Equal Time Mish Mash Monday*

With recent posts all about the breathtaking gardens seen on a trip abroad, the pouting Fairegarden was in need of some showing off. Call it sibling rivalry. As the mother of four offspring, we know all about the need for each to get their faire share of praise and petting.

The shed bed planting of Nasella tenuissima is simply shimmery in the early morning light as the bloom heads are forming. Belamcanda chinensis foliage is crisp and vertical whilst one of the Lilium Regales reaches for the sky. The stakes are for the developing Eryngium ssp., these supports need to be upgraded to something more attractive than rusted rebar if they are going to stick out like this.

On the other side of the shed, once blooming Rosa ‘Veilchenblau’ is peaking and peeking over the metal tubs hanging on the shed.

In the ground three years and the first time blooming are Iris x louisiana ‘Black Gamecock’.

One plant purchased from local nursery Mouse Creek was divided into three and moved to a sunnier spot last summer. That may have done the trick, some iris need nearly constant dividing to bloom, it seems.

The bed below the garage deck is home to a kajillion voles. Many plants have been lost here, but the sinister plan of planting poisonous offerings, such as the foxglove family is paying off. All varieties of Digitalis are welcome here. This is Digitalis purpurea ‘Apricot’.

The pollen must be safe, however, for the bees are throbbing inside the fairy gloves.

The clemmies are having a stellar year with the rainfall of 2009 well above normal after two years of extreme drought. C. ‘Betty Corning’ is hugging the garage deck post with pale lavender blooms. It matches someone’s raincoat.

Also a vole haven, this raised block area was planted with a variegated Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ last year that survived any attacks. The Nasturtium ‘Yeti’ promises to brighten the scene with whiteish blooms. Coffee grounds were sprinkled over each seed planted to deter slugs and any other hungry varmints. It worked.

Borage brightens our day.

The seedling Heuchera that is growing in a patch of moss on a stone step bloomed this year. The stems and blooms turned out to be pink. That may require a rethink of the name we had settled on for it, suggested by the clever Mister Subjunctive of Plants Are The Stangest People, Faire Steel. Somehow that is just too masculine for this tough yet delicate flower. Any more ideas out there in the blogdom for a name? Japanese maple Crimson Queen, Hosta ‘Sunpower’ and a left behind Salvia ‘May Night’ from the round up of all blue Salvias for the Fairelurie complete the picture.

Looking the best ever, Aruncus dioicus with the horrible thug Artemisia vulgaris ‘Oriental Limelight’ and Japanese maple Garnet in the background.

From the other side, Garnet shades the now greening Hosta ‘White Feather’.

When we returned home from the England trip, The Financier asked how our garden measured up to those we toured. This was an idea that had never once entered the realm of thought, but instantly the answer was “Just as good.” I suppose that is bragging, but as with the offspring, a mother should love her own best.

*As ever, many thanks to Monica the Garden Faerie for the brilliant idea of Mish Mash Monday.


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19 Responses to Equal Time Mish Mash Monday*

  1. gittan says:

    haha, of course it’s just as good – it’s yours! The last picture is great and you made me realize that I forgot to bye that fern today… I must have had to much on my mind at the nursery / kram gittan

    Thanks Gittan. I know you have been preoccupied. May that fern still be waiting for you when you next visit that nursery. πŸ™‚

  2. That last photo is a great one!

    Thanks Dave. The situation of the Garnet with the rest on the hillside does offer some nice shots with the backlighting. I love to sit there by the pond and soak it all in. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m always in awe when I look at your garden. I love the rosa peeking around the metal tub. In the next to the last photo the aruncus dioicus looks like firework sparklers. Also, I will have to try the coffee grounds.

    What a nice thing to say, thanks Amy. I love seeing those tubs on sheds and other outbuildings. Having a rose growing on them is simply gravy. It is the best that the Aruncus has ever looked, since we lack adequate moisture for it to really thrive. Above normal winter rains did the trick. The coffee grounds worked, I am a true believer now, using them whenever seeds get planted directly in the ground, like beans now. πŸ™‚

  4. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, your garden is definitely as good as those here. Not just because its yours or it is right for your house and climate but because it photographs beautifully and I would love to imitate your garden. By the way the weather here is very, very different from when you visited us. It is now hot – we went from cold to hot in a couple of days. I can’t remember another May like this on.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    Thanks Sylvia, you are too kind for saying such nice things. I do appreciate you! My garden gives me great pleasure, but I don’t ever go out into it without seeing something that needs improvement. lol Glad to hear it warmed up there, it was like winter when we were there and we did not pack properly. πŸ™‚

  5. Sheila says:

    One of my gardens is haven for voles too. They do so much damage that when they started taking down full grown shrubs that I cherished I finally resorted to the “Black Hole” traps. It’s a jungle out there!

    Hi Sheila, thanks for visiting. I feel your pain about losses due to varmints. We have something quite large digging up plants every night here. It might be a ground hog or a skunk. I am putting cinder blocks on newly planted things to deter the digging. Even out front in the liriope by the street there are huge swaths of digging with the blades all in the street. I don’t know what it is looking for, but wish it would move on or the animal control will have to be called in. Jungle is right! πŸ™‚

  6. joey says:

    How lovely, Frances … I have the cutest miniature Goat’s Beard, luv it ❀ (miniature Lady's Mantle also … do you?) Which reminds me, I forgot to include them in my post 😦

    Thanks Joey. Your minis sound too cute. I don’t know if my lady’s mantle is a mini or not, we can barely grow it here with the heat and dry slope. But we have some. πŸ™‚

  7. Anna says:

    It looks a magical time in your garden Frances πŸ™‚

    Thanks Anna. It looked good to me upon the return home. πŸ™‚

  8. Gail says:

    Fairegarden has a devoted gardener whose love shows in each and every photo~I envy you the foxglove and the happy bees~The bees are slowly coming back after their ground nests were destroyed by the flooding~poor bees. The aruncus has a bloom ~its first year here…I think the aforementioned rains helped it. Hoping it’s bearable outside~It’s quite hot here. xogail

    What a sweet thing to say, dear Gail, thank you. Your poor bees, I do hope they recover, I know how much you love them. The rains have made such a difference to many plants. It is record setting hot here, must work quite early in the morning, something we learned to do when living in Texas.

  9. It is always gratifying to feel that our own gardens are “just as good” as the ones we visit. All gardens have their own energy and each one is individual, unique and beautiful.

    I surely have enjoyed this trip around Fairegarden.

    It does sound like you have achieved armadillo — so sorry to hear it. We have learned that they don’t really like being disturbed and having an active guard dog on duty can really make them move on. Not that that would be a very successful way of dealing with them in a garden near the street. Good luck getting rid of it. They are such a pest.

    Thanks, Hands, that is so nice of you. Arghhhh to the armadillo! We don’t have a dog and the cats will be outmatched. We might have to call the city about this, it can wreck the entire garden with all that digging, not acceptable.

  10. Lola says:

    More lovely pics of your garden. I love that grass. It’s calling my name to be placed in my garden.
    I rather like that coat–the color is magnificent. I like something different.

    Thanks Lola. The Nasella, I still want to call it stipa, is at its best right now, in the beginning of bloom, but it is always attractive. The coat gets to stay, the money can be used in much better ways, like buying plants. I appreciate the help in leading me to that conclusion. πŸ™‚

  11. RobinL says:

    Caffee grounds with seeds? Tell me more! I counted no less than ten varieties of seeds I planted this year that never came up. Didn’t know whether I got bad seeds or bad weather. Do you mean perhaps the slugs ate my seeds?

    Seeds can fail for so many reasons, inside the greenhouse and outside in soil but slugs are notorious for scarfing down the emerging seedlings. Nasturtiums are particularly tasty to slugs and since the seeds need to be planted in somewhat cooler damp earth, the conditions are perfect for those slimeballs to ruin good intentions. I have tried everything non poisonous with poor results, egg shells, dryer lint, human or cat hair but it was a heavy barrier of coffe grounds that did the trick. And it is good for the soil. After planting each seed to the specified depth, a tablespoon of grounds was piled on the spot. πŸ™‚

  12. Rose says:

    Whenever I return from a viewing of other gardens, like Spring Fling last year or the local garden walks, I tend to look at my own garden with disappointed eyes. But I agree with your assessment, Frances: the Faire garden looks as beautiful as anything you’ve shown from abroad! I love the foxgloves–I didn’t know they deterred voles, which is an added plus. And I’ll have to remember the tip on spreading coffee grounds to avoid the slugs–no shortage of those here:) Betty’s lavender garment is lovely; it really is one of my favorite colors, too.

    Thanks so much, Rose, you are too kind. It is the poisonous aspect of foxgloves that is the deterrent, the same as daffodils, all parts are toxic. Do try the coffee grounds, they certainly worked for the nasturtiums. The lavender clemmie is the most vigorous one we grow here, blooming no matter the drought even. And a lovely color as well. πŸ™‚

  13. Hi Frances, Firstly, sorry I haven’t been visiting or commenting as much. I’ve been a little, OK, I’ll say it, self-involved in my real life lately, HA! You sure have a lot of wonderful blooms going on in your garden. Love the goat’s beard and all those wonderful foxgloves. The Nasella–I like plants that either sway or even imply motion when still. And borage is the cutest. My winter-swon ones didn’t sprout and I’m not waiting for them–too much to plant out! I’ve also plated out my nasties, so far so good. Even the the groundhog isn’t around this year, someone (I believe a raccoon since it happens overnight) has eaten my beets and peas!!

    Hi Monica, no problem, we are happy to see any and all visitors whenever they arrive. We all have busy lives, no apology is ever necessary. My germination rate was again dismal, sometimes I don’t know why I bother other than to pretend to be gardening during winter. Too bad about the raccoon, we often have those and I didn’t even think about that being our ravaging digger. I have surrounded the veggie area in plastic chicken fencing, unsightly but I was tired of the damage and losses. I can still step over to get inside.

  14. Town Mouse says:

    I so love to come home to my garden after being away for a while…sounds like your return has been equally rewarding.

    Thanks for visiting, Town Mouse. Coming home is always exciting, just to see what has happened in the garden. It is like music to my eyes. πŸ™‚

  15. Will you post a picture of your Blue Velvet Plectranthus in flower? I keep thinking about it as I work in the garden, with the white flowered parent spread around me.

    I will send you one, Diana. The flowers are very small but a beautiful blue. πŸ™‚

  16. Tatyana says:

    Frances, in your garden, I feel like a kid in a candy store. So many things to admire, to want for myself, so many new plants (for me), great combinations, ideas… Thank you for your time to put this post together!

    How sweet, Tatyana, thank you. Too bad you don’t live closer, you could plant shop for free in my garden. There are always extra pieces to share, or seedlings growing in the gravel paths for easy plucking. πŸ™‚

  17. Linda says:

    Frances, your pictures are beautiful, as always. I love to visit gardens but truly there is no place like home. I get inspiration from seeing others, including yours. I had a huge vole problem until last year when I dug up the whole garden, enlarged it and raised it to level and encased it in a stone wall. Made it through last year with no voles and hope they still can’t figure a way in! Good luck with yours. Also love the coffee ground idea, I do battle slugs alot too.

    Thanks very much, Linda, and welcome. I am so glad you were able to get rid of the voles. Our voles live behind the walls, their favorite runs. We have had some luck spraying insulating foam into their holes, but they just go around. I am hoping to annoy them so much they move on. πŸ™‚

  18. Pam/Digging says:

    We have been battling the armadillos here for some time, but it does surprise me to hear that they’ve moved as far north as Tennessee. They are such annoying little bulldozers.

    Your feathergrass pics are magical. But the rebar sticking up gives me the shivers. Not because of how it looks, but because I always imagine tripping and falling on things like that.

    Thanks Pam. I see the rebar as a potential threat as well, even bamboo stakes, which rot immediately can cause injury if fallen upon. I was hoping that the Nasella would help prop up the eryngium and belamcanda and it does to some extent but being on that steepest of slopes causes nearly everything to flop downward. Maybe toppers of some kind on the rebar would help with the safety issue. We have not seen armadillos, it could be skunks or raccoons, which have been seen before, but something big is digging madly. Hope they move on soon.

  19. Frances, you have so many beautiful and intriguing plants in the garden – what a pleasure to see them πŸ™‚

    Thank you dear Ewa. We miss you. πŸ™‚
    x x x

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