Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hydrangeas and hemerocallis

My garden has a little slack period between the end of the rhodies and the beginning of the summer flowers where I never used to have anything blooming but the tiny flowers of the heucheras and the cool-weather grasses. This year my two Satomis stepped up and carried the whole weight of the flowering responsibilities for most of June, and now that they're finally starting to bleach out—and they've never lasted this long before—the hydrangeas are finally coming on board. The Nikko Blue is the first to look full, but there are purple and blue edges on expanding mopheads all over the garden.
Nikko Blue with Satomi fading in the background
I've been a daylily fan since I bought my first one, a big pot of Apple Tart, a rebloomer, about 9 years ago when I lived in that big state to the south. I wished for several years after I moved here that I had brought it with me, until I found one at Bloomin' Designs. I first planted it in a torturous spot of the worst clay and not enough sun, and although it got big enough for me to divide last fall, it hadn't flowered yet. I moved it to some less awful clay where it gets about 6 hours of sun, and both my little divisions are blooming this year. The original one I had before astonished me by blooming from early summer to October with just a one-month furlough in early fall, and although the season here may be  shorter, I'm hoping these little babies will like to bloom that much. I still can't get over the deep, chili-pepper red. Northwest gardeners may recognize the tiny, white, fresh Sluggo pellet on this one.
Apple Tart (with Sluggo)
My other favorite red hemerocallis is Chicago Ruby, which is equally deeply colored, but very slightly more towards a cherry red. It's not a rebloomer, but it's so beautiful that I look forward to it eagerly every year.
Chicago Ruby in light shade
Right next to Ruby I have a dark purple, Wayside King Royale, and for some reason that must be related to the mild, not-too-wet-or-too-cold spring, almost all my daylilies came into bloom at the same time. Usually only one variety will start popping at a time, but this year I have flowers up the wazoo right now, with just a few waiting till later.
Wayside King Royale
Another one I really love is this incredible yellow, Amazing grace:
Amazing Grace
The heavy substance of these blooms, the ruffled edges, and the bright clear lemon yellow color really is amazing.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Just a little dancing

I danced in my garden yesterday. I had my headphones on, listening to Beleza Tropical, and it was 64ยบ, there was a light breeze, and it was a perfect, beautiful, early summer day. I've been wanting to celebrate my garden for months, because for the first time, it finally looks like a garden. It's six years old this year, and it really looks like a garden.

So I danced.

Forget-me-not carpet in May

Boulders by the pond

Cricket house in the front heucheras and astilbes, with rhodies, Acer shirasawanum, Choisya Sundance, and Acer palmatum Oshu shidare behind

Pink rhodie with the Acer palmatum Hilleri

Rhodie, hydrangea, epimedium, Heuchera Can-can, Carex Evergold, bergenia, Asarum caudatum, and friends

Old (unknown) variety rhodie with a dark bee

Satomi dogwood in full bloom