Updates And A New Fairest Of The Faire

Before all else, please rise as the 2010 winner of the famous Viola Beauty Pageant, Ann Marie sashays down the gravel carpet. Air kisses and biodegradable ribbon tied lace sachets filled with compost which have been passed to the spectators may now be lightly tossed at her roots. May she wreck her stockings in celebration tonight at some juke box dive. For those interested, all contestants got at least one vote, a nice thing and the runner up was feisty Simone. Many thanks to all who voted for their favorites, from the Fairegardener and the lovely ladies. X X X and O O O are sent your way (three kisses, left right left, the Continental way, thanks Ewa) !

Now on to more mundane matters. We love the roadside weed wildflower Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota. It pops up in odd spots here on occasion. The vision is for it to join the bronze fennel and Echinaceas behind the knot garden bench. Rudbeckia hirta has popped up back there this year, that has been added to the vision as well, although we wonder how it got there. Last year the dried Daucus seed heads were scattered in the area and we are pleased to announce that babies are now showing. Being biennial, there will be flowers from these small ones next year. The seed scattering will continue to help nature along a bit. ( I couldn’t decide on which image to use, so went with both, always a good idea.)

Not the clearest of shots, but take note of the lack of swimming ants in the glass bottle holding the sugar water mixture on the hummingbird feeder. While the ants do not seem to bother the little birds, it bothers me to see them in there. The Financier had an inspired solution of coating the hook upon which the feeder hangs with bug spray. So far it has worked. Rain would probably wash it off and reapplication would be necessary. But no rain means no ants, for now.

What do you think of daylily Hemerocallis ‘Unique Style’?

What do you think of the idea of spreading it in a ring between the Hosta ‘Sunpower’ and Nasella tenuissima under the Crimson Queen Japanese maple? You can see the plant in situ now to the right of the maple. It is small in stature and I love the color with the grass and chartruese hosta. To be considered would be the look of the foliage before and after bloom time, although it could be cut after blooming is finished. Maybe just three pieces spread evenly so as not to obsure the hosta? There are at least three fans that could be spread in the clump now. Added: Or perhaps just another clump on the left side of the tree for balance? Comments welcome, as always.

What was thought to be squash in the raised box planter now looks like a pumpkin. In the journal it was noted that Eight Ball squash seeds were sown last fall there. I should have known the plants were way too vigorous and healthy to be something we want to eat. There must have been seeds from compost spread in there, but I don’t remember using anything but purchased bags of Black Kow. Obviously my memory is below par. Oh well, the vines have been trimmed and are being led into the area behind the box and are now climbing the Arizona Cypress trees. I wonder if fishnet pantyhose will be needed to hold the heavy pumpkins hanging mid air like this fellow last year? Click here-Backlighting And Updating to see it.

On a recent beach holiday, no plants were purchased, a first!, but we did pick up some more glass floats for the pond. Some of the originals, from the same shop near Charleston, South Carolina, Seashore Gifts had broken and some were shared with offspring. New colors were available and came home with us. The netting will be removed and reused as plant ties, among other things.

I like the way the red, cobalt and turquoise brighten the shaded depths.

Never captured satisfactorily and still not, Calla lily, Zantedeschia ‘Naomi Campbell’ still deserves to be shown on the blog. Billed as a black flower, it is a dark purple and has already been open for a month. It will remain so until frost, sporting attractive white spotted green foliage. Out of six planted a few years ago, this one returns with regularity each spring under the garage deck.

For the first time ever, blueberries have been eaten from the three plants ordered from Park’s three years ago. Vaccinium corybosum ‘Sunshine Blue’, a dwarf cultivar, arrived as the tiniest specimens ever seen. It was disheartening because large pots of blueberry bushes were available at several locations locally. The selling point, besides the mature size of a manageable four feet by four feet was the lack of need for different varieties for pollination. Drought after initial planting set the growth of the small sticks back and while alive, they were barely so for the first two years. Adequate rain last winter and some protection from winds by various old tool parts and plastic plant trays stuck in the ground around them has resulted in larger bushes that seem to be settling in, finally. The berries are sweet and juicy, if sparse. We are happy to have any at all and look forward to subsequent larger harvests.

Can anyone help identify this little visitor? ( Pearl Crescent says the all knowing Lisa.)

In the post How To Make Lavender Wands, the cleanliness of the thumbnail holding the stems was noted in a few comments. This is to show a dirty thumbnail. (Holding the camera with the left hand and pressing the shutter is extremely difficult whilst sticking the right thumb in front, even though we are left handed, the shutter being on the right corner of the device makes for awkward fumblings. Daylily Palo Duro Canyon in the background.) It seems the length of the nail poked a hole in the gloves without my noticing. Each morning when the heat and humidity drive me inside after pre dawn weedings and other projects, the stripping off of the gloves revealed dirty thumbs. I figured some soil ball had gotten inside the finger, as sometimes happens in wild flinging of dirt off the rootballs of stubborn large weeds whilst on bended knees. Dirt goes inside my socks, which are pulled over top my leggings to prevent insect access, as well. Then there is the hair, specks on the face, you get the idea. Clean and dry we are not. We know it is time to go inside when the glasses slide down and off the slippery ski slope of a sweaty nose and into the garden.


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24 Responses to Updates And A New Fairest Of The Faire

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Good Morning Frances. You have been busy lately. Your garden looks gorgeous as usual. I like the daylily being beside the hostas and grasses. You know if you put them into the mix they will take over. They would look ok. I just think you would be making another chore for yourself that would not be necessary for the vingnette of the maple, hosta and grass is quite pretty. I like the glass floats in your pond. They remind me of my brother, who gave me a glass float years ago. I still have it and place it in my tiny water feature during summer. They also remind me of the Chihuly exhibition. All that glass and water, lovely. The butterfly looks like a pearl crescent. Have a great day.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for noticing. HA There was a buildup of material in pixels and the mind to be shared and we like to be more current, if you were talking about the every day posting since the vacation return. If not, then never mind. lol Thanks for the words of wisdom about the daylily. You are probably right about them but I love seeing the blotch of color and can imagine it spread some, at the least to the other side. There is a May Night Salvia that could be moved over there. Still cogitating about it. Ooh, Chihuly, I would love to have more glass in the garden ala his artworks! Thanks for the ID on the flutterby. πŸ™‚

  2. gardeningasylum says:

    Congratulations on your blueberries! I’m all for addition of daylilies anywhere and everywhere – they do play well with others πŸ™‚

    Thanks Cyndy. The daylily dilemma stems from the foliage after the bloom is done, but it could be cut. I really love the thought of the bright flowers in there, although it already looks attractive. Sometimes I don’t know when to stop! HA πŸ™‚

  3. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, you do make us think! I wonder if you could find a smaller daylily that would be nearer the grass in height. That way the plants would complement each other rather than one being dominant – that accolade is already help by the Acer. I am still pondering where to plant my spare daylilies!

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    Thanks Sylvia, most of the time, thinking is good! lol Maybe one of the minis would work, I will check to see if there is a yellow ish one, thanks for the idea. I thought you were putting the extra daylilies along a path somewhere? The foliage after bloom is an issue, but it is good at keeping weeds down.

  4. Queen Anne’s Lace has always been one of my favorites. I know it’s impossible to transplant, but your seed scattering seems to be working out well. Can’t wait to see the blooms (next year).

    Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by. I have tried to move the Daucus with poor results, it has a carrot like tap root. Seed seems the way to go and it should be so easy since it grows everywhere along roads and empty fields around here. Now I need some Chicory and all will be well. πŸ™‚

  5. gittan says:

    Hi Frances, I have to admit that it’s been a while since my last visit at Faire garden. I have a lot to catch up here =) I really like the look of that ‘Unique Style’ and I think it would look great spreading them in a ring with the Hostas. I’ve done something like that surrounding the well in my garden but with the Hosta ‘So Sweet’ and the Daylily (that I just can’t remember the name on) i hope you’ll have a wonderful weekend /dubbelkram gittan

    Hi Gittan, so nice to see you. I was just thinking about you since the Astrantias are now large enough to transplant to a permanent location. Finding the damp shade will be tough here but by the pond seems a good spot for them. When the weather cools and there is rain, of course. I love the mix of hosta and a well behaved daylily, I am sure your area is perfect. You too enjoy the weekend, my friend.

  6. gail says:

    My dear friend~What Lisa and Sylvia said~the vignette is lovely right now.~the waterfall effect of the hosta and grass with the maple standing taller seems just right to me. But if you have to move that daylily~C&L would be happy to have it! LOL! Love, love, love those glass floats~and you are right they do brighten the shady pool. xxxgail I have a relative of your brushfooted butterfly on a coneflower on my post~Silvery Checkerspot.

    Dear Gail, thanks. The butterfly was for you, but you knew that already. If not seperated at birth, close relatives, right? You are welcome to any of the plants growing here, but you have to have a place for them first is the caveat. I am leaning towards a piece of Unique Style on the opposite side at about the same distance up the slope, doable and there is a spot there.

  7. gail says:

    ps I forgot to comment on the beauty of the winner! Her crown is just the right touch for a gal who will party all night at a juke box dive. xogail

    Thanks Gail. No one had commented about that feeble attempt at drawing, very primitive. I was wondering if it was showing up in the blogdom and not just on my laptop. πŸ™‚

  8. Glad to see that dirty fingernail Frances!
    I have just started using gloves the last few years, finally finding some that I really like. But I do end up poking a hole in the right index finger, seems to be my most used one.
    I like the daylily, I would probably just add one to the other side. and leave the hostas as they are.

    Thanks Deborah. I especially like the Atlas nitrile gloves, they come in sizes so the fit is better and keep my hands the cleanest while still allowing fine detailed weeding. They have heavier felt lined ones for winter use too. But like you, I am bad about wearing them out, have started buying them by the case! I agree about the daylily, one on the other side for balance. The hostas and grass are good already. πŸ™‚

  9. debbie in knoxville says:

    I also think adding one to the other side would frame and balance the whole vignette. Beautiful combination!

    Hi Debbie, thanks for that. I agree, one to the other side would look good. Now if we could get some rain it could be done soon. πŸ™‚

  10. Phillip says:

    I love the glass floats and I’m amazed that someone named a plant after Naomi Campbell!

    Hi Phillip, thanks. You are too funny! Well, the Calla is quite tall. I think it was named some time ago. πŸ™‚

  11. Frances, I do say that ‘Unique Style’ is lovely and would work well in the ring. Now, you do have me wondering whether I’ve planted my stipa in the wrong place. You know that I have no hostas (no shade. lots of deer)–but I planted my stipa in the hot, blazing sun. The grass looks great and seems fine with the 110 heat index (so far).

    LOVE the glass pond floats! I wonder how difficult it would be to anchor in my moving stream? Hmmm….Tied to the base of my blue lobelia, blue irises, white ginger and calla in the stream planting… I want blue! πŸ™‚


    Hi Freda, thanks. I also have the Nasella/Stipa in the hottest, driest, sunniest part of the garden, by the shed. It does a little better there, but gets morning sun on the daylily hill, enough to keep it going. I love the waving look of it, like the ocean breakers. My glass balls get stuck just from the stream of water from the frog fountain. If you have taller foliage in your stream, tying them with fishing line to the leaves might work. Is there no still water spot? I love the sound of your planting even without the balls! πŸ™‚

  12. Teresa O says:

    Well…I see I should have stuffed the box for my sweet Beatrix, but there’s always next year. πŸ™‚ When I saw the pond photo with the glass floats the first thing that came to mind was colorful bubbles rising to the top. What a whimsical addition.

    Truly, I am constantly in awe of your remarkable garden and gardening skills.

    Have a wonderful day!

    HA Teresa, you are too funny! Beatrix had my vote as well, but it was not enough to overcome the lovely Ann Marie. Someone did actually vote twice, but the second one was not counted! I love the glass balls in the pond as well, especially now that it has gotten too shady for the waterlilies to bloom much if at all, they add some color. You are also too sweet, thank you for those kind words and have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

  13. Oh how I wish I could have calla lilies in my garden without having to dig them up! Last year I ran out of time before the snow flew and lost what I had. This year I’ve been too busy to replace them! I’ll just hang out here & drool over yours for awhile… ; )

    Hi Linda, thanks so much, nice to see you. We lost nearly every dahlia last year, including the seed grown ones. I refuse to dig them, there is already enough to do and plants to grow that don’t need such care. Many callas have been planted and Naomi and a pinky one have returned every year so far, but they could be living their last with each winter. I won’t plant more, they are not reliable but will enjoy these while they last.

  14. Frances, I was going to say no wonder Ann Marie won with that fancy ornamentation of hers, but I see now that is a crown that was added post-win, HA! She sure is cute. And so is that hummer.

    HA Monica, that would be one for the newscasts if a viola had those kind of markings, wouldn’t it? Sorry it didn’t look more like a crown, it was the best I could do with my photo program and limited techie skill. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  15. Never 2, always odd numbers, so I say 3 of the daylily interspersed wtih the Hostas. Love the new floats. It looks like a party in the pond.

    Never 2? Uh oh. What about symmetry and formality, one on each side, like colums, urns, daylilies? Here I thought 2 would be perfect. Back to the drawing board. Maybe a third one could go behind the maple but it wouldn’t show up very well. Party in the pond is right, just ask Fido and Casey, the fishy residents. They like the new colors, nudging the balls with their noses, if they have noses. πŸ™‚

  16. Alice Joyce says:

    Everything looking lovely… especially keen on the Nasella tenuissima growing in a flowing curve/ introducing the yellow daylilies would add a pop of color there.
    btw…Thanks for stopping by to comment. I’ve a question: Do you ever feel like you’re going mad when organizing all your photos? Finding it tedious work, and I don’t even go through process of marking each one. xo

    Hi Alice, thanks so much. The pop of color would be welcome, if fleeting since the daylilies bloom for a short time. Perhaps an annual of the same color could be added, is the new thread of thought about it. Don’t know if one exists that meets the many criteria. I do believe another clump of Unique Style on the other side would be nice, never use 2 or not. As for the photos, I don’t mark them all with names, but do mark them with Fairegarden. It is just part of the routine now as they are selected out of the hundreds taken for use on the blog, along with resizing each one. Just another step. I am extremely detail oriented, tedious is enjoyable to me, I am a retired accountant after all. And basket maker. And weeder. πŸ™‚

  17. I love your pics…. adorable.

    Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed them. πŸ™‚

  18. Eileen says:

    I would love to see those daylilies peeking out from behind. I have not seen this one before, going to look it up.


    Hi Eileen, thanks for visiting and the suggestion. I have done just as you say, placing one behind the maple and one to the left where I originally intended. There were more fans than I had thought at first when digging into Unique Style, always a plus. I got this daylily at a nursery in Berwick, PA but am unsure of the business name, sorry.

  19. Tiny says:

    Wow!! Awesome Awesome stuff…Great images…Very enjoyable…Keep up the Good work, I will definitely be following along…
    Take Care

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    Hmm, Tiny, this comment is so generic that it seems like spam. I will leave it for now since your blog appears to be legit, but might decide to spam it later. You might want to try and make a more appropriate comment for every blog post you visit if you want to generate real readership, instead of a copy and paste one size fits all. Just a suggestion.

  20. Lola says:

    Totally awesome Frances. I have the same Blueberry & it had a nice production this yr. but the birds made haste with the fruit. I also have volunteer pumpkins but only 1 so far. It is the small kind. It is a product of the kids pumpkins from last Halloween. The vine has taken over & covered my bush beans. Hopefully there will be a couple ears of corn for the kids. That’s my main concern.

    Thanks Lola. Glad to hear you had good luck with Sunshine Blue as well. I have netting at the ready to cover them next year, but we don’t mind sharing some this year. Those pumpkin plants get huge, maybe pull it off the corn if you can. πŸ™‚

  21. VP says:

    Hi Frances – Dauca and her refined cultivated relatives are very trendy garden plants here at the moment. There’s loads of them at the side of our roads and in the hedgerows at the moment too – always a good sight to see at this time of the year.

    I’m looking forward to blueberries too – later next month though, assuming our drought doesn’t shrivel them up first 😦

    I love what you’ve done with your pond!

    Hi VP, thanks, so nice to see you. We see so many pretty things along the roadsides that are a little tricky to transfer to the garden beds. I am hoping to get these going to the point they will be self sufficient. Want to add the blue flower chicory as well, that is everywhere along the roads here and the blue and white are dreamy. Drought here too, so sorry to hear about yours for I didn’t notice many xeric style plantings in England, or the need for them at that time. πŸ™‚

  22. A deserved winner.

    I absolutely love that Queen Annes lace. Do you know Ammi Visnaga? Another beauty.

    Thanks Rob. We have grown Ammi majus here, a very similar white lacy tall lovely. I will have to check out the Visnaga. πŸ™‚

  23. Frances, I love your pond with the glass floats. I do wish I had a pond! Your garden looks lovely and I believe you when you say you get dirty. Don’t we all, ha!

    Thanks so much Jean. How can anyone garden and not get dirty, sweaty, scratched, bitten is beyond comprehension! That’s the fun of it. πŸ™‚

  24. June says:

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures. I am inspired now!

    Hi June, thanks and welcome. I too am inspired after viewing your sterling blog! πŸ™‚

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