Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Snapshot

Every summer I live by one simple rule: do nothing. With school dominating my life from mid-August to mid-June, I spend my summer days in teacher rehab - I go to bed the same day I woke up, I don't grade anything, and read books written for adults. It's fantastic.

My garden is designed to be a summer garden because that's when I'm home to enjoy it. Grab a drink and pull up a chair.


The sunny border near the rain garden is a pollinator paradise. Hummingbirds go crazy for the red silene regia 'Prairie Fire'.


The dogs all hang out under the cherry tree.



This phlox is the love child of 'David' and possibly 'Laura' but no one's talking. It has purple stems and petals with ragged edges.


Let me know if you'd like seeds. It's about three feet tall.


A bit of shade under the trumpet vine


Mix and match monarda


One of the screens in an upstairs window fell out so I was able to take a picture of the sunny side and rain garden.


Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' and native mountain mint (pycnanthemum muticum)  love afternoon shade.


The boss


 Annual rudbeckia hirta collapsed into the tansy during a storm and decided they liked it so much they stayed. 


Insect on the dalea


My 'Abraham Darby' roses were slow to perk up this summer but have finally decided to grow and bloom.


Pitcher pot of of purple basil


Zinnias and white balloon flowers next to the variegated oregano I bought at Joy Creek.


Zinnias are one of my favorite flowers. I grew them all from seed. Seedlings don't argue, whine, or ask if they have homework.


My blue mist flowers and 'Monck' asters have already started blooming.


The view out the kitchen window.


Adios! I have a hot date with that hammock.

76 comments:

  1. I'm a big fan of zinnias too. One reason is how easy they are to start from seed, but mine did whine and refuse to do their homework this year: out of a whole (large) packet of seeds I only got ten plants. So glad to see you have a little bit of Oregon in your garden with the oregano from Joy Creek. Is that the trunk of your trumpet vine in the left side of the photo? Yowza!

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    1. That is a trumpet vine! It's been growing for about 8-9 years and I have the trunk pruned into a tree. Zinnias like the seeds to just be barely covered in loose soil. But I had some seeds that were duds, too. I thought that oregano was hardy past zone 7 when I bought, but no such luck. I'm going to try and overwinter it under grow lights in my basement. It will be a fun winter project. :o)

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  2. I like to plant flowers for the hummingbirds, too. They seem to prefer flowers over the hummingbird feeder. The Abraham Darby rose has always been a favorite of mine, though the one I planted succumbed to black spot. Yours is gorgeous! There is so much to enjoy from the viewpoint of your hammock! And I love the views from your kitchen and upstairs windows. Enjoy your summer garden, as you certainly deserve it.

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    1. Thanks! My Abraham was very slow to grow this summer but I realized it was being shaded by a larger plant (it's in a pot) and needed more fertilizer. Once I made those changes, it perked right up. That hammock is just an incredible spot to spend a few hours. I took a nap in it the other day. Best purchase ever!

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  3. Love your garden and all your beautiful blooms. Zinnias are my fav too. I love all the colours and textures you have, so much to look at! So many good planting ideas too! What a great place to relax and recharge your batteries. Love that David Austin rose its beautiful! Enjoy your week Chris

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  4. Your Zinnias look so exuberant! I planted quite a few from seed (in April, just prior to the unseasonable May heatwaves). They germinated easily and I thinned as directed but most have produced only small pokey flowers (if any) - they're the very opposite of exuberant. I'm not at all sure what happened but I did fill in which some purchased in pony-packs to compensate.

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    1. Zinnias want rich, moist soil. They aren't drought tolerant at all. Dig some compost into their spot or give them a good dose of liquid kelp enriched water.

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  5. What an incredible abundance of bloom -- your flowers are so absolutely lovely in all their summer glory! How wonderful that you have summers off to enjoy them fully. Thanks so much for sharing the beauty with us! -Beth

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    1. Thanks, Beth! If I had to work during the summer, I'd lose my mind. But I put in such long hours during the school year that my summers off are pay back.

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  6. Full blown summer in those photos. Love the variety of flowers.

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  7. I love zinnias also! My favorite is 'Orange Profusion'. Your summer garden is gorgeous, I love the colors. As for Laura and David, they never could have a future together, but they'll always have Paris.

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    1. So funny!! Memories of Paris might be better, anyway. ;o)

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  8. Glad you have a date with that hammock! Ha! And I am so glad you are soaking it all in! I will be heading back to the classroom in a year or two so that we can get the beans through college.....I know how very important summer break is so live it up in that beautiful garden! And yes I would love seeds!!!!!! That overhead shot rocks by the way! Happy gardening to you! Nicole xoxo

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    1. Send me an email with your address and I'll save seeds for you. :o) I went back to work when my son was 6 and my daughter was almost 3. Having that second paycheck made life so much easier. Here's something to consider if your state has this: see if there's a program that allows you in lock in the tuition rates of a set year instead of just saving. We paid for our kids tuition (not room/board) when we moved here 11 years ago. We made a payment every month. So now we pay the tuition rates of 2003 for our daughter instead of 2014! We saved thousands of dollars.

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  9. I don't blame you for designing your garden to be at its peak in the summer when you can most appreciate it. Teaching is hard work, and you deserve that hammock. I would love some of your Phlox seeds! I grow a lot from seed.

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    1. Thanks! I'll save some seeds for you. Just send me an email with your address. :o)

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  10. I love the purple Basil in that pitcher pot. It has style! Hope you enjoy a well-earned rest. I teach adults, and that is hard too!

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    1. I bought the pot before I bought the basil but love how well they compliment each other. If your adults whined and were lazy, telling them you were going to call heir mother probably wouldn't do any good. ;o)

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  11. Gorgeous. Enjoy your brief, well-earned break in the hammock!

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    1. Thanks! The hammock is a happy place. :o)

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  12. I love your summer garden - there comes a point where we all need to take advantage of a break in life away from the day to day rigours. You will feel refreshed and replenished after - enjoy it whilst it lasts.

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    1. Thanks, Elaine! A summer break gives me the rest I need to spend another school year dealing with 12 year olds all day. I'd go nuts without it.

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  13. Your summer garden is stunning. So many lovely plants. I haven' t seen the red Silene before, it' s gorgeous. And those Zinnias! Wow! I don' t know why I have never grown them. I will try next year. You certainly deserve your time in the hammock. I have one too, there is nothing like it when the weather is hot.

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    1. Thanks, Chloris. :o) Zinnias are very easy to grow. The seeds like to be barely covered in light, loose soil. They love rich, moisture retentive soil but definitely not wet. They're aren't drought tolerant but want full sun.

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  14. I feel your teacher- related pain Tammy ! I m part -time now, and although in and out of schools all the time, I am no longer doing direct teaching, but the memory of the work load is etched on my brain ! The holidays is a wonderful opportunity to relax and hit the hammock !
    All is looking lovely and colourful in your garden - and the boss is keeping an eye on all proceedings !

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    1. The Boss is a very kind supervisor. She lets me nap whenever I want. If she thinks I"m working too hard, she'll nap for me.

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  15. The color in your yard is really lovely. Everything just stands out for you this year.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. I do love how vibrant everything is. I like how cheerful it is. :o)

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  16. Summer looks glorious at your house! I especially like that warm golden rudbeckia with the cool silver mountain mint -- did you see a pink coneflower has photobombed the shot? Loved it! That hammock sure looks inviting, but I wouldn't want to close my eyes and miss all the colorful exuberance.

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    1. Yay, it's Laurrie!! The coneflower photobomber is so dang cute, she can stay. Laying in that hammock in the shade is a dream. :o)

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  17. What a wonderful teacher sanctuary. You have a beautiful variety of plants and flowers. Right about now I would be writing syllabi were I still working. Can't say that I really miss that chore. Enjoy these last days. Linger in your lovely garden, soaking up as much energy as you can.

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    1. July is always such an incredible month because I know I don't have to do anything at all school related. But inservice days/conferences start in the next few weeks so it will be back to the grind soon.

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  18. I really like your approach to gardening. Your garden is stunning, and very welcoming, I hope that you get lots of time to spend in it and enjoy it fully.

    Jen

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    1. In the summer I love to start my day by sitting at our patio table and just watching the garden wake up. Thanks for the garden love. :o)

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  19. I've heard it said that it's easy to create a beautiful garden in the spring; the real challenge is a garden that still looks good in summer and fall! And in our summer heat, that's quite a challenge!

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    1. Thanks, John! I have a three season garden. I have total winter disinterest but it's designed to hit it's peak in summer and early fall. I like plants that laugh at heat and humidity.

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  20. That rose is so gorgeeeous! And your "Boss" looks very similar to mine... I could sit in your garden for days. What beautiful vistas wherever you look!

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    1. She's the best boss ever. :o) That rose was hard hit by our much colder than average winter this year but has perked up with the addition of some Dr Earth rose fertilizer. I love it, too. It's one of my favorites. :o)

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  21. I love your garden, can I come over for an ice tea? I'm with Susan above in admiring that Abraham Darby rose. Is it an Austin rose? Excuse my ignorance about those "cabbage" roses, they remind me of Rembrandt paintings. I should buy more because they make my heart go pitter patter. I have the same incestuous phlox! Same color, although to my delight, one large section just turned maroon for the heck of it. A recessive gene I guess. Your garden reminds me a lot of mine--such a happy place to be.

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    1. You can come by anytime! Abraham is a David Austin and it's growing in a huge pot. It came through my blackspot plague mostly unscathed last year. It will be very interesting to see if the phlox comes true from seed or decides to just be someone else entirely.

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  22. Enjoy your colour-soaked summer! I really must crack growing zinnias, they are cracking flowers. I tend to fail with basil too. Me? Envious? ;-)

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    1. Give zinnias another try. They like heat and germinate well in loose soil. Basil is also a heat lover. It wants all the same conditions as zinnias. Both grew well for me as seedlings in coir pots.

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  23. How very clever you are to have all in bloom to marry up with your time off! It all looks so very beautiful, please pop around here and get everything to bloom in my garden! I love The Boss, and would like an afternoon on that hammock with a bottle of chilled wine!xxx

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    1. Even the dogs love the hammock. As soon as I lie down, they all pile in. Coneflowers, phlox, and all types of rudbeckia, heliopsis, and zinnias bloom during high summer so I plant loads of them. :o)

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  24. Oh my gosh ! where do I begin girl ... I love that shot of the monarda ... yes the zinnias are gorgeous and everyone zones in on them .. but monarda, as much trouble that they can stir up, there is something about their forma and colour that knocks my socks off. The rose ... so beautiful ! I am having a bit of a problem with black spot but I should have been spraying with the simple solution that keeps it in check, my bad!
    All of the flowers are stunning this time of year and you have such nice plantings ... the lucky shot out the window is perfect and good touch with the screen falling out to do it with ? LOL ... no raccoon mafia involved with that ? haha
    Yes ... this final month of summer coming up ... ENJOY girl ! hammock time is what you need !
    Joy : )

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    1. I love monarda. They're like rainbow colored Rastafarians. I had a massive blackspot problem last year and have been keeping ahead of it this year, mostly. I need to get my butt out there tomorrow and spray my organic stuff.

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  25. I really loved this tour and especially the gorgeous view from above....I understand the need for a summer recovery. I am doing that now as well and enjoying resting and reading!

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  26. Wow, wow and wow again!
    I love the first two shots of the riot of colour, and the one from the upstairs window, it all looks gorgeous. Oh how I miss Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'. A deer had mine for its breakfast.

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    1. Thanks, thanks, and thanks! You have so much wildlife to deal with! There are loads of deer here but they don't venture very far into my neighborhood. Too many cars, people, dogs, I suppose. Rudbeckia are really tough. They should sprout again.

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  27. What a perfect place to enjoy summer surrounded by all that beauty! I can just imagine the abundance of pollinators flitting around. All of your hard work paid off!

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    1. There are a lot of bees and other small insects but a noticeable absence of butterflies this year. It's really sad. There are hives nearby, which is where I think the bees are coming from. But the sunnyside garden practically buzzes every morning. It's a joy. :o)

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  28. I have found a way to view the photos on your blog and read the text, it involves one laptop, one iPad and a tiny fraction of phone too. Our internet speed is so very very slow here. Anyhow, I am glad I can finally see more of your garden, rather than imagine it or look at tiny photos on my phone. Its lovely and summery and looks a really wonderful place to relax.

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    1. Yay! Maybe sending you actual photos would be faster. :o) It's my relaxing happy place unless I think about all the transplanting, etc I want/need to do!

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  29. Your garden looks like a lovely place to chill out and do as little as possible for the summer – although I can imagine the garden doesn’t take care of itself completely :-)
    What do your purple basil taste like? I almost bought some seedlings of them this spring but ended up with ‘Italian large leafed Basil’ instead – not sure if I like them, they have a distinct liquorice flavour that I can’t get used to! Next year I want just plain, ordinary basil – need to find out what that’s called….

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    1. I haven't eaten any of the purple basil! I just thought it was pretty. :o) But now I need to go nibble a piece. I spend loads of time puttering in the garden. It's definitely not self-sufficient but it is truly a labor of love. The basil commonly used in pesto is 'Genovese'. It has large leaves and a strong, sweet flavor.

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  30. Your garden is so bright, colorful, and full of joy, just like its gardener! Two more weeks of doing nothing - Hooray! While my garden is mostly a summer garden for the same reason, I also have things for winter interest because sometimes I need a little pick me up on the weekend.

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    1. Yay! Thanks for the garden love! :o) I have some spring and fall garden action but winter is pure blahness out there. So I retreat to my basement "greenhouse" to start seeds, etc. Some days I come home right as it's getting dark and if I'd missed anything cool in the garden, I'd be a screaming lunatic. No pride - no shame - just a stressed out 'You had a party without me' mess!

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  31. Enjoy your richly-deserved rest in that beautiful summer garden.

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  32. You deserve to do "nothing" all summer! I especially like your plan to "go to bed the same day [you] woke up":) I used to use summer vacations to get all the summer housework projects done that I didn't have time to do all winter...which meant my house never quite got clean:) I love all the colorful plants in your garden--the perfect place to curl up on that hammock with what my friend used to call a "pleasure book"!

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    1. I'm in that hammock with a book as often as possible. :o) I love my garden so much in the summer that reviewing pix of it during the winter is such a pick me up and stress buster. I'd much rather garden than clean, anyway.

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  33. What a great way to spend your "recess"! It was a joy to scroll through the photos of your colorful garden with so many fabulous SUMMER plants!

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    1. Summer is when the show starts here and isn't recess the best part of the school day, anyway? ;o)

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  34. Hi Tammy, I'm frantically tearing around the garden in summer, any opportunity I can get I'm out doing something until it gets too dark to see or I'm dragged back inside. I'm glad you're able to take a break from it all. With having just started a new garden after the house move the summers are booked up with garden work for the foreseeable future! The hard work you put into your garden is really showing off, the borders, plants and flowers look incredible!

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    1. Thanks, Sunil! I do the same thing in the spring/fall. My weekends are spent gardening and grading. It's always such a race. There have been many nights my husband has yelled out that it's too dark to garden so what the heck am I doing? Seeing that vibrant burst of flowers in the summer makes all the work so worth it!

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  35. What a gorgeous explosion of colour! I really like your mix and match Monarda, I'm looking to add other varieties to go alongside my existing ones next year, it looks lovely like this. Enjoy the hammock!

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    1. Thanks! I love a bright summer garden. :o)

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  36. Its great to enjoy the garden, and you've a lovely garden to enjoy! Very nice flowers and lots of colour!

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    1. Thanks! It's my own personal rainbow. :o)

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  37. Love the shot from the window, and also the thought of you tucking plants from Joy Creek into your suitcase! Gorgeous garden and great summer attitude Tammy :)

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    1. One advantage of having biggish boobs is I had a biggish bra to wrap around my plants. They were very well protected! ;o)

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  38. I know you teachers work awfully hard during the school year but boy does a summer off sure sound nice. I am green with envy looking at your beautiful garden and the thought of relaxing in a hammock with a book.

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  39. Your garden is looking wonderfully colorful Tammy. It has been very humid here and so a hammock sounds like the perfect spot to from which to garden in the afternoon. How come my Phlox are so much less sociable? I wouldn't mind an interesting offspring or two! I need to generate more of a party atmosphere I think.
    Love the shot of the "boss". When it comes to dogs, little guys often have the biggest attitude. The other day at the leash-free park we saw a Pug take on a Great Dane. The Pug was intimidated by the Great Dane's pony-like size and figured he'd let him know who was in charge. The Great Dane had no idea what to do with the little guy coming at him!

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