a humble garden blog... Above photo not enhanced in any way... All photos and text property of glimpsesofglory-karen... please ask permission to use

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The last days of June

Clematis 'Jackmanii' climbs up an old barn board birdhouse my husband made years ago. The birds seem to love this house because it is nestled in the evergreens, even though the roof now leaks.

This Daylily was given to me by a dear friend. I don't know its name so if anyone recognizes it, would you let me know please? I don't have too many Daylilies and I really like this one.
Maybe Hemerocallis hybrid 'Velvet Shadow'?

I have a love affair with Hydrangeas, 'Nikos', 'Endless Summer', 'Annabelles', Peegees,... I love them all!

Liatris 'Gay feather' is not one of my favorites, but when the Mr. requests something, into the garden it goes!

This is the Potting shed garden seating area, which I have shown before, but now the Hydrangea blooms even coordinate, which I hadn't planned ! Happy accident indeed.

                      Stella d'Oro with Niko, and on the left, black eyed susan not in bloom yet, driveway bed.
                 I'm too lazy to give the Latin!

                   Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' zones 6-10 next to Baptisia Australis past its bloom, driveway bed.

            This photo shows the calm before the Hydrangeas, Daylilies and Yarrows bloom.
I have to find a new location for my urns as this spot has turned into quite the jungle.
            There is a mother Robin whom I have been watching as she builds her nest in the 'New Dawn ' roses  on the Arbor. It should be any day now...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mandevilla Pergola

This beauty is, I think, prettier from the back than it is in front. Part to full sun.
The bud gives you a "glimpse" of what is to come!

  This lovely came from Hort Couture. It will happily climb a garden trellis or pergola in no time.
I give it regular watering and feeding in a well drained soil. It blooms spring to fall.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Keeping garden walkways neat

The main garden walkways, in the potting shed garden, are made with small pea stone held in by brick set on the diagonal. This brick was originally bought for another project and I had some left over.
My middle daughter volunteered ( God bless her) to edge all the garden walkways.
She does all the brick edging for the garden.

If a few weeds pop up they get "torched" with the Weed Dragon.
And if I'm feeling energetic, I rake it smooth . Its very therapeutic.
That is the only maintenance it requires.

Keeping with the English/beach feel of the garden, seashells were mixed into the pea stone.
I love the "crunch crunch" sound when walked on.

The utility walkways are laid with bark chips. They make a smooth path for running the wheel barrow over on the way to the compost pile.
So far the few weeds that pop up are hand pulled.
Okay, and..... I admit it..........once in a while I sweep the chips off of the stepping stones.
I can't help it! I like things neat!

I try to keep everything as low maintenance as possible and I was finding
that any grass paths looked shabby and were always needing to be edged or mowed.

I really don't like shabby without the chic, and the work of edging is not high on my list either.
So with  pea stone or wood chips, the paths stay neat and well defined without much work.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Drying flowers - part one

Dried flour sack arrangement - instructions will be covered in part 2

  For several years I studied the art of drying flowers. My passion for this art became a small business called "Out of the Woods" in which I sold my work at local fairs. I am proud to say most days I sold out.

With permission granted, warm days were filled traipsing through farm fields, harvesting truck loads of wheat and sunflowers.
Looking for moss, fallen pine cones and twisted branches deep in wooded areas became more than just a job, it became a treasure hunt.

Large topiary, wreaths and garlands were created.
Bunches of wheat and dried flowers were displayed for sale in antique willow laundry baskets.
Ornamental pots were filled with luscious dried flower arrangements.
European bundling made from wheat, Larkspur and roses was layered in antique wooden cheese boxes.
Everything that was made, was created from natural plant material that I grew, foraged, harvested or bought.

Through it all, I have experimented with several methods of drying flowers but
 have found that in most cases, air drying is the least work and produces the best results.
And I always like the "least work" method!

 If done correctly, air drying will produce flowers that are full of color, strong and the most natural.

Many flowers/plants can be air dried and here is a short list of some: Peonies, roses, lavender, globe amaranth, liatris, celosia, hydrangeas, salvia, larkspur, nigella, goldenrod, statice, sunflowers, grasses, boxwood, wheat, millet, moss and many types of leaves.

Most of the above flowers should be clipped with:

1. a good amount of stem length, try for 7-8" min.
2. the majority of the foliage removed, for good air circulation.
3. no more than 7 or 8 stems rubberbanded together, varying the head placement so air can circulate around them.

Stripped of foliage, banded and ready to be hung

After drying

4. hung upside down in a dark, warm, DRY environment.

Flowers should be harvested in the morning, after the dew has dried but before it is too hot out, making sure to choose flowers that are only about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way into bloom. Hydrangeas are an exception to this rule.
Moss and large sunflowers are dried differently. See below.

Hydrangeas can be dried upside down or standing in a vase with a very small amount of water ( about 1-2 inches), not replenishing water when diminished.
Clip the Hydrangeas when fully mature but still vibrant with color. Do not wait until they are browning.
Too fresh and they will become mushy and wilt. They need to feel a little "papery".
Hammer the clipped ends slightly and place in above mentioned vase in the dark.
Or just hang upside down. No need to hammer ends.

Moss is a plant that must be harvested sustainably and responsibly.
Never remove large amounts of any plant from the wild as to disturb the delicate balance in nature.
You should always have the owner's permission of any property from which you are harvesting.

When harvesting moss, carefully remove a small section from the host rock, dead tree or ground with a small knife and remove as much soil as you can from the back of the section without ruining the integrity of the piece. Check for any insects or larvae.
The moss can then be placed in a brown paper grocery bag, packed with crumpled newspaper
between layers, starting with a newspaper layer and ending with the same. This bag can then be folded over twice and stapled shut where it should be stored in, again, a warm DRY dark location, a basement or a warm attic being perfect.
If the storage area chosen is damp in any way, the material will not dry properly.
This moss can be used many ways with one way being to line the sunflower baskets described below.


Large sunflowers (Mammoth types) are clipped at the base where the stem meets the flower head.
Flowers should be fully ripe (petals falling off is fine) but the seeds should be firmly attached.
Rub your hand along the face of the flower to release all those plant bits and flower petals.
Trim out the back of the flower, cutting away all the flesh, until the inside of the head is fully exposed.
What you have left should be dried on a screen or bakers cooling rack, flipping over every couple of days until fully dried. This seed head will curve into the base for a beautiful basket.

So why not try drying a few bunches of flowers from the garden?

Drying flowers part 2, with project instructions will be covered in a future post called...
Decorating for the holidays.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Whats going on now...

So today's post will be a series of photos that have been taken this past week.
As you probably can tell by now, I am not too informational, but will vow to do better. Maybe.

I am a huge reader of garden books, as all the librarians in my library will attest to, and have already stated I am a master gardener, but somehow with all of the garden/plant information "out there" I get very lazy about giving facts or speaking Latin. Shame on me.

Okay, so with that said, onto the fun stuff!

This Weigela was supposed to stay small 3-4 feet, but again has already out grown that height. But I love the variegated foliage and blooms that are a Humming bird magnet. I placed it right by the garden seating area and we still get so excited when they visit.

Full view of Weigela on right along with Siberian Irises. The 'Great Heron' in front.

 Next up is a rose that is one of my all time favorites! I fell in love with it when a follow master gardener brought a photo into class one day...ahh..plant lust.
It's a climber called 'Teasing Georgia'. Unfortunately, it does get the dreaded black spot, Long Island has such humid summers.  I do spray it with Neem oil, which holds it back until it is done blooming.

This past winter, it took a really hard hit and I lost most life in the two plants. But it seems to be making a come back, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and giving it extra banana peels, aged chicken manure and water.

The bloom has a lovely fragrance and the coloring starts out an apricotish yellow but fades, to a creamy yellow as it matures. I attached chicken wire to the potting shed roof, which will hopefully again be covered .

 Next up are the Knockouts. I have the doubles, mostly in pink but a few in red (which in my opinion are dark pink) They are great! No diseases, spraying or dead heading. Just blooms all summer.

These next photos will be a little of this..and that.

Happy 'Cordona' Salvia...bees love it, I love it. I prune it back by half, twice a summer to get fresh blooms.
Dries beautifully!

This is a Scabosia, I  purchased this spring. Came with no tags, but I believe its Scabiosa caucasica 'Perfeta'. Wasn't in bloom but I bought  three. I was in a mood.  So glad I took the chance.

Check this out. Both flowers growing, two different colors, both stems curved, same angle, from same plant.
Reverting back to original cultivar? 'Queen Alexander' poppy.

Light pink peonies, are the last peonies to bloom. I have 'Pink giant', 'Sarah Bernhardt' and unnamed. I think these are 'Sarahs'.
They are pictured with 'Coranation gold' Yarrow, which is quite invasive, but worth the editing out, and 'Karl Forster' grass and a Hydrangea..maybe 'Nikko'? Also, one of a matching pair of urns I own, that need to be moved because it gets lost in the jungle. Lily also in foreground..maybe 'Wine and Roses'?

Just a few of the peonies, roses, lavender, salvia, hydrangeas, grasses, yarrow and many others that will be dried for house decoration.

A few bunches ready to be hung to dry. I am hoping to share a few posts on the "whats and hows" of drying and designing for the holidays.

This next photo is Baptisa 'Australis', and I have 'Carolina...something or another, a yellow,lol. I forget. 'Carolina ... MOONLIGHT'  Ha!
These plants are lovely, although they do seed around a lot. But they don't have any pest or disease problems that I've noticed for the past 8 or 9 years that they've been in the driveway bed.

Okay! I really like this next plant, Peruvian daffodil   ismene...
I planted the bulbs in a pot to sit along side of a pot of low growing 'tropical sunrise' Canna
It was going to be stunning..but the cannas failed, too much rain rotted the bulbs..at least that's my therory.
Well, anyway the Peruvian Daffodil is a tropical so I will be using these as annuals...
very fun plant. This bloom was the first open, I'll probably shoot this again when the pot is in full bloom.

They are fragrant and grow to height of 24".

Volunteer foxgloves have mysteriously arrived in the dog pen garden and driveway bed. I cant remember If I threw out seeds while I was walking..sometimes I'll do that in the late fall with the seasons seeds I have left over. But can't remember buying foxglove seeds..oh well, lovely. About 10 -12 volunteers showed up.

Purple Siberians in driveway bed.

I have to say, Siberians are my favorite Iris. Again, no pests or diseases...no spraying.
The only sprays I do use on other plants (roses, Bearded Irises, peonies) are Neem oil, or some Organic sprays. But I try to use those as little as possible.
So when I find plants that don't need any, they're keepers.

This next photo is of the "fence" that surrounds three sides of my property. It is a living fence.
It is made from Eastern cedars, Junipers, and Blue Junipers.
It consists of only the trees that were on the property before we built the house.
When we bought the property, my husband and I tagged approx 150 trees, so the builder wouldn't try to
"sell them off". They are lovely and he had a reputation of this practice.
We had to hire a team of landscapers to move all the trees. They did it in one day!
We left the rear of the property with no trees because the view is too special.

We do have a lot of lawn, in my opinion. About three fourths of an acre. My husband likes his grass ; )

Some of the trees supply boughs with little blue berries for Christmas decoration.

And last is a photo of a shell from my collection..I just never get tired of the beauty of shells.
They are small glimpses of glory....
I just know there will be sea shells in Heaven.

Shell next to stachys byzantina 'Silver Carpet' and Artemisia schmidtiana 'Silver Mound' and
Kalmeris x. 'Shogun'.
Hows that for Latin? lol

How does your garden grow?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Missing Gardener

This little corner is almost the only shade in my 1 acre yard.
So after much planting in full sun,
I was looking forward to creating this garden and getting to know a few shade plants.
Hosta, ferns, Astilabe, this was going to be fun!

When planning a garden, I always try to figure mature plant size for proper spacing but
some plants do not cooperate and haven't read their own tags.

Take the hosta below for example. I do not remember the cultivar name at the moment, but I'm sure it wasn't 'Humungous Hosta'. That would have tipped me off right away.  It crowds out whatever plant it is near.
I could have placed the nearest companion 10 ft. away and it would have been straining to touch it.
Like misbehaving siblings in the back seat of the car.

Hosta hog - ready to pounce on the unsuspecting Japanese 'Bloodgood' maple

 I'm gonna interrupt myself writing this post and go outside and measure this monster.

Okay, I'm back...It's 5 feet across with the biggest leaf measuring 1ft. 3" across and 1ft.6" long....! What is that about?

It's only early June!
Why would they have made a hosta this size? 
" Gee honey, what do you want to plant in place of the above ground pool we took out?"
" Oh, I don't know, a hosta would be nice".

You could lose a small child under there.
Gee, I hope this isn't that hosta in that famous photo with the full grown man being dwarfed by it...
Hey... wait a minute...are there state fair competitions for biggest hosta?

So now, do I dig it up and what? Give it to some gardener who happens to own a 4 acre spread and wants only one plant in his yard? Or, I could trim it back to manageable size and...leave only one leaf.

And to add to my dilemma I was given a small sprout of 'Ostrich fern' by a wonderful "friend".
I was unfamiliar with 'Ostrich Fern'.
I innocently planted it in the same shade garden.

Oh, but we are very well acquainted now.
If you look at pictures # 2 and 3, the ferns are on the left.
Covering all of the small innocent plants you can't see anymore, straining to touch whomever sits in the chair.

Let me say that one of my least favorite garden chores is having to divide or move plants.
It might take awhile to inspire myself to solve this issue.

So, if you are watching the evening news and hear of a  Long Island gardener mysteriously missing,
tell them check under the hosta.
They'll know which one.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A few of my Favorite Things - June

'Queen Alexander' poppy
Sitting in the shade garden on a hot summer day
Kissing Cousins in front of Harry Lauder's walking stick tree
Flower cone made from fallen White Birch tree bark and leather string
Blasting weeds with Weed Dragon - Organic, weed removal for pea stone driveway
Chives - grow, clip, eat, and pretty!
Sea shells used as mulch - most shells should be right face up and thoroughly washed
coordinating furniture and accessories

Popular Posts