Monday, May 30, 2016

Bloom Update

A number of somewhat sizeable projects in the garden are keeping me really busy lately. I'll reveal those as I complete each one, but I wanted to share a few photos of what's happening in the garden right now.

First is the surprise of my Clematis 'Avant Garde', which grows 9-10 feet tall. It has small reddish-pink flowers with a burst of white anthers in the center. I was interested in this Clematis when I lived in Orlando, but I didn't want to risk killing it in the Florida heat. So when Brushwood Nursery sent me an email announcing a sale just one month before we moved to Georgia, I considered it a sign that this plant should end up in my new garden. When it arrived, I planted it promptly, and then I waited until the next season to see those precious little flowers. Well, precious and little described the flowers exactly. They were tiny and bore no resemblance to what I had seen in photos. I intended to take a photo and send it to the folks at Brushwood to ask if they knew what it actually was, but I got busy, as I so often do, and I forgot about it.

Last week, I walked past the trellis that 'Avant Garde' (or "whatever it is," as I had begun calling it) and found that it had transformed itself into the very Clematis whose photos had first captured my attention. I don't know what caused the insignificant flowers the year before, but I'm so thrilled with the change.

Here she is, blooming like mad

The flowers are no more than 2" across

In the beds surrounding the front porch, many plants are beginning to put on buds, but a few are already beginning to flower. One is my beautiful red lily, which is putting on double the buds it did last year. 

What a stunner

This morning, as soon as I woke up, I went outside to check on the lily and one of my David Austin roses, a climber called 'Graham Thomas'. He has had buds on for about a week now, so I've been monitoring their progress rather closely. Two of the buds had started to open this morning. Those are some gorgeous flowers.

He has a lovely, musky scent

I haven't yet built the trellis for Graham and the Clematis 'Rebecca' that is growing with him, so Graham has been lolling all over the place. The trellis is on my list of projects to complete this week, but I sort of enjoyed seeing the rich yellow roses peeking from behind the lily. 

'Graham Thomas' is vying for attention

I have a feeling that it's going to be an amazing summer in the garden.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Difference a Year Makes

Some of you may recall that when we first moved into this house, I discovered that the previous owners had left a shocking amount of garden ornamentation behind, both large and small. Some of it was nothing more than detritus. Other items were simply not my taste or needed a facelift in order to suit it. The trough water feature, however, was one of those items I was determined to get rid of until I realized how difficult an undertaking that would be. So I decided I would have to make friends with it.

There sat the eyesore in the middle of the yard

In the depths of winter, I began drawing out plans for situating the trough a little better in the landscape. 

Drawing up plans

Last spring, as our landscapers were waiting for a delivery of gravel to repair our driveway, they decided to make use of their time by removing all of the sod (well, mostly weeds) to create a planting bed that matched my drawing. Then I set about painting the pump, trying to clear up the water, and staining the hideous grey exterior of the trough.

As I began planting in this bed, I worried that it would take forever to fill it in and make it look nice. The plants were so tiny in the massive bed.

Here's what it looked like exactly one year ago

It's pretty remarkable to compare last year's photo with this years. It's the main reason I spend so much time photographing the garden--I clearly have an inability to grasp the incredible changes taking place in my own garden without visual evidence. And the evidence is staggering, I think.

So what does it look like today?

Things are filling in nicely

When I go outside these days, I think about how packed this space will be in another year or so. In the meantime, watching the garden mature is a daily thrill.

The trough is growing on me

In fact, now it looks like it was a deliberate addition
on my part