Our good friend Ann has been helping us in the gardens for years now. We owe her a great debt of gratitude. Not too many people would be thrilled to weed and deadhead hostas, rake and haul load after load after LOAD of white pine needles for mulching the flower beds and tote heavy rocks around for nothing. (And still be our friend!)
This summer, Ann's work schedule hasn't allowed her to be around here as much as last year, but when she has some spare time, she is always willing to lend a hand. She says working here beats paying for a gym membership. Carl loves to joke that she can have a free workout any time she wants, we will never raise our rates.
Last weekend, Ann was here and so the camera was passed to her hands. Here is Ann's photo session:
The little flowerbed out front. The tall grass in the middle is 'Northwind'....that is the sturdiest grass I own and very well-behaved. The red celosias aren't doing much yet, very strange year we've been having.
Ann captured a photo of David and Screech Kitty...not sure why Dave is holding a tool....maybe Screech needed an attitude adjustment?
'Baby Blue Eye' spruce and 'Magnum' coneflower
Lavatera......going through these photos I was trying to figure out where Ann found this one....it's a volunteer seedling from last year that popped up on it's own. I think I should plant them again.
My fencepost pots were doing really well last weekend; 'were' being the operative word here, I forgot to water them for two days.....ooooops! I cut them back and we'll have to see if they make a comeback or not.
Arizona Sun gaillardia...great performer, keep it deadheaded and it will keep blooming.
'Gold Standard' and 'August Moon' hostas........and yes, they all need deadheading....more on that to come....
OT lilies.....love their fragrance
They really are that tall, too, towers of flowers.
The Woodland Bed with Milton the Rock in the middle. (Yes, we've named our biggest rocks, too.)
As we stroll through the garden with Ann, I should tell you we've all been hard at work weeding and deadheading. The humidity has been just oppressive and the only things enjoying the weather besides the plants, are the mosquitoes. I have a group of Red Hat Ladies coming to see the gardens on Monday (the temps are supposed to be near 90....oh dear, I think they will be wilted Red Hatters) and I don't want them to see a weed patch when they come.
'Forever & Ever' hydrangea--hey, does anyone know? Am I supposed to deadhead this type of hydrangea or not? I'm assuming yes until I hear from you.
This is stand of 'George Peabody' cedars and the 'Golden Raindrops' apple tree planted right behind the Stone House-to-be. Again, an interesting view, one I've never thought of photographing. See, I highly recommend turning your friends and family loose in your garden with a camera, it's amazing what they see!
Some of the flowers are just starting to bloom well on the East Quarry Hill.
While the rudbeckias are still going strong on the main hill.
Now here's something I've never taken a picture of before, either....it's Carl's 'heron' creation made out of old light fixtures and conduit and what-have-you.
From the Hill...and I use the word 'hill' lightly, too...it's just as high as we could make it with the old tractor and loader and shoveling by hand. In other words, Not Very high.
St. John's Wort in the foreground with a tamarack tree on the right, a pair of 'Fat Albert' blue spruce on the left and Blue Butterfly delphinium, coneflowers and a threadleaf coreopsis in the background.
Look! Ann found a doggie (Pudding) in the weeds. This bed was weeded less than three weeks ago, unbelievable growth rate with heat and humidity pushing them along. I told you we have been weeding! By the way, these weeds are gone now. You can come and see for yourself, they're history. I tossed them in the chicken's pen. Chickens love to eat weeds, did you know that? Well, not all of the weeds, but they do love to scratch and peck at the leaves and other such parts. Pudding just likes to walk through them, lol.
Here's a neat contrast of 'Sorbaria Sorbifolia' blooms open and in bud. The shrub grows much like a sumac, so yup, you're right, it runs around the garden, especially in our sandy soil, but I keep it in check by pulling the runners......still not a plant for those of you who love tidy, well-behaved plants. The flowers are very fragrant.
Over by the escarpment, more hostas to deadhead......I got these done on Tuesday night.
Down in the Formal Garden here, and we've still not completed the rock work down there. Ann worked with Carl rebuilding the new wall for the first fifty feet. Just another sixty feet to go. Just.
I still have a lot of flowers to remove from the border in front of the wall yet, it's been a slow process. Once the weedy-looking stuff is gone and the grass is seeded in, this garden should look much better.
The trees sure have grown down in this garden since we built the dome in 2004. Seven years later, the trees are so much taller.
Twin pillars of flowers...poor planning on my part to have the plant stand so close to the lilies. The lilies are stealing the show!
'Robina' OT lily
My attempt at a Japanese-look...oh, stop laughing. I tried. And the silly begonias don't want to cooperate by spreading out and forming a carpet.
Here's a before and after picture, courtesy of Ann: She asked what she could work on while she was visiting and I said the hostas need deadheading, so off she went. See what I mean, what a wonderful friend!!
And the After picture:
This border of hostas is much longer than the photo shows, there are literally hundreds of hostas planted along the 25' stretch, behind and in front of a low stone wall. She had more than one wheelbarrow of blooms to her credit, too. (I wonder if she's going to be available this weekend? There's a whole lot more that need the same treatment. Ann? Yoo hoo, Ann??!)
Ann also stealthily stalked Carl and I while we were digging daylilies...I thought I heard something in the shrubbery. And there's Dave behind us coming around with his camera. His Guest Photographer spot will be coming up next week. For some reason, the pictures he took earlier this week didn't turn out.
Every time I take pictures, I usually have one shot that turns out pretty well. I think this picture that Ann took is just phenomenal, what a great way to end Ann's Guest Photography session.
I'm linking up with Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday
Check out other blooming beauties from around the world with Tootsie.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
And Ann, THANK YOU!!!