Sunday, June 19, 2011

Projects, trips, and a wee bit of gardening

Between finishing up everything that needs to be done to close out the school year, as well as jumping head first into a big ripping-out-the-carpet-and-repainting project, I haven't been around much the last week. I've missed reading all your blogs!! There is still a ton of work to do, so it will be another week before I'm back in the blogosphere. If we do half the work, the contractor only charges us half as much. That's not math I can argue with. Plus, we've scheduled in a trip to Baltimore to see our favorite band, U2. Oh yeah!!!

Thanks for all your wisdom about my dahlias. They are on the mend, despite my having done nothing except get my slugs drunk, and squish some borers. I'm sure those evil stalk borers are in the process of morphing into some other bug with plans of devouring my garden! Grr...!!!

As I write this Baby and Chance have paint in their fur, Scout is staring longingly at my coffee, convinced it tastes like chicken, Genie (the Weenie) is hiding from the paint cans and newly exposed subfloor, and Lucy, the dog in my profile picture, is patrolling the garden for squirrels. What do you get when you combine 5 dogs, 4 people, and 8 yrs of wear and tear with light colored carpet? A hideous mess!!

"I can't believe you said that!! I would never make a mess!" - Scout

Here's a quick peek at the garden before I go:

The swamp milkweed is already about 4 ft tall. That's my reward for finally planting it someplace...swampy. 

I think this little aster is called 'Alert'. It's well named since it started blooming in early June!

The monarda has started blooming. The pink is 'Coral Reef'. The monarda in the lower picture are a hodgepodge of 'Jacob Cline', 'Violet Queen', 'Claire Grace', and 'Raspberry Wine'.  Giant Joe Pye weed grows in the very back.

Happy hostas

Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer'

 'Fragrant Angel' coneflower

 Heliopsis 'Tuscan Sun' and a past-their-prime purple stachys hummelo

White gooseneck loosestrife are beautiful but invasive. But their flowers are so cool I put up with their philandering ways.

 My mystery tomato is thriving! The penstemon in the back pot fell over in a wind storm and are now growing sideways. :o)

 I have no idea what the name of this coneflower is but I love its pinkish-orange petals.

I think it might be from the Big Sky series due to the quilling of its petals before they open.

Mystery coneflower with two types of heliopsis and a pale orange agastache

 We've had tons of rain lately after a hot/dry spell and the Dry Side bed is lush and full.

 Another mystery tomato - a gift from the compost angels.

 'Magnus' coneflowers with liatris, bird seed sunflowers, 'Maraschino' salvia, and verbena bonariensis. The big green patch behind the fence is my trumpet creeper taking over the neighbors yard. They don't seem to mind-yet! 

Southeastern native ruellia hummilis does well in dry shade but is also quite happy in dry sunny spots, too.

Native liatris squarrosa has much bigger, button-like flowers than the more common liatris. The pollinators love it! 
 When its stems start to grow, they curve into serpentine twists before rising vertically towards the sun.

I thought I had planted these 'Rocky Top' coneflowers in a sunny-enough spot, but they seem to feel otherwise. Both the 'Rocky Top' and the salvia 'Maraschino' in the background are leaning towards the agastche. Either a nearby tree is casting too much shadow or the rose campion in the corner is up to no good...  


  1. I love the tomato planted by the compost angels! Too funny. They've been visiting my garden, too. Happy remodeling :-)

  2. I've got multiple compost fairies. Some of them are ogre's however.

  3. Compost tomatoes are the best. Tomato seeds live forever it seems and if you do your own composting inevitably tomato plants will follow. At least that's been my own experience. I like your take on carpeting. We only have one inside cat but I blame our dirty carpet on him all the time. Eventually I would love to have all hardwood floors. Much easier to keep clean.

  4. Czekam, aż pokażesz swoje pomidory. A tojeść tez bardzo lubię, chociaż jest "zaborcza". Pozdrawiam

  5. I am just getting back into the blogosphere myself. I guess summer is the time for big projects! I love all your coneflowers! And, your garden is looking splendid! I had a compost melon last year! I love those kind of surprises!

  6. You mean penstemon is supposed to grow vertically? Thanks for the beautiful dry shade recommendation.

  7. I have compost angels planting tomatoes, avocadoes, potatoes...they are really busy this year. Your garden is beautiful!

  8. Dogs and carpet just don't mix as I have found out recently, too. I just rolled up our area rug and stuck it out in the garage to throw away....yuck! It is a good thing that puppies are so cute.
    We saw U2 in concert a couple of years ago. They are great to see live! Your garden looks wonderful with all the pretty coneflowers, hostas, etc. I must have the 'alert' asters, too. Mine are blooming, as well. :)

  9. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Our older house has wide plank pine floors that the dogs carve it up with their claws. Carpets are not the only victims of canine antics. We love them anyway though, don't we! I hope your painting and carpet replacement project is going well. Your garden is carrying on nicely despite the fact that you are occupied with end of school and home remodel projects.

  10. You have a lot of beautiful summer color! Your Dry Bed looks wonderful.

    You asked about the commuter daylilies ~ those are H. citrina, a tall fragrant species that often opens at dusk.

    Nocturnal moths can pollinate daylilies, and there are insects visiting my daylilies all of the time. In fact I remember thinking the other day as I was taking pictures that there are always bugs on the daylilies. lol

  11. Oh I like that mystery orange coneflower too...very pretty! Aren't those the best garden surprises?


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