July 25, 2010

Lazy Days of Summer

Not much going on in the garden lately. The heat and humidity have been stifling this past week. Due to the heat, I've  put off several projects until more moderate conditions prevail.

A couple of weeks ago my brother can down and helped me put new shutters on the house. I finished clearing and cleaning up the areas beneath the hollies I recently limbed up and finally killed the poison oak that had established residence under them.

The tree form Pee Gee Hydrangea is coming into bloom as well as the "Limelight" hydrangea.

                       Oriental Lily  Lilium 'Casa Blanca

                               Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

The lovely eastern tiger swallowtail is one of the most common and widely distributed swallowtail butterflies, found throughout eastern USA and Canada. The male tiger swallowtail is always the familiar bright yellow with black striped markings. However, some females are dramatically camouflaged - they are dark brown to black, mimicking the poisonous pipevine swallowtail butterfly (which predators know to avoid because it tastes foul and can make them extremely ill).

Black-Eyed Susan

This is a photo taken by my daughter Mary Kathryn of a spider web she found in her yard. A true work of art.

July 7, 2010

This Week in the Garden...

                                             Phlox paniculata 'David'
                         Lilium "Stargazer" 

               Yucca filamentosa ( Variegated Yucca )
                         Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'

         Miscanthus sinensis 'Cosmopolitan' (Cosmopolitan Maiden Grass)

                                                          Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

July 4, 2010


This past week has been difficult for me. It has been a week of changes. When we built our house 23 years ago I planted Nellie R. Stevens at both ends of the house. At that time, I had no idea they would ever get as large as they have become.  I also planted a  Yoshino Cherry tree on the narrow side of the yard, and it too has exceeded all my expectations. The Cherry tree had become so large it was causing an issue with the neighbors in that some branches extended into their yard. At one point, they trimmed some of the branches but the tree has become so large they would have to obtain professional help to trim any more of the branches. Also, feeder branches from the base had  migrated towards the foundation of the house which has caused some concern. After much deliberation, I finally decided to have the Cherry tree removed and the Hollies trimmed back to get them off the roof of the house. I called a professional tree removal service Friday afternoon at 1 p. m. and by 4 p.m. the Cherry tree was history, a large dead pine tree was cut down and removed from the back yard, some large branches of the huge oak tree at the end of the driveway which protruded over the roof were removed. The hollies which I had limbed up the previous weekend were trimmed back and off the roof of the house. Last of all, the virginia creeper that covered a large portion of the front had to come down so new shutters could be installed in the near future. I have to admit that I was pleased with the hollies after limbing them up to a tree form. I was sad to have to remove the virginia creeper. I thought it gave character to the house and soften the brick facade.  

After removing the Cherry Tree, limbing up the hollies and magnolia tree, and removing the vines.

The side garden can now be seen from the front yard.

Removing a large branch from the old oak tree.

Change is sometimes hard, but often necessary. Now the challenge will be to adapt and make changes that will enhance and make the garden even better.