Friday, July 30, 2010

NOW THAT'S A SHASTA!



















This pic is of the Shasta Daisies that are in my cutting garden.  They are over 5ft. high and are a stunning sight.  They seem to glow with their beautiful white petals and yellow centers.  Being a perennial they require no care other than watering and because they are so abundant they manage to hold themselves upright.  Truly a delight in any garden.






















I have several large stands of Shastas throughout my perennial beds.  They really stand out next to the Coneflower and Black Eyed Susans when they are all in bloom at the same time.  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GARDEN QUOTE OF THE WEEK

As Rosemary is to the spirit, so Lavender is to the soul.

LOVELY LAVENDER

My lavender is now eight years old and this will be it's last season.  It will be very hard for me to dig them up, we have spent many seasons together.  When I first became entranced with the idea of a flower business my immediate thoughts were to lavender.  It was the trend at the time and a trip to Sequim, Washington sealed the deal in my mind.  I ordered 1,000 tiny plants, 500 Provence, and 500 Grosso, the french varietal.  An area approximately 1/4 of an acre was tilled and prepared.  The tiny plants arrived and the frenzied planting began.  I employed the youthful, yet unwilling, energy of my two young children at the time as well as my ever supportive husband.  Many years, a ridiculous amount of weeding, and several backbreaking harvests have come to an end.  I currently only have about 125 of the original plants.  Two years ago the majority were removed to make room for my current cutting garden.  I will replant this spring in a more easily managed manner (keyword; more weedblock) with no more than 100 plants.  I will continue with the Provence, I am enamored with the rich fragrance of this variety, as well as the Grosso which is very fragrant as well and is widely used for lavender wands and the dried buds for sachets.  
So for now... please enjoy these few photos of my lovely old ladies as this will be their last.



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

THE HEAT IS ON!

After a very long and wet spring, summer has arrived as is typical, shortly after the Fourth of July.  No transition this year however, we have gone from 64 degrees and cloudy for nearly two months to 96 degrees for the next three days.  No complaints here though, just have to really move to see that all of the plants receive sufficient water (by hand!) and with the help of one or two sprinklers. Definitely a full time job at this time of year.
The quote below is one I am sure many of us gardeners would love to embrace, and allow the weeds to do as they wish.  But then of course, that would mean relinquishing the joy of gardening to the rampage of the weeds, which would result in ... not much of a garden!  In my wooded areas however, there are some lovely natural ground covers that for years I tried to control.  No such luck, and I have come to the conclusion that they are rather pretty and die off quickly after their season has passed.  My husband notified me this year that he constantly weed wacks a very persistent weedy looking bush type plant, that always reappears in full force.  Once he showed me the plant I then asked him to cease and desist instantly, as it is a wild Anemone and is much prettier than a nasty blackberry bush that would most certainly fill its spot.  There truly are some "weeds" that are worth keeping.
The pic below is just a quick snap of one of my gated entries into my cottage garden (as always, a work in progress).  I like looking at it as I walk through it several times a day and thought I would share.
Happy watering!  

GARDEN QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"What is a weed?" A weed is a plant whose virtues have yet to be discovered.  -  Emerson