Thursday, May 31, 2018

catching up... in the garden

Well... I had the best of intentions last (ahem) August to start blogging again.  One post and before I knew it, it was the LAST day of May!  I do use Instagram (you can find me at RedGateFarm or the link on the right) so you may have kept up with me there, if not here's whats been happening in my garden so far this year!  This will be heavy on my favorites (lilacs, roses and peonies) and a quick catch up on everything else!

First up, lilacs.  Nothing says spring like the scent of lilacs.  This miniature lilac bounced around in a couple of spots before finding a permanent home in front of our pump house.  It is the last of my lilacs to bloom but definitely doesn't disappoint in blooms nor in fragrance!

We also are working on a hedge of lilacs to the west of our barn!  I'm sure it will take about 20 years to be a real lilac hedge but I've heard that patience is a virtue... so I'll be practicing that!

All but two of these were starts dug up from the lilac hedge behind my son's house.  They are white and a dark purple.  We potted them up for a couple of years to give them a real head start, then planted them last fall and they all survived this past winter.

One of my purchased lilacs is this one, Sensation.  Love the multi color!

My old lilac looked good this spring.  We had cooler temps while it was blooming so the blooms lasted for a long time.

I should pots up some of the little starts and add them to my hedge since this one is a paler lilac...

Next, they may be fleeting but they are oh so beautiful... the peony.

This peony is different from all of my others.  I bought it at a small plant sale and don't know the name but it is always the first to bloom.

Then my Festiva Maxima.  Huge, huge blooms on this old variety.  I now have 3 of these but really need to move at least two of them as they are getting overgrown by my hydrangeas.

This is actually two peonies.  The lighter pink is Sorbet and I need to track down the name on the darker one.

Here you can see this Sorbet bloom about to fully open and show of it's multi colors and petals.

This peony is always the last to bloom.  When I purchased this one it was just called "red peony" and the stems are definitely more of a reddish color than some of my other peonies that have similar blooms.

You can't see the final peony tucked around the side of the pump house... it finally has one bloom this year and I can't wait to see it as I have forgotten what it even looks like.  It was potted for a few years and I finally planted it last year.

This peony is Sarah Bernhardt.  Such a pretty pink peony.

Next year I hope to have my yellow peony in bloom!  Finally found one this year that was a reasonable price as they are usually very expensive.  It may find it's home next to Sarah here.

And the final of the triple favs are my David Austin English Roses. I pick mine based on growth habit, high petal count for that "peony look" as well as color and fragrance.

This white one is actually the only "non" David Austin English Rose I have, it is named Bolero.

My all time favorite is the Queen of Sweden.  Prolific bloomer, very disease resistant, great cut flower and very upright growing habit.

This one is Port Sunlight and was started from bare root.  It goes through different peach shades as it opens.

This is Sister Elizabeth and it is a purple-y pink in color.  Fairly compact.  It too was a bare root start.

Finally, in front of the barn is Alnwick.  It was the third of my bare root started roses.

It is the earliest of all my roses to bloom and is very, very prolific!

It's pink color is a bit darker than the Queen of Sweden and is definitely more of a round bush.

Not shown, as they are not yet in bloom, are three other David Austin roses...
Grace, another peachy color that smells like tea.  It also tolerates a bit of shade.
Winchester Cathedral, another white rose, a bit smaller sized plant than most of my roses.
And, The Pilgrim, a light, yellow rose.  This one is probably the most prolific of all of my roses, with so many blooms you can cut a branch like a spray type rose!

I have a few other roses such as this Knock Out variety...

And this shrub rose, Bonica, is a pale pink and will soon be covered!  It usually has 3 to 4 bloom periods.  It tends to get so heavy with blooms that I have it supported underneath.

Going a bit further back... to January that is... I got a real head start on my seeds this year by starting my Million Bells, Wave Petunias, Bacopa, Marigolds, Impatiens, Biden and Lobelia.  Germination rate was good and now I'm frantically trying to find spots for everything!

The nectarine tree is the first tree to bloom and it was a welcome sight back in mid-March.  Our winter (and early spring) felt very gray and dreary but apparently there was at least a bit of blue sky!

Daffodils in front of the barn.

Our magnolia was here when we moved in 13 1/2 years ago.  It has definitely grown and is healthier due to better and consistent watering in the summer months.

Apple blossoms... all of our fruit trees blossomed during good spells of weather.  Our apple, pear, nectarine, cherry and plum trees are all loaded with fruit this year!  Thank you bees!

Tulips were later this year than years past, but the weather was pretty mild so these red tulips up the driveway stayed in bloom for a record amount of time.

My "Mother's Day" Rhododendron put on it's annual show... right around Mother's Day, of course.

The purple Iris' were fleeting but I managed to get a shot of the yellow ones that come on a bit later.

Right now my purple lupine is blooming along the driveway.  I have had lupines here since we moved in... in fact, you may have noticed, most of my "profile" pictures on social media are of an early shot of lupines and our house.

And since I have been so derelict in updating this blog... something else that has been growing but more like a weed...

Miss Bee just turned 4!  Where does the time go?  She is such a funny, spirited little girl.  Her imagination is beyond compare, the stories she comes up with... and she is sooooo convincing!  As you can see... she is a pink and jewels kind of girl but not afraid to pair that with a set of boots!  Lately she has "taken up" flower arranging and wanted to put a little bouquet together when she was here in mid-May.

And her brother?  Little Bug isn't so little any more.  Those chubby little legs can barely squeeze into a pair of rubber boots... He's more into trucks and tractors (some of his favorite words) or Batman and Spiderman (he does a mean "Pew" from his spider wrist shots) for which he will happily don a mask!  He will turn 2 next week.  A sweet little boy, unless you try to take a turn on "his" tractor!  I think his favorite things to say are "I did it!" and "No"... pretty typical for an almost 2 year old!

So that's a recap of what is growing in my garden... how about yours?

Chris at Red Gate Farm

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Please, feel free to leave a comment... it really makes my day! Chris