Monday, July 16, 2012

Ambivalent Hydrangea, B&A's and The Giveaway

MY HYDRANGEA SEEMS TO have a bit of trouble making up its mind. Perhaps my soil is neutral because the flowers aren't wholly alkaline-pink or acid-blue. But I'm not complaining. 

I took the photo below a few weeks ago. My hardy orchid, growing in a container, is happy to smile for the camera.

Hardy orchid, Bletilla striata in bloom.

Below is a tuft of my wispy Tamarix racemosa in bloom. It's difficult to photograph but it's actually a very soft pink.

This is the third or fourth (?) year for my Abutilon 'Nabob.' I love the deep red color.

Below is a bit of charming (at least to my eyes) garden chaos.

Purple with black-centered, Geranium 'Patricia', soft pink Campanula lactiflora 'Loddon Anna'
and Sidalcea 'Party Girl' 

Below is Centaurea jacea, a wild perennial Bachelor Button. It blooms in July. It doesn't reseed. The bees love it and it's pretty.

I bought another package of Oxalis 'Iron Cross' this spring. The foliage on the left are from last year and the ones on the right are the newbies. You can hardly tell the difference now.

My Joe Pye plants are getting taller by the day. Here is 'Baby Joe', Eupatorium dubium. 

And below is Eupatorium cannabinum. It blooms earlier than E. purpurea or E. dubium or E. maculatum or... 

Finally, I have "After" photos to go with the "Before" photos I took over a month ago. Despite my efforts, I've decided that mine is a garden belonging to an eccentric old woman. Plants leaning on plants, no room for anything. Oh well. At least you can walk down the paths now. 

Before--no definition, just a mass of green with a few roses mixed in. 

Sorry this is crooked. The rose is still here but out of bloom right now. The daylily is almost ready.
In the pot is Hesperaloe that didn't bloom this year. 

Before--the pathway was buried under a layer of leaning plants. On the right is 'Knock Out' rose.

After--voila, a pathway, albeit with weeds popping up and still rather chaotic. 
Before--the same pathway from the opposite end. 
After--although the pink rose in the before photo has finished blooming, pink
'Floral Carpet' Rose is in full bloom. 
Before--the main pathway


My Daphne 'Summer Ice' is really outdoing itself. It has doubled in size since spring
and this second flush of blooms is outstanding. 

A few more happy campers, if I may...

Clematis 'Polish Spirit'

Heart's Tongue Fern

Fuchsia and Lady Fern

The few poppies I have this year are all late in blooming. This is 'Lauren's Grape'
with Verbena rigida behind it. 

Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Ice Star’ 

Purple Clematis 'Polish Spirit' and pink small-flowered Clemmy 'Confetti.' 

Argaranthemum--one of the few annuals I've purchased this year. Love that deep pink color.

Finally, to reward you for your patience, I have a giveaway! Ricki Grady (and publisher) was kind enough to print a portion of my review on the back of her book. Beside my blurb is one written by Loree of Danger Garden fame. If you haven't read this engaging, delightful book yet, leave a comment and I'll choose a winner.  


  1. Your garden is looking so good in your after photos. I've been doing a lot of cutting back lately, and it's looking better. There are still quite a few areas with amorphous green blobs, but I'll get to that eventually.

    I'd love to win a copy of the book. Love the title!

  2. Grece, you did a lot of work in your garden with the paths! Very nice. I loved your clematises, both, blue and pink!

  3. Grace,

    I like a packed garden, mine is also pretty packed. I very rarely see a weed, maybe they are there but I don't see them.

    However, I am learning that if it is packed we have to tidy it up every once in awhile or it crowds out other plants

    That Hydrangea is beautiful, what variety is it?


  4. Grace, I always love seeing your garden, over grown paths and all. Do you have any weeds in your garden other than the path? I also adore Hydrangeas when they bloom both alkalinish and acidish , lol. Drop my name in the watering can for a chance for the book please.

  5. You have been busy! Don't you hate how having a job impacts our garden sometimes? I went and did a lot of trimming in the garden last night, filled up the whole garden recycling bin and no one would even be able to notice.
    Great job! Love all of your plants!

  6. Grace, why shouldn't we be eccentric women? :) So many beautiful blooms. I love the purple poppy, that was gorgeous. I think your gardens are so lovely. Cheers, Jenni

  7. You really have an incredible garden...and you know each plant by their names, so impressive. Also, what an honor to have your review published...xx

  8. love the Oxalis and the ice stars...your garden has the wild look that I love!!! very natural

  9. I love your Hydrangea, Grace! One of our neighbors has managed to get theirs to be a similar deep magenta-purple…and it's just stunning. You know I'm a big fan of Eupatorium…don't you love how the new leaves are tinged purple…and those burgundy stems…awesome! I guess I'm an eccentric old lady too…when it comes to paths and gardens ;-)

  10. We should all be so lucky as to be blessed with your eccentricity. Thanks for doing the BeBop giveaway!

  11. Beautiful garden! As always I LOVE all the pictures! I would love to enter to win the book please.

  12. I seriously love looking at pictures of your yard. The "chaos" reminds me of my own. Less staking when everyone is holding each other up. :)

    What a great title for a book. I'd love to read it.

  13. Your garden is so lovely. My Hydrangea is a sad small thing.

    margueritecore [at] gmail [dot] com

  14. Gracie girl I love your chaotic garden .. not only for the plants , but for what looks to me as such a wonderful private garden where you don't have neighbors breathing down your neck ! That is heavenly to me: )
    We share some of the same plants and I am fascinated by your gorgeous beauties such as the hardy orchid you can keep in your garden .. my poor garden is a mess .. wilting and crying .. and that is just me ! hahaha
    Joy : )

  15. Thank you, I spotted 'party girl', I have them and was wondering what they were.
    Your garden looks wonderfully full , If only I could stop digging things up .

  16. Grace, Both your flowers and your paths are looking good! This post has reminded me that I need to get to work weeding some overgrown paths in my own garden. :-| -Jean

  17. I love how chaotic and exuberant your garden is! It just feels joyful. :o) I even like your before shots.

  18. Wow, it all looks amazing! So peaceful and happy.

  19. Hi Grace, I'm doing just fine :) My cat has figured out how to open up the freezer, but aside from that... I marvel this time of year at your photos and just how Non Crispy all your plants are. No brown leaves, no little singe marks, it all looks so lush!

  20. Before I forget, that is one book I wanted to read so to remember to find it.

    Your garden is so beautiful, we could never have that lushness up here. But I can use your inspiration to make a few changes around here.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  21. Hi Grace,
    I enjoyed seeing all of your lovely blooms, and the before and after photos. I need to make a path in my east front bed. On July Fourth, the kids couldn't walk on the slices from the tree in there like they did last year.

    I love that oxalis. I went to a few garage sales today, looking for more wire hanging baskets to put over plants the rabbits have been eating, and ran into a woman I haven't seen for a long time. She lives nearby, and we walked over to see her little garden, which is mostly potted plants. She has one like yours. I may see if she would like a start of one of mine, and give me a start of this one.

  22. By the way, if your gardens belong to an eccentric old lady, mine must, too.

  23. Goodness Grace your blooms are beautiful, the rain that was so plentiful has really made everything pop. AHEM let us not speak of garden paths uncleared. You did quite a bit of work getting them cleared up, they look fantastic. I lose plants in the chaos and overgrowth, some I miss but usually I forget because of how beautiful it all looks anyways.
    I can see why you bought the Argranthemum, my Grandma always told me I should grow Marguerite daisy.
    Happy to finally have a day to be online and checking out others blogs!
    I mean to read more, maybe this winter!

  24. Looks like PARADISE to me sweet Grace. Good grief, the magic of moisture in a garden. It is dry, dry, dry here and things are having a tough time, but lots of fruit coming on, basil big, herbs happy.




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