Since I've had my camera back for the last couple weeks, I've been meaning to finally take part in the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. While I did venture into the garden to take photos, the day completely passed me by, and so now I've decided to post my backlog of leaves and blooms from the last week or so.

Here's a half-grown Echinacea pallida, a native coneflower not as commonly cultivated as the 'purpurea.' I planted it last year from seed because I loved the narrow pink petals.

The hyssop, another plant I cultivated from seed that never flowered last year. It just started flowering a few days ago and is quite pretty. The leaves, when crushed, smell a bit like lavender and sage. I'm going to try brewing them for tea.

And some 'Rudy' Tritelia flowers from the front garden.

A 'Cottage Red' marigold. I love marigolds, but I'm so sick of the full French varieties. This Mexican cultivar is more diminutive, but the coloration is so lovely.

Here's the Oakleaf hydrangea I recently planted in the front garden. I absolutely love the flowers, though they are so heavy that they weigh down the branches.

But let's not forget my 'Annabelle' hydrangea in the backyard, which is now (mostly) in full bloom.

The nasturtiums are not yet blooming, but their leaves are so lovely I couldn't resist including a photo (please ignore the weeds). And those are 'Bull's Blood' beets in the background for some lovely contrast.

The yarrows, threatening to bloom. These were part of a sunny seed mix I received from Burpee, none of which bloomed last year. Only the yarrow held through. Which is good; yarrow is a traditional part of any herb garden.

Here's a better photograph of the pale coneflower mentioned above. While it looks almost white here, the color is really more of a lavender/pink.

An earlier photo of the 'Annabelle' hydrangea, which I like almost more than the full bloom. Or maybe I just like the photo itself more.

And for more of a surprise bloom, here's one of my cucumber vines.

And here are some tomato blossoms. I've already got something like 10 baby tomatoes. Here's hoping the squirrels stay far away from the fruits of my labor.

By the by, did you know that yesterday was Bloomsday?


Photographing the Garden & Thinking about Design

The last week or so I've been making an effort to go out in the garden and take some photos. I've missed a day here and there, but it's still a good habit to get into. There's always something going on this time of year, and I often find myself wandering aimlessly, looking at everything or nothing in particular.

More importantly, my Creme de Cassis hollyhock is in bloom:

With all the weevils sucking at it, I was afraid it might never bloom. The leaves are pretty chewed-up, and the stalks are bent, but the flowers are lovely. I realize now that I should have saved some bamboo poles or bought some sturdy stakes to keep the plants upright. Aesthetically, they are not as nice as they could be. Still, hollyhocks always strike me as the flower for a cottage garden, which is roughly the vibe I go for. With any luck, they'll reseed and continue to delight for years to come.

Other Matters

For some reason, I have a subscription to Domino. Many of their ideas are quite out of my realm financially and don't really fit with my lifestyle, but I do like any design/decorating mag as a resource. I have my own idea of style, which I try to maintain against whatever trends are out there, but I don't mind having a guide show me the way around.

Anyway, the most recent issue has an article about gardening design personalities, which highlights a number of names worth remembering. If you've read previous entries in this blog, you'll notice that I'm really interested in the design and "theory" aspects of gardening, so I thought I would list all the figures mentioned for personal reference and share them with you.

Beatrix Farrand
Edith Wharton's "The Mount"
Tony Duquette
Madame Ganna Walska's Lotusland
Garrett Eckbo
Thomas D. Church

I own a book called Creative Gardens, by James C. Rose, who studied architecture at Harvard with Eckbo and was similarly pivotal to Modernist landscape design. Some images of his work can be found here and here.


A view of the garden

This is what I did during the month of May:

I'm very happy with the way everything's going this year.  Gardening is definitely a slow process to get even somewhat close to where you are headed.  It has helped that this spring has been very rainy, but knowing Kansas City summers like I do, odds are this won't last too much longer.

Now that I have my camera fixed, expect more entries.  I'll likely be catching up on the garden blogs I been neglecting to read lately as well.  Of course, my G5 is currently down, so none of this may happen as soon as I would like.  Nevertheless, things are starting to fall back into place.