Saturday, June 23, 2012

Triumphs and Tragedies

Mixed blessings this weekend.  The weather is rainy and cool.  I would love to be out in the garden but tramping through the mud isn't much fun at all.  On the positive side it's been very dry here of late and the ground needs a good soaking.  I'm hoping my rain barrel gets filled and the new trees get a long drink.

During breaks in the weather I managed to snap a few photos.  At least overcast skies are good for photos.  We have lots of flowers suddenly bursting into bloom this week.

Peony buds are beginning to open

Chive blossoms
Weigela is starting to bloom
This highbush cranberry bush is really putting on a show this year.  We purchased two of these shrubs in the spring of 2010 and it's been funny watching them grow.  One shrub is tiny, only a couple feet tall.  It appears healthy but it's growth has been very subdued and it only has a few blooms.  The shrub pictured below, growing only a few feet away from the first one, got hit with the lawnmower not long after planting and its reaction was to put out more stems and grow like crazy.  It's now about 5 feet tall and covered in blooms.  


Nature's a strange beast sometimes.  Also odd is how the pink lupines are far outnumbering the blue ones this year.  I usually have a mix in the front bed but pink is the dominant colour this year.


The spicy sweet scent of the roses is filling the air right now.  I've never been a big fan of roses but these old fashioned beauties have wormed their way into my heart.


Last year I picked up Penstemon Prairie Dusk.  I've grown penstemons before but this cultivar was new to me.  I was expecting a soft purple flower on a two foot tall plant.  Instead I got this.


Less than a foot tall and hot pink.  Not what I was looking for at all.  Now I'm not sure what to do with this plant.  It's pretty but it doesn't quite fit the scheme I had in mind.  

Pink seems to be the colour of the day here.  Blooms on my Rhododendron catawbiense "Album" are starting to open.  These flowers are white with a yellow throat.  But the buds look pink?


Perhaps it's something in the water....


24 comments:

  1. Your spring blooms look so pink and dewy. We have been hit with temps in the high 90s, even 100 one day (F) and our gardens look a little tired and limp already. It's so nice to see your fresh blooms, even the cute little chive blossoms look refined and delicate! And the lupines are gorgeous.

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    1. wow, you got so hot so quickly! We've been dry here but luckily the heat wave hasn't come yet which means I can still get out and garden.

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  2. Your photos are inspiring! So many blooms to be proud of. As for the rain...let's hope it isn't too hard a rain and no wind expected...we can be thankful for that.

    How lucky to have dominate pink/rose lupines this year. Lovely against the white wall of the building.

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    1. I don't know about you but we're getting wind like crazy today. The peonies have hardly opened and they're already getting knocked down. That always seems to be the case though, you can predict wind and rain by when the peonies open.

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  3. It's always interesting how plants sometimes pop up so different than what we expect. I have a lot of pink flowers even though I didn't intentionally set out to have a pinkish garden. LOVE your lupines. They don't grow well here. I wish some of your rain would come our way. We're hot and very dry.

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    1. Your soil is maybe more alkaline than ours? Lupines grow wild here, you can hardly be rid of them. So beautiful this time of year though when the ditches are glowing with them.

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  4. I don't know, I think stomping around in the mud sounds great right now. We are HOT and dry here with temps in the upper 90's. Your blooms are so lovely! Your lupines are gorgeous!

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    1. with those temperatures no wonder rain sounds good. Unfortunately the reality is I make a mess of the flower beds when I try to work in the wet.

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  5. Good Morning. Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Details at http://wp.me/p1w6cN-Wb. Congratulations!

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    1. how sweet! thank you Kevin, looks like I have a post to write.

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  6. I echo Karin's message, hot and dry here, would love some cooler moist weather. I love lupines, they don't do well here in the South...love seeing pictures! We are well past the Rhododendrons blooming, nice to continue seeing yours!

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    1. Thanks to our shorter season you can enjoy spring all over again! The heat of summer is still a week or more away from settling in here.

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  7. It's so much fun to watch ones garden started blooming in all it's fullness. My High bush cranberry was eaten of all it's leaves by some rotten insect so I don't know if the bush will even survive.
    I'm glad for the rain as the ground has been very dry.
    Your pictures are beautiful, thanks for sharing with us your garden tour.

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    1. Witch, hope you read Jennifer's comment below. Her cranberry had the same fate but pushed out new leaves. Think happy thoughts! Our birches are looking pretty chewed up this spring, seems the insects are out in full force this year.

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  8. It's a fascinating time of year, isn't it? I love seeing what's coming up! The bud of your rhody is positively gorgeous!

    We planted so many things last year after their blooming time that we are seeing the flowers for the first time. Definitely some surprises. :)

    Enjoy this exciting time!

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    1. Ms.S how are you?! The rhodo has started to bloom now and it really is a beautiful plant. So glad I dished out the money for that one. I remember all the work that went on in your garden last year, it must be exciting to see all those plants starting to come up in their first season.

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  9. Nature pretty much does what she wants doesn't she? I'd be tempted to run over the other highbush cranberry with the lawn mower! No matter - my eyes are just eating up the colours of your flowers - all of them!

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    1. Jane, you should have seen Jody come running to apologize when he hit that shrub. He thought he had ruined it and now we find out it had entirely the opposite effect!

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  10. Marguerite, My Rhododendron catawbiense album has that same pattern -- pink buds that somehow open into white flowers with a yellow splotch -- so I don't think it's something in the water, but just the nature of the plant :-). Isn't it wonderful when, after that long wait, everything suddenly starts to grow and bloom like crazy? Your flowers are looking wonderful. -Jean

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    1. Jean, I remember you mentioning you had the same rhodo. Glad to hear it's not something off with my flowers. Sounds like these blooms are similar to my apple trees - pink buds that open and fade quickly to white.

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  11. It's that spicy sweet scent that comes from the hot pink roses that lifts my spirits in the garden.

    Your peonies are a beautiful promise yet to open.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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    1. Jen, I was never a rose fan until I discovered these shrub roses. What a smell they have! I had no idea they smelled so good. Now I understand why people like roses so much.

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  12. Your lupins are so beautiful, Marguerite. I must try my hand at growing them again.
    The weather here was unbearably hot last week. Thank God it took a turn and the temperatures are much more seasonable. We continue to get very little rain.
    I have a highbush cranberry as well. This year insects devoured literally all the leaves in the manner of a couple of days. I was devastated when I looked up one morning and saw it was completely bare. I thought, that's it, it's toast! But much to my surprise new leaves have begun to emerge a week or two later. It seems nature always finds a way to impress you when you have all but given up hope.

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    1. Thank goodness your cranberry has recovered. I love that this shrub is native and therefore provides food to insects but devouring all the leaves it's a bit too much to handle.

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