noun...1. seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.

Grace Gardens is...

This blog's purpose is for me to keep a garden journal of sorts. To detail some of the things that I accomplish in the garden and a little of what I do in my home as well. It will also be a place where I will post the photos that I love to take so much. Maybe a place to post my overflowing of pictures that I particularly like or find artistic. Some posts will be wordy...and some may have no conversation at all. Just a post to bring back to mind a lovely day or a meaningful memory. I have disabled the comments on this blog, but feel free to e-mail me for any questions about what you see here. My e-mail address can be found in my profile.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This week in the garden.

We had some beautiful days last week and I was able to get much accomplished
in the garden. I lost so many roses this year to the extreme Winter conditions we had.
I didn't lose them entirely, because most shrub roses on their own rootstock
will usually always flush back from the root. However, since
many of them were climbers, they have a long way to go to become what they were.
I spent most of this week pruning them back and cleaning the ones up that made it through a little better.

Really the only blooms so far have been the hundreds and hundreds of daffodils and tulips
growing in the space.
I took a ton of photos of my favorite daffodils in the garden. I didn't take the time to look up the name of this
daffodil before doing this post however.

 Too many pictures ahead!!!

And it smells SO good too!

Yesterday was sunny, but so cold.
In the late afternoon I looked out the back door and saw the sun was going down,
so I got the camera and braved the cold (50 degrees)lol))
to catch the time of day that I love best here.

If I could bottle the late afternoon light I would do it.

Everything looks lovely in this light.

This tree is a Canada Red chokecherry. I love the fragrance of the blooms. It fills the air here in this space
for a number of days. We have 9 of these trees in the garden. 10, if you count the May Day tree
that is from the same family and has the same bloom.

I love the long shadows of the pasture fence that fall on the lawn this time of day.

I spent about five hours a day this week weeding, edging, and mixing soil for the vegetable beds.

I planted hollyhocks along the shed in the back and divided and transplanted garden
phlox in a new bed I started last year.
I think I have divided and transplanted everything that needed it. 
I was able to give away a few things to friends that I didn't have room for here.
I can't stand to throw any plant away, and I think that keeps me from dividing things that badly need it.
It's one of the reasons that the garden just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

This is what the lilacs looked like yesterday. Still pretty tight in the bud.

Just a few more sunny days should do the trick though.
I can't wait!

I prune most of my lilacs into tree form. I just like the look better.
You do sacrifice blooms that way, but I just love how it opens up the garden.
A lilac bush left natural takes a lot of room in the garden. I have five that I have left alone, so I still have plenty blooms to cut and bring into the house.

This is the Centurion crab apple tree. It too needs just a little more sun to bring it into full bloom.

Two of these sit just out the french doors and off the rear patio. When they bloom it smells like Heaven here!

When I am designing a new bed and choosing the plants for the space, it is fragrance I consider first if the bed is anywhere near a patio or sitting area.

When choosing day lilies or peonies for my garden, I like to go to the local nurseries
and smell the different varieties.
While the colors are important to me, it is always secondary to the fragrance of the varieties offered.

Last year I found a picture of a pole vine trellis in a garden magazine.
I wanted it!
I hinted, then I cajoled, then pleaded, but no trellis materialized.

This Spring I started my begging early.  

Finally I convinced Dale it wasn't going to be an eyesore.
(Well maybe for a little while until it is covered with vines and climbing roses.)

He built it exactly like the one in the picture I had saved. Using poles that were still
covered in bark and very rustic looking.

This trellis is BIG. It is 35 ft long and stands a little over 8 ft tall.
So far I have planted a Virginia creeper, a river bank grape, 4 clematis vines,
and sweet peas.
 I will be planting 2 climbing roses when I find the ones I want on it.
Dale will be building an arched gate for it soon.
The trellis sits on the property line between our neighbors and us.

 So all in all, I am happy with everything we accomplished in the few nice days
we had to work this week. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Unfinished business...

I have only spent a total of three days in the garden so far this Spring because of unseasonable
temps and wind.
The past three days have been beautiful.

My list just keeps getting longer it seems, rather
than getting shorter.

Usually by now, I have the beds edged, weeded and mulched,
I haven't even taken down the Christmas lights from the pasture fence...

Or from the gazebos.

Every year I try to find enough lights with white strings, but I haven't been able to yet get enough
for the gazebo. I always seem to start looking too late, and they are gone before
I get around to it.
Next year I will shop for them early before they are all bought up.

The gazebo is so beautiful lit up in the snow in Winter.
It is one of those little things that make the season special for me.
I have so many comments from the town's people on how much they enjoy
seeing it glow in the snow.
From the house it looks magical.

But for now they had to go back into the box and back into the storage shed.
One thing off the list.

plants had to be moved, divided, shared or replanted elsewhere in the garden.

Yesterday I was able to weed two large beds and transplant several things.
Today was spent weeding and cleaning some more beds and getting them ready for the mulch.

I also took a few pictures today of some of the green showing up the past few days.
It always is a surprise to me how a little sunshine just makes things spring to life.
Even though it has been cold and windy, we have had some sun
and so the plants have been making their appearances.

The Canada red chokecherry trees are budding now
and soon will fill the air with a lovely scent that accompanies
it's bloom.

The peonies are up!

And the Annabelle hydrangea is peeking through a bit.

I love grape hyacinths.
It's a good thing too, because they are multiplying faster than I can move them.
I have purple and white in the garden. 

They are everywhere!

I have been reminded again why I need to plant things that are zoned for my area.
The past few Winters here have been milder in temperatures than Winters in previous years,
so I relaxed a little and would plant some zone 5 plants here in my zone 3/4 garden.
I can easily remember 30 below zero temperatures in Winters past,
but we hadn't reached those lows in over ten years.
This year was extremely cold here and windy.
The snowfall was late and the cold came before the snow cover and that
means trouble for the garden.
I  lost many plants this Winter and I'm still mourning their loss.
Mostly the money I spent on them! lol

I lost all the little foxglove 4" cups that I planted last Fall,
and many plants that have resided in the garden for four or more years.

I lucked out with the lavender though.
Lavender is typically a zone 5 plant and last Fall I planted 25
new plants. I have a lot of lavender in this garden, but wanted more
to harvest because I make a lot of sachets for gifts and never have all that I need.

They all survived and I am so pleased.
 It almost makes up for the plants I lost.

The Camperdown elm tree is budding.
I LOVE this tree.
It is a favorite with the grandchildren too.
They call it the 'faerie tree' because when the girls were younger they were sure that
the faeries lived under it's branches.
I let the branches grow clear to the ground and it makes a little 'room' under the leafy branches.
Perfect for little grandchildren to play under.
One year I discovered 2 children's chairs and a little iron child's table and dolls
and all the things needed to play house properly under there
after the kids all went home.

Some people prune the branched up high and thus the nickname of
Umbrella tree.

Some of the daffodils are blooming now, so I took the time to take a few pictures today.

It's so funny how I come out here and get to working and just lose track of time.
I spent three hours straight just weeding before even going in the house this morning.
I love that!

Dale started building a large vine trellis for me today.
I wanted it out of 'barky' poles. I wanted it to looked rustic and rugged.
I saw the idea in a gardening magazine a few years ago and had torn the page out and
saved it. I came across it again this Winter and a few days ago 
shared it with Dale and he actually said he would build it for me.
No complaining or anything, just went and bought the poles and started it.
I'm a happy girl!!!

It should be completed soon and then I will be planting some vines to cover it.
I think I'll put some climbing roses on it as well for color.
It won't look great this Summer, but in a year or two, it will be amazing.

Tomorrow promises to be another beautiful day
so that means several more hours in the beds weeding.
I probably have about three more days of weeding
and then I start edging the beds. Tedious work because I do it all with a shovel.
I love a freshly edged bed though, so it is worth the work...
and it's great for my waistline!