The Party’s Over

August 26, 2012

I was a bit worried there wouldn’t be enough flowers blooming to make a bouquet but two big bouquets arrived with my friends so we were surrounded by fragrant beauty.

I managed to get all the invasive euphorbia pulled out from in front of my newly revised terrace the day before…

…and potted up some fun little party favors early in the week.

I did leave some grass growing…it was a pot party after all!

We had munchies – oh my gosh, do my friends know how to ‘treat’ one another.  Delicious fare.

Lots of Cosmos blooming as we walked about in the garden digging up plants to send home with friends.

Lucky me, left with these pots full of plants,rocks and garden gifts from my friends!!!  We decided to make it an annual round robin event with a different host garden for each ‘Pot Party’.  Too much fun for all involved.

Thanks for stopping by!!

July Flowers

July 22, 2012

One of my favorites, Eremurus robustus (Foxtail Lily) grows about 8′ tall & signals the start of summer in my Pacific Northwest garden.

Leucanthemum superbum (Shasta Daisies) seem to jump up everywhere if I don’t keep my eye on them.

Allium ‘Hair’ is another favorite that adds whimsey to a bouquet of color.  They took awhile to spread, but are now interspersed throughout my garden.

Hot pink Yarrow adds giant sparks of color, and pulls up easily when it starts taking over.

Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’  is about to bloom.  It’s taken awhile to get started and deer love it.

What can I say about lilies…my favorites!  This is Lily lankongense ‘Angela North’.

Lily lankongense ‘Rosepoint Lace’.

Although not fragrant, I love this pale pink Asiatic lily as most of my Asiatics are red or yellow.

Eryngium amithystinum (Sea Holly) is taking over one section of my garden and hard to pull out!

Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan) ready to open.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, another favorite is ready to open.  I’m trying to incorporate these into more sections of the garden.

Astrantia ‘Rose Symphony’ is so sweet, and finally starting to spread.

Rodgersia pinnata is another deer favorite so I think this is the first flower I’ve seen.

I love Peonies and have a small collection, but have forgotten the names of most.  This red with yellow center is very striking.

…As is this pink – also with yellow center

But I really love this pink and fluffy peony with very large blooms.

‘Bowl of Beauty’ was one of the first I planted in my garden.

Along with ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, another big beautiful fluffy bloom.

Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate it!

Be Still My Heart…..

July 28, 2009

Orienpet Lily

Orienpet Lily

……the Orienpets are beginning to bloom!  One of my favorite flowers, they’re a cross between Trumpet & Oriental lilies combining the best of both.  If you’re unfamiliar with these, visualize a cross between Easter Lilies & Stargazers.

First day of bloom!

First day of bloom!

Alluring fragrance and large blooms on very tall sturdy stems, Orienpets are a bit more expensive than other lilies, but well worth the money.  I’ve purchased most of my recent lily additons from The Lily Garden and have been very happy with the bulbs and service.  Their catalog this year is, as usual breathtaking.

Greet the Morning Sun

Greet the Morning Sun

Hummingbirds love lilies and should you choose to plant them, prepare to forge your way through the swarm of hummers to get close.  The hummers in my neighborhood seem to swarm the most around my red lilies.  The Asians in particular, but we’re talking about Orienpets today…


Aroma of Orienpet permeates the garden & wafts into my house.  I judiciously cut a few bouquets to bring in, as they last longer when left on the plant.  My bouquets over the years have grown smaller for this reason.

Morning Glow

Morning Glow

My favorite Orienpets are ‘Starburst Sensation’, ‘Anastasia’, ‘Arabesque’, Silk Road & Caravan, not necessarily in that order.  I also have & love ‘Black Beauty’, ‘Scheherazade’, ‘Georgette’, ‘Leslie Woodriff’, and a few others whose names I’ve lost.



My lily beds have changed from those first put in as I learned more and more about planting & caring for lilies.  My first plantings went straight into the ground without properly amending the soil or protecting the bulbs.  I did mine the rocks out.  I didn’t mark where I had planted them, so never knew how many I lost due to lack of water, rodents, deer, or other maladies that can plague a novice gardener.

Come Closer

Come Closer

My family & I enjoyed those that grew and bloomed until one year none of my lilies came up.  Where WERE they?  My tulips had also not come up that spring.  After investigating amidst much despair and angst at having lost all my lilies and tulips I learned moles and voles were abundant that year & had probably eaten every bulb within a 20 mile radius.

Look Away

Look Away

As a birthday gift, my wonderful husband replaced ALL my bulbs!  I was ready to do battle and protect my new bulbs from harms way, including any future mole and vole invasions.  At the hardware store I purchased 20 yards of hardware cloth.  I cut it, bent it, and sewed sides onto it using wire, turning it into several giant wire baskets that were lowered into the ground I’d hollowed out.  The baskets were filled with amended soil from all the best spots in my garden at the time.  Finally, some of those unearthed rocks were placed around the perimeters keeping the newly raised beds intact.

Big Fat Buds

Big Fat Buds

When fall arrived and my 300 new bulbs along with it, I was ready to plant.  Yes, I said 300 bulbs.  Lilies and tulips.  By now you must know I’m a collector & cannot buy just a dozen of anything!  And I was replacing what had taken a few years to collect.  And it was a gift!!



I love all the seasons of my garden, but when the lilies begin to bloom I’m in heaven.  From the Asians to the Orienpets & Orientals.  In fact, anything calling itself lily soon becomes a favored flower in my garden.  Daylilies, Foxtail lilies, Toad lilies, Candy lilies, Lily of the Valley, Pineapple lilies, Magic lilies, Calla lilies,  …. Which ones have I forgotten???

Thanks for stopping by!  Until next time…….


A Bed for My Bulbs

July 12, 2009

Pink Tulips

My garden really started after going to Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC. I was so inspired! I came home & dug in. Literally. My soil is hard clay and rock. Horrible stuff to dig through, but with a pick ax and sheer force of will, I dug through it, pulled out all the rocks, dug some more and pulled out more rocks. I must live in the center of the rock universe! Finally deep enough I decided, the soil was amended with sand (remember, I didn’t know better at the time) and I was ready to plant.

I had just discovered bulb catalogs and poured over my stack listing all the flowers I wanted, then crossing some off to get the price back within my budget. In the next catalog, I’d find more that I really couldn’t live without & have to cross some off again. Endlessly. The lilies and tulips in the catalogs were glorious colors and the beautiful photos were exactly how I wanted my garden to look. So I began ordering. Tulips. Lilies. Lilies. Tulips. More. More. And more. I thought about getting a second job.

While waiting for the arrival of my lilies and tulips, I set about building my first ‘bulb bed’. Some of the rocks I had dug up were perfect for framing a raised bed, and I had read that bulbs liked good drainage. It’s true, about this time I started reading and studying how to grow a garden in the form of books and catalogs! The rocks were about a foot in diameter and were as heavy as they looked.

Formal is not my style, so I used a garden hose to create an organic shape and placed the rocks around the hose. I wanted the rock border around my bulb bed to be as colorful as the new tulips and lilies would be, knowing that I’d have no color after the flowers faded. My favorite color combination at the time was pink and purple, so using outdoor house paint, I alternated those colors, infusing the rocks with a bright aura. My husband put on his sunglasses each time he looked in that direction! A visiting neighbor suggested I tone it down…huh??? What did they know? It was magnificent!!

As the bulbs began arriving that fall I started to plant. And plant. And plant. My back ached at the end of each day, but I was determined to have a lush garden the following year and I didn’t want to waste my money by not planting all that I had ordered. I ran out of room in the bulb bed, so planted anywhere I could get a shovel into the ground with as little effort as possible. Eventually they were all in the ground and just in the nick of time as the temperature was dipping below where I was comfortable planting.

Yet another thing I didn’t know was that not everything in the catalogs was a lily or a tulip. Or that it might not survive my z5 winters. Or that rodents liked to eat them. The following spring when I had a nice display, but not exactly what I’d envisioned, I realized I’d better start reading the text more carefully & not just looking at the beautiful ENLARGED pictures!

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time…..

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