Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cyndy's Visit

A nice day, warm and sunny.  80s, humid in the a.m., but it dried out later.

Cyndy Cromwell from Gardening Asylum came to see my garden today.  The knockout roses have stopped blooming, the daylilies are eaten, and the spring flowers are gone, but everything still looked good.

view out to the meadow
the buckeyes

the birch garden
sweetbay magnolia

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Deadheading Chores

Humid and warm today, but not raining for the first time in forever.  The ground is squishy and completely soggy.

I deadheaded all the penstemons, the foxgloves, and the knockout roses today.

The newly planted purpleleaf sandcherry is no longer visible in Meadow's Edge --- eaten to the ground.

You can see it was rabbits --- the cuts are clean angles.  There are a few leaf buds left and I think it will regrow.  I need to remember to heavily douse any new planting with pepper or deer-away!

The New Jersey Tea (ceanothus) plants that barely survived the winter are struggling.  One looks good and is starting to bloom, but the other two have weak stems that fall apart and drop off in any breeze.

But the sweetpeas look sweet (!)

The clematis viticella that I transplanted from the front to the patio wall is so tiny, but has just started blooming.  The leaves are tinier than last year, it is sparse looking, and the flowers are tinier too.  Hmmm, just transplant adjustment?

Compare it to last year.  It bloomed at Memorial Day, and had full climbing leaves, and hanky-sized flowers:
May 31, 2010
May 31, 2010

Friday, June 24, 2011

Soggy Soggy June


Every few days we get rain, with gray skies in between, and only an occasional nice day here and there. 

The dry days are cloudy. 
The damp days are gloomy. 
The rainy days are soggy.

June 9:   one inch
June 11:  .61 inch
June 14:  .74 inch
June 17:  .45 inch
June 22:  .6 inch
June 23:  .92 inch

Monday, June 20, 2011

June Day

Sunny, breezy, cool in the morning and hot but nice in the afternoon.  I just wandered around the yard clipping and semi-weeding, and it was nice to just do that.

I took a large branch off the black gum in back that was infested with spider mites.  The leaves were brown and dead, little critters and webs everywhere.

The stewartia is blooming, but the fat buds barely open before they fall and litter the ground.

The sundrops are bright and shine like a beacon in the Birch Garden.  They have spread and massed.  But I just can't get a picture that really shows their sweet sunniness.

The carpet roses by the walk are a rich red --- a color I really like.

At Warner's Nursery today I picked up two huge Grow Lo sumacs to add to the groundcover effect I want under the witch hazels.  And I got some burnet (Sanguisorbias) for Meadow's Edge.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wintonbury Land Trust Tour

Warm and sunny and humid, in the 80s.  We saw 5 great gardens on the Wintonbury Land Trust's garden tour today.  We met Marianne and Jim and spent the day going from garden to garden with them.

Cute idea at David and Sharon Mann's
at Mann's

at Chip Caton's & Katherine Lyon's
Nice scene at Chip Caton & Katherine Lyon's

Rosa glauca at the house on Stone Hill Drive
kiwi vine (but not kolomikta?) on Stone Hill Drive

Cheryl's house
beautiful deep shade at Cheryl's

Magnolia at Betsy's
Stewartia at Betsy's

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pop up Shower

We got a little bit of rain overnight.  It had been clear all day, and then a pop up storm moved in and soaked us briefly.  Sunny and clear today, very summery.

The sundrops have gone crazy, spreading everywhere.  They are hard to photograph from afar, just looking small and washed out, so I can't get their mass, but they are bright and happy and yellow.

The flowering tobacco is blooming, at least one of the four plants I put by the patio wall so I could smell them.

The zenobia is blooming with little blueberry like bells.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Little Sun

Finally, some sun.  We got another three quarters of an inch of rain yesterday.  And even when it has not rained in the past week, it has been gloomy.

Now, a lovely day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Garden Tours

Yesterday was rainy early (another 4 tenths of an inch) and then cloudy and unsettled later,  Very cool, in the low 60s, but nice enough for Kit Gibby, Gwen Olmstead and me to go on a garden tour in Simsbury.

A very intensively built shady garden, with lovely plants.  A couple plans that I want to duplicate were of interest.

Climbing hydrangea, on a pergola like I want mine to grow, and scrambling up tree trunks.

Rosa glauca, a nice shape, pruned up a bit.  I want to replace my knockout roses with this.

Afterwards, we came back and they toured my garden, we looked at Gwen's and we had a look at Kit's.  I love Kit's dry stream bed, and need to incorporate more of the random edges and larger boulders in my tiny one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Plenty of Rain

Yesterday it rained, a good 6 tenths of an inch, on top of the downpour the day before.  Today, Sunday, is gloomy and more rain is predicted.

I just can't get any good pictures.  The Birch Garden is in full bloom, with the white baptisia arching above all, and the penstemons below.  But the light has been terrible, and then it has been rainy.

I took these on the 10th, two days ago:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oh No

The very high temperatures of the past few days (humid and in the 90s) have broken, but it's still muggy.

I did a terrible thing to the brand new groundcover pussywillows (Salix yezoalpina):

They were so lovely back on May 27 when first planted:

What did I do?  I sprayed with horticultural oil because when they were still in pots, ready to be planted, they were infested pretty severely with aphids.  I sprayed extensively.  It was not heavy dormant oil that should only be used on stems before leafing out --- it was superior oil which can be sprayed on foliage.

But.  When temperatures are very high --- and we did approach almost 100 degrees a couple days back --- the foliage will burn.  The two plants I sprayed are brown and crispy.  A third one, added later, is not affected.

All three plants got a little stressed from the heat and from being transplanted.  It has been so dry until the last days, and although I watered, they were stressed. They are on the east side and get good afternoon shade, but the sun hits pretty hard up until 1 pm.

Hort Oil: use with care.  I also burned the nasturtium leaves pretty badly.  Even with the lighter oil, leaves become damaged when high temperatures hit.

The nasturtiums are putting out new leaves and will be fine.  I am hoping the same for the two dwarf pussywillows I damaged so badly.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Rain, and Lots of It

Yesterday storms rolled through and brought lots of much needed rain.

It's been too dry: a third of an inch 8 days ago, and a third of an inch three days before that.  The confusing thing is the amount for this storm.

It was lots and lots of rain, but Bradley Airport at Windsor Locks reports only a quarter inch total!  Weather Underground, with a station on Duncaster, reports .88 inches.

My own weather station, newly re-installed, shows 1.56 inches!  A quarter inch or an inch and a half?  Which is it?  I'll split the difference and say we got a full inch of rain and it was needed and it was appreciated.

While the plants benefited from all the water, they did get beaten down in the wind and downpour, and all look saggy and bedraggled.  And there was no bluebird sunny day to follow the front moving through; today is still overcast with a white sky and yellow light.  Sheeesh.  Can't get a good picture.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Got A New Camera

Small and tidy in the hand.  Lots of features and a lot more zoom than my old one (10x, versus 3x).

I'm still struggling with white light and yellow cast to all the wide landscapes, but that is the nature of the light this spring.  No clear blue days!  I do a lot of color editing in iPhoto.  There must be a better way to compensate for the white light (I'm using the "cloudy" and the white balance settings.)

Close up macro shots are good.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Visit to Jane's

Hot and humid now.

Jane reciprocated and Jim and I had a tour of her garden yesterday.  Wild, messy, tumbling down slopes, very exuberant, and filled with surprises (benches, pots, sculptures, tag sale finds) in every corner.

I like her pea gravel area and want to do something similar in the Secret Garden space we have.  I particularly like the larger rocks that make the edges irregular.

And I love the long stone wall above the pea gravel area.

She has so much shade, and lots of hostas and other shade loving plants.  She has a steep slope that is overtaken with weeds and wisteria roots that needs to be hacked back, Round Up controlled, and then planted.

She also has a pond, which is lovely, but seems like a lot of work (the pump is broken, the yellow flag is overtaking it and can't be ripped out easily, etc.)

A very different garden than mine!