11 July 2008

A Walk through my Garden

Where does the time go??? Well, it disappears when you're sick AGAIN with diverticu-frakkin-itis and have to spend time in bed. Yuck. I'm cranky about this but also know I'm facing surgery in the not-too-distant future as a result of too many sessions of this in recent months. And as a result of being sick, I'm once again behind in my reading, behind in my work, behind in posting...ever try to write on a laptop when you're flat in bed? Not recommended.

However, I did get some nice photos today, when I did go out and walk around the yard for a little while. Despite my neglecting it, the garden is galloping along quite nicely without me. Everything is profusely, profoundly lush, which works well at shading out some of the weeds. And some of my interesting and less common plants are blooming. Like the yellow digitalis, which aren't as tall as their common relatives, but are striking nevertheless.

Valerian grows free-range in our yard, both in gardens and in wild areas. At the moment, it is crazily in bloom, and looks like a pale version of Verbena bonariensis--and is equally beloved by butterflies.

One of my favourite peonies is just opening: 'Primavera' is white with gorgeous yellow centre.

This is a common, oldfashioned peony, possibly 'Rubra Plena'; it was here when we came, and continues to flower joyously every early July. The blue corydalis behind it adds an equally fine fragrance to the air, so walking to our door is always pleasant.

One of the nicest and most stalwart roses we have is 'Robusta', a single, dark red shrub rose that flowers until frost. It gets a few aphids on it, but I occasionally hose it off and that handles them sufficiently.

Alliums are just so cool! This is 'Star of Persia' (Allium christophii), a real stunner. The only problem is that it's not as tall as I thought it was, and where everything is having a robust growing season, it's behind some plants. I don't want to try moving them, so I may just prune other things so the stars will show up better.

The swallowtails are around, and it was fun to finally have camera in hand when I saw one in an easy-to-access spot. These are among my favourite butterflies, next to my beloved monarhs, of course.

Blue-star is one of those under-used perennials, and I just love it. I did get my hands on another variety this year, with slightly bluer, wider-petalled flowers; it's not planted yet because i have to find out how tall it grows and then make a spot in the jungle for it to grow and bloom properly!

Ah, my gas plant. A slow growing perennial but such a beautiful thing. Fragrance like lemon in the evening especially, and wonderful seedheads when it finishes its bloom. This is a plant that you have to determine the right spot for, then plant it and leave it! Because it hates being moved, and will pout and die if you try such tactics.

I've long had a love for sea hollies, and this Eryngium alpinum is a particular favourite. I'm hoping it will seed itself the way E. planum does, because I now have LOTS of the latter, in wonderful swathes of blue later in the summer.

Nishiki willow is a favourite plant for its graceful shape and of course the dappled colours of its foliage. I pruned ours this year to give it a bit better shape, and it's really taking off.

Another plant for the butterflies--orange butterfly-weed (Asclepias tuberosa). I have yellow variant here somewhere too, but it's not flowering yet. I hope that doesn't mean I weeded it in a fit of absent-mindedness. It seems to me it's a bit later, though, so I won't worry about it yet.

Well, I've been up long enough now...more tomorrow or Sunday, depending on how I feel. If I've not been by and left a comment lately...you know why. "I'm getting better", though, in the words of Monty Python..."I'm not dead YET!"


  1. Oh my. Those were some lovely pictures. I an Eryngium alpinum I planted last fall and am anxious to see some blooms this year. Nothing yet, though. Your roses and peonies are enviable. I hope you do feel better soon.

  2. Dear Jodi,
    My nishiki grows amazingly fast after it is pruned. I did not prune it this year, cos I had pruned 5 times last year. And this year, without pruning, it is like frozen.
    Take care of yourself, please and greetings,

  3. You poor thing, this diverticuwhatsit is really taking it out on you, isn't it? I've missed you and am glad that you are on the mend.

    It's good to see that we share some plants like the wonderful Valerian. Have you tried this out on your cat-children because mine love this plant. Not as much as catnip but they definitely like it a lot. Little Kadootje is forever stealing the valerian flowers from my little flower displays. ;-)

    Love Primavera, what a gorgeous Peony. Mine are long gone I'm afraid and so are my Alliums Star of Persia.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. You poor thing. I do hope you get back on track. Take good care of yourself.

    Your garden is looking so good. I just love those Erigerum (sp). I would like to find a place for them to grow. I think they are such a wonderfully architectural plant.

  5. Your garden is blooming beautifully in spite of the "neglect," Jodi. I planted my first butterfly weed this spring, and I'm hoping it gets to be as gorgeous as yours.

    Feeling as you do is no fun; I hope you are feeling better soon.

  6. Beautiful flowers! We're growing the same gorgeous Peony! Sorry to hear you've been under the weather - hopefully the garden is cheering you up...

  7. Jodi, I was just about to email you to see how you're doing and you posted this blog. I'm so sorry to hear about your diver-frickin-itis and possible surgery.

    The photos are gorgeous -- especially the old fashioned peony. I'm so impressed with you for blogging in the face of all this.

    And yes. The Monty Python "I'm not dead yet..." reference is perfect. You'd better be getting better or I'll have to fly back to NS and slap you with a halibut.

    Big hugs.

  8. I'm really sorry you're ill and hope you get it sorted soon. Look on the bright side - at least we humans don't get attacked by red spider mite ...
    Seriously though, get well soon.

  9. Sorry you've been feeling so rotten. Someone I know had the surgery & was so much better afterwards that he was able to go back to college across the country. Hopefully it will do wonders for you too. I find it amazing that you have Peonies & Coneflowers blooming at the same time. Your shorter growing season must compress everything into this gorgeous riot of bloom.

  10. So sorry you have been poorly - but I enjoyed walking with you through your garden.
    I particularly like your peony Primavera - and I am also a big fan of Eryngium
    Warm regards

  11. Get well soon Jodi - hope the op sorts things out.

  12. Oh, jodi, I'm so sorry to hear you're not feeling well again! I know you have no time for such things and I hate to hear that you're not up to your normal wonderful self. :-(

    My 'Hello Yellow' Asclepias is quite a bit later in blooming than my native orange is, so don't give up on it. It's probably there.

    Chin up, girlfriend! And hugs to you!


  13. Aaarrghhh-aaarrgghhh, Jodi, the horrors of being flattened by illness, not to even mention contemplating surgery! Been there, done that. Glad to see you're venturing into the garden despite the ongoing nightmare. Enjoy the cats, enjoy the plants, enjoy what you *can* do, and don't try to do too much!!!

  14. My dear Jodi, I had just decided that you were super busy with work, not knowing of your health issues. Please get well by doing whatever you need to. I hope your garden gives you some joy and distraction, it looks so lovely going along on its own. That means it was well planted in the first place! Your eryngium looks like Miss Wilmott, my favorite.

  15. I was thinking you were just busy in the garden, not sick in bed. So sorry to learn that you're not feeling well. It's lovely to see your peonies. Ours are done and we're on to hollyhocks - if mine will ever open. I love the yearly trail of openings and closings and new openings in the garden. There's always something to look forward to.

  16. As always, your garden is so beautiful. That white and yellow peony is amazing...I've never seen one that color.

    I hope you're feeling better.

  17. I'm sorry to hear that you've been feeling cruddy, Jodi. I'm glad you got out and took photos because that digitalis just melts my heart. What a soft creamy color. Thank you for sharing that.



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