Friday, June 24, 2011

Rainy Garden

We have had rain for the last five days in a row.  When it's not pouring, it's drizzling but sometimes there's a few hours of 'drought'.   Earlier in the evening there was a slight lull in the activity so I took advantage of the nearly dry lawn to head out and mow the backyard.  Everywhere else in the yard is far too squishy.
This was the only stretch I was able to mow before it started to pour yet again.  The River Bed is finally starting to show some color other than the pine needle mulch that we put down a few weeks ago. 
I took these pictures this afternoon in a lull of the rain activity, but that didn't last long.  The water lilies are really enjoying this weather, though.  We often have problems with the water levels in the quarry pond going too low in the summer, but not this year!
 Just as I started taking pictures, it started to rain again.

  I never knew 'May Night' salvia would be so prolific, but it readily self-seeded itself in the sandy soil by our campfire ring.
Joel detests the smell of the foliage when it's disturbed, but I kinda like it.  I like the color, too!
It started to rain harder, so I started to take pictures faster.  Sedum is climbing up the hill by the quarry at a rapid rate (along with a bunch of tiny weeds which also like the rainy weather).  I will have plenty to do when it dries up.  Weed pails will be lined up by the dozen.
Though some of the plants aren't liking this wet weather and lack of sunshine, there are some that think it's just fine.

The hostas..........
This is hosta 'Blue Umbrellas' and it's definitely living up to its name.  If I could fit under there, I wouldn't be getting wet.
We had, at one time, over 500 different cultivars of hostas in the gardens.

Over time, we've lost a few.  I used to have name tags on every single one, but since many of these hostas have been moved time and again over the years, a great many name tags have been lost, too.
 I'm just amazed at how much they have grown in the last few days.
They're crowding the footpath through the garden.  We had moved these all into the new woodland bed about three years ago and there was plenty of room between most of them.  Something tells me we'll be doing some dividing in the near future.
That's a lotsa hosta.
Hosta 'Choo Choo Train'
Alternating border of H. 'Gold Standard' & 'Halcyon'.  One nice thing about using hostas for border edging is they do a great job of keeping their own weeds down and I don't have to edge every bed.  The lawnmower's deck fits right under their leaves.
Hosta 'Striptease' showing off in the rain.
I finally wandered out of the woodland bed once the rain eased up a bit.  
The lilies are reaching amazing heights this year too, I hope no hail comes to wreck them before bloomtime.  I don't know which one this is, I bought it from a big box store.  We'll find out in a few weeks.
There's some more of that tufa wall we moved last year.  Wandering up to the front of the house, I stood under the willow until the breeze caused huge water drops to hit me in the noggin.

Here's the front bed:
The Knockout roses are really starting now, but I got around to putting the systemic fertilizer on a little late.  Something's been having a good time chewing on them.

Such a weird year; I've got daffodil foliage standing yet amidst hostas and roses with pinks and a hardy geranium blooming in the background.  (No, I didn't get around to braiding all my daffodil foliage, either.  I'm just kidding, I've never braided the foliage on my daffs...I'm guilty of either whacking them down or stepping them over and putting mulch on them most years.) 

The front garden is a mix of sun and shade at various times of the day, so I have everything from soup to nuts planted in here.  
Roses and hostas (and bugs, too, by the looks of the leaves!)
Here are five pots of various types of trailing petunias I started from seed this year sitting on top of the fenceposts.  They have really begun to fill out this last week.  This is a hard location for them, though, since they are subjected to a lot of wind at times.  We found the fenceposts in the landfill several years ago and the other day a neighbor dropped off some more old ones he didn't want...I was happy to take them off his hands.  As soon as I get a few more, we can put up another little fence somewhere.  (We have never bought any fence posts yet, lol.)
This little statue is my favorite one; we bought it right after David was born 21 years ago.  It is very near the lily, I think it's 'Enchantment'--that always blooms just before Joel & Dave's birthdays.  I remember being in early labor with Joel and walking through the garden that fine June day in 1986 and noticing the orange lily starting to open.  I was so happy to see the first lily of the season before I had to leave for the hospital and now twenty-five years later, the memory still brings a smile to my face.
The years have flown by, the 'boys' are no longer little and I'm no Spring Chicken, either.  

The sun's supposed to shine tomorrow.  That's good.  We'll take it after five days of gloom. 
I need to get back on my knees and pull some weeds.  It's just been too wet and miserable in the garden to do much of anything outside. 

If this rain keeps up, the only plants that will be happy will be the ones in the raised beds.

On second thought, gardening in really tall planters would be a whole lot easier on the knees, too.

How many fenceposts do we have lying around??  Hmmmmmm......

I'm linking this post to Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday.  Please check out the beautiful blooms to be found there!


Bernie said...

Oh I so enjoyed my virtual stroll around your garden today! There's a beautiful vista everywhere you go. I did rather love the quarry pond area and that fabulous Salvia! Amazing Hostas, lovely Roses and gorgeous Lillies.

Darla said...

We finally received 9/10 of an inch of rain yesterday, it was beautiful. I love your lotsa hosta!! The sedum creeping the the rocks is so pretty too. I just love everything here.

FlowerLady said...

Oh Karen ~ What a delight to stroll through your cool, wet gardens this morning. Everything looks fantastic. All of our hostas are amazing and that salvia. Swoon. It's no wonder you all work like 'mad' people every year. What a treat it must be to see your gardens every day. We had thunder and lightening to the west of us this morning but still no rain. :-(

Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

Sandy said...

Hi Karen... your garden is filling in just beautifully. I planted Hostas a few years ago and they are so sad and small.. I just don't have the soil and climate you do. Fla is no place for such planting.. but I keep trying. We woke to some rain after weeks with none.. when I walked outside it smelled and felt like the swamps and hot/sticky... How I miss the Midwest and it's wonderful growing season.... Great stroll around your garden...

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Wow, Karen! You certainly have an explosion of blooms. Your hosta collection is amazing. I always put off dividing my hosta and then I wonder why they are climbing over each other.


Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Your garden looks great. V

Peonies & Magnolias said...

Oh what a wonderful walk through your garden I've enjoyed. Everything looks gorgeous.


Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

WOW Karen everything is looking so lush and green and WET...I know 5 gloomy days takes it's toll on the psyci but oh how lovely to not have to water the garden by hand in 90+ degree weather each evening.

I love the lilies in the quarry, it is such a pretty feature in your garden...I think I could spend hours just taking everything in.

Hope you see some sunshine soon

Blessings Kelsie

Randy Emmitt said...


Looks great with all that rain! Here our lowest high for the next 7 days is 92 degrees. No rain in sight either.... Tomatoes are loving it.

Beth said...

Karen, Thanks for the garden tour! It's beautiful as always, Karen! I love the fence you built with the petunias on the fenceposts. The hostas are just fabulous - love it all but really think the area where you alternated the two cultivars looks great. And oh, my, the waterlilies! A definite wow! Great gardens, Karen.

El Gaucho said...

Fantastic pictures, you're so good about documenting everything in your garden and sharing it for us, thank you. All the hostas underneath the pine canopy look great, it's definitely given me some inspiration for my garden as well.

Alison said...

Oh, this garden tour was fun! Your hostas are so healthy and big, and no slug damage on the leaves. You got a beautiful pic of the hosta 'Striptease' with water droplets on it. What is that plant with the tiny chartreuse leaves next to 'Choo Choo Train?'

Your last 5 days have been a taste of our entire winter and spring here in the PNW. Love that orange lily and the fact that it still makes you smile.

I've been meaning to ask about the tufa, and its origins. Did you make it? I've heard that if you don't have enough rocks, you can use tufa to make fake ones. Is that what you did?

Lona said...

Wow Karen your gardens are really starting to shine now. The petunia pots on the rail fence is such a wonderful idea. The hosta bed is so beautiful and so inviting. The silver barked tree amongst them is just a standout and so pretty in the green hostas. I would love to tour your gardens. The Maynight salvia is sure pretty in the quarry. I am with Joel it dust have a pungent odor, but Marigolds are the worst. LOL! I love the shot of your River Bed. I do not think I have saw it before. What a wonderful idea with the winding bed.
Girl I am so with you on this whole wet and rainy weather. We finally got the yard mowed after two weeks.
Have a wonderful weekend!

HolleyGarden said...

Love your hostas, and the quarry pond. Everything there looks so green and lush and happy! Those orange lilies look beautiful next to that blue foliage!

Zoey said...

OMG, Karen, those hosta gardens and The River Bed take my breath away!

Everything is looking wonderful!

Netty said...

Thanks for the wonderful tour of your gardens! I'm a new Hosta lover and am drooling over all of your Hosta's. 500, a far cry from my 22! I hope you see some sunshine soon :)

Shirley @ The Gardening LIfe said...

Karen, your property is so inviting. It's been a while since I've stopped by and I've missed the beauty of it all. The gardens are coming along beautifully. Any new projects on the go?

Anonymous said...

I what a beautiful tour of your gogeous gardens!!! I am wanting to try Hostas- I planted hostas in New Mexico where I am from but they did not grow will in the heat and very dry climate. Colorado has been terribly dry the past few years too so am not sure how well they would do.

It is amazing how much rain some are receiving and other parts of the country are burning up- we have had 6 very large fires in our Colorado area already this summer.
Know you probably get tired of the rain but gosh it would be so nice to have a little here!

bee blessed

Larry said...

I must say your garden looks exceptional this year... all that rain sure helps! We have been out of state for five days and I couldn't believe how lush everything got while we were gone! Larry

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Weren't you just commenting a few days ago about being less than enthusiastic about your garden? Are you kidding me? It is GORGEOUS!!! I am absolutely coveting those hostas!!! I just got a 'Gold Standard' hosta a couple weeks ago, and I'm hoping to does well for me. Hostas are not easy in Texas. If the slugs and snails don't get them, the heat or the hail does. A rainy day sure makes for some stunning pictures. Thanks for braving the raindrops to share your beautiful garden with us :-)

Rosemary said...

Loved the rainy tour.. your garden is such a treasure...... certainly see why people stop by for a look.. the orange lily and the blue spruce behind is a spectacular photo.

Tracy said...

Hi Karen - your property is absolutely breathtaking! You could charge admission - I'd pay to take a stroll through. Love the hosta border. So glad to have found your blog.

Tootsie said...

OMG!!! Your garden is so magical!!! I love it. wow...all the different places and plants....and textures and colors!!! I wish I could tour in person!!!
thanks so much for linking in today...I love the inspirations you share!!!

Dan@retrooregon said...

I love the size of your Hostas! So lush! Mine seem so anemic compared to yours! As always, I am loving the visual tour.

Tufa Girl said...

I have never seen so many beautiful hostas. They are all truly lovely. Enjoy that rain while you can get it. No telling what the summer will bring.