July 14, 2011

An Evening in the Mid-Summer Garden

HELENIUM, OR SAINT HELEN'S FLOWER ILLUMINATES THE EVENING PERENNIAL BORDER. MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT HELENIUM PREFER HOT, DRY GARDENS, BUT THEY PREFER MOIST SOIL, AND A LITTLE SHADE LATE IN THE DAY. NATURALLY, PLANT MORE THAN THREE PLANTS FOR A MORE IMPRESSIVE DISPLAY. LOOK FOR THEM NOW, AT GARDEN CENTER'S, SINCE THEY ARE RARELY FOUND FOR SALE IN THE EARLY SPRING.

THE LONG BORDER'S STONE WALK, FRESHLY WEEDED BY OUR HIRED YOUNG GARDENERS LEADS TO THE BACK AREA OF THE PROPERTY WHERE THE POULTRY COOPS SIT. WE COULD USE AN HERBICIDE LIKE ROUND-UP, BUT CHOOSE NOT TO, OPTING FOR BACK-BREAKING HAND WEEDING. . MISCANTHUS FLORIDULUS, A 10 FOOT TALL GRASS, TOWERS HIGH ON THE FAR RIGHT. BY SEPTEMBER, IT MAY REACH 12 FEET.
 For whatever reason, I never think of July as a favorite time in the garden. Here in New England, we look forward to the first flush of spring, and then June when all of the first perennials bloom, and then of course there is late summer when everything seems to explode into growth, but mid-summer can be an equally rich time in the garden. When I was growing up, the mid-summer flower shows at our local horticultural society, would be the highlight of the gardener's season for exhibition. Long tables at the Horticultural Hall, would be filled with vases of various lilies, daylillies, annuals and perennials, as well as summer berries and a wide selection of vegetables from back yard gardens. The first tomatoes are just thinking about turning ripe, but string beans, summer squash, mid-season cabbage ( my fav) and manhy other veggies would fill baskets and trays with fresh, young produce.
I love this color palette, for some reason, it reminds me of summer days on northern lakes, with a good dash of 1940's lawn furniture. Don't ask, it just does. Bright red, Kelly green, golden yellow and foggy grays. High summer combine in a retro blend which sits smack on the edge of garish, yet, it somehow 'works'. The sparkler-shaped flower at the top is a Blood Lily (Scadoxus multiflorus ssp. katherinae), a summer flowering South African bulb that makes a fine house plant, but one that likes to get a little sleepy in the winter, when it may often loose all of it's leave. Never truly going dormant, ours spends each winter in the cold greenhouse under a bench, where is survives with a few ratty leaves, becoming larger and more beautiful each year. This year I repotted it into a much larger container.

DUTCHMAN'S PIP, FALSE ARALIA'S AND GIANT JAPANESE BUTTERBUR'S MAKE THE GRAVEL WALK IN THE OLD ROSE GARDEN FEEL ALMOST TROPICAL. THE KOI IN THE OLD GOLDFISH POND (BUILT IN 1926 BY MY UNCLES) APPRECIATE THE STEADY STREAM OF WATER WHICH FLOWS INTO IT FROM THE FOUNTAIN.

DAYLILIES ARE REACHING THEIR PEAK SEASON. MOST REGIONAL SHOWS FOR DAYLILIES OCCUR DURING THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF JULY.

Another view of the fancy leaved heirloom Geranium's (Pelargonium's). They become more intense when exposed to the high summer sunlight. These pots sit on the hot gravel circle in the blue and gold garden.

2 comments :

  1. Love those Heleniums!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your garden looks absolutely fabulous and the blood lily is really stirring my interest. I'm going to have to look into that bulb.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Most Popular Posts