Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bloom Day Surprises

It's Garden Blogger Bloom Day again and while I am happy to share a few photos of some of this month's more or less new bloomers I wish someone would tell me how it got to be the 15th? Didn't I just flip the calendar page to August?  And if it is indeed mid-August why is everything looking relatively happy? Last things first...the garden is pretty happy right now because, unlike friends Cindy in Texas and Dee in Oklahoma who are suffering through a horrendously hot and dry summer, we are having the mildest summer in decades. I am not is just so weird though. I think being gone on vacation through the first week of this month has totally confused my sense of time. I do feel a bit more focused today but the garden is trying to keep me off balance. For instance, while the wisteria always has some continued summer bloom this year it is really putting on a good show. Almost enough to make me think it is June. And then there is this iris...
 it just doesn't say August to me. Yet there it is.

But this hollyhock begins to let me know it is not as early in the summer as it feels. I love this...I just wish I knew where it came from! I have no memory of planting it, from seed or start.

Glossy abelia Edward Goucher blooms enough of the year that it doesn't help me orient myself.

And if it is not August, but June, I would not have already been to Seattle Fling where I heard David Perry speak and I would not have shot this, my first coreopsis, into the light.

Due to the moderate summer we are enjoying there are many blooms this month...pelargoniums, roses, salvias, lavenders, portulaca, wax begonias, rex begonias, allysum, solanum jasminoides, agapanthus, alstroemeria, society garlic, passion flower, scabiosa, and more. And then there is the vegetable garden with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, summer squash all blooming and producing.
I'll end with this succulent bloom that is just beginning. But if you'd like to see more blooms head over to May Dreams Gardens where Carol or one of the garden fairies will once again have things set up so you can travel the world of blooms by visiting blogs linked there.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Concrete Ideas Take Shape

One of my favorite parts of the annual garden blogger meet-up is the chance to steal ideas. Or, maybe I should say, compliment other gardeners on their ideas. As in, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. This year was no different and when I finally came home from an extended vacation after Fling I had time at last to pore over my photos and start to make plans for intense flattery. This year, being in the midst of a concrete fairy castle project in my own garden, I found myself noticing concrete projects in several of the gardens we were lucky enough to visit.  The pedestal topper above, seen in the garden of Karen Farley, looked to have been made with a large child's sand toy for the mold. Hidden under a pine tree branch, it had several dividers some of which held pine cones and some succulents.
This pedestal looked like it was made with a plastic form that could have been cut and peeled off after it was dry. I'm trying to think of what would work...I really like the shape.
 This faux broken pillar, seen in the garden of Denise Lane, looked absolutely perfect planted with succulents. I am of the opinion that almost everything looks better planted with succulents but this is a very cool two-fer...succulents AND concrete!

In her garden full of wonderfully whimsical touches Lorene Edwards Forkner had many stealable ideas, several of them concrete. And it will be easy to copy these ideas because her new book Handmade Garden Projects:Step by Step Instructions for Creative Garden Features, Containers, Lighting, and More will be out very soon! Impatient person that I am I have, at this very moment, a trial sign for my fairy castle drying in my side yard. I  bought letter stamps for concrete use several years ago...Lorene's welcome in her front path spurred me on to open the package. If it is a failure I will just have to wait for her book and then I'll get all the secrets!