Thursday, July 07, 2016

Summer Flowers

Busy busy bees, that's what we are. Flowers are blooming, and one must indulge in appreciating what they bring to a summer garden. Many of these flowers were already on the property, but moved, divided and otherwise mistreated. They handled it well, though, as they are currently blooming away. The sunflowers, I must add, were planted by the birds. I have edited them down to only 50 or so - there would be a few hundred if the birds had their way. Some of these are fillers as the shrubs and larger perennials fill out, but for now we are enjoying what they bring to the property, i.e., a bit of color and life.


 Aaah, the sunflowers. Surprisingly, there are many different varieties, I know not what they are. The only seeds I ever feed the birds are black-oil sunflowers, so perhaps there are a few sources of seed used. Some are multi-branched, most are single stem with one extra-large bloom. All are yellow but many have different petal- and leaf-shapes. Interesting, to say the least.


This is a bit of a surprise. I purchased Oenothera 'Sunset Boulevard' for David last year (he loves evening primroses and the color orange, so what's not to love?) and it died. In a small pot where another plant had been and died, a few sprouts showed up. I let them grow, ever curious about seedlings and what they will turn into. Three of them were planted out in the gravel garden. Lo and behold, it's David's primrose.


Coreopsis 'Moonbeam', a perennial favorite. I could have a whole meadow of these with their clear pale yellow blooms atop a thin wiry stem. These came from the old garden.


 Two more from the old garden, Pelargonium sidoides with Euphorbia rigida on the left. In the middle, annual chocolate cosmos. I like the way this corner of the gravel garden is coming together. 


 Blooms of the Pelargonium. I love this plant so much, it's totally hardy for me with excellent drainage. Alison of the blog Bonnie Lassie gifted me several starts at our most recent blogger's plant swap. I'm a happy gardener.



Chocolate cosmos, always welcome.


I have not had much luck with Eremurus or foxtail lilies, but one finally bloomed for me. I received a couple as a gift from my friend Anna of the blog Flutter and Hum plus I purchased several this spring. A few came up, this is the only one that formed a flower, so I have no idea which one it is. Fellow gardeners are the best people, don't you agree? So many plants generously given away among like-minded plant nuts. I should do a blog post exclusively on plants gifted to me from other gardeners. It would be a long post.


Scabiosa, a throw-away last fall at the nursery. I rescued three and they are thriving.


A lovely native, Eriophyllum lanatum or Oregon sunshine. This was purchased at Joy Creek in a four-inch pot and look at it now. It rarely gets water and is in a lot of sand. Happy happy joy sunshine.

Helenium 'Mardi Gras', came with me from the old garden.


As did the Asclepias tuberosa. I am quite pleasantly surprised it survived being dug up, sitting out in freezing temperatures for a long time and finally planted this spring. Plants are amazing. The bees especially love this one.



Rudbeckia from the old garden. I think this is 'Cherokee Sunset'. 


 Liatris everywhere on the property. I wrangled them all up and have a "Liatrus field" in the labyrinth garden. I do love the electric purple blooms and they do lend a "prairie" sort of aesthetic to the place. These guys I will keep.



Another project in process. Although not completed, I MUST share this one as it feels as if cool water has finally, after 6 months of looking at a pink deck, extinguished hot dusty flames of irritation.

This brings me joy. The railing at least has been painted. I want to see the garden and the plants, not pink. When you're driving up to the house, the pink is what you first noticed. Not any longer. We'll paint the whole thing, add horizontal, stainless steel cabling across the front and add some stairs to the split-level deck area above. Hooray!


Doesn't the sunflower seem happier?




A lot more to paint but it's a start. Here you can see the split level of the deck with a small set of stairs in the center. Quite dangerous as you could easily step off with no step beneath you. We'll extend that stair across the lower deck.




Another "not quite complete" project that will take some time. I have begun adding the small basalt rock retaining wall behind our fire pit.


Difficult to see in gray and brown. But it is there and makes me happy.

 The paths are beginning to be defined, the fire pit is well on its way and the rock wall will take a few more sessions to complete. But, as so many of you have often told me, I'm taking my time. There is no rush, right? I do what I can a little at a time and having a full-time, farm-helper husband makes life oh-so-sweet.

That's it for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you for reading and commenting and happy gardening!

27 comments :

  1. It's clear that you're deer free now. :)

    Coming along so nicely!

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    1. Yes we are deer free, but strangely the other day, a doe and two fawns were on the other side of the fence as they often are. But no -- one of the fawns was on OUR side of the fence. What the corn? We could not figure out how she did it. We managed to gently wrangle her through the gate to reunite with mom and brother. Any ideas? The fence was not damaged nor breached - and we walked the perimeter to see if there was a hole below - nada. Nothing. So odd. A colleague suggested she got through the netting but it's not that large, we don't see how she could have squeezed through. Anyhow, all is well but we have no experience with deer - any ideas are welcome. Obviously we don't want this happening again, especially if we aren't home and the poor fawn panics and can't find her way out again.

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  2. It was nice visiting you and Ricki the other day ! I've planted my 'Oregon sunshine' .

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    1. You too! Thank you for the yummy plums! So glad you got the Oregon sunshine, it's a great one for hot dry locations. You'll have to keep us posted on its growth.

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  3. I can't believe how much you have managed to accomplish in such a relatively short time--it looks fantastic.And what a difference the pink-railing eradication makes !

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    1. I think we're obsessed! Thank you for your sweet words! Oh, that pink deck was a thorn in my side and now I feel so much happier looking at it. Hooray for paint!

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  4. Wow, those bird-planted sunflowers are something! My stingy resident birds planted all of 3 on our property and none reached a height above a foot. (Although the gardener-planted seeds in my raised beds didn't get much taller so perhaps I shouldn't be criticizing.) Your garden looks more fabulous with each post.

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    1. Only 3? They aren't doing their job :)...hee hee. Thanks for the kind words, Kris. We're coming along! It's getting kind of exciting now that there is a kind of lay of the land.

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  5. Hallelujah sister! Good bye to that obnoxious pink! Having that eyesore gone makes all of your hard work look so much more polished and pulled together, nice job!

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    1. Woot woot! I KNOW, isn't it sooo much better? Now, should we paint the wooden support posts too? I think yes, probably. The area below the deck will all fill in with my three Ceanothus 'Italian Skies' from Xera Plants very soon (yay) but even still, do you think it needs painted posts, too?

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  6. Early days but looking great already, especially with all those cheerful blooms!

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    1. Yay! Blooms always make me happy. This year there are a lot of "prairie" kinds of flowers blooming which seems appropriate for this part of Oregon. As the evergreen shrubs fill in, the flowers will have to pull their weight. They are doing a fine job indeed :)

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  7. Painting that rail really makes a huge difference. Like it!! You guys have done so much, it looks wonderful.

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    1. I'm glad you think so! When I explained we wanted to paint it charcoal gray I got a lot of odd looks from people. I have a vision. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  8. oooh it's really coming together! I can't belieeeeve how fast it's transforming!

    I need that Asclepias tuberosa thing...

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    1. Yes you do need that Asclepias thing....great for the butterflies!

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  9. So glad to hear you took some of those Pelargonium starts at the swap. I started so many this past winter and had no idea what to do with them. It's a compulsion never to throw away anything that might thrive. It's such a cool interesting plant with cute flowers and those fuzzy leaves. I love the sunflowers! I've been wanting to add sunflowers to my front beds for a couple of years, but I never seem to get around to it.

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    1. I loves me some Pelargonium -this one, at any rate. I am with you to not throw anything out - my neighbors and colleagues are saturated with extra plants. The sunflowers, as mentioned, just appeared. Very curious, I've never had such healthy and strong sunflowers before.

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  10. Here I go, stealing one of your ideas again. Richard is planning on painting our deck this summer and that is just the color I've had in mind. I think this post is all I will need to convince him.

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    1. Aaah, well - we love the color. It brings me joy to have it be a dark neutral to go with much of our outdoor furniture and accessories. It's a Clark and Kensington color from Ace Hardware, I'll give you the name when I find it!

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  11. Just look at your beautiful new home and garden! Not wasting any time, are you? Somebody had to pull the trigger on that pink deck - what a difference. And I humbly submit an answer to your question to Loree -- I say paint the posts too.

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    1. Not wasting time....it's odd, as if I am on some kind of schedule to get the basics done. I feel as if an outside force is telling me to do so and I am just going with the flow. Yes, thanks for the input on the posts, we're off to get more paint to do just that! We agree. David said it looks like bad teeth from a distance.

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  12. What, you didn't paint the railing electric orange? Hmmm. Seriously though, it looks so much better now! You've made so much great progress since we were all there for the swap! I'm in awe of both your gorgeous space and your diligent work. Your garden's sunflower summers will be fond memories of your early days in your space. XO

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    1. Ha ha...good one, Peter. Orange! Could you imagine? You are very kind, my friend - and you're right, the summer flowers will be a lovely memory.

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  13. Thank you for sharing your gardens and emerging new home - a lovely, interesting story!

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  14. This is really great and beautiful. I can say only Wow!! amazing. Thanks for this.

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  15. I am the kind of gardener who wants the house etc. to fade so the garden shines. Thus I applaude your new paint job. We would not have bought our house if we could not have changed its paint color.

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