I’m allaboutcolor. In my garden that is. Anyone who has visited my garden knows that between all the roses, hydrangeas, peonies, bulbs, perennials, and annuals that color always makes a statement every spring and summer in my garden. However, for the last several years my spring garden has been displaying a different type of explosion of color and texture — one that involves an obsession of mine– collecting conifers and Japanese Maples. I have been avidly collecting both for over 6 years now and there seems to be no stopping me. That is until I run out of space which I am precariously approaching ( I garden on about one acre) and when that happens I’m convinced I’ll start redesigning my landscape to justify my need (obsession) for the latest cool new conifer or alluring Japanese maple.
One thing is for sure, this obsession of mine gives me a spectacular display of color and texture and that is something I cherish each spring….
It’s that time of year again. Time to share the tulips and other spring bulbs that are in full bloom in my garden.
Every fall I judiciously plant (even though last fall I planted far less) more than a thousand tulips and other bulbs in my garden. All my hard work and sore muscles are then rewarded with the beautiful blossoms that emerge this time of year. I planted a lot more daffodils this time around since the deer stay away from them. It’s always a ‘touch and go’ scenario with my tulips since the deer tend to eat them. This year was one of my ‘fortunate’ years since they spared my tulips (all 1,000 of them).
This weekend my family and I visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, as my birthday present, to see the spectacular Imaginary Worlds exhibition. There we strolled through the gardens and saw giant plant sculptures such as; Gorillas, frogs, butterflies, cobras, an Ogre, unicorn and shaggy dog. Of course, stealing the show was the lovely Earth Goddess, being the largest of these sculptures at 25 feet tall!
These giant animal sculptures are planted with thousands of plants using a horticultural art called Mosaiculture, created in Canada by the International Mosaiculture of Montreal. As defined on the ABG website, “Each sculpture is a living work of art. Thousands of annuals are planted in colorful, ornate patterns on steel forms covered with netting and soil. A combination of internal irrigation systems and hand watering help the plants to flourish. Each sculpture is meticulously groomed on a weekly schedule to maintain the artistic lines as the plants grow.”
Here are some of the fabulous works of horticultural art we saw…
Recently, there’s been a glorious explosion of hydrangea flowers in my garden. This month my hydrangeas (along with my roses) have taken center stage.
I grow several varieties in my garden which is a small collection of about 40 Hydrangeas.
The blooms of ‘Annabelle’ are absolutely huge in my garden. Some are nearly 12 inches across.
‘Annabelle‘ has big balls of flowers that start out green, then turn to white and eventually dry a pale green as the season progresses. The flowers are lacy and delicate, but don’t let that fool you, this plant is tough. Mine are massed in a bed around my fountain.
‘Alpengluhen’ (Glowing Embers)
‘Alpengluhen’- (Glowing Embers) is a new addition to my hydrangea collection this year. A compact 3′ tall hydrangea with beautiful pinkish-red flowers.
‘Endless Summer’ and ‘Big Daddy’
My Endless Summer are planted in my backyard amongst a few other hydrangeas, ‘Big Daddy‘ and ‘Snowflake’ . What a spectacular show of blooms they put on every year.
‘Endless Summer’ is a very hardy hydrangea and blooms on both the current season’s growth as well as old growth, providing the advantage of a longer bloom period.
‘Big Daddy’, another H. macrophylla, has giant flower heads a foot across or more.
Endless Summer ‘Blushing Bride’
Endless Summer ‘Blushing Bride‘ produces blooms throughout the season on both new and old stems. Huge blooms start out pure white and become more of an antique pink as they fade. I have several planted with H. macrophylla ”MariesiiVariegata’. ‘Blushing Bride‘ is very lovely…
H. Macrophylla ‘Mariesii Variegata‘-LaceCap
This LaceCap ‘Mariesii Variegata’, I must admit was a bit cold sensitive for my Zone 7b climate. The first two I ever planted, died the following year after an usually cold winter. Two years ago, I planted two more in a more sheltered location and am hoping they will survive. So far so good. The leaves are green with white margins and flowers either pink or blue lacecap blossoms.
H. macrophylla ‘ Blue Wave‘-LaceCap and ‘Nikko Blue‘
Many of my Hydrangeas are inter-planted with Japanese Maples and ferns in my backyard garden. I love this combination, especially with my ‘Blue Wave’ and ‘Nikko Blue’ hydrangeas.
H. macrophylla, ‘Blue Wave‘ happens to be my favorite LaceCap hydrangea in my garden. A glorious sight when in bloom.The Lacecap flowers are a captivating blue that I love to photograph. Mine are planted in light shade under pine trees receiving late morning /early afternoon dappled sun and are thriving. Beautiful!
Ok, if I had to pick a favorite hydrangea in my garden, it would be this one- H. quercifolia ‘Snowflake’.
This one is a stunner. “Snowflake’ has absolutely gorgeous clusters that are densely layered just dripping with showy white flowers. I have several planted with many of my H. macrophylla’s throughout my garden.
The flowers age beautifully and I love every stage throughout the season. Snowflakes flowers start out pure white, gradually fading to pink and then turning brown by late summer. I can’t say enough about this plant…
While these photo’s I’ve shared with you represent many of my hydrangeas, there are some however that were camera shy…here’s a list of a few others that are gracing my garden..
Who doesn’t love a romantic garden? The fragrance, the charm, flowers billowing over paths. If you want to add some instant romance and Old World charm loveliness to your garden, then planting English bred David Austin roses is the way to go. David Austin roses have the look of old garden style roses, fill the air with lovely fragrance and with repeat blooming no wonder I’m smitten with these roses for my cottage style garden. I must confess though, it’s the full billowing fragrant blossoms of these roses draping from my arbors, trellises and containers that have me hooked. Also, my nose can’t get enough of them. These roses are so full petaled that sometimes people mistaken them as peonies in my garden.
Having added many David Austin roses about 2 years ago (many still considered babies), I must admit not all have been successful in my Zone 7b garden. I am a no-spray organic rose gardener, so a few did succumb to black spot and disease. However, having gone through several I have narrowed it down to these beauties; (Note: Some are new this spring that have yet to show their survivability).
Here are a few of my favorite David Austin roses in my garden today….
The lovely ‘Evelyn’ is absolutely beautiful. This was my first David Austin rose purchase. I’m training mine as a small climber (6/8 feet) in a small corner of my garden near my back deck. Even though ‘Evelyn’ tends to get blackspot from time to time, due to a part sun location, I keep her in my garden for her grace and wonderful fragrance.
I love pink in my garden. I actually have a bed of just pink roses, one of which is ‘Bishops Castle’. This rose has lovely large pink blossoms with a delicious strong fragrance. I plan on planting another next spring. Mine is getting pretty tall about 5 feet. ‘Bishops Castle’ tends to hold its lovely color even in the heat of my summers.
A lovely red rose with deep cupped shaped blossoms and a nice fruity fragrance. The red color does tend to fade to a reddish-pink when they age or perhaps due to the sun. I have mine planted towards the back of my rose bed since it grows quite tall (6 feet) in my garden.
“Princess Alexandra of Kent’… a fitting name for such a lovely rose. New to my garden this spring I must say that I am impressed. It’s beautifully shaped pink blossoms have a wonderful lemon scent. So far it’s a prolific repeat bloomer and holds its color very well in my morning sun location.
A new climber to my garden, so its still a baby, this David Austin climber is quite beautiful. It has pale, soft pink blossoms that fade to white and a wonderful fragrance. Very healthy, resistant to blackspot thus far. Looking forward to next spring when it will produce more blooms.
One of my favorite David Austin roses -‘Huntington Rose’. I had two in my garden until early this spring. Sadly, the deer devoured them both. I’ve included this to my list since I plan on planting more next spring. It is a prolific bloomer, wonderfully fragrant, good disease resistance and has exquisite pink blossoms. I highly recommend this rose.
Another newcomer, ‘Jubilee Celebration’ has beautiful large full blossoms and an unusual color of pink/orange/apricot. Lovely fruity fragrance. Mine are planted in large containers. David Austins catalog notes this rose does well in hot and humid climates in the southeast (mine Zone 7b); we shall see how this rose fares through one of my summers….
‘Tess of the d’Ubervilles is a very lovely rose that I am growing as a climber in my garden. Bright crimson red blossoms and a wonderful fragrance. Beautiful.
Oh my, the lovely ‘Darcy Bussell is probably one of my favorite. Beautiful rich red/pink rose blossoms with a mild citrus fragrance. One of the smaller DA roses,one of mine is growing in a large container, another in the front of my rose border. Rebloom is good and pretty resistant to blackspot.
So try adding some romance to your garden—you never know what might happen…
It’s been a long time since I last posted on my blog and I apologize for that and the lack of pictures. The need to help others and myself dominated the better part of these last 4 months. I’m glad and hopeful things are finally getting back to normal.
My garden is bursting with blossoms everywhere. All my hard work in planting bulbs last fall paid off. The tulips have just about finished their explosion of color and my peonies, irises and roses are gearing up for their beautiful display. Right now the Japanese Maples and azaleas are in their splendor (pics to follow in another post).
Here’s a peek of some of my tulips blooming in my garden this Spring….
Every year I plant this purple and pink combination ‘Strike Me Pink’ in this bed. These colors blend beautifully with my emerging JapMaples.
My Daffodils are taking center stage in my garden this week. Many I planted years ago; I planted 300 more last fall. Some of my daffodil choices are: Ice Follies, Carlton, Double Campernelle and Pipit, just to name a few.
As 2013draws to a close, its time to reflect on my many garden moments throughout the year. 2013 was an exceptional year for my garden; blossoms galore, abundant rainfall, tolerable summer temperatures and shhh… magazine photo shoots, to name just a few. I’m hoping mother nature will bless my garden once again for 2014.
So, just sit back relax, and enjoy my 2013 garden virtual tour….Cheers and Happy New Year!
Camellia’s, the ‘Winter Roses’ in my garden….
Painting my garden with beautiful roses….
Tulip ‘Spring Fling’…(finally finished my bulb planting for 2014 just this week)….
I Love to decorate my garden for the seasons. Fall is no exception, especially when it comes to PUMPKINS!
Nothing enhances my garden more this time of year than their vibrant array of colors, shapes and warmth. Pumpkins combined with gourds, mums, grasses, Chinese lantern plants and other ‘fall’ accents bring a cozy and inviting feel to my garden. With little effort, (except for the effort of collecting all the pumpkins) you too can decorate your garden with colorful pumpkins.
I must warn you though, it is fun and addictive! Of course, I tend to go a little over the top with pumpkins in my garden, but that’s what makes it ‘festive’.
Note: All photo’s, fall garden decor, containers and wreaths were designed and made by …ME…”The Graceful Gardener”.
Hope my ‘Festival of Pumpkins’ inspires you to add some to your garden…..
Spilling down my Staircase….
My Potting Table and Bench……
Pumpkins in containers and spilling into my Garden….