red flannel pantry

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Archive for the tag “iris”

blooming and ready to eat

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These lovely Japanese white iris are front and center this week. I like their upright regal posture and elegant delicate blooms.

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Now that the white Festiva Maxima peonies have faded, the pink peonies get their turn in the spotlight. Although they have no fragrance, they are beautiful. Like the Festiva Maxima, they are from divisions taken from the garden at our old house. I don’t know this variety’s name.

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Their frilly blooms seem to float above the foliage.

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This purply-blue salvia is a great dependable perennial. The leaves have a minty aromatic scent, it’s drought tolerant, and butterflies and hummingbirds are fond of it–need I say more? After the first flush of blooms fades, I will cut them back and be rewarded by a second blooming later in the summer.

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I am psyched to see that the white milkweed will be blooming this year!

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Although I am not keen about their lipstick-red color, these knockout roses always make a grand showing.

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The purple flowers are a perennial wild geranium. Their common name is bloody cranesbill (because of the flower’s color and because the seed heads resemble little cranes). In researching this particular variety, I learned that it is called New Hampshire Purple, which makes perfect sense: I was given this plant as a division by my friend, Ken, who is from New Hampshire. I need to find out if he brought the original plant from home. Again, butterflies love it, and if it is cut back, it will rebloom–bonus!

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I picked a load of radishes this morning. My husband brought them to work to share.

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I also harvested the first round of mesclun and lettuce–yum.

Sunday garden stroll

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I am pleased that a couple of recent additions to my garden are happy in their new home. My garden friend, Anne, and I were lamenting the slow disappearance of our coneflowers. I think the voles may have gotten to mine. Anne suggested this replacement, a variety called PowWow Wild Berry. It has a beautiful vibrant pink bloom. It is supposed to grow to be 18 to 24″ tall. It meets my requirements for perennials: it is drought tolerant, attracts butterflies and has an extended blooming season.

This coreopsis (or tickseed), called Mercury Rising, is a fun departure from the usual yellow. Like the coneflower above, it is drought tolerant, blooms all summer and attracts butterflies. I like its thready foliage and red-wine blooms.

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Although the white iris are now fading, others are taking their turn. There’s this lovely two-toned purple . . .

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and this lemony yellow.

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The lemon balm is elbowing neighboring plants out of the way. I need to do some dividing.

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This white variety of milkweed has become well established. It didn’t bloom last year–I am hoping to see it this summer.

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See the tall stalks with the willow-like leaves? That’s pink milkweed. I have some in the back of the bed, but when it sends off seeds, they always seem to take root in the front of the bed–not the best place for this tall lanky flower, but I haven’t the inclination to move it.

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I was about to yank this little stalk out when I realized that it is bloodflower. It must have reseeded from across the garden. It’s a milkweed cousin and attractive to butterflies, so it too will be allowed to stay. Sometimes weeding procrastination pays off!

mid-May garden tour

IMG_1797Rhubarb will be ready to pick very soon. The pink stalks look gorgeous. I can harvest from only one plant because it is 2 years old. The other two were just planted this spring and thus need more time to set roots and get established.

IMG_1798I expect we will be able to pick some baby greens for a salad this weekend.

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The fennel fronds are vigorous and lush. Their licorice scent carries throughout the garden.

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I thinned the dill and potted some up for friends. Any takers?

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Here is why people should think long and hard before planting bamboo. My poor neighbor innocently planted a bamboo division in a bed near our vegetable garden (see it in the background?). And every year it tries to spread, emerging from the grass like something alien. It hasn’t reached the vegetable garden because every year I dig these rogue bits out of our lawn–they are tenacious.

IMG_1804When given a division of something that might be aggressive and invasive, the best home for it is a pot. This chunk of mint has lived in a pot by the back door for a few years now. It winters over nicely (we are planting zone 6). Because it lives a contained existence, it is well mannered and keeps its greedy roots to itself.

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Lantana, specifically the Dallas Red variety, is my all-time favorite annual. (In areas further south, gardeners can grow it as a perennial–lucky ducks.) My friend, Anne, who works in a garden nursery, tipped me off to this plant. I appreciate when she shares her secrets.

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I like to put it in pots near the hummingbird feeders–the red, yellow and orange flowers act as a dinner invitation to both hummingbirds and butterflies. Lantana has a fresh minty scent, tolerates full sun and dry conditions, and flowers spring till frost. It works well with my low-maintenance approach to gardening. This morning I filled a couple of hanging baskets with my last few lantana plants.

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My white iris are at their peak now. They have a beautiful upright posture and lovely yellow throats. In the early evening, they seem to glow.

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