The irises are done blooming now, they finished up while we were out of town. But, can you stand just a couple more pics of them? They were just so spectacular! I love these white ones.
And I was so impressed with these purple edged ones with the white centers.
On the mountainside behind the house, the wild blackberries are blooming. I never get any of the fruit as they are surrounded by poison ivy and the bears and squirrels usually get them first.
There is a flame azalea back in the woods too.
A few days ago, this guy paid us a visit. Luckily he didn’t stay long, and ambled on down the road. I used my good camera with the long lens to get his picture.
He was about 200 pounds, and when he stood up on his hind legs could reach over six feet.
The peach trees promise to have more peaches this year. I hope I can get them before that bear does!
I am getting a late start on my veranda plantings as I didn’t want to buy a lot of plants then leave town for two weeks for someone else to care for. It was so sad to see all the empty pots just waiting for some flowers. But I knew if I did it before we left, some wouldn’t be there when we got back, and I really didn’t want to impose on anyone to come water them. The last time I asked a neighbor to do it since she walks up this hill every day for exercise, she complained that I had too many plants. Well of course I have a lot of plants, it is a big veranda!
When we got home from England, after a day of rest, I went to the garden center with my fingers crossed. Luckily, they had some torenias left in the deep purple I wanted, but not enough for all my hanging baskets. So I got a mix of violet and deep blue, along with yellow and a new white one with a purple throat. After getting a flat of plants there, along with a few others, I went to the big box store to hit their clearance rack. I must have been there at just the right time as they had a lot of things for just 50-cents, and three large basket planters with multiple plants each for just $9 each because the hangers were broken or they were potbound. I came home with the trunk loaded!!
Unloading the bounty onto the porch, now to decide what will go where.
The torenias were planted in my hanging baskets as I usually do to attract the hummingbirds. Right before we left, a hummingbird came by, hovering in each of the spaces where the baskets usually hand, looking for them. I was delighted to see her yesterday evening at the newly planted baskets.
This is the first planter with the whole root ball lifted out. You can see how the roots are running around the edge. This is a potbound planter, ready to be split apart and made into multiple plantings. This pot held four red geraniums and a tall spike dracaena in the middle.
Carefully pulled apart and replanted with some bargain petunias, this one planter filled three pots.
In the back, I planted a cleome, a plant I have never seen before. I like to try new plants each year to see how they do. This one is tall, and has a beautiful pink bloom. And I just saw it on a garden show on Sunday on PBS.
DH brought my planting bench up to the sidewalk, and once again it was so helpful to be able to use it. I was going to do impatiens in my table planters again this year, but I was a bit stunned at the prices of them this year. So, instead, from the clearance area I got some vincas and petunias.
Once again, you can see why these guys were on clearance, the dry roots were growing out of the bottom. These will come back nicely when they are potted up and given a little TLC.
All done. Instead of white this year, these pots will be mostly purple.
I use these next to the rockers to hold a drink or a book.
A new visitor to the feeder, this chipping sparrow turned his head towards me as I got the camera out to take his picture. His rufus cap is his most distinguishing feature.
I pulled the pink calibrachoa out of its pot, and put it on the bench to separate the plants. These annuals did really well last year, so I got more for the veranda.
I decided to use part of it in the two pots I have in the front flower bed.
When I started digging in those pots, one of these guys came scrambling out of it. I don’t know who was more startled, LOL!! They are called skinks and their tails are bright blue.
I got three pots full of flowers from that one basket. The third one I set on top of the little wheelbarrow from an auction last year. DH helped me modify it by taking the top boards off, and cutting the side pieces level then replacing the top boards so I could use it as a table. Before, the top was slanted like a roof. In the little black iron candle lantern, I put a tiny pot with a little vinca. The pots below hold seed geraniums, smaller flowers than the standard geranium, in a pretty pink.
The pink calibrachoas fill the pot next to the upright purple penstemon perennial I planted last year. It was laying on the ground from the rain, so I put a tomato cage with it to hold the flower stalks upright.
The third pink calibrachoa sits next to the snapdragons coming up again from seed. I should have a lot more snaps, but I am afraid the seeds may have been eaten over the winter.
The Veronica ‘Inspire Blue’ perennial planted last year is already blooming. It should spread a bit more this year, and the flowers will reach up behind the iris fronds.
Tackling the next big pot, I pulled out the root ball and set it on the ground to separate the plants. This one had a bunch!
From it I got three yellow bidens, two red petunias and two calibrachoa also in red.
I added one of the yellow bidens to the corner grouping.
The petunias and calibrachoas got separate pots.
Basil goes in a large pot, four plants should produce enough to keep the kitchen supplied. A fuschia went into another ceramic pot. These pots are on a black wrought iron plant stand I found at the thrift store.
The large pot next to the front door has begonias and the white torenia. More white petunias fill the smaller pot.
In another large pot on the west end of the veranda, a beefsteak tomato shares the space with a couple of begonias for color.
I’d been working all day and was almost done. A few more extra plants were put in the flower bed for now, to fill in with some color. I did some weeding, but I need to do more.
The strawberry pot got impatiens in the little slots and a flat leaf parsley in the top. That worked well last year to keep the kitchen supplied with fresh parsley.
More black iron plant stands collected over the winter help add varying heights to the grouping. The tall one was moved from the other end for this year.
The veranda is looking a bit more like spring and summer. We spent an entire day washing the veranda and the railings to remove the pollen from the flooring and algae that grows over the year from the railings. When we were done, I did a bit of rearranging. For those with sharp eyes, I’ll show you what I did with the birdcage soon.
I have just a few more pots that could use a plant, and I moved the tall black metal plant stand back to the porch too. I need to do a summer wreath now, with more vibrant colors to go with the reds, yellows and purples that are more dominant this year, rather than the pastels of last year. It is a work in progress, all summer long, LOL!! What is going on in your garden?
Prize Announcement – The winner of the London prize from Monday’s post is Barb Y, with a guess of 857 photos. She was just 19 points off the actual total of 838. If I had been able to take photos inside the cathedrals and some of the museum and castle rooms, it would have been much higher. Congratulations, Barb! Thanks to all who took a guess, and to those who participated in the poll. The top vote getter was Kensington Palace and Gardens, and I’ll post about that next week.