Category Archives: what’s blooming

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!

What’s Blooming!

Welcome Friday! This was a weird week. It was like we had two Mondays (I worked Monday) and now I don’t even know what day it feels like today. 😀

Lots of stuff going on in the gardens right now. This is Liatris.

Also called Gayfeather. It comes in white and purple. This purple one is named Kobold, which always reminds me of my old Dungeons & Dragons days many eons ago. Not that I want to show my age or anything…

Balloon flowers:

It does look like a hot air balloon festival, doesn’t it? I have one white and two blues. The white one isn’t even close to blooming yet and it’s right next to these two. Go figure.


Open – same flower the next morning:

They are just so much fun!

This is Supreme Cantaloupe coneflower:

It’s not quite as robust as last year. I moved it last fall and I’m not sure it was really happy about that. Hopefully it adapts better.

The Cheyenne Spirit coneflowers are going gangbusters:

I love all the different colors from the same plant. These are putting out a ton of baby plants, too. I’m going to let some grow and see if they look like the parent plant or not. Many times seedlings don’t look like the parent, so it could be interesting.

Speaking of seedlings, I had a Jacob’s ladder plant last year and it didn’t survive the winter. However, I notice that I have probably 6 baby plants!

I’m hoping that since these self-seeded they will have a better chance at making it through the winter.

I picked up some more Astilbe to fill in the shade bed:

Here are some that I planted a couple years ago:

For some reason, they aren’t very bushy. They grow very low to the ground and send up a couple of flower spikes.

Another view of my shade  bed:

This is a fun surprise plant:

In the summer of 2015, I bought some lily bulbs from a big box store. They were supposed to bloom that summer. Well, nothing came up at all, so I planted around them with other stuff. In fact, I kind of forgot where they were. Well, 2 years later and now they came up and bloomed. Right by my Baptisia and irises. 😀

Here are the tall old-fashioned daylilies:

Just to the left where the red flowers are is my neighbor’s yard. Our garden borders define the property since the fence came down.

For the pollinators, Butterfly weed:

Here is Audrey all grown up:

Doesn’t quite look so monstrous now. Interesting shape, too. That’s a Shasta daisy.

Closeup of a normal bloom:

This drumstick Allium isn’t quite blooming, but I thought it looked really cool like this:

Garden is in full swing here at Radiance Manor!

Here’s hoping for a good cupcake ride this weekend. The weather should cooperate, hopefully!

What’s Blooming!

Happy What’s Blooming Day everyone!  I have some before and after shots I’ll post at the end, but first the new stuff.

Petunias in the tippy pots:

I really love the color of these. I took this picture near dusk, which really accentuates the color of them.

Snapdragons a poppin’:

Again, those are all babies from what I planted in 2015. I’m actually going to have to thin some.  Maybe I will try transplanting them. I don’t know how well they take to transplanting. I guess I have enough to give it a try 😀

My agastache are blooming:

These were ones I bought in the spring. I don’t know why I have such bad luck with these. They are supposed to be perennials through zone 5, so they should live, but I’ve tried twice now and they won’t over winter. I’m just going to have to treat them as annuals. I do love them.

Another allium:

I can’t remember the name of this one and I’m too lazy to look in my garden folder to see what it is. It’s about 6 inches tall. I planted about 10 of these, but only 2 bloomed. They were itty bitty bulbs, too.

The Star of Persia allium:

The dried heads look like 4th of July sparklers, don’t they?

My shade bed is plunking along slowly. I bought some $2 clearance astilbe last year and they look pretty good now:


I have some other astilbe as well. I don’t seem to have the luck with them that I had at our old house, where they put on quite a show. I’ll give all of them more time. Patience is hard…

My spilled bucket plants:

I hope these fill in more. Last year I did impatiens, but I wanted to try something different. These won’t flower. They are just foliage annuals, which again I can’t remember the name of. What kind of gardener am I?

I’m pleased that my baby Joe pye weed is coming on strong:

It woke really late and I actually thought it might have died, but it is pretty happy now. It’s almost 4 feet tall and it shouldn’t get much taller like the wild Joe pye does.

Remember Audrey from last week? She has bigger teeth:

I’m just so amused by this bud. Doesn’t take much, really.

Now for some before and afters of the front beds. This was taken in the summer of 2014 when we got the house:

Can you say overgrown? I can and remember digging all that out (John, too).  We kept nothing from that bed. This is that section now:

Just a little different. I would say in 2 years this will be nice and mature.

This is the other side:

We didn’t do anything with this until last year, so it is pretty bare now, but certainly a lot cleaner looking!

We kept one rhododendron out of all of that. Then put in the path. This side will take another 3 or 4 years to really be mature, but it’s coming along very well.

The house went from abandoned to loved — and loved very much!

What’s Blooming!

Yay Friday. It’s been a tiring week. Shortly after posting this, we will be walking downtown for our Friday night beer, which is most needed.

With all the rain that has been coming, green abounds. This is more of the Fair Bianca:

I caught those blooms a little late. There are plenty more buds, though.

New hardscape:

The house across the street from my parents put two of these planters out at their curb. I asked my folks to fetch them and they would be my birthday present 😀  Turns out these are dang heavy! I think they have to weigh about 50# each. One had some pieces crack off during transfer, but I used epoxy to put them back. I’m not quite sure where these are going to go, but hey – free!

My multicolored snapdragons:

The colors are different every year. This is my favorite one so far:

The front bed is a sweet spot for the snaps. I’ve never had so many babies!

I’m still enjoying the allium:

That was the purple sensation. Allium are such great plants. They come in a huge variety. Here is another allium, the little blue flower:

They are tall with small flowers at the top. This picture has a lot going on it, too. There are coneflowers, a butterfly bush (mini) and some self-seeding cosmos. I’m not sure if I will keep the cosmos there or not. I might move them somewhere else.

Then there is the star of Persia allium:

It’s definitely my favorite and the flowers are huge! They grow about 2 feet tall. I have these in several spots in the front and the back.

When I was working on a project for making some light posts, I had extra cement and pulled out an old stepping stone mold I have for the extra mix. It came out really nice:

It’s a big stone. I have another mold and I might make some more stones at some point. I forgot how pretty they were. Tack that onto the never ending project list, I guess.

This is a weed:

I just took a picture because the flowers are pretty. 😀

In the back, I’ve got several potted plants. This one is million bells:

This is an annual and will bloom all summer long.

This picture I took because it looked so funny to me:

Little Shop of Horrors anyone? Grrrrr…… LOL  This is my shasta daisy. It looks prettier when the buds are all the way open 😀

My oldest plant, which I refer to as my old friend:

Somewhere around 15 years old. It has this one tall stalk on it and the rest of the flower buds are lower down. Razzmatazz coneflower.

White swan coneflower:

More white in my shade bed with astilbe:

And lastly a foliage shot. Heuchera Spellbound:

Such great foliage plants. They do bloom, although this one may not be old enough to bloom yet. We’ll see.

Now it’s off for a beer! Have a great weekend!

What’s Blooming!

Welcome to the lush green that is the Northeast right now with all the wet weather! Lots of plants are very happy with all the rain.

Some plants got a little battered, like my peonies:

You can see the cage peeking through the plant. The whole thing would have flopped to the ground if I didn’t have the cage in there.

Foxgloves. Candy Mountain

The snapdragons are proliferating like crazy. I’ve said in the past that I buy snapdragons once and then I have them forever because I deadhead them right into the garden. I will toss some seed heads all around, too.

These are all from the plants I bought back in 2015.

I may actually have to thin some out. They are one of my favorite flowers.

This is the Calycanthus bush, Aphrodite:

When you get a baby plant, the saying is the first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap. Here was 2015 when this was just a baby plant:

Look how dark all that mulch is, too.  The Caly will grow all summer and I will be pruning it more than I did last year to keep it under control.  The blooms are fragrant and kind of smell like apples.

The roses are all starting to show off now.  I have 2 David Austin roses. One is Othello, which I bought last year. The blooms are very short lived. Here is a bloom open:

Two days later:

They still look pretty, though.

Also Fair Bianca, my white beauty:

I *love* this rose. It has 2 dozen buds on it right now, so you will see a lot more of it.

This is my climbing rose, Zephirine drouhin:

There is another one on the other side and they really aren’t climbing all that much. Maybe this year they will grow more? They are supposed to tolerate some shade, but this spot might have a bit too much maybe.

The Othello lives in the bed we created last year, which is starting to fill in pretty well.

In the back is the other section that has been tough to grow stuff. It’s dry shade with morning sun. I have a baby hydrangea back there and 2 Diervilla, which are native plants that are supposed to tolerate that condition. I just put those in this spring and they haven’t died yet LOL!

The tall white flower is Campanula alba. It has a low mounding habit, but sends up tall flower spikes.

This is one that I brought from our old house and for 2 years it did nothing but sit there and this year went crazy.

In the back bed is the rose that makes me break out in song – Enchanted Evening:

The color is just fabulous on this one.

Here is a long shot of the back bed, which was an overgrown nightmare when we moved in. I’ll have to find pictures of that.

It’s actually beginning to fill in quite nicely. Now it gets even more sun since the fence was taken down. I wish this were closer to the house, but it gives me an excuse to walk out back every day.


It keeps getting more blooms – yay!

I do have some potted plants on the patio and this year I got something different. This is heliotrope:

It’s gorgeous and smells like vanilla.

One last survivor. Remember how I thought my 100-pound rose was dead? Check it out!

It didn’t even send a sprout up until a couple weeks ago. You can see all that woody dead cane at the bottom. I had plans to dig it up and then I hurt my shoulder. That weekend I asked John to dig it up for me. He put the shovel in the ground and started lifting when I noticed a baby sprout on it! So, we pushed it back into the ground and now here it is. Better late than never!