Sunday, May 11, 2014

Simply Fabulous

Some days are just beautiful. Not perfect, because perfection doesn't exist, but simply fabulous, anyway. Today was such a day. 


Columbine and chrysoganum (Green and Gold)


'Stellar Pink' dogwood


the dogwood garden

Since my seed-grown lavender plants are 2 inches tall, I bought a sweet lavender plant from a local organic herb farm to fill the urn.


Chickadees are nesting in this house. 


'Dark Towers' penstemon, amsonia 'Blue Ice', and 'Autumn Charm' sedum and a lone tulip in a partially shady spot.


Variegated Solomon's Seal near the dogrun


My long back border is mostly dry shade.


Native red columbine in my newly redesigned shade garden


The plants are slowly filling in and some are still just starting to break dormancy.
 I wish they'd speed up!


Golden Alexanders (Zizia aptera)


'Blade of Sun' snowberry (Symphoricarpos) is a very dwarf shrub I added to another shady spot last fall. I love the way it appears to glow.


My teensy bog garden is between the snowberry and the metal dogrun fence. I don't think the plants survived the winter but replacements are on the way.


Native diervilla lonicera and diervilla rivularis thrive in dry shade. I have soaker hoses on the variegated cultivar diervilla 'Cool Splash' to keep it moist this summer.


Possibly 'Pink Champagne' clematis. But possibly not.


It's the earliest blooming of all my clematis.


Clematis and 'Prague' viburnums


The perfect way to end the day.

66 comments:

  1. Yep! I would say pretty perfect friend! That pink clematis is jaw dropping! And I love your dry shade bed! It is amazing! Such an expanse of goodness going on there...well goodness is everywhere! Wishing you joy this garden season! Nicole xoxo

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    1. Learning to garden in dry shade has been a challenge, for sure! I have killed so many plants there! I took 2 skinny trees down this winter to help brighten the back border up. I feel like I should remember the name of that clematis but Possibly Pink Champagne seems to be working. :o)

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  2. What lovely sunshine filled pictures - your garden is waking up nicely - such a variety of plants - I have a thing about clematis and bought three new ones this year - your pink one is stunning - the shade garden works perfectly. Have a good week.

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    1. Half my garden is shade that gets shadier and drier every year. It's been a battle to garden in but I'm slowly figuring it all out. I'm a sucker for clematis, too. I bought 2 more this spring that are supposed to be fragrant. :o) I really hope they aren't duds.

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  3. Love your pinky clematis, awesome!

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  4. Things are moving along fast for you and looking exceptional.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. I have a few plants that I can't decide if they're dead or still dormant! But the plants that have woken up are just chugging along. :o)

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  5. The garden is beautiful. Ours is under a few inches of snow, so you did have a perfect day. By summer' s end your shade garden will have made great progress.

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    1. I can't believe the Rockies and plains are getting snow! That is insane! I hope your garden is ok. I'm hopeful the newly redesigned shade garden will be much fuller by fall. :o)

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  6. Your beauty is close enough to perfect for me. And for your happy dog.

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    1. Thanks, Lee! Happy and dog are two words that always go together in my garden. :o)

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  7. The garden is a sight for sore eyes, what a treat. I just planted a Stellar Pink dogwood and am looking forward to seeing it bloom one day. What do you think of the Zizia? Clump former? easy to grow?

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    1. I just love my Stellar Pink. It's proven to be a tough tree. Zizia is one of the easiest plants in my garden. It does clump up and reseed but the seedlings are super easy to pull. It grows in dry partial shade at the base of a thirsty crepe myrtle. I highly recommend it.

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    2. Great to know. Thanks Tammy,

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  8. Oh, lucky you ... you have the hammock out already, Tammy ! Mine is ready and waiting, but as yet, remains un-sprawled upon ! Your garden is looking lovely with all those fat blooms against the fresh growth . I am particularly jealous of the variegated Solomon's Seal, as I try to grow it every year, and it is stripped to skeletal form by some malicious creepy-crawly just as it reaches its prime !

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    1. I was in the hammock and can hardly wait to go back! Nothing bothers my Solomon's Seal. It's an absolute workhorse for me. But I battle Japanese beetles on my roses every year and those don't seem to have made it to England. Hopefully for you, they never will! They are wretched little beasts. :(

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  9. Days like that - when the sun shines, the birds sing, spring flowers appear, and plants everywhere are awakening - certainly lift the spirits and make all the effort that has gone into the garden worthwhile. I'm glad you got such a day!

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    1. I spent most of the day with my 19 year old daughter doing many things I love. She is excellent company and we have similar tastes. I just love that kid! When we came home, I puttered in the garden and hung out in the hammock. It was just a great day!

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  10. You have a lovely spring time garden! I especially like the clematis and columbines. And dogwoods have always been my favorite trees. But unfortunately they don't do well for me. Yours is gorgeous! I hope you get a chance to enjoy that hammock!

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    1. I have big plans to get back in that hammock as soon as I can! I would agree that dogwoods are definitely not a California tree.

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  11. What a beautiful place to spend the day - I'd never leave! We are greening up, but my gardens a more chaotic and less lovely. You certainly put a lot of time and creative energy into your garden(s)!

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    1. I spend so much time in the garden in the spring and fall that it's hard to keep all my grading done! After spending all day in a windowless classroom, I just want to go outside and not come back in. :o) I just wanna go outside and play!

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  12. A fabulous day indeed! Your garden is looking great. Spring is a magical time in our gardens!

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    1. Thanks!! I need a repeat of Sunday, for sure!

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  13. I nearly managed to get some hammock time today, but I finished too late, it is indeed the perfect way to end the day. Love all that golden light. I too am feeling impatient about new plants filling in. I read an article about amsonia 'Blue Ice', sounds like a lovely plant, but I've not yet managed to find it in the uk. Lots of beautiful plants blooming.

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    1. Amsonia 'Blue Ice' is a great plant. I wonder why it's not available for you. I am really looking forward to getting back into the hammock. Laying in the hammock surrounded by my garden says 'Summer' to me. :o)

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  14. Love the clematis!

    I was supposed to get a Diervilla lonicera, but the nursery screwed up and sent the wrong plant. Egads! (Hope to get the situation sorted this autumn. Not going to add anything new now when we're pushing 90 Fahrenheit each day - already.)

    That Golden Alexander looks intriguing...Does it attract any beneficials?

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    1. What did they send? I think diervilla would be great for you but they really need shade. I could always send you a seedling this fall since they sucker readily. Supposedly, the Alexanders attract beneficials but I've never noticed any. But I'm also at work all day and could just be missing the show. I'll keep any eye on them this week and let you know what I see.

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    2. Aw, that's so sweet of you to offer a Diervilla sucker.

      But do they really need shade? As you know, I hardly have any shade.

      My landscaper was going to put it in a full sun setting. He seemed to think it would do fine there.

      Oops...just did a double check. The plant he was going to put in is Diervilla sessilifolia, Southern Bush Honeysuckle.

      He picked up (and installed) a bunch of plants for me and the nursery foisted off some other honeysuckle on him. Still not sure what sort of honeysuckle it is, but definitely not a Diervilla.

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    3. Supposedly they grow well in sun, too. I know how sunny your garden is so I was wondering where they were going to go! Mine are thriving in partial shade. D. sessifolia is known as Southern Bush honeysuckle while D. Lonicera is the Northern Bush. I think I have d. lonicera but I'm not 100% sure.

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  15. And this just proves that some things are perfect. Funny about that clemmy. It looks very similar to the one my neighbor gave me. Very early blooming and so pretty pink! I don't think I've ever laid eyes on such gorgeous variegated Solomon's seal. How incredibly beautiful yours is. I really love your Symphoricarpos. I've had a variegated one in my garden for ten years and it's never spread. I finally layered it and got a baby plant that I love. I think I really need to have your low-growing variety too. Your newly designed shade bed looks wonderful. I really love how it's anchored with the limbed-up trunks of the Crape Myrtle. (?) And finally, congrats on the chickadee family. They're such sweet birds.

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    1. Those are crepe myrtle trees. I keep them limbed up and the interiors open so the shade doesn't become too dense. If I didn't parts of my garden would look like a cave. I love my new snowberry bushes (symphoricarpos). They are supposed to be super tough and that incredible foliage is followed by purple berries. As for the Solomon's Seal, I tell ya, it's growing in bone dry shade in a section of the garden that used to be named the Bed of Death and Misery.

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  16. It does look perfect! It looks like all your hard work and talent paid off. All your border gardens are luscious! I love the variegated Solomon Seal. You've done a wonderful job of organizing all those plants into a natural, yet tidy collection. Nice job! Enjoy the hammock!

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    1. Thanks! I have to balance my need for creative chaos with a powerful desire to tidy everything up. Imagine Jackson Pollock suddenly organizing all his paints by size and color. I assure you, I drive myself crazy but the end result makes me happy so it's all good. :o)

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  17. I need to take a closer look at your dry shade...well not that I actually have any shade here, sigh. But the dry loving plants will probably do well, lol...it gets so hot here.

    Your garden is as always lovely...and the Solomon's Seal so thick.

    Jen

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    1. I wish I was there to help you design those dry areas. I'd go for lots and lots of natives. Orange milkweed, salvias, and coreopsis would grow well, too.

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  18. Wow, your Stellar Pink is already blooming beautifully - mine is just starting to open up. Lovely flowers and foliage you have there - I have discovered that Solomon's Seal is excellent in floral arrangements. Thanks for coming to visit via blog!

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    1. You're welcome! Solomon's Seal has been an awesome problem solver for me and I have several patches of it scattered around the garden.

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  19. Lovely pictures! That clematis is outstanding!

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    1. Thanks! Clematis are tough vines. They only look delicate. :o)

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  20. Looking good! No, looking fabulous! Don't you just love spring, when everything is fresh and doesn't have that "boy it's hot our here" look about it?

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    1. Yes! By mid-summer, the garden will be on an aquatic IV just trying to stay alive.

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  21. The garden is looking terrific Tammy! Love the columbines and can't wait until mine bloom. The clematis and the 'Prague' virburnum. A pink dogwood is one of the choices I am considering for the lost trees. Yours is a stunner! Is it quick to grow?

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    1. Thanks! I love my dogwood but I don't think it's a quick grower. But I've read that trees that grow quickly tend to break easily, too. :(

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  22. Wonderful tour of your garden in May! It was such a treat. This is an interesting time, because you want stuff to hurry up and bloom--at least that's the way I am. I had a chuckle over your variegated Soloman's Seal, the stuff is mounding like mad all over the border in my shady front. It provides a beautiful light accent against all the grain, but man, is the stuff ever vigorous. Oh, and based on the tips I got from others about my shade garden, I planted native red columbine and it's magnificent! Tall and healthy. It was a pleasure to see how much columbine you have...

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    1. I really love columbine. It's great in dry shade and is much tougher than it appears. Solomon's Seal has become one of my favorite plants, too because of how tough it is. I don't have much patience for wimpy plants.

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  23. Your long back border is a testament that beautiful things can happen in dry shade! Your garden is looking fabulous, very well-tended and bursting with new growth. That hammock looks very inviting, too!

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    1. The hammock is a much loved summer pleasure for us. As for the dry shade, learning to garden in it successfully has been an uphill battle but well worth the struggle because I've learned so much. :o)

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  24. Oh wow, what a delightful post!" A perfect day indeed and so nice to just enjoy the garden as it blooms. I have fallen in love with that pink dogwood, it's a real stunner!!! I rather love your little doggie too and as for that hammock....if I have one of those NOTHING Awould ever get done!xxx

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    1. My dogs love the hammock as much as I do. I often end up with all four trying to snuggle me as I lay in it. Some kind of alarm must go off when I lay down because they all come running. :o)

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  25. Everything looks lovely. Well done in the garden, wonderful colour, shape and texture.

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  26. I would say it is a fabulous day in your garden...so beautiful!

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  27. What a perfect way to end a perfect day....dogs are so sensible and all-knowing.
    Wish I could grow at least one clematis here, but the heat is just too much for them to bear.

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    1. But you grow so many other incredible plants that would die here in a minute. :o)

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  28. Those special days have to be savored. Your garden looks great, very well maintained. I love your dogwood, but I have never gotten green and gold to take hold in my garden. I love using lots of the wild columbine and golden Alexander. I would like to have a hammock but I can never manage to avoid falling out of them.

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    1. Too funny! I have long legs so perhaps that helps me get out without falling over. :o) Green and Gold like slightly moist, well drained soil in partial shade, especially afternoon shade. They are a southeastern native. Perhaps your soil is too alkaline for them.

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  29. Looking absolutely fabulous from your photos :-) I hope you have many sunny days, although sometimes it is good with a cooler one so some work can be done too! We are having great weather here in Britain right now, not that much gardening done though….

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    1. We are in a stretch of cool, mild days right now that are just a dream. They make it easy to finish all those projects that are put to the side when the temps soar. :o)

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  30. Your "red native columbine" looks so much like a columbine I purchased last year called Little Lantern that is compact and full of flowers this spring. I never had columbines until a couple of years ago. Now I want to fill my yard full of them!

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  31. Hi Tammy, the dogwood flowers look like beautiful fabric buttons and the clematis is fabulous but I couldn't tell you what variety it was, only that I want one too. The variegated Solomons Seal is something that's on my shopping list, but I don't have a border for it to go in yet, which is frustrating.

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  32. Your garden is SO lovely Tammy! I particularly like the dogwoods. Mine is on the cusp of blooming but not quite. And I'm a sucker for columbines. Yours are beautiful!

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  33. This was a sight for sore eyes. Your garden looks so full and full of blooms for this early in the season. Summer doesn't want to start around here. Days are still chilly as all get out and the plants are taking their sweet time getting out of the ground. A couple daffodils is all I have so far. Thank goodness for virtual gardening!

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  34. p.s. I really really like that pink clematis. Clearly you are already a clematis lover.

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