31 July 2011

No time for my blog, I am too busy planting!

Hello, friends, fellow gardeners, and other visitors. Did you think I had run off to far away lands? Not exactly...it's been a busy busy month, this July, which of course kicked off with the Open Garden weekend. My voice finally came back completely after about two weeks, which was surely a record for laryngitis. Highly entertaining when one makes a living asking questions of others.
I don't know how YOUR garden is going, but ours has exploded into a rhapsody of lushness. Shrubs are covered in blooms, daylilies are filled with scapes and packed with high bud counts, grasses are growing taller and taller..in fact, pretty much everything is growing taller and taller.
Naturally, I can't resist bringing home new or new-to-me plants, and there have been more of those than ever, this year. They range from tiny saxifrage alpines to fascinating perennials like this yellow stokesia...
To the not-hardy but definitely delectable chocolate cosmos, which really does smell of chocolate. I have to remember to dig and store the tuber of this plant this year!
Long ago, when I was a student at NSAC, the greenhouse lab technician wrote a poem for me. Ken and I were always bantering back and forth, playing little tricks on each other, and as I was going into exam time I spent even more time in the greenhouses, either playing with plants or actually studying. The last couple of lines of the poem, which I still have somewhere, went thusly:

"As she runs to the greenhouse we still hear her chanting,
No time for degree, I am too busy planting!"

Some might think "I'm not finished planting yet!" will be my epitaph. They're probably correct. But you know what? This is the perfect time of year to do planting, at least in our climate. Warm days, cool (ish) nights, adequate rainfall...all these things are highly welcoming to new plants whether they be annual transplants that you just had to save, or container grown trees and shrubs!

There is LOTS of colour in our gardens these days, but as far as I am concerned, there always is. There are the big showy annual poppies with their brilliant colours, countless lilies and roses, astilbes and hostas, cranesbills and filipendula...
But there's also a feast of foliage here. When I look out one office window (the other is obscured by the ever-joyous 'Limelight' hydrangea), I see a feast for the senses--lots of flowers, yes, but also rich foliage from golden tansy to copper beech to purple barberry to blue oat grass. It all makes me happy.
I spend a LOT of time when not actually gardening, staring through my camera's various lens at plants and their visitors. What I love about macro photography is that the camera's lens 'sees' things I can't with my naked, aging eyes, like the hairs on this bumblebee's legs.
If you aren't growing astrantia (masterwort), I'd like to know why! It's a fantastic plant, very floriferous, attractive to a huge number of pollinators, makes a nice clump, and some varieties self-seed, though I haven't had that pleasure yet. There are about half a dozen varieties in our gardens, from white 'Star of Heaven' seen here to deep red flowered varieties, to pink varieties, to 'Sunningdale Variegated', which has gold and green leaves.
Summer is also a time for family, and I've been very happy to have my son home visiting. He is a film and camera buff, creative like his mother but more into making films to tell stories than into writing. He has been teaching me more about my camera, too.

And the happiest of things I can share? I am back riding my horse after more than two years of not riding! This is pretty important to me, especially as I'm going to be getting new knees within the next year, which will make all things easier to do. After losing a number of cherished friends in recent months, I decided that what I'm dealing with is only pain, and no matter what I do I hurt. So I might as well do what I love, and to heck with the pain. Leggo, my faithful Morgan horse, seems to approve too.

I'll try to post more regularly in coming weeks, but if not, you'll know why...I'm still too busy planting!


  1. now we know why we love summer
    just beautiful garden
    masterewort...hmm don't know that one
    haven't seen it at gardenstores

  2. So pleased your climate comes up trumps for at least part of the year.

    Sorry to hear about your knees - or glad that you will have new ones - not sure which way round to put it.

    'Leggo' seems a very nice name for a horse.

  3. Welcome back, even if temporarily. It is good to know that you and your garden is doing so well. Lucky Leggo getting ot get out and about with you again.

  4. Dear Jodi, Your photography is gorgeous as always and I love the "too busy" sentiments ... the poem is so funny! Our climate, unfortunately, is too hot for planting in July, but that doesn't stop me from planning for fall. Wishing you all the best re: your knees. Enjoy your jaunts with Leggo! P. x

  5. Hi Jodi,
    I so enjoy the book you wrote!! Now, astranta is something I need to check out. I appreciate your recommendation. yes, everything looks wonderful over there... however it's been hot and very dry here for a few weeks... but it will rain one of these times! :-)

  6. A flower that smells like chocolate ! I'd like a good sniff of that one Jodi.

    Your garden was lovely at the open house, can't imagine its lushness now.

    I took lots of pictures at your open house. If you email me I can post 'em privately on Sympatico's Skydrive for you.


  7. Looks amazing! My astratia didn't come back, sorry. And frankly, I'm jealous because every day the heat index is 110, has been for 6 weeks now (seriously), so I can't stay outside more than 5 minutes. Can I come garden for you? I'm anxious to get outside!

  8. Hi Jodi - your post and pictures are delightful. As I read the post, these thoughts came to me from the rabbit hole....I'm late, I'm late for a very important date....The garden is an important date.

  9. Jodi:
    So this is where the cooler, wetter weather has been hiding! We are in the midst of three weeks with little to no rainfall and it looks like tomorrow night will be the first relief in sight! God awful hot and humid as well. Wish I could grow Astrantia, tried the three times it takes before I write it off with no luck! Glad to see you have no trouble!

  10. Chocolate Cosmos--sounds delicious! Your garden certainly is thriving. Thanks for the reminder that late summer is a good time to plant. It has been too hot to plant here lately, but we're looking forward to a respite later this week. Happy August!

  11. Looking Good, Missus. Much more colourful than in March when I was there last!

    Of course, you've lugged home trunkloads of plants since then...

  12. Lovely to hear from all of you, and I'm sorry that I have been so busy and unable to visit blogs like I usually do. Happily, between work, garden, horse, and family, it's all mostly good.

    I'm sorry to hear that some of you have challenges with astrantia. I've found that it is pretty agreeable here, but I can't offer advice for those who live where it's very hot and dry. I wonder about lack of sunlight, though. I moved one of mine that was quite sluggish in a lot of shade into more sunlight and it's going like gangbusters. Lovely plants, those.

    I'll hopefully get to post a couple more times this month, but I have a LOT of work to do (which is good) and not always enough hours in the day for everything. Never boring!

    Leggo sends his regards to all of you. He is an outstanding horse.

  13. Your garden looks so lush and beautiful, Jodi! I can understand why you're too busy to blog--enjoy this wonderful time of the year. Unfortunately, it's not a good time to plant here--much too hot and dry.

    I have to remember to plant a chocolate cosmos next year! Glad you are having some great family time, too.

  14. Jodi, I think you've made the right priority choices here. I've been having trouble keeping up with blogging because I've been digging -- preparing a new flower bed so that I can then spend a big chunk of time shopping for plants and planting (the fun part!!). Enjoy your lush garden, fine late summer weather, and riding. -Jean

  15. Mmmmnnnnn, chocolate! I had that cosmos one year, and it was great. Nice to be reminded of it. Your pictures are lovely, I've enjoyed seeing what's happening on the other coast. Good luck with the riding. When life throws you off, it's good to get back on. All the best!

  16. Oh what a familiar refrain! I'm caught in the same dilemma too, except here in India we're in the middle of our monsoon season (which is growing time for us).
    Oh yes, and I love macros for the exact same reason too. So many revelations which my fool eyes choose not to show me!

  17. Every thing looks so nice and healthy. I love the color of that daylily..do you know the name of it? It's in the picture before the close up of a yellow flower. Looks like there are some ferns to the left of the daylily. What type of daylily is it? Oriental or asiactic? You all must have had a lot of rainfall..everything looks so lush and green.

  18. After all the cold weather and rain, you have been amply rewarded with a lush beautiful garden. Oh those shots, gorgeous.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  19. new to this blog, I like it and do gardening in Maine. Hope you stop over. yvonne

  20. Jodi, every time I open the Sunday paper I see your book kicking ass and taking name on the NS bestseller list. Congrats on the much-deserved success.

  21. Great photo collection of flowers.

    Cassy from Guitar Made Easy

  22. Wondeful collection of plants. It's amazing how much time we spend on photography, shopping stores, working in our garden, AND keeping up with the blogs! Sometimes it's a lot:)


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