Garden glimpses

It’s miserably hot, and the garden is really only inhabitable in the very early morning, or after the sun goes down. The best I can do in terms of gardening is go outside and snap a few shots here and there while watering. Here are a few things that have been brightening my days in the last two weeks.

Despite constant leaf litter, I have rarely appreciated the shade this massive tree gives, more than now.

Despite constant leaf litter, I have rarely appreciated the shade this massive Magnolia grandiflora tree gives, more than now.

It is covered in large, citrusy vanilla-scented, white flowers. But they are high, high up, so I had to climb up on a ladder to take to take this photo. For the most part, you only know they are there because you see them from a distance, or because of that wonderful fragrance.

It is covered in large, citrusy vanilla-scented, white flowers. But they are high, high up, so I had to climb up on a ladder to take to take this photo. For the most part, you only know they are there because you see them from a distance, or because of that wonderful fragrance.

Here is the tree. It's pretty big. By now. the plants in front of it have filled in a lot more - to the point of taking over the sidewalk, according to my dear husband.

Here is the tree itself – it’s pretty big. You could totally say that it dominates the front of the house. By now. the plants in front of it have filled in a lot more, a few are gone, and more have been added. This photo is from 2012.

The Asiatic lilies have come and gone.

The Asiatic lilies have come and gone.

Yucca filamentosa flower

The Yucca is blooming. Every year, I look forward to their tall trunks with trusses of flowers.

At first. they were beautifully upright - as is the norm. But one day when I came home, they had all flopped over. Have no idea why... Wind gust? Outgrown its narrow hell-strip home? Not enough water? (For a Yucca - nah, I doubt it...) Does any of you know what might have caused it? I had three flower stalks. All three of them toppled - just like that.

At first. they were beautifully upright – as they usually are. But one day when I came home, they had all flopped over. Have no idea why… Wind gust? Outgrown its narrow hell-strip home? Not enough water? (For a Yucca – nah, I doubt it…) Does any of you know what might have caused it? I had three flower stalks. All three of them toppled – just like that.

Clematis are blooming everywhere.

Clematis are blooming everywhere.

Clematis climbing on Cryptomeria

Clematis and Cornus 'Elegantissima'

Spiders are everywhere. I feel really bad when I trample through their work with the grace of a buffalo stampede.

Spiders are everywhere. I feel really bad when I trample through their work with the grace of a buffalo stampede.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' is in full bloom.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is in full bloom.

Ferns have GOT to be one of my favorite plant types.

Ferns have GOT to be one of my favorite plant types.

The hot pink of the Sanguisorba obtusa has by now faded to a creamy white. Hopefully it will set seed - it is such a cool flower.

The hot pink of the Sanguisorba obtusa has by now faded to a creamy white. Hopefully it will set seed – it is such a cool flower.

A rose that was given to me because of my name. It's called 'Anna's Promise'. Not sure what I should promise... to find it a better spot than it's in, perhaps?

A rose that was given to me because of my name. It’s called ‘Anna’s Promise’. Not sure what I should promise… to find it a better spot than it’s in, perhaps?

In the backyard, the Eremurus have faded...

In the backyard, the Eremurus have faded…

... and the vigor of my ornamental grape (Vitis vinifera 'purpurea') is making me consider buying a machete.

… and the vigor of my ornamental grape (Vitis vinifera ‘purpurea’) is making me consider buying a machete.

A new discovery for this year - a summer bulb called Sprakelia.

A new discovery for this year – a summer bulb called Sprakelia – here in bud.

Not the best shot, but here is the flower, after it opens.

Not the best shot, but here is the flower, after it opens.

Canna 'Cleopatra' foliage

Another fave newbie – Canna ‘Cleopatra’. Just look at those awesome leaves…

A hardy orchid - Bletilla - is in full bloom. So pretty!

A hardy orchid – Bletilla – is in full bloom. So pretty!

This always looks so cool as it shoots out of the ground and starts unfurling - Sauromatum venosum.

This always looks so cool as it shoots out of the ground and starts unfurling – Sauromatum venosum.

I watch with interest as it unrolls its leaves. Here it is - finally open!

I watch with interest as it unrolls its leaves. Here it is – finally open!

June is when the Star jasmine bursts into full bloom, and the fragrance fills the garden.

June is when the Star jasmine bursts into full bloom, and the fragrance fills the garden.

If it only wasn't so infernally hot, I would be outside enjoying the garden's brief late June exuberance. While the sun tries to burn it all to a crisp, my dear kitty does the only right thing. He finds a shady spot under a shrub, and dreams himself away. Sweet dreams!

If it only wasn’t so infernally hot, I would be outside enjoying the garden’s brief late June exuberance. While the sun tries to burn it all to a crisp, my dear kitty does the only right thing. He finds a shady spot under a shrub, and dreams himself away. Sweet dreams, y’all!

 

 

About annamadeit

Born and raised in Sweden, my aesthetics and outlook on life are strongly shaped by a culture rich in history and tradition. I care a great deal about environmental responsibility, and my aesthetic reflects the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia. I was trained as an architect at the University of Cincinnati and as a color specialist at the Scandinavian Colour Institute in Stockholm. I'm obsessed with plants and gardens, and aim to take my skill set a step further by designing gardens as well as interiors. As someone so aptly said: " Architecture is the skin that separates the exterior from the interior". So true - you can't successfully focus on one without incorporating the other. I'm also an avid cook, and I love to ski. In addition, I put time and efforts into trying to rectify things that I feel are wrong in my immediate community. As you will see, The Creative Flux will touch on all these things, and more. For sure, it's all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blog!
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22 Responses to Garden glimpses

  1. Linda Coombs says:

    When will this heat end ? I see friday 85F , normally that would be too hot for me . Your garden looks lovely and lush !

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Linda – I try to be frugal with the water, but I have a feeling our next bill is going to be a lot more than usual. Well, whenever this heat streak decides to end, it can’t possibly be too soon for me. Even a respite of 85F is too hot for me too. Ugh… I want “normal” back so badly…

  2. Alison says:

    Your garden looks wonderful, so you must be doing something right. I have lots of crispy critters, despite dragging hoses and sprinklers around. Love that Canna ‘Cleopatra’ I want one! I don’t remember seeing so many spiders this early in the season, usually they show up in droves in the autumn.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Alison! Yes, Cleopatra had me charmed the moment I saw her. She’s in a pot with special water privileges, because I don’t want to loose her. Spiders come later here too. I don’t know what made them think it was time. But I like them, so I don’t mind. Not sure they like me, though – I’m far too destructive!

  3. Re: the yucca – yes it was probably the wind. They’re so top heavy that you give them a little push and bam! It’s all over. It has been terribly windy at times here. Oh – and I don’t remember ever seeing such an overall view of your front garden, it’s fabulous!

  4. annamadeit says:

    Thanks, Loree! I was just over on Linda’s blog, and hers had toppled too. Bummer, they are so stately when they are upright… One of these days, you’ll have to come over and see the rest of it too, in all its cram-scaped messy glory. 🙂

  5. rickii says:

    Your kitty has the right idea, but I’m glad you braved the heat to take this batch of photos. They are all so fine I can’t single any out for special mention.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Ricki! They were taken here and there over the past two weeks. Yes, he does have the right idea… I SO wanted to plant some pots today, but I just don’t have it in me to go outside. Instead, I’m hanging out in front of the fan. Maybe I can rig up some lights outside and work at night when it cools off…?

  6. rusty duck says:

    Wow! Your garden is fabulous and well ahead of us season wise. I just love the combo of the pale blue clematis and variegated shrub. And the Magnolia grandiflora is truly spectacular.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks! Actually, we are way ahead of our normal selves season wise, this year. A bit scary, actually… About the Magnolia – we bought this house right before the real estate market plateaued out, back in 2006. At that point, houses sold within a few hours, and we had been closed out of 8 offers when we finally got this one. The tree was about the only thing I liked about the house, and that still holds true. The leaf drop is a pain, but the perfumed shade it offers more than redeems it. 🙂

  7. mattb325 says:

    The garden is looking so wonderful. I am in love with the magnolia. It is just such a stunning shape and form (they don’t do as well here where the summers aren’t hot enough for them). I hope your heat ends soon….it’s never enjoyable being holed up inside when you want to get so much done!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Matt! I love that tree too. Our youngest son was only three when we moved in here. Both boys have enjoyed this as a favorite climbing tree growing up, and the youngest still heads up there with a book from time to time. It truly is an asset to our little abode! About the heat – rumors have it that Friday will be a little cooler. Until then, I will be working after dark, equipped with a headlamp. 🙂

  8. Kris P says:

    I hope your heat becomes a distant memory soon, Anna. However, your garden has a lot of high points. I love that ground orchid but I suppose it wants regular water. You cat has the right idea – mine sleeps away the hot days here too, then keeps us awake wandering the house all night.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Kris – I hope so too! I have my orchid in quite a bit of shade, and just learned that it can take a lot more sun than it currently gets. I’m thinking about moving it… but yes – it does want some water. 😦 My cat often bothers me at night too. Maybe they are smarter creatures than we are – and maybe we too should try to become nocturnal with extended daytime siestas? Something to consider, for sure… the heat is making that idea more and more viable. 🙂

  9. Mark and Gaz says:

    You have so many beautiful plants Anna, and that Magnolia grandiflora looks…grand by the front of the house! Hope you guys get some break from the heatwave soon 🙂

  10. Anna, you have won a book if you’d like one, for taking a guess on my blog, Books Can Save a Life, and guessing oxalis. Let me know if any of the below suit your fancy and, if so, you can email me (contact page) and let me know your address. These are all print books.
    The Last Van Gogh, Alyson Richman
    The Secret Woman, Victoria Holt (published 1970)
    After Her, Joyce Maynard
    Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay
    Lone Wolf, Jodi Picoult

  11. Beautiful! I’d never guess your garden was hot and thirsty by looking at how lush it is. LOVE that magnolia!!

  12. I would really love some of that star jasmine, the fragrance must be wonderful. Here the heat is not so bad, it’s the mosquitoes brought on by all the rain that are driving me to distraction.

    • annamadeit says:

      It is a wonderful thing, that fragrance – one of my favorites! It’s cooling off over here. It was only 89F today. (Still too much in my humble opinion.) And we do have mosquitos too – I know, because they like me a lot.

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