The Arrival of Summer

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Shrubs.

Wow!  I have been so busy this last month I haven’t had time to write.  As spring rolled into summer, I found myself visiting a lot of different friends in a lot of different gardens.  The Japanese Garden has been beautiful as the iris and lotus create colorful splashes in the wonderfully serene garden.  The hummingbird garden is starting to fill out for the summer. The cigar plant, agastache and some salvias played host to the wing jewels that arrived early.  Porter weed was just planted a few weeks ago and will really feed those hovering birds as the season progresses.  The colonial garden has looked very cheery with a variety of spring and early summer flowers blooming.  Of course I have many old friends there, so I have to stop and visit with them all before moving on.

A Lacecap hydrangea features sterile florets around the outer edge of the When the weather really got hot a few weeks ago, I had to find some shade.  The healing garden near cobblestone bridge was one quiet spot.  A large oakleaf hydrangea hydrangea brightened a comfortably shady corner.  However, the hydrangea garden was the shady spot where I spent the most time.  This garden is filled with a fantastic variety of blooming hydrangeas.  Billows of blooms float across the shrubbery in different shades of blue or red with punctuations of white.  The Hydrangea “flower” is really a cluster of flowers called a corymb that come in one of three general forms – lacecap, mophead, or panicle.  Each corymb usually has both sterile and fertile flowers.  The flowers do not have petals, but the sterile flowers have developed very showy sepals – what most people see as the flower.  The lacecaps have a flat plate-like corymb which has a row or two of sterile flowers with big sepals around the rim and a mass of tiny true flowers in the middle of the plate.  Mopheads are a solid head or dome made up of lots of sterile flowers and just a few fertile flowers hidden within.  Panicles are cone-shaped corymbs that appear on some species such as Hydrangea paniculata and Hydrangea quercifolia.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Sir Joseph Banks'There are so many different types and species in the garden it is easy to spend a lot of time there.  Some of the ones I particularly like include the black-stemmed ‘Nigra’, the intensely blue ‘Marechal Foch’ and the interestingly colored ‘Joseph Banks.’

Once the heat wave broke and the smoke arrived, I needed fresh air and sunshine so I headed to the butterfly garden.  Plants are really starting to take off and flower here.  The collection of blooming butterfly bush showcases the many interesting types.  Different types of cone flowers are sprinkled across the garden.  Yarrow, roses, daisies and a rose of Sharon provide colorful landing spots for the winged guests of this garden.  A rainbow of annuals are growing nicely, filling the garden with even more delicious food for the bright butterflies that visit.  This is where I will relax for a few more days before I head off to visit more of my floral friends that call this garden home.