Friday, July 8, 2011

Give it a little time....

The garden is starting to grow!  Remember this view from April?
Well, things have changed quite a bit in three months.
 The River Bed has a long way to go yet, but it's coming along.  And once again, this is the best view of the garden from the house, and yes, it's from our Throne Room.  Sigh.  I couldn't take the screen off the bathroom window to take the picture because there are way too many bugs out. 
With the warm weather for the last week and a half, the flowers are starting to make their presence known just in time for Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday/ Flaunt Your Flowers.

I know it's kind of hard to see from the above picture, but do you see the darkish blob in the middle of the planter?  That's a rock that Joel found on a rock pile while he was out geocaching. (Geocaching is a treasure hunting game where you use a GPS to hide and seek containers with other participants in the activity.  Joel's really into it.  More on that in a future post.) 

   The rock must have just been picked out of the field because it was still covered in dirt.  I gave it a bath and what a difference:
This is the downright sparkliest rock we own and it has earned the place of honor in the urn.    Wherever the dark, reddish color is there are crystals that shimmer, it sure is pretty.

 Here's another pretty thing, a garden stepping stone from my dear friend, Nancy.  (We never step on it, it's too pretty.)
The plaque has a place of honor (and safety) right in front of the old urn.  Nobody steps on it there.
Do you see the sweet alyssum?  This year I've gone off in a completely different direction and planted annuals and  color mixes that I've never tried before.

The sweet alyssum may have been a mistake because our chickens love to scratch in the garden and the alyssum is completely discombobulated by the time they get done digging.  Adding insult to injury,  the Girls also toss pine needle mulch all over the flowers (and lawn) to boot.  I love my hens and they eat all the pesty bugs and are so cute to watch, but after the trial run we had on Saturday when I let them outside their boundary for the first time since the first of June, they're back in the big chicken pen until the annuals are old enough to fend for themselves. Sassy girls.
Alaska Shasta Daisies
The lilies are putting on a show too.
I wanted to get a close-up picture of the waterlilies, but the water is so high in the quarry and the stepping stone I was standing on was partly submerged.  The top of the rock was just as slick as goose grease and I nearly fell in the pond which wouldn't have made Joel happy since it's his camera I'm using and it ain't waterproof. So I stuck the camera out at arm's length and guesstimated where the flower was.  The pictures didn't turn out too bad.

David picked a waterlily for me a few weeks ago and brought it in the house in a vase.  I was amazed at how long the flower lasted indoors.  It closed at night and opened every morning. 
The petal texture is so thick you almost think they're plastic, but there isn't much of a scent. 
I couldn't quite reach out far enough to get the whole flower on this one, but I tried!

Here's the latest addition to my collection of rudbeckia, this is 'Denver Daisy' which  is a cross between Rudbeckia hirta species and Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun'.  I love rudbeckias because they are so flashy (my flowers get to be flashy and I live vicariously through them since I'm not) and because they self-seed for years  in all the right (and wrong places).  I was able to get seed for this one and it's a winner so far.

The only problem I have with rudbeckia is their tendency to mildew later on in the season.  I lose better than 3/4 of them every year but while I have 'em, I'm gonna flaunt 'em.  There are some much younger seedlings coming up at the base of the tall ones that will usually put on a second show.  
Yesterday afternoon, Mom and I were weeding on the Quarry Hill.  Mom is so short I could barely see her in the middle of a sea of self-seeded rudbeckias of all different flower types.  There is supposed to be a pathway in front of the hill along the water but the rudbeckias claimed it as their own.
No pictures of the Elusive Lucille to share because I didn't have the camera with me in the afternoon.  These pictures were taken just before sunset last night with a horde of mosquitoes buzzing my head.
There are still some of the black-eyed susan on the hill itself, but the majority of them migrated to the flat pathway.  That's ok.
It was getting darker out, but the flowers show up pretty well, along with the 'Blue Butterfly' delphinium which loves to reseed at will, too.

Did you know the Mosquito lost out to the Robin as Wisconsin's Official State Bird?  It's true.  Trust me.  The mosquitoes have been ticked off ever since.

The threadleaf coreopsis is just getting a good start too, but that flashy rudbeckia is trying to steal the show.

Ok, off to the Pachyberm before the dark falls completely.  (And before the runners-up for official Wisconsin State Bird carry me off.)

Definitely not as much color happening over here, but this bed is only two years old and the rudbeckias need a little time to get their game on.  The sun is going down, gotta get a move on with the pictures. 
There's a pink, uh, it's a...well, I can't think of the name (now you know what it's like to tour in person here, I usually draw a blank when people ask me what stuff is only to remember it in the middle of the night or some other random time).

Here's a better picture of it taken in the afternoon:
It's a perennial---it's pink---(this is like charades, isn't it?) it's name is, ah............nope, still drawing a blank here.  I bet somebody will know what it is!
I bumped into a picture of this lily from earlier in the day too, uh, it's pink and it's a perennial, ok, we won't go there, lol.
Whatsitsname is pretty after dark, too.
Remember I complained about the Stokes aster?  (Sure, that name I can remember.)  I pulled out probably twenty of these two weeks ago, but on second thought,  the flower is pretty up close.  Ok, so maybe I made a mistake.  They still sell the seed; I can start over for next year. 
Once again, no name.......but five feet tall and has an amazing bud count and a very light but wonderful scent.
Hydrangea 'Annabelle' is threatening to eat this lily named,'s..........ok,  let's go with Orange.  Hey, at least I get some points for knowing Annabelle's name.  

 Way too dark, but I kind of liked the way the hostas showed up with the flash.  There's a dark orange/red lily in there, too. (Not going to try for a name.)

I have some rudbeckias in front of the house too, along with gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' back there by the cedar.. 
 Ok, the mosquitoes win...time to head in. 

Now, don't forget to head over to Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday to see gorgeous gardens from all over the world!

I am also linking up with Roz at  la bella vita: Fresh Food Friday and Seasonal Saturday


Alison said...

Thank you for the blood sacrifice you made to get these pictures! Just beautiful! I don't know the lily names, but I think the pink spiky plant is Veronica/Speedwell.

I just love looking at pictures of your garden. It's hard to believe that there was snow in April, it's so recent. So much growth in so little time. We didn't have hardly any snow here this winter, but our lilies and Rudbeckias and shasta daisies are not blooming yet.

That is a very nice angel stone, with the cutout angel shape. I wouldn't let anyone step on it either. And that shot with the sun setting on the horizon is magical. You and Carl should be so proud of all the beauty you've created.

Beth said...

Karen, Quarry Hill and the pachyberm look OUTSTANDING!!! Love the lilies and the waterlilies - glad you did not drop Joel's camera into the water. The rock Joel found is lovely. It reminds me of a geode; appears to have quartz crystals on it. (?)
Blessings, Beth

Shirley @ The Gardening LIfe said...

Oh Karen, you make me laugh! Love all the photos and your willingness to allow the rudbeckia sow as it pleases. The last photo here is my favourite.

Have an awesome weekend. Stay clear of the runners-up! They're horrid here too!

Darla said...


FlowerLady said...

Wow, what a difference time makes in a garden. Your gardens are stunning. I LOVE those blue delphs.

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Gatsbys Gardens said...


Everything is just lovely. I love the pond lilies and the garden lilies. Rudbeckia comes back for me in Wisconsin but not my home in Illinois, go figure! Your containers are great, can't wait to see that river bed area when completed.


Zoey said...

What a great view from the throne room! I love the rock that Joel brought back.

Is that pink spikey plant Veronica? I just planted some this spring, but can't remember the name for sure either.

Tootsie said...

wow wow and WOW!!! I love your gardens!!! You have done such an amazing an artist with a canvas...this garden is absolutely fantastic! I so wish I could see it in person!
Thanks for linking in and sharing your flaunt today!!! I always love seeing all the pretties everyone shares! Have a great weekend friend

My garden haven said...

Karen, your garden is delightful, as are you, and I am in awe of how you have created this fabulous look. I am ashamed that I haven't put in enough effort in my smaller garden. You are indeed an inspiration

Sall's Country Life said...

Always stunning and gorgeous at the quarry!! Those water lilies look like plastic to me! Just too perfect! How wonderful it must be to enjoy all those flowers all summer long! Gotta get me ticket to Wisconsin!!! That pink spikey flower is Lythrum (purple loosestrife) I recognized it from having it years ago by my pond. We moved from that house and could not find it in any nurseries because it was on the noxious weed list. Dang it all!!! Protect yours,Karen, it's hard to find (I may have to sneak in for a slip of it) Enjoy the summer and get some mosquito netting, they are getting wicked here too!!!

Netty said...

Gorgeous! Every time I read one of your posts I feel so inspired :)
Oh, and the pretty bloom you can never remember the name of is Veronica I think :)

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Gorgeous pictures!! The pink flower is Veronica (not Loosestrife -- it's much, much taller). Not a clue on the lily variety, but it's beautiful as well. Looks like you could see the quarry area blooming for miles, it's so showy with all the yellow!! Oh the mosquitoes! Yeesh! We have a problem with them here, too, but they are much smaller than in WI. They are as big as birds there!

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

All that rain and then the sunshine has everything looking so lovely and lush and colorful...I love your water lilies....reminds me I need to go over to the old house and check on the fishpond, I know it had lilie buds coming up last time I was over there a week or so ago.

Even if you can't name the other lilies, they are all beautiful.

Enjoyed the evening stroll in your garden.

Blessings Kelsie

Anonymous said...

Could the pink ones be veronica speedwell? Anyway, I'm blown away at this tour. I'm bookmarking this for ideas and just general drooling. Thanks so much for sharing!

Lona said...

Me and Blogger are falling out today. Urg! I will try this again:

Your garden is just so beautiful Karen. I love all of the lilies. I have had lily overload today with the fest and yours. I can never get enough of flowers though. The sea of yellow Rudbeckia is just so pretty. Joel found a pretty rock and it does belong there by the urn with your other treasures.By the way I like your garden dressed in colors and green instead of that old white stuff. I am still mad at winter. LOL!

Pat said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for your visit and kind remarks. WOW your garden is fantastic. You should sell tickets! I can imagine how much work and care went into all that. Your garden has such a plan and forthought too. Just beautiful. I am glad to meet you and that I got to see your gardens.

Rosemary said...

I am so glad you posted a picture of the garden in April and one of now we need to be reminded in this heat of the weather we endured to get to this point. I also wondered why mosquitoes don't like us now I know.As usual I can't say enough how impressed I am with your garden. Looking forward to hearing more of the geocaching . One very interesting rock!