Spring/Summer Gardening 2013 Let's share pics and stories

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

I'll start by saying this has been a VERY Strange Spring starting with the rain. It rained and it rained...until we had a small pond in the very back of our yard! I lost quite a few plants and some are coming up very late or are smaller than normal, but some others are larger than normal...go figure. And the bulbs that hate wet feet thrived!

Anyway, I do have a few plants in bloom to share and there are others with buds.

Welcome and please share your pics and/or stories.

1) This Crabapple just showed up one day, probably "planted" by a bird. It's using a dying shrub as a trellis. They might be somewhat aggressive, but the blossoms are pretty.

2 & 3) These are from my neighbor's Lilac shrubs. One of them hangs over their fence into our yard a little. They smell heavenly!

4 & 5) Allium 'Purple Sensation' surrounded by Salvia 'Eveline'

This message was edited May 19, 2013 4:22 PM

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

And a few more:

1 & 2) Aquilegia 'Clementine Red'

3 & 4) Polemonium (Jacob's Ladder) 'Stairway to Heaven'

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

nutsaboutnature; I asked about you trying to continue your old thread ,, Everyone's already seen most of mine .. Pardon if I over stepped hijacking your old thread .. sort of . and for you as saying hello . from last years returns this year ,, a few
The Clematis#1 The Tulips #2 you saw last year .. Redbud tree hardly bloomed ..

I always enjoy the assortment a combinations of flowers you show and talk about .. I have a giant Allium bulb someplace ..lol Waiting for it to show up as I forgot where I planted it (duh ) lol

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi juhur and Welcome!!
I'm flattered that you wanted to keep the old thread going. I should go take a look.
I haven't been around here much for a while. I just recently started checking out some of my favorite threads again. Thanks for your kind words about my flowers.

Those are some gorgeous flowers you posted! I keep thinking about trying some Clematis...maybe some day. Don't feel too bad about not remembering where you planted something. I do it all the time.

Right now I'm trying to decide which plants to replace after our Spring "Monsoon". Some of the plants I thought had died are starting to come up. They're just very late and some of them are smaller than they had been so possibly just some of the roots died. Some others just completely rotted away.

As more plants bloom I'll try to post some pictures.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Yes indeed my Hardy trailing ice plant , Gallo Gaillardia Grandiflora Gaillardia Cardiinal flower ((lobelia) all no returns ,, Last years drought to the last one , Ice plant and lobelia are replaced now ,,
Did get two plants of Firebird Agastache that returned , First time an Agastache has returned for me !!
Couple of pic's from earlier this spring my fruit trees and heirloom blue iris. The latter still blooming .. Well now back to sleep More to come later ... Nice to hear from you ,,for sure !!.. Last pic is Penstemon I am waiting to see bloom

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Today's pic's

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Couple more ' Some are bloomed out more than before . some only now getting blooms

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I pressed the wrong button I posted before I was ready .. good at that I guess ,, lol

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Hobart, IN

Beautiful pics all! May and June are my favorite time of the season. I will say that after the heat and dryness of last year, flowers are exploding everywhere here - bigger and more of them. I even have a long-flowerless Clematis blooming since we cut down a couple of trees two years ago. It's one of the smaller flowered forms but not sure what variety since I've lost the tag. I'm thinking C. chrysocoma but really not sure. Have had it since '96 and it's always grown leaves but never flowers. Guess I know now that it needed more sun.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Very Pretty flowers, juhur and Congrats on the Agastache return!

I had a beautiful deep reddish-purple one that I loved, but it also only bloomed one year. I bought a different variety on a whim late last Summer and finally planted it in Autumn. Surprisingly it came back and seems to be thriving, but I put it in a raised bed that almost everything thrives in.

Hi Cindy ~ Wow, great to hear about your Clematis! I'd love to see pics if you get a chance.

Our neighbor had a very large tree removed last Autumn (It was one that lost a couple of huge branches the year before during a storm. They fell partially into our yard and onto our shed & destroyed some of my plants as well). Since they removed it, though, my raised bed along their fence now has a lot more sun which opens up all kinds of possibilities for new flowers plus the ones that were already there seem to like it as well.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Here's Conjuration got it right this time..

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Hobart, IN

nuts - I wish I would have thought about raised beds when I first started my garden beds. To amend that now would mean digging up stuff that's been in the ground for 20+ years. I do try to minimize foot traffic in the beds though. I'll try to remember to take a Clem pic once it fully opens up but I'll warn you all now that I'm not a pic-taker normally.
juhur - another beautiful iris! How many different varieties do you have?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

HI cindy There are about a dozen or so with a midnight series , Amarylis , Conjuration and heirloom blue being the ones with names .. There is a dwarf yellow and a few smaller ones .

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

juhur - Love the Iris!!

Cindy - Our biggest problem is clay plus areas that get soggy in Spring, then super dry and rock-hard in Summer even though I keep amending.

I love the raised bed my husband built because he leveled everything out, then dug down quite deep to get out all of the dirt, rocks and old construction trash...at least deep enough for most of the roots. We then filled it with nice topsoil, compost, leaves & peat moss. After several years it's still light and wonderful. Almost everything I plant there thrives. But, I agree with you about old beds. This one started as nothing so we didn't have to dig up old plants. Now that I've used it for a while I only wish it were wider so I could plant more.

We dug an island bed a few years ago and heavily amended it. But it's in an area that gets soggy every Spring. I thought it was getting better when I found tons of worms last year, but this year after weeks of heavy rains some of the plants died, several came back smaller and the worms are mostly gone. So...we've decided to build a raised bed in that area in the hopes that will help, but we're going to have to dig out all the plants first.

If it wasn't so much work, I'd love to dig out the clay in all my beds and replace it with better soil, but I've avoided it every year.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Some a little twisted after all the rain and wind. Blooming today
Been working on my raised beds for years , still aren't done

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Hobart, IN

Clay is a real pain to amend. I have clay with a fine silt layer on top and I still have many areas that haven't been amended enough. Luckily, I'm on high ground above a creek basin (creek used to be much bigger many, many years ago) so drainage isn't so bad. It does get pretty hard in the summer though. I'm going to try mulching with shredded leaves from last fall with a thin layer of compost on top to see if that helps with moisture retention in the summer, suppressing weeds and improving the soil. I did do some spot composting a couple of years ago and that seems to have helped one bed. I have that yucky tan clay about 10 inches down - better than 3 inches down when I first started gardening.
juhur - more lovely pics! What's #3 and #4 in your most recent set of pics?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

NOID dark purple iris ,, suppose to be more striped than that , There is a similar or same(that looks better) on the spring Mid -Atlantic gardening threads also . Rain wind twisted it up some this time ..
Couple of trees 2 or three feet in dia , came down around the block from me .. good strong wind .. evil ...

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Lovely flowers juhur!! You really have a lot of blooms right now and the colors are gorgeous.

Cindy, sometimes I wish we could have someone come in with a backhoe and dig out the entire yard down about 2-feet deep and refill it with beautiful, PERFECT dirt. Yeah, and I'd also like to win the lottery, but it doesn't hurt to dream, does it?

I took a few more pics this morning:

1 & 2) Aquilegia 'Songbird Cardinal'

3) Lamium 'Purple Dragon' are just starting to bloom

4) Gladiolus 'Byzantinus'

5) Another pic of Salvia 'Eveline'. They are now blooming profusely and have spread all over this flower bed. It's difficult to get a picture that really does them justice.

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Beautiful flowers !!!! I really love the first ,, affinity for red shades , Besides I don't see that often if at all around here ..
Lots of cutting weeding for today ,, enjoying the spring blooms ,, Goodness I had missed them !!!
yes it can all go $$$ 's if your talking about replacing a large space , Kind of pricey for an 8x10 bloom glossy !!

Hobart, IN

Love that columbine!
I was stuck indoors yesterday between the cold and the wind and the rain. Unfortunately today I had to do more earthly things like grocery shopping but it was breezy and cold so I didn't mind toooo much. Hoping to get out there tomorrow and get prepped for planting some more tender things.
Astilbes are all getting flower buds. It seems early though but maybe not by much. 'Miss Kim' lilac still hasn't opened up the flower buds. I think that one blooms later than the traditional lilacs.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks juhur!!
I'm enjoying the blooms I have. Most of my Spring blooms are coming late, but then there are others, like the Salvia 'Eveline', that are right on time and blooming like they're on steroids!

Thanks Cindy!!
My Astilbes haven't even started to think about blooming, yet. It's been cool here the last few days (and very pleasant I might add). The super-hot weather we've been having recently is not my idea of May weather.

BTW, Bluestone Perennials is having their annual "50% off everything" end of season sale. Obviously, their selection isn't what it would normally be, but they still have a huge selection of plants, even though the clearance started about a week ago.

They still have the Red Aquilegia from my pictures that both of you liked - 'Songbird Cardinal'. If you're interested in that plant, here's the link.


You really should check out their website, though. I'm probably going to try to get an order together. I find the easiest way is to log in and keep adding plants to my "Wish List". That way I don't have to sit and do it all at once.

Edited to say:
I just spent a little time on Bluestone's website and in only two days since I've been there, many plants I considered ordering are already gone (though there are still lots left). If you're interested, I sugggest you don't wait.

This message was edited May 26, 2013 10:00 AM

Hobart, IN

nuts - I haven't been doing as much plant acquisition since I quit work and ran out of garden bed space. Fitting in something new means yanking out something old unless I seriously consider digging new beds.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

1st the neighbors peony
2 my peony
3 penstemon budding
4 peony budding I have some hybrid aquilegia seeds I have to try ...

Red and Gray toads are having a chorus practice !!! lol

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I thought I had this in here A wild Hyacinth... I do not get many of these...

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Hobart, IN

juhur - you had mentioned the wild hyacinth in earlier posts. Very pretty shade of blue.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Can;t do pics today , rain and wind has smashed everything ,
Cindy ; we talked about something similar that grows and blooms where you are?

If that wild Hyacinth keeps on I might get a few seeds !! takes about five years to them from seeds..blooms that is !

Hobart, IN

I planted Camassia bulbs. It doesn't consistently bloom for me - perhaps because the foliage gets cut down along with daffodil foliage. I did recover and replant all bulbs in the bed that was affected by big oak removal last fall so hoping it didn't get lost. Since it forms bulbs, you might want to see if there are some bulblets that your could divide. You would probably have new plants a lot sooner than growing from seed.
I think rain is done here for a while so I'm out the door to go clean up Virginia bluebell foliage and perhaps plant some annuals anywhere I don't have to step on lawn or dirt to avoid soil compaction while it's so wet.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Cindy, I totally understand about having no room.
I actually have a big yard, but it would mean digging new beds all over, most which would be in shade. Then there's the clay to deal with. Everything would have to be amended like crazy unless we want to do raised beds everywhere...which are still a lot of work if we replace most of the clay with good stuff.

I did lose some plants this year, though, with the soggy Spring rains and flooding so I'll squeeze in a few plants here and there. I also want to plant some annuals for season-long flowers that the butterflies and hummers enjoy plus some containers.

Beautiful pics, juhur! Aquilegia are supposed to grow easily from seed. Let us know how they turn out. Love that wild Hyacinth!

I tried Camassia bulbs one year, but I think I had them in too much shade. The first year they were scrawny. I planned to move them, but they disappeared! I'll have to try again one of these days. They were Quamash 'Blue Melody' from Brent and Becky's. They're similar to quamash, but the foliage is variegated...very pretty.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Well here is one of those room issues ,,,lol A peony today and the iris still in bloom just behind in the pic , the pot well , that's me .still playing and planting ..

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Hobart, IN

Nice to have the peony flowers. Alas - no room here for one.
'Miss Kim' lilac finally opened up the flower buds this week. I must say that it's loaded with flowers and I can actually smell them this year for the first time. Not as intense a fragrance as the old fashioned lilacs though. Amazing what some additional sun can do for plants. I have a seed-sown medium rose columbine (wouldn't even be able to guess the variety with all of the cross-pollination/seed collecting) that must have had about 50 flowers on it. You'd think I'd doused it with Miracle Grow (not!).
nuts - are you getting any of the nasty weather? We've been escaping most of it although it's very windy today. The next few days are going to be dicey with all of the plants in bloom. Juhur - are you still getting masses of rain or is it drying out a bit for you?
nuts - I am offing a clump of white violets in favor of a white/green striped Hakonechloa I bought a couple of weeks ago. That's how I end up making room for a few new things. I would dearly love to expand the gardens but I sure don't have the budget for the hired help that would entail. Every year, it gets a little more difficult to juggle all of the upkeep now that all of the spaces are full. I love planting new stuff but will have to suffice with planting lots of annuals.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ooh...very pretty Peony, juhur!!
I see you've changed your Avatar. On sites where I use identifying pictures, I change them all the time. On eBay, I change my pic for the seasons, holidays, etc. On DG I'm so used to not having them that I haven't bothered.

Cindy, Congrats on 'Miss Kim'!!
Our weather has been way too hot, but the worst storms have been missing us entirely. Every day we're supposed to have thunder showers, but many of those days have had the "thunder" part with few of the showers. Yes, we have had wind and lots of pollen floating around.

The Hackonechloa should be lovely. I like to fill in with annuals for the bright season-long color. I haven't done a lot of working in the garden lately, though, because the temps have been ridiculously hot for May and we've been getting just enough rain that the beds have been staying pretty wet. I've also had more problem than normal this year with allergies...possibly a combination of the heat and all the pollen.

I took some pics this morning, but I haven't uploaded them yet to the computer. I don't really have much more blooming yet ~ some more varieties of Aquilegia, Heuchera, Geranium, but not much more.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Cindy ' way up in the 80's cloudy then sunny ,, sprinkle raining off and on today , mostly dry yesterday ,,
Humidity might as well be a 1,000 % really uncomfortable there . everything else nice

nuts , we will look forward to seeing more of your flower pic's

Hey Cindy . annuals aren't bad Nigella ID'd on the forum for me , shows up wild every so often ..

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Hobart, IN

Oh - did I give the impression that I don't like annuals? Me - who traditionally had bought 8 to 10 flats a year of just impatiens alone? I do like annuals for summer color because most of my garden is mainly shade lovers that bloom early so I like to have color through the summer as well. This year, I did not buy my traditional impatiens due to the mildew problems. I did buy some New Guinea impatiens though as well as some begonias. I also did tons of cuttings of different coleus and started several different annuals from seed. Now if I could only get out there to plant them...
Breezy today but overcast and a little cooler. Not sure that we're in line to get any major storms this afternoon unless they pop up really quick.
Iris sibirica 'Snow Queen' is blooming - tall at about 30 inches. Roses are just starting to open up and first one is always a white one - 'Blanc Double de Coubert' - and my one lone Dianthus 'Mountain Mist' is just starting to open up. That one doesn't bloom reliably every year for some reason.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Still haven't unloaded my pics.

juhur, our humidity is awful right now, too...and the MOSQUITOS!
Wow, that Nigella is pretty! Love that blue color!

Cindy, I've also stayed away from Impatiens this year. I hadn't even realized there was a problem till my husband mentioned he read about it in the newspaper. He said it supposedly stays in the soil for a long time. It's just as well, though, since I haven't even managed to plant the few annuals I already bought with this heat and rain.

How cool that you have 'Snow Queen' Iris Sibirica. It's the only Iris I have and I only have one plant. I bought it on a whim from Bluestone 3 years ago just to try. I didn't know anything about Sibirian Iris so I started a thread in the Iris forum. I got so many great responses from some super-friendly and helpful DG members.

Mine hasn't bloomed yet and I don't even see any buds, but I have so many very late plants this year. Maybe it'll bloom in time for Christmas? One of my neighbors has a bed full of lavender-colored Iris that are already blooming, but they're on higher ground and have a lot more sun than we do.

Love the name of your White Rose. It sounds like a "White Wine".

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I will return later when I am feeling better , not bad .. just soggy ....lol A few from today.
Dwarf iris
Coreopsis &with Gaillardia about to bloom

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Hobart, IN

nuts - I got mine from BS as well. It took it a couple of years to get going, maybe because it was getting quite a bit of shade. I got mine in '09. This year it has 5 flower stems. My German bearded irises starting blooming before 'SQ' so yours might yet send up some flower stems.
We missed most of the nasty stuff yesterday - just a few sprinkles. Big family wedding today so I hope the rain stays away for a while today.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Cindy, I looked more closely yesterday and I can see buds on my 'Snow Queen'. I just couldn't tell how many. I planted it in part shade. The first Spring it had 2 or 3 flowers. Last year it had a couple more, but I'm surprised anything is blooming this year with this crazy weather.

I was going to take a few pics yesterday...particularly of my Native Columbine (Aquilegia 'Canadensis'). It's blooming like crazy and has such a pretty "woodland" look to it, but there's so much pollen floating around that it looks like it's growing fur!

Enjoy the wedding!

juhur, why were you so wet? Were you gardening in the rain?
My Gailardia is one of the plants that are very late this year. My 'Goblin' is just barely beginning to grow!

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

HELLO ALL...Ive been missing this....I just got lazy...and faded away....Im Back now...Ready for some great chat ...Well I think we ended up with 3 inches of rain Friday night....We needed it ,but holy cow.. I just finished up getting all my winter sowed jugs planted and all my flats . I dug 1 of my Iris beds out,they looked awful ? Iris bores ? only a few blooms stunted at that ??? I put them in the burn pile..Any Advice about Iris bores ?

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Cindy you really didn't give the impression that you had not liked annuals we know you enjoy them .. weather likes picking on everyone .

Nuts ' as a matter of fact , how can you not garden in the rain recently? , big change from last season !

Huggergirl ' Bleach talk for borer's and smashing them before they lay their eggs I will see if I can find the thread link ..

Flowers today ' last two pics are fuzzy enlarged so watch your eye focus ,, etc be prepared ..lol
That clematis is over six feet tall and cover smothered in blooms !

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

You have all seen these ,, Just thought I would send granny etc 's a bouquet of flowers for Sunday ..

Here ya go Grand Ma Ma's

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