Category Archives: garden

What’s Blooming!

Not too much new going in the garden right now. Things are winding down and it has been so, so dry and hot here! All the rain in other places and we are hot and kind of humid with no rain. It doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon, either.

Volunteer snapdragon:

Those yellow flowers are marigolds that just popped a bunch of blooms with this heat. The annuals are loving this extra sun and warmth. You can see fallen leaves all over, too. Already.

Fair Bianca:

I  missed this bloom forming, so it’s a little old looking.  I hadn’t been looking at the rose bush other than watering it from afar and didn’t notice the blooms forming.

Some of you may remember the long gourd vine I had last year that appeared out of nowhere. I harvested about 8 gourds from it and used them, along with some pumpkins, for fall decor in the garden bed. Squirrels ended up munching on everything. Well, a new vine appeared this summer where those gourds were 😀

It is really short – only 3 feet long or so – and I decided to leave it. It is covering up my one aster plant, however.

The vine started really late, but I see a couple gourds forming. Tiny baby gourds:

I’m pretty sure these won’t get full size before frost, but it’s fun nonetheless.

More annuals out back – my potted morning glories:

These are a beautiful color. I wish I could bring this inside over the winter, but morning glories can be toxic to pets if they eat them, particularly the seeds, and Pixie would at least be eating the leaves.

My Enchanted Evening rose is having its September flush now:

I love this rose. It’s not very tall. Descriptions say it should get 3 to 4 feet tall, but it’s about 2 feet.  It’s disease resistant, hardy and fragrant – all a girl can ask for in a rose!

We have another hot and dry weekend coming up. It will be early riding to beat the heat, that’s for sure.  Have a great weekend!

What’s blooming!

It’s seems a little weird to be posting mundane things and life here in upstate NY is just going along all the while nature is just in upheaval in other places.  Please, please everyone heed warnings for Irma and stay safe! And Jose? You can just pass on by, thank you.

It’s been a fairly dreary week here. I think there has been a bit of rain at least every day and sometimes a lot of rain. We had some city crews working on our street. This year they are revamping all the water mains on our street. It’s been a summer long project and they finally got down to our end. Last spring we had to have the end of the driveway opened up to reach a covered water main to reach the shutoff. Well, now they moved the whole thing. Why they want to move it to where the sidewalk is, I don’t know, but I’m sure there must be some reason.  I got a little panicked when they knocked on the door and told us our driveway would be inaccessible for a couple hours. Then they started sawing into the sidewalk at the end.

I thought they might go into the end of our driveway with that machine, but they worked really skillfully to just lift the one section of walk.

I would almost say it was delicately done, but it’s still big machinery LOL!  After lifting that, they then dug down about 6 feet down.

They really did only take a couple of hours to do this and our driveway is fine. Of course, the hole is filled with dirt and cinder now. I am assuming that they will be redoing everyone’s sidewalks when the project is over. I hope.

On to the blooms. One surprise balloon flower:

More snapdragons:

You can see how all of my pictures have damp in them. They weren’t taken on the same day, either!

This was a surprise gift from a friend earlier this summer:

She said she thought of me immediately when she saw it 😀

It’s mum time right now. I wanted to put mums in my tippy pots this year and lo and behold there was a sale on small mums – 5 for $5!  I only needed 4, but who am I to turn down a flower deal?

I got one different color for the fifth one, rebel that I am.  Here are the tippy pots now:

Those will hopefully fill out nicely in a couple weeks.

It’s been a somewhat cool summer and I don’t think some of my plants are ever going to bloom. I love the old fashioned flowering woodland tobacco. A few years ago I tried growing some from seed and they were such a pain and only one flowered. So, this year I bought some as plants. They look really good, but it just hasn’t been warm enough for them to really grow:

They should have tall flower spikes on them by now. Wahh. If they don’t bloom, I’m tempted to dig them up next month and bring them inside until they do.

The zinnias are really cooking along. The flowers just keep getting bigger and bigger.

You definitely need patience with the zinnias. Remind me of that next year when I complain, okay?

Joe Pye is big and strong:

It’s amazing how this was at the bare ground this spring and now 6 feet tall. Plants are just so cool!

Have a good weekend everyone and stay safe!

What’s Blooming

Does anyone else just feel exhausted and overwhelmed by the world right now? It’s crazy. I feel so fortunate to have our house and my gardens to help. I’ve said in the past that being out working in the gardens is a good thinking time and meditation.

It’s been quite chilly here. Temps hit 40 degrees last night. It’s way too early for that! I think it might be even a little colder than that tonight. We shall see if some of the last annuals that haven’t done anything will be able to if the cold proceeds along this fast (I’m looking at you moonflowers).

My white lilies:

These nod downwards and are hard to get a good picture of unless I want to lay down in the garden bed, which isn’t going to happen. 🙂

More wayward cosmos:

The $1.99 mums from 2 years ago are still going fantastic for whatever reason.

That’s two plants. Just goes to show you never know what will survive and thrive until you try.

Polar bear zinnia:

I have these in the front and back gardens.

Miniature butterfly bush:

I’m thinking of getting one of these in the back if the big Black Knight one doesn’t do better next year.

Here is a little marigold:

These came from my BIL’s nursery. They were done with all the planting and there were annuals left over that were just going to be composted, so I brought some home with me. Some sun ones and some shade ones:


The coleus are by Radiance Falls. I’m making notes to put more of these here next year.  I have a notebook for gardening where I keep receipts, plans, schematics and various notes about ideas. It sounds organized, but you should see the notebook LOL! It’s crammed.

More of my zinnias out back:

I have to remember that zinnias are really late flowers around here – at least when direct sown into the ground.

The hydrangea tree:

I was standing by this yesterday and there were so many bumblebees around it that it sounded like a hive! It was very cool and wonderful to see all the bees.  The flowers are just starting to age pink and look so pretty:

Here is the back edge of our property:

It’s a study in white.

It’s going to be a cool weekend, but Saturday should be dry for riding. Sunday I think we are getting some leftover Harvey rain. It’s amazing how far and long that extends.

What’s Blooming!

I didn’t think there were going to be many pictures this week as the garden is moving towards late summer, but I ended up with a good amount of new things.

The irises that I divided and transplanted last week have started to put on new growth. They all look like this:

It’s almost as if they are giving me the finger because I ripped them out of the ground 😀

New bloom this week is an heirloom lily:

I thought these were going to be taller. They are about 2 feet tall. Maybe they will get tall next year as this is the first flowering year for these from the bulbs I planted last fall.

The passion flower is putting out all kinds of buds now.

The blooms only stay open for one day so you have to catch them fast to take a picture. The flowers look a little different than they did last year. There was more green to them, I think. Still pretty neat, though.

Potted plant in the back:

For the life of me I can’t remember what it is. It’s some sort of annual.

A bit more of the butterfly weed blooming. This sent out a second flush of blooms:

The last few days there has been a zebra swallowtail coming around. He looooves this flower.

We’ve definitely seen more butterflies than last year. Yay!

More zinnias:

Again, an outlier color from the salmon. John mentioned this was pretty much in the middle of the path through the garden. Well, yes it is since I spilled the seed packet when planting. Ooops.

My black knight butterfly bush is still pretty small, but it’s flowering:

I moved it last year and I think it will just take another year for it to be established. I hope.

Lots of Black-eyed Susan:

You know summer is nearing the end when these are blooming around here.

Another sign of approaching fall is the Autumn Joy sedum:

You can just see a hint of color on the bud tips.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago about how the hydrangea tree was looking great and hadn’t flopped over. Well, we had hard rains and there it went:

These blooms are enormous and heavy:

I swear it almost weighs a pound.  That’s why the branches flop since the flowers are already heavy and then when they get water logged, it’s just too much to support.

This bush has responded so well to severe pruning the last 2 years. I’m going to keep doing that in late winter from now on.

We have a beautiful weekend coming up. Those of you in the Gulf area stay safe from Harvey!

What’s Blooming!

Welcome Friday!  This week was iris division and planting week, but first a few blooms.

My beautiful heirloom lily.  When it finally blooms, it has a long bloom time.


There are a bunch that haven’t opened up yet and all were seeded at the same time. Go figure. This one is Giant Salmon Rose. Not really giant, but remembering from last year these could grow a lot later.

Now for some irises. Unlike most planting times of spring or fall, irises get done in mid August or so – about 8 weeks after they have finished blooming.  I had ordered a few rhizomes early in the spring (on sale, of course LOL) and they arrived this week at planting time. How convenient!

I’m trying a reblooming iris for the first time. It’s name is Immortality , which brings of visions of vampires for some reason.  It’s a pure white flower.  That is going in the front bed.

In the back, I am moving one of the irises, Night Ruler (black), because it didn’t bloom this year and the clump isn’t big enough for size to be the reason it didn’t bloom. I think it just didn’t get enough sun.

You can see it leaning into the direction of the sun here and kind of being crowded by surrounding plants.

I know some gardeners like to trim  down the iris fans each season, but IMHO it’s not necessary and stresses out the plant for no reason. However, when digging them up I will cut them so they aren’t trying to pump food into leaves when they need to be putting down roots.

I just put a shovel under the clump and levered up. Then I basically just pulled up the rhizome clump. Unless they are really overgrown, irises come up pretty easily.  The dirt pretty much falls off the root as well. It really is one of the easiest plants to move around.

Two years ago I planted one rhizome – the big middle piece – and now I have three.

Just simply cut or break the rhizome off the mother bulb. You can toss the mother bulb as it will likely never bloom again.

Replanted the three rhizomes in new spots and I put two of the newly arrived rhizomes along with them. I got Edgefield Glow, which is orange, and Wild Irish Rose, which is a rosy orchid color. Should be fun!

In the front, it was certainly time to divide these irises!

These ones are super prolific, much more so than my larger bearded iris.  The batik iris is to the left of the picture and you can see how different it looks. When we moved here 3 years ago, I cut off a hunk of these rhizomes and divided them into 4 plants. Look at them today.

This was from one rhizome! Multiply that by 4.


All nicely planted. It’s a little bare now, but these will start showing growth pretty quickly – I hope.

After replanting what I wanted – I am left with over 40 rhizomes!  40!  That’s after tossing any that had bloomed already.  Message me if you want some. It’s this iris:

Have a great weekend!

What’s Blooming!

Today is snapdragon day. As I said before, I have platoons of snaps this year. So much so that I’m not going to deadhead into the garden this year, but into my compost bucket.  Here are the lovely colors this year:




Multi – hiding under my bird bath:

Hot pink with an interesting single color bloom in it:

Almost red. That one I might collect some seeds from to see if the offspring turn a full red.

The Calycanthus bush:

It’s a nice size bush now. I do have to trim stray canes as they will shoot out really long on occasion. This has been flowering for a couple months now:


This is a short version of a butterfly bush:

It’s a little overwhelmed by the cosmos so I will probably remove most of that since the butterfly bush is the main plant there. Like all the BBs, this one smells like honey.

Some of the zinnias have popped open.

This one is called Giant Salmon Rose. I don’t know what it is about me and zinnias, but they never come out like they are supposed to on the package. This is only about 15 inches high and it’s supposed to be twice that.  I just can’t win.

Potted heliotrope looking pretty:

This is really a keeper. I am going to try to bring it inside and overwinter it. I definitely will get one next year again if it doesn’t make it – and maybe get another anyway if it does!

The wave of Japanese beetles seems to have died down and now my coneflowers are being left alone. This is Milkshake:

The globe thistles keep on going:

So many bees this year – it’s wonderful!

My Joe Pye is just starting to open up and the bees have discovered it:

Our tree hydrangea looks really good this year. I gave it that massive haircut early last spring and last year and this year it has just taken off:

So far there hasn’t been a heavy enough downpour to make the branches bow down like they did last year.  I love the tree form. You can see Joe Pye in the background and how tall it is.

Happy garden this year!

What’s Blooming!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since Sunday. I’ve kind of lost my blogging mojo a bit. Maybe it’s time to start posting food again.

Today is John’s birthday. Lucky John having a birthday on Flower Friday and all that 😀  There will be dinner tonight and then a cake party this weekend.

On to the garden! Lots of snaps:

A new flower opened up. This is an heirloom lily:

It’s actually held up by a shepherd’s crook. It’s about 5 feet tall and quite a statement plant.

I have a couple blackeyed Susan plants, one in the front and one in the back. At our old house, I had planted some and they overran the place! I was hesitant to put in more, but these have been very good.

They go nicely with the hydrangea:

Balloon flowers:

I gave them a good deadheading only I got a little carried away and snipped off a bloom.

I stuck it in the mum cluster 😀

An area that is still struggling a bit is the newest bed we put in last year. I have a several small shrubs growing. Last year I put in foxgloves and they looked good. This year, I got a ton of baby foxgloves, but now they look kind of tired and brown:

Just to show that not all of my gardens are A+  😀   This bed will need a couple of years to get established.

More Cheyenne Spirit!

I’m going to have some baby ones of these to share in the fall, I think.

Hostas blooming in the shade bed. I did not plant these. They came with the house.

Potted plant which I cannot remember the name of now:

Lots of globe thistles going.

If you look close you can see a bee butt in there 😀

Here is a full look at them:

Behind is the Joe Pye Weed. I really like this plant, but it sure is tall.  This is eye level:

The flowers haven’t quite opened up yet, but when they do, they will be covered with bees and butterflies.

Hope you have a great weekend!

What’s Blooming!

It’s hard to believe it’s almost August! Our summer has been pretty decent. Only a few days where it was really hot so far. Now we have temperatures in the 70s.

Moving around from the front of the house to the back – here is the calycanthus:

This has flowers all over it. It’s a nice shrub that blooms on and off for the whole summer.


There were bees on my balloon flowers today:


Happy section of color that I love:

See the green feathery stuff? That’s cosmos that seeded itself from last year. I just let them grow. It’s getting pretty crowded here, though. I need to move my tippy pots somewhere else because you can’t see them!

Hydrangea blooming:

This hydrangea has a really interesting habit. It’s not bushy like most hydrangeas and has an open and airy appearance. I don’t think I knew that when I got it – or it could be that is just how it is responding to where I put it.

To the shade bed we go. Here is progress on the tipped pot.

I have to say I don’t care for these as much as the impatiens for this. I don’t think they are going to get much fuller.

Baby Heuchera:

These sure are taking a long time to get established. I can’t even remember now how big these are going to get. 😀

Potted heliotrope:

This is quite a large plant. I’m glad I put it in a deep pot. It smells sooooo good!

There has been a lot of critter activity in the back bed.  These are milkshake coneflowers:

They are getting a little chewed up and I think it’s Japanese beetles doing the damage. It’s been so humid and moist outside that the mosquitoes are absolutely terrible. I even used OFF and they were still biting me! So, I don’t spend quite as much time out there to see what’s doing the eating.

I was so excited to get a Baby Joe pyeweed plant last year. The regular Joe is over 6 feet tall. The marker card for the baby Joe says 24-36 inches. Hmmmm…..

That’s a shorter branch, too. It’s over 5 feet tall. Guess it didn’t get the memo. Last year it was 3 feet tall. Must like this spot or something.

Bee balm:

Globe thistle:

That is quite tall as well, 4-5 feet. On the left you can just see the red stone path. On the other side of that we used to have a fence. I was planting for height with these, but now without the fence, they are a bit too tall to have here. However, globe thistles do not like to be moved as they have a tap root. Not quite sure what I’m going to do about that.

These go well with coneflowers, I think.

More bees! Lots of bees on these. There is a hummingbird that comes around these, the bee balm and the coneflowers usually around lunch time. I need to get my telephoto lens out and see if I can get some pictures.

It’s so good to see the bees. They have been absent for a lot of the summer. This is why I plant what I plant. Pollinator friendly.

What’s Blooming!

Happy Friday!  Lots of stuff to report on this week. We were gone for 5 days and when we pulled into the driveway Tuesday night, I was surprised at how much the garden “plumped” up while we were away. It’s been a somewhat wet summer and that really is making things go crazy. Including weeds.

I had overwintered my passion flower indoors and brought it back outside earlier in the summer. It doesn’t seem quite as nice as last year and the blooms are different colored this year:

There was a white ring in the flowers last year. This is the only bloom on the plant so far.

Balloon flowers needing deadheading:

I should have taken a picture after I cleaned them up because they look nice LOL. The white ones are finally showing up:

In thinking about it, I think I have been calling them white even though they really are pink.

I don’t know if these are spreading or just getting bigger. There were originally 3 plants for all that growth above.

I love letting self-seeding plants grow and will then move them somewhere else. I was taking care of what I thought was a cardinal flower, but it’s this:

Not cardinal flower. I don’t know what it is and  just pulled it up. Sometimes I end up cultivating weeds 😀

Here is one of my shrubs that is in year three and leaping:

It’s a hydrangea called strawberry sundae or shortcake. Something like that anyway. The flowers are supposed to turn pink as they mature.

I have another hydrangea that is in its second year. It was a tiny little stem last year and I was pretty surprised to see some blooms on it this year:

It’s called Annabelle. This is about 4 times the size it was last year at this time. It will end up around 5 feet tall when it is fully grown. The flowers are huge and it has sturdy stems so they aren’t supposed to flop over in the rain. We’ll see.

Liatris plus garden ornament:

In front of the liatris are the agastache, which filled out a lot in the last week:

That black thing is a solar spot light. It works great, I have to say. It will pretty much last to dawn if it gets good sun.

On the other side of that light are my mini penstemon:


And of course another shot of the happy Cheyenne Spirit!

There are daylilies all over the place on the sides and back of the house:

One little foxglove sent out some flowers:

The Lysmichia are still standing at attention:

The bee balm popped open while we were gone:

This plant is a good 4+ feet tall. I saw a hummingbird flitting around it the last couple of days, too. Yay!!

Unfortunately, it is getting some powdery mildew on it. I started a daily organic neem oil spray on this and my peonies and hopefully that will stop it from spreading.

It’s like a mop head. Then the flowers will start to lose the petals in the middle and look like a monk 😀

If you crush the leaves of this plant, it smells like oregano.

Still more flowers to come that are getting ready to open!

This weekend we should be getting in a cupcake ride. Finally, jeez! Hope you all have a great weekend!

What’s Blooming!

Friday Fun Day!  Lot s of blooms today.

I try to carefully plan to make sure that I have at least some sort of blooms all of the time. One way I do this is to go to Bluestone Perennials website – or pretty much any online flower seller – and narrow the selection down to plants that fit in my zone. Then I choose the bloom time I want to fill and choose plants I like that fit the conditions I have. Sometimes that is tough, particularly in dry shade.

That works pretty well most of the time, although plants don’t always cooperate with what they are supposed to do. Even though I’m in Zone 5, it is on the colder end, so things tend to bloom a bit later than they might lower in the same zone.  Of course, you can always fill in with annuals, which bloom all summer long.

Here is my agastache, which I’m likely to start treating as an annual.

I haven’t ever seen hummingbirds in my front yard, only the back, but the bees like this one, too.

Supreme Cantaloupe is getting its ruffed center:

My balloon flowers are cooking along:

These bloom for a long time. The white ones still aren’t open yet. Slowpokes.

There is one Black-eyed Susan sitting behind these balloon flowers:

This one doesn’t seem to self seed as much as ones I have had in the past, which is actually good. Different variety, different results.

I am so loving the Cheyenne Spirit coneflowers:

This is a cluster of 3 plants. They just seem so happy and cheerful. Makes me smile when I go out the front door.

Fair Bianca is just about done with its first flush of blooms:

It’s like Cerberus only nicer. 🙂

This will send out a few more smaller flushes of blooms through fall. I love the reblooming roses.

In the back the gooseneck loosestrife are going gangbusters. They can be kind of invasive and spread pretty rapidly, which I agree with since I moved about 5 plants over here last year:

There are more on each side, too. Don’t you love how their heads all point in the same direction? Like little soldiers.

I might move some of these over to my shade bed and see what happens. It’s good ground cover at any rate.

And lastly, the drumstick Allium fully bloomed:

They are all drooped over because of some heavy rain overnight. They’ll perk up. These are maybe about 2-1/2 to 3 feet tall and sway in the wind like little pompoms. Very cute. I’m going to divide this clump in the fall and plant them all around.

Hope you enjoyed!