well. It makes me smile so much to look out my bedroom window and see this sweet little sight in the upper corner of my property. It feels as if it's out of a fairy tale!


At the corner of the house, the Hollyhocks are just coming into full bloom. I originally planted two plants in this corner....but only one survived. However, Hollyhocks are a biennial, and they reseed. This year I have 5 or 6 plants....most are soft pink and one is deep red - go figure! Meanwhile the parent plant last year was a mild peach color. Again, you never know what the offspring will be like with some of these self seeding plants! It sure makes things interesting, doesn't it? 


Right around the corner, the Shasta Daisies are finishing up....but this new plant I bought at the farmers' market put out its first flower and I'm wowed! I thought it was a standard yellow Rudbeckia, but it's definitely a different variety, and I love it!


I adore the simplicity of the Shasta Daisies as well. They seem such a sweet, innocent flower. 


At the front of the house the Hydrangeas are in full bloom. They are so gorgeous! My biggest issue is the darned bindweed that insists on growing all through it - I'm at war with it every week. It's beating up the flowers - as I pull out the bindweed, it takes the flower bud with it! Grrrrrrr!! Next spring I plan to mulch this bed heavily before the hydrangeas start leafing out in hopes of deterring the bindweed. Fingers crossed!


Over at the fence line, the newest Hydrangeas I put in two seasons ago are blooming for the first time. I am not sure if they will stay white, or turn colors....stay tuned! I forget what variety I put in and can't find the info anywhere. 

I'm not one of those organized gardeners that keeps a journal, although I should be. Maybe when I retire?


Behind the fence line is the ravine, which is truly a jungle! There are blackberry brambles galore in there, along with Sumac, a couple of apple trees in the ravine, and heaven knows what else. 

Oh yeah...and Tansy. And Bindweed. 

They better stay behind the fence!


Heading back towards the garden stairs, I saw this little guy enjoying one of the beautiful yellow Lilies.  There are bees everywhere in my garden, which is a great sign. I garden completely organically so the wildlife sure is happy and my well water is not poisoned with pesticides and chemicals. However, the weeds do tend to flourish, which is an unfortunate negative. 


The yellow Lilies aren't far from these fuchsia Bee Balm which makes for quite the happy combo!


The Tiger Lilies are just about done for the season, but boy did they put on quite the show this year! The roadsides were awash in color, as were the creek beds. I just love Tiger Lilies! They remind me of happy summer days spent walking these country roads with my mom when I was a child. We had the most wonderful summers in the mountains, and I used to cry like a baby when we had to head back to the city. 

I guess it makes sense that I ended up living here!


The Queen Anne's Lace is rampant right now as well...there's a lovely bouquet of it sitting on my fireplace hearth. I had to pull some of it from various areas where it was blocking the path, but I made sure to cut the flowers for a bouquet before I did. 


Just gorgeous, oh my gosh all the colors of the rainbow are in my garden!


Back up on the deck, the cheeky little monkey wants to know what on earth took me so long?

Look at that bold little face. I just love her to bits!

42 comments:

  1. The visit to your garden was a balm to my soul. We've had intense heat, but weeds have flourished. Your garden is so peaceful and pretty. I love the white geraniums with the lacy blue flowers. And Jasper says hello to your little monkey.πŸΎπŸ•πŸŒ»πŸŒΈ


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    1. And Monkey says welcome to your little Jasper! She's my constant companion in the garden, as I'm sure your little Jasper will be some day as well. While I go on my 'walkabout' she goes on her 'sniffabout!' Hope you have a fabulous weekend, Michael!

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  2. Love your property! You have so much to be proud of. I'm so envious of your hollyhocks. I haven't yet been able to keep them alive. I also envy you your cool weather!
    Brenda

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    1. This is the first home I've had success with the hollyhocks, Brenda - hopefully they will keep reseeding in that corner and beat out the bindweed!

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  3. Debbie, How pretty around your place. I love looking at your sweet shed and all the flowers, wow. Cosmos is such a beautiful flower and stems so long . I would love to sleep with the windows open. That sweet morning breeze , along with birds singing...yes, that is the way to wake up every morning. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. It really is the way to wake up isn't it, Susie? I have to say this morning the bluejays were pretty loud, but that's ok....I don't even set an alarm unless I have to get up crazy early for some reason....the birds and the sunshine wake me up at the right time every morning!

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  4. Your gardens are absolutely beautiful. You certainly have quite a green thumb and know how to make the most out of your gorgeous mountain top property! Enjoy it.

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    1. Thanks, Kim! I wish my green thumb wasn't so good at growing weeds, though!! :)

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  5. Oh wow, everything is so beautiful, so many pretty flowers. Your property is such a gorgeous place.

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    1. Thanks, Marty! It's a ton of work, but it's so worth it!

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  6. What absolutely beautiful flowers! Those hollyhocks are wonderful. I've only ever had the usual type with single petals. I have trouble with bindweed as well. There's no controlling it. Your garden shed is adorable, too. -Jenn

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    1. Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one, Jenn - I have never had a problem with it in any other garden! Do you have any tips for me?

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  7. Swooning Deb over your pics today. Ahhhh so pretty. Wow the wild berries are fabulous I hope the wild life will leave you some. I want to live in your garden cottage shed!!!!
    Happy Weekend.
    Kris

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    1. Ha ha, Kris, you'd think differently if you saw the inside!! It's a true working potting shed and gets quite messy at this time of year!

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  8. Your garden looks beautiful and the hollihocks has a magical sweet shade. I'm with you with AC... I couldn't live in a house that needs it!

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    1. I broke down and bought one this summer, Magali, simply to keep my dad comfortable when he visits. He's on oxygen and I didn't want him to have difficulty breathing if the house gets too hot.....it rarely happens, but once or twice a summer we may have a hot, sticky day. I've used the a/c twice so far, that's it! I'd much rather have the windows open!

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  9. Have you ever posted pictures of the inside of your little out building in the corner? I would love to see it. I sure wish I cold put up a potting shed but it is against the rukes here:( I guess there are drawbacks no matter where we live. Your garden is just beautiful! Thanks for the tour!!!! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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    1. I have posted photos of the inside, Pinky - you can see some in this post but I warn you - it's a working potting/garden shed! http://www.mountainmamaonline.net/2016/03/dreaming-of-she-shed.html#more

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  10. Wow, temps in the 50's at night!!! I'm one of the ones who has the a.c. on all summer, s.e. tropical FL. We 'may' get a couple of nights that low in the winter.

    Your garden blooms are all wonderful. Thanks for sharing your bit of paradise with us.

    FlowerLady

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    1. I'm sure when I'm buried under 3 feet of snow in the winter you are grateful you are in tropical Florida, Lorraine!

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  11. Wowee, Debbie! Your garden is spectacular with its blooms! It amazes me the timing - makes for an encore of some of what I've seen, but you have so many blooms I don't have. I am truly enjoying seeing yours. My bee balm are completely spent, just haven't cut them back in case a bee or hummer finds a tiny pocket of something juicy. Even the bees here are slower - seem to be saying it's dog days of summer. Your garden, by contrast, is so vibrant! We did have a couple inches of rain and tonight may dip to 56°, but it'll be back up near 90 in daytime and high 60s in the mornings later this week. Previews of fall are nice. I love all the seasons, really (ok, I don't love winter, but I love Christmas, that sorta counts). Wild violets are my bindweed and tansy. >:^/

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    1. I'd take wild violets any day over that darned bindweed and tansy, Rita! The bindweed seems to be spreading into other areas of the garden where I hadn't seen it in the past....it's truly beating me down, I can't get a handle on it! Oh well, I just have to accept it. It's a wild, country garden and weeds and wild flowers are just part of that!

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  12. Your garden is so beautiful, and I love that you garden responsibly by gardening organically. Summer is still going strong here...you do have early signs of fall. The summer does fly by. How is your daughter doing in her new place?

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    1. Thanks for asking, Donna, she's doing fabulous, she's very happy there! She's teaching lots of yoga classes - some on the beach! She's also working for a caterer that travels around the state doing weddings, so she's making some $$ but her schedule is flexible enough for graduate school, which starts soon. I miss her!

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  13. So beautiful! I wish my nights were as cool as yours, but at least my days don't get above the 80's, so I won't complain. I have loved shasta daisies all my life, and in fact, my wedding bouquet was full of them, alongside white roses and baby's breath! We also have blackberry brambles on our property. I just made a batch of ginger ale and substituted half the lemon with some blackberry juice. It was soooooo good! Give the fur babies a hug for me!

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    1. Your wedding bouquet sounds heavenly, Vickie! Hey, the critters actually let you keep your blackberries? What's your secret?

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  14. Oh no! Do not mention fall! Your garden is still beautiful. We do not open up the windows because of allergies. I am glad that I am not the only one that likes to post pictures of their furbaby! Nancy

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    1. I have allergies also, Nancy, but I take Allegra every morning, that helps a ton! Funny enough, my allergies seem to be the worst in my office, there must be something in there that gets me!

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  15. I live in the mountains of Northern California and we seem to have very similar weather. We have lived here for about 9years and although our yard is lovely, it is of course always a work in progress. I'm going to pen this post so that I can refer to it next year when I'm planning for different areas of my garden. I remember my mother telling me that castor plant seeds are deadly to pets. I not sure that this is true but perhaps you should look it up to make sure your little fur baby is safe. This post was LOVELY! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne! Nice to 'meet' you!! Yes, castor bean is toxic, for sure. Fortunately my pups have no interest at all in my plants. They never have! My old girl just wants food and treats....ALL THE TIME! My little one just wants to get out and sniff all the chipmunk holes or play ball!

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  16. Your gardens and flowers are just heavenly! So lush and beautiful everywhere you look. I can't believe you're seeing autumn colors already. And a down comforter while you sleep?! Girlfriend, I'd be sweating like a pig! Ha ha I get so hot when I sleep at night. I only sleep with a sheet and cotton blanket, with a fan blowing on me! If it were in the 50's, then maybe I'd put the fan on oscillate. ;-) Hope you had a lovely weekend with some time to relax on your beautiful deck and enjoy those views.

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    1. Ha ha, Melanie, honestly I had to remove the comforter 2 years ago, I think, because I was getting such wicked hot flashes, but they seem to have subsided (for now, anyway!) so it's back! I missed it, there's nothing like sleeping under a good down comforter, it's like sleeping IN a cloud! :)

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  17. Oh my goodness! Your flowers are beautiful! and your little garden cottage is adorable. It would excite me to look out and see it too! It is hard to believe that summer is almost gone. For the last two nights, we have been able to sleep with the windows open, instead of the air conditioner running. That doesn't happen often here in the summertime.

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    1. That's nice, Henny, I'm glad you got a break from the heat and humidity! Our growing season is short up here, we don't reap even close to the harvest you do out of our gardens!

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  18. I agree...your shed looks like something from a fairytale.

    I'm impressed with your garden, but even more impressed with your knowledge about it. I'm lucky I know what roses are ;).

    xxx

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    1. I have been interested in gardening for such a long time, Doreen - I looked into getting certified as a Master Gardener but I honestly don't have the time to put into it right now. Perhaps some day when I retire!

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  19. As beautiful as all of this is ( AND IT IS ) what comforts me is your reference to the jungle :) That's what my gardening experience this year has been. So much rain; so many weeds out of control...this has been a battle-year.

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    1. Oh, without a doubt, Deb! I have never battled so much with weeds! I'm afraid I'm losing the battle - I just don't have the time to tackle them daily and that seems to be what is really needed!

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  20. I think I've said this before, Debbie, but I'll say it anyway. . .your property is gorgeous. We have a lot of the same flowers. My shasta daisies are done for the year. I always enjoy their abundant blooms. The bee balm is almost spent. But the zinnias. . .ah, the zinnias. They're so very reliable for all season color. I have fond memories of tiger lilies, too. They grew along the road across from my parents' farmhouse. So pretty. Thanks for sharing your garden photos. I enjoy them. xo

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  21. Especially loved the Hollyhocks! Gorgeous! I battle yellow fungus here on mine.

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