It seems like the garden goes through color phases each year, starting yellow and transitioning to blue before bursting into the hot reds and oranges. Of course, this falls into the category of “glittering generalities” that we were warned against severely during high school English essay production. Needless to say, with my eclectic taste in flowers, there is never a time when there is only one color showing at The Havens.
Once I toyed with the idea of creating a “Moon Garden'” having been enticed toward the idea by a lavishly illustrated article in some gardening magazine or other. But when I started trying to plan the thing, I realized that I am constitutionally unable to make a garden that only sports silvery foliage and white flowers. Heck, I couldn’t even plan it without feeling the need for “just a touch of color.” (Afficionados of “The Bird Cage” will get that reference.)
Last year my method of dealing with my unruly wisteria vine (is there any other kind?) was to walk around the pergola with my pruning shears and whack back anything that dared to hang over the edge and intrude on my personal space. Apparently this was just the treatment it needed, because this year it is absolutely stunning in bloom.
Getting this photograph illustrates a problem in The Havens yard vis-a-vis photography. Frankly, this place would drive a professional photographer stark raving mad, since it is never properly prepped for a photo op. Right now the area near the pergola is a construction zone as we work on the barbecue/wood fired bread oven area. So my initial attempt at getting the glorious wisteria looked like this:
Even careful cropping cannot rescue this version. However, it does add a note of realism to the image.
Another part of the yard that is very blue right now is the front. The peonies are still only buds, so the pink that will become prominent soon is not evident. Also, the redbud is finished blooming. Instead, we have lots of wood hyacinths and veronica.
Okay, okay. Yes, there is an iris in there. I told you I couldn’t do monochrome! Actually, that is a reblooming iris that shows up again in the fall. I believe she deserves a closer look.
Actually, there is more than one iris out there, and in short order there will be many more. Then the Blue Period will be only a memory.
But I digress. The Stroll Garden has quite a lot of blue showing right now, especially the Scree Slope and Rain Garden areas. The main blues here are the ajuga and veronica, but the foliage of the dianthus back there definitely falls into the blue category.
You really need to have a look at that bank of candytuft closer up. It is really “on” right now.
The very last daffodils are still out there, but they will be gone soon. This is a late blooming minature (she’s about 4 cm in diamter) called “Chiva”.
Cat owners will appreciate the fact that I got up from my computer chair for about 2 minutes to go look up “Chiva’s” name and when I got back Mallory had established herself in the chair and was studiously engaged in washing. “I’ve been here all morning, what do you want?” was the look she directed at me when I sat down. Not on her, mind you, no matter how tempting it was.
Just behind “Chiva” you can see the blue of a stem of camassia, also referred to as quamash. This is a plant the Midwest Native Americans used for food. Since it is a native of the area, I have it liberally scattered all through the Stroll Garden. Here it is setting off the Japanese kerria bush, which is in full not-blue bloom right now.
Here is a drift of it sharing space with the day lilies.
You will note evidence of the lack of photo op preparation here if you look closely at this shot. It includes such various weeds as white violets, lady’s bedstraw, and henbit. When I was shooting the Scree Slope for the veronica and candytuft, I pulled out a few errant wild lettuces before I took the picture. But this area requires more attention than I was willing to devote before I made a blog post.
Actually, I am on my way there. I started over by the swing and worked my way along under the pine trees, removing hen bit and wild oats for the most part. I had to make a detour past my large clumps of miscanthus grass, which I neglected to burn off this spring, and remove all the old stalks and foliage that were suffocating the new growth. While I was back in that corner I worked myself into an emotional tizzy as I weeded Mike’s grave. What a gorgeous boy he was.
I still miss him. I had a little blue period about him…. But I’m better now. After all, I have Impy and Mallory now. And they are wonderful cats too.