Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Favorite Garden Combinations of 2010 (Part 4)

Early Summer
     June comes to Gilmore Gardens... and last year saw the first (maybe annual?) garden party in our small town lot.  Though a little rainy, the garden was enjoyed in proper fashion, complete with pretty dresses, girls in bonnets and scrumptious scones (thanks, Olivia!).  We brought some flowers inside just in case our party was thwarted. But in the end the sun shined.  It was nice to have the excuse to stop and enjoy the delights of the season.

In early summer, the best plants are all in bloom- 
                  foxgloves, lilies, daisies, lavender and roses.


     The Shade Path was covered in yellow and pink blooms this year.  The yellow perennial foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora) have seeded prolifically and settled in well after two-and-a-half years, with just a little help.  They are said to like moist shade, but here thrive in dry conditions.  Their foliage is wonderful from mid-spring all the way into October.  They are poisonous, as are all foxgloves, so we keep them safely out of the backyard where the young children play most often.

     The pink of the bi-annual foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) added just the right color punctuation to this scene.  The seeds were started the year before in the yet unformed Front Walk and moved around the garden in the fall.  This year, they shot into bloom and called the bees from all around.  One seed packet will give you quite a mix- dark pink, light pink, even white- which you can hone to your preference by sowing the seeds of those you favor.


     Lilies filled the Upper Driveway Garden last June.  Just as the lavender started to bloom and Geranium 'Orion' was continuing its show, this petite salmon-pink lily (above) made its appearance beside our "antiqued" concrete sidewalk (which was made so by adding broken chunks of concrete to one side like a stone path).  The pink was soon echoed by the taller Asiatic lily 'Rosella's Dream' (all three photos below) which stood nearly four-foot tall amongst the narrow bed of geraniums, lavender and lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis) that separates our backyard from our six-car driveway.


    The Hill Garden has developed nicely the past two years.  When we purchased this house, it was the ugliest glorification of an old stump that you have ever seen.  A raised octagonal bed of timbers held large gravel and tacky lawn ornaments all around a two foot stump.  Our first step, though not really planned, was to bury it with an excavator in a mountain of topsoil dug out to widen our driveway.  Goodbye memorial.
     Then I had but one wish- roses!  With such a well-drained, sunny site (soil on top of gravel heap!), it was ideal for growing roses. I wanted a ground-cover rose that would wrap this hill in blooms in an arc that would correspond to the arc of purple barberry bushes (Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy') around the curve.  We chose Rosa 'The Fairy' because it is a classic polyanthas or reblooming rose.  It was proven to be a great choice, since it begins in early June and keeps going until the snow comes.
     Below are two photos of the Hill Garden just a few weeks apart.  The roses (left below) are just getting started and set off by the soft grey of the lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina).  Soon they are in full profusion (right below) and the top of the hill is crowned with a display of pink mallow (Malva alcea) and Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum).  Just a gorgeous welcome home... I love it!

     Shasta daisies 'Sunny Side Up' seen in front of the mallow.


     The Lower Driveway garden... more delights await!  Here an old-time fragrant pink rose blooms its heart out (now that it has been properly pruned for a couple of years) while being laced with a beautiful companion, Clematis 'Etoile Violette'.  At the foot of this captivating pair are another pair, but in shades of chartreuse.  Lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis) and Sedum 'Acre' work together beautifully to fill the space below this leggy, old rose bush.  This scene is a show stopper.

     Lavandula angustifolia, or Munstead lavender, waves its graceful purple wands over the vivid chartreuse of lady's mantle (above left).  Fully double, old and fragrant (above right).
     The whole June entrance scene into our backyard (below).  Quite a treat!

And do not forget the trellis rose...

     In the middle of our driveway, we tore out one large slab of sidewalk in order to make a planting hole for this climbing rose by the new trellis.  Though sold as Rosa 'Moonlight', I am not sure this is true.  Still it is wonderfully fragrant. This is its second year of growth, and is already beautifying what would otherwise be a stark scene of gravel meeting house.

Some more beauty from Early Summer (clockwise from top left): container full of reseeded violas and vinca vine; blooming Allium christophii with a seed head of A. 'Purple Sensation'; Clematis 'Etoile Violette' clamoring through the old pink rose; Lilium regale in front of dark leaved begonias; hens and chicks (Echivaria) growing with Ajuga reptans; Clematis 'Little Nell' climbing over the fence by the gate.

Part 5: Mid-Summer


  1. The foxgloves and daisies are gorgeous. But for combinations, I especially like the lower driveway shot, with antique rose/clematis/lady's mantle/seedum. Deliciously complex in both texture and color.

  2. You are welcome for the scones:)
    I'm happy to bring them again this year if we happen to have another party!

  3. Thanks for the link back to this post. I am drooling! Your foxgloves by the fence are so beautiful! And your Fairy roses do look like they came out of a storybook. Wonderful, all of it! Congratulations on doing such a fine job with your gardens.


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