Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June in the Garden

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June." - L. M. Montgomery

Today is the summer solstice here in the northeast.  This is the longest day of the year when the sun is highest in the sky and the garden is in all its wonderful glory. 

It is the start of new beginnings in the garden as new buds open day after day and continue until fall.  It is a time for getting the hands dirty and not caring as long as you're in the garden.  It is a time for dreaming of the next addition and how it will give so much joy. 

I can stay in the garden for hours without even realizing the time that has gone by. It is a time of relaxation and solitude.  It is a time of satisfaction. 

It is really the most wonderful time of the year here for the gardener.  There is so much to look forward to.  Enjoy your garden for it will bring you joy.

"Then followed that beautiful season... Summer.... Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy Summer and Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2011. All rights reserved

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day June 2011

Inspired by the quote, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” by Elizabeth Lawrence, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month gardeners from all over the world walk out into their gardens to note what is currently blooming. It is June in the northeast and like the song says "June is busting out all over!"

As I walk the garden the 'Rosy Glow' Barberry at their peak with lovely tips of pink on burgundy stems.  The 'May Night' Salvia and Nepeta 'Walker's Low' are also at their peak bloom.  In the very front of the garden is my brand new miniature butterfly bush 'Lo and Behold'.  It should be starting its bloom soon and I wait with much anticipation!

One of my newest favorite additions to the garden this year are the Double Pink and Double Red Knock Out roses you see here.

The color of these roses against the purple-blue of the nepeta is so breathtaking that I just can't stop looking at them. I love this new addition and will enjoy the blooms throughout the entire summer.

The Japanese iris has had its bloom and just ended one week ago but was definitely a welcome start to June.  Their vibrant purple blooms were in all their glory this year.  This bed of iris has been here way before the rest of the yard evolved and have formed a sea of blooms along the side fence.  I am happy to have captured this moment.

Next are the Rhododendrons and Azaleas. They too have just completed their showing and serve as backdrop in the garden behind Boxwood, Weeping Norway and Astilbe.

The blooms were exceptionally vibrant this year and I was glad to take a moment to admire and appreciate their beauty.  

Next we move onto the patio area garden. The peony and salvia are a sight to behold at this time of year.  Even though the peony has a short- lived bloom they are worth every bit of the beforehand anticipation.  Peony in bloom is a sure sign that June has arrived in this garden and I await the event all winter and spring long.  They are truly beautiful.

Now to the other side of the garden.
The daylily and spirea are also in full bloom proudly displaying their lovely foliage and bright flowers.

Out of all the months of the year in the northeast the month of June is certainly the most magnificent.  Each day another bloom emerges from its bud and brings forth even more joy to the garden.  I have been a gardener for a long time but thanks to Garden Blogger's Bloom Day I have looked forward to each month of the year like never before to see what new and exciting blooms are in store. 

Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens for more June photos from inspiring gardeners around the world and join all of us in celebrating our true passion and love of gardening.  Happy GGBD and Happy Gardening!

When gardeners garden, it is not just plants that grow, but the gardeners themselves. - Ken Druse

Author: Lee @A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Container Gardening-The Perfect Patio Planter

If you are looking for the perfect combination of foliage and blooms for your container garden, then this is the one for you.  This is a planter idea that I came up with several summers ago, which I have been using ever since. It was the perfect combination, which lasted well into the fall, one that I have to share!

This design can fit to any planter size. I used a 16- inch diameter planter the first time around and increased the size to a 20-inch planter for the following season. It is important to use a good lightweight potting mix meant for containers, and be sure to have good drainage in the bottom. This can be achieved by placing pebbles at the bottom of your container. For a central focal point, I used Asparagus Fern for a wispy appearance. Around the fern is an alternating pattern of five potato vines, three purple and two green. In between the fern and potato vines are pockets of various types of coleus.

I liked the combination of colorful foliage so much last year that I used the same mix again, only switching up the types of coleus for even more color! There are numerous varieties of Coleus to choose from, ranging in color from bright green to shades of orange, yellow, burgundy and deep purple, with many exhibiting striking, variegated foliage.

This combination will add a burst of color and interest to a shady spot, such as under an overhang, and will last all summer long and into fall. Coleus can be pinched back to maintain fullness or be allowed to flower, in which large purple spikes of blooms will rise above the brightly colored leaves. Your planter will be sure to receive lots of attention, and in this case...it's all about the foliage!

Heuchera & Potato Vine

If you are looking for a patio-hanging planter that does not have to be changed from year to year, try using a wire basket with Sphagnum moss and fill it with Heuchera (coral bells). Add a potato vine or some other vine for an added twist. Your hanging basket will re-bloom for several years without having to change it. I have had this basket now for several years and it is virtually maintenance free, except for watering and an occasional feeding with a water soluble plant food. 

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.