Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Stroll through Evan's New Garden!

It's gotten to the part of the summer when I just start to get lazy. You know, the part when summer begins and then it continues till, I don't know, September! I'm from the South, so you'd think I'd be accustomed to the heat and humidity. And maybe I am, but that doesn't mean I like it! I took these photos a week or more ago. They are all from Evan's new garden. The flower in the picture above is Stokesia laevis, commonly called Stoke's Aster. They are native to this area. In some years the foliage gets a little droopy, because of low humidity, or drought. Not this year! We've have humidity and enough rain to make everything lush and beautiful!

Another moisture lover, Astilbe, also tends to suffer in the Southern heat. This year they are taking it in stride (probably because it just hasn't been all that hot. Just average temperatures. I'm not complaining!)

My mom gave me this little purple Bee Balm last year. It has already doubled its size. I have my eye on it, because I'm wary of spreaders. Thus far, I've not had any powdery mildew issues, and I love the low height. It's approximately 12" tall. I think this must be "Pardon My Purple." I love the traditional red of Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), but that stuff spreads like crazy and was 3-4 feet tall! And the whole powdery mildew thing. So, this is a nice compromise.

I picked up a couple of little Hydrangeas at church one Easter. Two plants in honor of my kiddies. I went out of town without watering them. I called my husband to bring them in (they were still potted and small), to avoid the heat wave that was predicted. I came home and they looked pitiful. Like they hadn't been watered or something. Ahem. Well, they've done very nicely since they've been put in the ground.

The pathway in Evan's new garden. It leads to...

An arbor with this gorgeous little double Clematis! I have no clue what it's called, but I love it!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Studies?

I had thought we'd try to hit the books over the summer months to get the kids ready for the upcoming school year. Not all day or anything, but some nice, organized learning with breaks for fun. Well, it's been more like nice, unorganized fun with bits of learning. Little, tiny bits.
Miranda's been doing a lot of creative play time. She is a wonderful pretender, just like both her brothers. I will often find her playing with her engines and princesses. One day Sleeping Beauty was giving a talk to her engine friends. She had to scold Queen James a few times, though!

When it's too hot to go outside, we have a small bounce house we can inflate indoors. It was the perfect size when they were little. Now, they are so big that they have toppled it over onto its side a couple of times.

The kids participated in Music Camp again this year. Miranda (like last year) hung out in the Narthex during the performance. Duncan sang, played a drum, and played a hand chime! It was a lot of fun!
Miranda also enjoys taking pictures of anything and everything. She loves taking pictures of herself almost as much as she loves gazing in the mirror. She spends time admiring herself, not really primping so much as making faces. If she's crying and upset, she's got to go to the mirror to check out how sad that little face is.
A shot of a beloved mermaid's tail!

She also enjoys sneaking up on big brother. She likes to scare him, tickle him, tease him, and yes, take pictures of him!

"How close can I get to Duncan before he gets mad," she wonders. Duncan plays a video game and tries to ignore her.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Red Flowered Step Child

My front gardens are filled with pink! I have a pink Mandavilla trailing up the mailbox and Pink Drift Roses nearby.

These Pink Drift Roses help make my boring sidewalk more beautiful!

I have "Wineberry Candy" Daylilies edging the grass and some "Paper Butterfly" Daylilies in the front beds. They are both peach with a deep pink (am I stretching it?) throat.
I have some lovely pink Vinca serving as my summer annuals in the beds.
I bought some annual pink Geraniums (Pelargoniums!) to throw in alongside the Vinca to get some height and a different leaf. I bought them from a place we like to call Crazy Eddies. We call this respectable nursery CE's, because the plants are at rock bottom prices, and it feels like any ads would say things like, "EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!" Maybe it was because I trusted the labels at Crazy Eddie's. Maybe I should have purchased plants in bloom. But, I ended up with...
This red flowered step child. And she's a beaut. And my daughter Miranda thinks it's, "So pretty!" But the bright red blooms look a little, uh, garish? next to the soft pink hues. So, what to do? I may transplant her back to Evan's Garden (he loved the color red!)

Of course, I can't say that everything in the front gardens is pink, because these lovely Daylilies have had a spot there for years. A bigger spot now, because I've divided one plant into six. I don't know what they are. I picked one up at a fancier nursery (no loud annoying ads for them!) at the end of the summer season one year. I don't remember if it was labelled "Wineberry Candy" or not, but it seems like it was.
Here is a bloom with "Wineberry Candy" in the background. Pretty different. But, oh so lovely! I love them! But I am considering moving them to a different spot. And maybe adding a nice dark pink (burgundy!) daylily to replace them.