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Monday, June 15, 2015

What's Blooming in June?

The early spring pastels are starting to be replaced by richer yellows, deep purples and warm pinks. Summer is nearly here on Long Island, NY (zone 7b).  Here's a look at some of the things blooming in my garden this month:

The pink Astilbe is the show stopper in this garden bed, but the yellow Evening Primrose seem quite content to be sandwiched amongst the pink plumes.

Endless Summer Hydrangea are nearly in full bloom. These are the mop-head style hydrangeas and will alter their color based on the pH of the soil - pink blooms in alkaline and blue blooms in acidic. 


A few of the hostas are starting to bloom. I love how this variety has the flowering stems floating just above the stems.

It took a few years to establish, but now the Foxglove (Digitalis) is ready to bloom! It's a welcome addition to this shady spot in my garden.

The flowers in my new, full sun, cutting garden are starting to bloom - Erygnium (Sea Holly, above), Snapdragon and Digiplexis (below, respectively).



Along the sidewalk, the Hemerocallis 'Happy Returns' (daylily) is making a lovely border above the stones. Daisy, Yarrow and Salvia fill in behind.

And over in the shade garden, the ferns, hostas, solomon seal and astilble are blending together beautifully in form and texture. 

June is really a special time in the garden - so many things blooming week to week. Keep up with me on Instagram and Facebook to continue to see what's blooming and making me smile these days!

Leave a comment below, then head on over to May Dreams Gardens blog for a look at what's blooming around the country today. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Easy Care Roses

Roses. Something about them makes people swoon at the mere mention of the name. What is it about roses? The smell? The loveliness of the petals? The nostalgia they conjure?

Whatever the reason, I'm so happy to have them in my garden. And even better, I have roses that require little care on my part. I simply get to enjoy their beauty in looks and smell.

The Knockout Rose is one of the easiest roses to grow. It's very disease resistant and once established, needs little care. I prune mine every March to reshape and keep it from getting too big. But starting in June and going well into the fall, this rose bush keeps blooming beautiful deep pink blooms atop rich, blue-green leaves.


I love the color and texture combination of the wispy, chartreuse Lady's Mantle with the deep pink of the Knockout Rose:


The other roses I have are the Carpet Roses. Mine are a lovely light pink color with many petals, giving it a delicate texture.

I have a few Carpet Roses bunched together atop this rock wall in my backyard. They don't get too tall and bloom all summer long with a delicate, sweet scent.



I think all roses are spectacular - tea roses, climbing roses, miniature roses (just to name a few). But for me, the ease of these two, coupled with their beauty, makes me smile daily.

What sort of roses do you have or want to have in your garden? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Azaleas: to prune or not to prune?

The azaleas are in full bloom at my house and in my neighborhood. I love the splash of color it provides in the garden. Here is mine nestled next to a weeping spruce:


My neighbor has a whole hedge of azaleas along the sidewalk: 

For all other times of the year, these shrubs are rather ordinary. But for the few weeks they are in bloom, it's a show stopper along the street. I love the how the different color blooms mesh together in this informal hedge, like a painter's palette at the end of a painting session.

Personally, I like the informal look to these shrubs rather than the perfectly sheared forms. Here are a few examples of those:



Azaleas should be pruned immediately after flowering which will allow for new leaf growth and return to natural form before it sets its new buds for next year. Waiting three months or later after bloom may sacrifice next years blooms. 


Here is another example of the natural beauty of this shrub. Here, the yellow, red and purple azaleas flank the winding stone path, as if to lead us to a woodland retreat. 

So which do you like? The informal woodland hedge or the sheared gumball shaped shrub? Share in the comment section below!