Saturday, June 30, 2012

They're Watching Me, Part 199, lol

Mercedes Benz just introduced its new CLS Shooting Brake in Europe, the red wagon in the bottom of the photo. My Cadillac CTS Sportwagon is at the top. I Photoshopped the Caddy wagon more than two years ago and I find the striking similarity to the actual new Mercedes interesting! Of course, it helps Mercedes showed their new wagon in red, an uncharacteristic choice for the sober Teutonic manufacturer, which usually features its new cars in silver, but I'm sure it's just a coincidence... or is it, lol?

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Getting Hot Outside! (But Colorful!)

One of my favorite combinations of flowers at this time of year, bright magenta Campions and pretty little white Feverfew. I always try to plant these perennials next to each other.

A beautiful bright pink yarrow is now blooming in the front of this main garden. Like many of my flowers, due to my limited budget, was found and "saved" to my garden. There is a small triangle of public land on my way to town. It's basically a little lawn for a stop sign, lol. The town mows it flat twice a summer. Last year I was surprised to see this cultivated yarrow blooming there. It was only about six inches tall, and had been mowed earlier in the season. I can only think that a bird dropped some seeds. I dug it up a few days before it was to be mowed again, and brought it back home. I was surprised to see it this year, I had forgotten about it!

Bright orange day lilies in the main front flower garden complement the indigo garden globe perfectly!

I have these common, and prolific, and lovely, day lilies all around the yard. These are in the backyard surrounding a large tree. They may be ubiquitous, and each flower only lasts one day, but for a couple of weeks in June and July, the yard is ablaze in orange. Each plant may produce up to 20-25 flowers.
Another clump of day lilies. These are on the northeast side of the vegetable garden. 

Above, I have feverfew and ajuga planted around the base of three small cedar trees at the entrance to Pink Gardens. They have a nice, naturalized flow to them. 

The "wide view" of Pink Gardens' front yard. I started this flower garden, surrounding a decaying tree stump, five or six years ago, and it has really matured since then. I add to it each year.

A close-up view of the main flower garden.

The foxgloves on the right are almost done flowering, but I'm going to leave their seven-foot seedpod stalks. To me, they resemble green flowers now. And hopefully I'll have tons of 'gloves in the future! Looking at the house, my apartment is on the second and third floors, and I have a nice foyer on the first floor large enough for my piano, an overstuffed vintage 1920s chair, a few antique tables and a lot of art. : )

Seen from the other side, standing in front of the home looking towards the driveway, my day lilies are just a sea of orange right now. They contrast well with the pale lavender hostas on the right.
Since You Asked: The Vegetable Garden!

The entrance to the vegetable garden. June, my great friend and fellow Pink Gardens resident, found those huge flat stones for the walkway after the vegetable garden was built two years ago. She "walked" them over and dug them into the yard before I even knew she was doing it! Then we were given those slate flagstones by our landlord and we "planted" them inside the garden. The plot itself is shared between three residents of the five-apartment home. The stick "arch" over the entrance is for the morning glories to climb. They are later flowers, coming into their own in September and October. I have blue, pink, lavender and white varieties this year so it really should be quite attractive. If the chipmunks stop eating them, that is.
The overall view of the vegetable garden. The outside edge on the right will have marigolds, morning glories and zinnias along that cobblestone edge. Striped ribbon grass from my grandmother's home in Leete's Island forms the bulk of the exterior, giving a nice backdrop to the colorful later-summer annuals. The other sides of the garden exterior have hostas, day lilies, irises, ferns, goldenrod, cinquefoils and agastaches for a season-long bit of color to go with the growing vegetables inside. I also have a small cutting garden inside the flower, protected from most of the wild critters. I have zinnias, dahlias, marigolds and sunflowers inside the protective fencing.

The south corner of the vegetable garden has a lovely hanging pot from Rick, another great resident of the home. That's a dragonwing begonia in a pot below it. I started that one two years ago, but the "parent" of it is ten years old now, and is one of the earliest dragonwing varieties.
I'm not above adding a bit of kitsch everywhere, even outside. This is a vintage wrought-iron planter now living in my vegetable garden. It's home to several small pots of parsley. I think it's going to be pretty cool looking once the Italian flatleafed parsley is larger.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Icarus Soared!

Sunflower, August 2011.

Icarus soared. Yes, the ending came too soon, but for a brief moment in time, Icarus flew. He felt the wing beneath his wings, as it were. He knew the freedom that comes without leaving footprints in this world. Doesn't matter that it didn't last. What does? Experiences that change us, for good for bad, don't require longevity. 30 seconds, 30 days, 30 years, 30 lifetimes. Icarus soared!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Along the Side of the Road

Sweet Peas (Lathyrus), growing along the side of the road. This is probably railroad property.
This is an enormous Hosta variety growing along the beach road. The leaves are enormous, well more than a foot apiece. These are the "strongest" looking Hosta flowers I've seen.

The unkempt yard of an empty house for sale—still the perennial Lobelias bloom.

Honeybee visiting a Milkweed (Asclepias) plant. I love the shape of these flowers, but the seedpods that appear in the fall are very cool, too.

One of my favorite roadside "weeds," the Vetch (Vicia). This wildflower grows quickly each spring and is full bloom right now. It can be a vine if it can find sunlight above the frey, otherwise it's perfectly happy to grow along the ground.

The foliage of the Vetch perfectly complements the size, shape and coloring of the flowers.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yahoo Email Hacked Again

ARGGGHHHH! It seems as if my Yahoo email account was hacked again Who knows what link it sent out this time. Remember: I NEVER send emails without a subject line and I NEVER send emails with just a link inside. I will ALWAYS write a personal message of some sort and use a witty subject line, lol. Password changed again.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The American Dream Found in the Road

Found on the side of a road during one of my daily walks, a perfectly flattened all-American baseball. My eyes were drawn to the threading, the colors, the obvious wear-and-tear, the steadfast way it refuses to actually fall apart. Perhaps the American Dream is a bit battered right now. It's a bit less flossy and glossy than it was, but when push comes to shove (or the leather-and-cotton meets the road), will the Dream will go on? Will we refuse to actually fall apart?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nuthin' Like a Posey

The first sunny day with day lilies, 2012, I was focusing on my still-blooming Foxgloves in the background. They're well over six-feet tall now. Some of my day lily buds are that tall, too. The blue garden globe is slowly sinking into the ancient tree stump that is centered in that garden. I think I might have to come up with a holder for it by next year.
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, the first day of my open day lilies, rained all day. Still, there is a beauty to the way the raindrops gather and collect on the newly-opened petals.

This white geranium is three or four years old now. I winter them over in the attic. This one is planted with a bright magenta variety, but that's still not in bud yet. The chipmunks eat these like they're free lobster rolls. I'm not sure why they're so geranium hungry this year.
I'm not the only one that loves my foxgloves. A honey bee is visiting each flower for nectar. Here, he meets a very slender spider.
A better view of the very thin spider on my foxgloves. A type of "Daddy Longlegs?"
Here's a nice corner on the outside of the vegetable garden. Rose Campions, Feverfew, and sedum look great together. I can't remember the name of the pinkish bell-shaped perennial on the left. I've had it for two years now, and was a gift from my friend, and landlord's, sister.

The Deacon John Graves house in my town. I've featured their Rose Campions before, but I just can't get enough of them. They line the wooden fence in front of the museum.

Look at this level of color! The bright magenta flowers are perfectly set off by the grayish, almost cyan leaves.

One of my hydrangeas is beginning to flower. This variety starts off pale green, then goes almost white,  pink, lavender and blue before finally becoming burgundy in the fall. The purple perilla ground cover really stands out here, too.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fleur-ishing Colour!

Looking up at one of my Foxgloves, with a cloudy sky beyond. These flowers are just fantastic to photograph. I've taken at least 200 shots of them this season. All photos clickable to enlarge.

Lying on the ground looking up at one of the last bearded Irises to bloom, a yellow-gold version. The clouds really added a completely different tone and timbre to my flowers that day. Day lily buds to the right. They'll be busting open one of these days. Wires courtesy Comcast, lol.

A newly-blooming rose bush in the center of town. These little sidewalk gardens in front of Café Allegre are beautifully planted each year.

Fleeting Beauty—A fresh Hibiscus on the left supercedes the fading older bloom on the right. This is ground level in the same sidewalk gardens as the roses above.

B T W : 

Nancy uses this wooden cheese press, made by her über-talented husband, Bill. I have no idea how it works, what goes where, but I'm fascinated by it!

Regular readers of this blog will remember Nancy Evans Wolff, my childhood friend. She writes a blog for Prudent Living and is a lifelong gardener and amazing cook. Nancy was just featured in the New England Cheesemaking blog. She makes her own cheeses and this piece is on the making of Colby. I really never thought about making cheese before! Check it out, here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dreaming & Flying & Living

"Deadly" Nightshade climbing on the boardwalk in town.

I think the shadows in this photo look like they're leaving for their own afternoon adventure. They don't really seem all that connected to-, or even related to-, the leaves and stems. I like to think I captured this this purple-and-yellow flowering wild vine as it was lazily daydreaming. Perhaps I captured its shadow/dreams departing on their almost-Summer mid-afternoon romp.

B T W : 
"Birds sing after a storm; Why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains yo them."
—Rose Kennedy (1890-1995)

This photo was shot on Thursday, with birds flying under the storm clouds, while there's just a bit of blue sky finally breaking out on the right. These birds were squawking, and singing, and shaking the rain off their wings, and the scene reminded me of the quote by President Kennedy's mother, Rose, above. If it reminds long-time readers of something else, I paraphrased the quote last year on this chop of a new Lincoln sport sedan...

I paraphrased Mrs. Kennedy's quote for the tagline on this early 2011 chop of a rear wheel-drive Lincoln sport sedan.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

In the City Where the Colours Run Dry*

One poet may feel that the city saps the "colour" from them, but these photos show a city scene that rivals a new box of Crayons. 

* The title of this post is a line from a poem by Nicole Buckland, Romance in the Moonlight. Not my favorite poem, but the first line was perfect for this post, lol.

N E W   Y O R K  C I T Y  — Thanks to Ian, Ish of The Cahokian Blog, we have these awesome photos of his "stoop garden." Ian has planted these containers in front of his Brooklyn brownstone.  I see all sorts of begonias, impatiens, coleus and vincas, delightfully mixed and matched. The flowers really complement the colors of the brownstone, marble and granite. If I lived in the area, I would make sure to walk by Ian's building everyday. I'm sure there are lots of appreciative Brooklynites in his neighborhood!

Ian has a great eye for color and texture, as these impatiens, begonias and coleuses show. 

Artfully arranged magazine or did someone drop some mail on the way in, lol. I love the combination of hot pink and bright orange shown here.

B T W :
One of perhaps a million songs about New York I love... This might be playing in the back of my head as I perused Ian's colorful display, Lou Reed's Halloween Parade, a song about Greenwich Village's famous, and oh-so-colourful, annual event. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Photopourri: Sun and Shade

Pink Gardens' Victorian planters are shaping up nicely this year. I've planted bright chartreuse sweet potato vine, pansies, vinca, spikes, petunias, mini dahlias, perilla, ferns and few things I've forgotten the names of, lol. Hopefully, there will be cascading foliage and tall flowers in these more than 100 year old, 4-feet tall, cast-iron planters. All photos clickable to enlarge, as always!

A lone Japanese iris in the background, framed by my pink Foxgloves.

My pink Foxgloves are more than 6-feet tall! Enlarged, you can see a white Foxglove in the shade garden in the background. I have Foxgloves in the shade and in the sun.

The white Foxglove has deep maroon markings inside each flower.

Sitting pretty in the sun . . . This is part of the condominium yard I pass by every day on my way to town.

A single perfect rose in this condominium complex.

One of my projects this year was to create this meandering path through my side shade garden. I transplanted almost everything this year, making this fun little walkway. I have day lilies, iris, lemon verbena, Queen Anne's Lace (wild carrots), Jack-in-the-Pulpits, Solomon's Seals, and many other plantings here. I've probably spent at least 60 hours this spring in this square garden.

My Solomon's Seals doing what they do best: elegantly bowing over with this cream flowers about to open. Each stem is about 4 feet tall, but they bend over in various ways creating a great flowing look to this shade garden.

Rose Campions are one of my favorite perennials. I have very few in my garden, but I grew up with clusters of them just like this property. This is one of my town's historic home museums.

A long-view of the campions. Their grayish green foliage contrasts perfectly with their bright magenta flowers.
The side shade garden is shaping up nicely this year, too. I've added a lot more ferns and hostas. There is a bed of purple perilla coming up all around everything, as a ground cover, and it contrasts beautifully with the greener foliage. Above, my late mother's granite-hewn bird bath. I bought this handmade rock garden feature for her on Mother's Day sometime in the 1980s.

Visible here is the perilla ground cover. I just caught the 10-minutes of direct sunlight this shade garden receives.