Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chasing the sun.....

With all the rain we had recently everything it's very moist outside.  The mornings are foggy and this morning I decided to follow the sun as it rose over the backyard.
I was up early and talked myself into dashing outside to grab pictures as the sun was rising through the trees...the early morning fog was still present and made for some good shots...
This is our wind chime stand we created this summer.
We re-used some old posts we saved and painted them black so they would blend with the wind chimes.
Spiders never rest...I think I came in with a cob web or two that caught my hair as I wandered around!
The sun casts a nice glow on the leaves...
The lacy leaves of the Japanese Maple highlighted by the sun...
Early morning sun the Hostas don't mind....
The sun shifts away as the angle changes...
But a few rays are left...
Sometime later the sun shown over here....
It changes quickly! The fog has burned off....
I went back inside and realized the sun was dancing inside my home too! I only had moments to get this was gone in 30 seconds!
Back out to catch the few rays still beaming through... smells so good outside...I wish it was like this year round!

Join me and others for 
Rose Vignette's Fresh Cut Friday
and Fishtail Cottage for
Cottage Garden party #15
and Bernideen's Tea Time
Open House Party

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Midsummer highlights.....

Greetings from "soggy" Michigan! Yep we're finally getting some much needed rain and I'm glad to see it! It rained all morning and I decided to jump out and snap some pictures!
 Our grass and plants have needed a lot of babying to keep up with the heat we've had.  I know some have had it worse but once you are in the 90's and higher it's tough to keep up with everything!
 Last year I planted an Annabelle Hydrangea
and the new Boxwoods that you see here.
I also planted Alyssum along the edge and to my delight it came back this year.  I'm always tickled to see an annual come's a nice freebie!
The Annabelle Hydrangeas tend to flop over badly so I put some supports in there.  They say you can cut them right down each fall and the next year they will come back just fine and it should encourage even more sturdy stems!
Standing next to the Annabelle I took a shot of the patio from an angel I don't normally choose. We have a fire pit in the middle where the chairs are.
 Around the corner on the path to the patio is this little statue.  She's one of those Cicely Mary Barker pieces that popped up all over.  I really want one twice as large but the price tag is pretty high.  Maybe a Christmas note will be made for it! You can see my Astilbe popping through too!
I love the flowers from my hostas.  Some of them are exceptional and the hummingbirds love them too!
The Coleus in these pots took their time to fill out but they are finally looking good!  I kept pinching them to help them spread.
 In this little triangular shaped garden area near the statue is my Pee Gee Hydrangea tree.  I only had 5 small blooms on it last year and I am delighted to see it full of blooms that should be flowering soon!  It has some yellowing leaves with brown edges which I blame on watering issues.
Taking a look at my Hosta hill my Japanese Variegated Sedge grass has filled out nicely.  I decided to split up some plants and spread them across the border a few years ago.  It did not like being split and took a long time to amount to anything.  One thing for sure is it likes to be kept wet!  Not a great plant if you tend to let things dry out and not water a lot.
I could see from my kitchen window these tall hosta flower stalks which I thought seemed to be framing my fairy Iris.
The Impatiens plants really have filled in nicely.  I chose these because I wanted something hot and colorful that really feels like summer!

I put Caladiums, Begonias and Euphorbia-Diamond Frost in these cement planters.  
 Standing behind the fountain area.

These obelisk type statues were found at a garden/decorating store and I managed to get them for 75% off a couple of years ago.  They look heavy but are a blended fiberglass, stone product that come pre-aged!  I got two of them and often debate with myself whether they belong where I have them or not.
Back up by the deck I put these adorable Toto Rudbeckia in.  They will only be about 12" tall. 
 Just above them is my hanging coco basket with some hot red supertunias.
I put a mix of plants in it.  I try to find things that butterflies and hummingbirds are drawn to!
In front of the garage are the large planters we painted this spring.  The Sweet Potato Vines are going crazy now and the Red Supertunias are filling in and around!
By the driveway I planted some Red Canna Lilies.  I still haven't seen a flower on them but I'm hoping for some soon!  These are taking too long and I'm not sure if I'll bother with them again!
I planted some Crocosmia-Lucifer near the lilies that I moved over to the driveway area.  They have such a great flower- so tropical looking!
 Turning towards my front yard on the island is my first Limelight Hydrangea that has just begun blooming!
There are some lime Spireas planted at the base on this side. I had to give them a good trim because they got really large!
 Sometimes a picture standing back is better than one up close!
 A new Cone Flower in a reddish pink...very fragrant from the "Big Sky" series.  I just planted them so next year and the one after I look forward to a larger clump of them!  My Shasta Daisies are hanging in there too- I see I should have deadheaded a few!
 Some new Bee Balm next to the Rudbeckia. 
These cone flowers were planted last year and they've doubled up in size already. The Delphiniums are going to bloom again!  YAY!
I've been adding more perennials this year.  It's always fun the next year to see how they come up and look more natural in the setting!
  I almost forgot about these "Sunday Gloves" Day Lilies....they have a lovely fragrance to them. I love their color and size...great plant!

 So that's a wrap of my midsummer highlights! 
Thanks for visiting!

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Back in the swing of things...

I've been busy for a bit getting ready for company.
Last time I posted it was before the 4th of July.
 Independence Day was kind of quiet around here but I did manage to decorate my pots with the flag.  

I found a new web site called that you can play around with your pictures to enhance them, put words on them, crop them etc.  I used it to create a soft frame around my pot and added the words.

Last week before we took off for our first days adventure with our guests I took a few quick shots of the garden near the fountain.

The impatiens have finally filled in and created the border I wanted to see!

The moss is also filling in quite a bit. It's been 3 years since we added this section to the patio and the moss just takes off on it's own.  

I'm grateful for the shade we have in this yard.  The temps are in the 90's right now and it's a spot you can go for some relief.

We took a trip to Mackinac Island and
This place caught my eye! Isn't it cute and what a 
great garden!

Don't you love it!

The Lilac Tree Hotel boasts purple everywhere!
Even the hanging flower baskets are purple!

Mackinac Island has no cars- only bikes and horses for transportation.  It's a step back in time.
One of the sight-seeing rides.  
It was fun to visit again and a beautiful day!

Back home...
This is my Annabelle Hydrangea.  I planted it last year so I was glad to see it come back so nicely!  They say it's one of the easiest and reliable ones to grow.  The big white mop heads tend to droop a lot and tend to lay on the ground.  
The Coleus has filled in too.  I've been pinching it back a lot to encourage it to spread wider.  Seems to be working!
The Astilbe is blooming 
Out front on the island my Shrub Rose is blooming and growing a lot- It's the best it's ever been!  I've fertilized, and sprayed for bugs and kept things well watered.  
These are a new Aster plant I put in recently.  Love the color!
Some Yarrow and Coreopsis are new too.
The Cone Flowers/Echinacea and Shasta Daisies are blooming nicely!
The Delphiniums are shooting up some more stems so I'll  be getting more flowers from them soon!

It's been pretty hot and keeping up with the watering is a must!  My Pinky Winky Hydrangea was looking pretty sad- I hope the extra watering will bring it around again!

How are your gardens faring?

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