Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cooling Foliage

I've gathered, from some of the other gardening blogs I frequent, that Sunday was a day designated by some garden bloggers as a day to post examples of some of the lovely foliage in their gardens. I didn't know about this beforehand (I'm not as connected as I like to sometimes think -- in more ways than one!), so here's a small, belated contribution of some our late June lushness in parts of the garden, with my thanks to the clever garden blogger who propagated this idea!
Here's another perspective of some of our collected ferns (seen earlier this spring in another post) growing happily in their space in the Woodland Garden. At the front, you can see our profusion of Maidenhairs, and to their right you can catch a glimpse of one of our hollies that define the front boundary of this particular bed. And moving back, at the left are a few of the many Ostrich Plumes we have popping up all over, next to them are a couple of our Leatherwoods, and a bit of the fading Dicentra foliage, which is now quickly on its way out of the picture, ceding space for the ferns to grow in even more densely over the course of the summer.
I'm not going to reveal just yet what the foliage is in this photo ... it's really gorgeous isn't it? I just love that red veining on this plant and when it blooms later this month (is it July already?) the combination of the foliage and the flowers is positively stunning! I will say this is one of our long term favorite perennials in the garden, and if you've visited over the past two years in summer, you've probably already seen this, but perhaps not connected the foliage to the blooms yet. Anyone who grows this will immediately identify it, but I do like to make other gardeners scratch their heads in puzzlement from time to time (as they do me!). I'll also say that if you have a sunny spot that could use some real spectacle in mid-to-late summer and have the space, you should really have one of these growing in your garden! So ... let me know who nails this one in the comments ...

In other garden news to report, the best finding of the day is that there are more bees coming back! Fernymoss had the day off and was mowing out back when he ran into quite a few ... both honeybees and bumblebees! He said there were some big ones with full pollen sacs, as well as some smaller ones working the woody nightshade that grows on part of our fence (you know the stuff with "deadly poison red berries" your mom warned you about?). The honeybees were busy visiting the clover, and made mowing some of that rather tricky, he said ... He finally got our canna planted, as well as dispatching a good number of weeds in the Woodland Garden. After Thursday, my work insanity will be done for a while, so I plan on spending a good part of the day on the 4th out front finishing up weeding the boulder bed and getting more of the annuals in ... it seems like forever since I've been able to get out there ... if it wasn't work, it was the heat or rain that have kept me indoors slaving away. I'm more than ready for that to be over! Last week I put in about 50 hours and it has really taken it out of (on?) me, so I'm looking forward to some good gardening therapy this weekend! Oh yeah, and blowing a few things up too, hehe ...


Shady Gardener said...

I've been very frustrated in that I haven't had enough "back-to-back minutes" in the garden this year! And when I get time, I work frenetically. Sounds like you are ready for some "time out," too.

Now, as far as latest beautiful leaf... I'm stuck again. I'll look forward to learning about it. Meanwhile, it's VERY late and I have tutoring all day tomorrow!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shady!
I was surprised to find you here so late! I feel honored. :-)

I think we've both been experiencing garden therapy deprivation syndrome of late ... I really do intend to take it easy, but get a lot done over the weekend. But it will be worth it! Once the rest of the perennials and annuals are in, we can rest a bit and then focus on the weeds!

As for the leaf, if no one IDs it soon I'll update on 4 July. You'd love this, as long as you have sunny spot at the front of your border and have an about 2-3 ft width spot to put it in. You'll know soon enough, :-)

Gail said...

The leaf blown up to full size on the screen is delicious! Really fabulous and it looks a bit like a Hibiscus...Copper King or some thing close to that!

You do seem to love that family of flowering plants!


Roses and Lilacs said...

Good afternoon.
I love your ferns. Didn't know maidenhair ferns could be grown in our climate. I'd like to try them they're beautiful.

I've seen about the same number of bumblebees but only a few honey bees this year.

My service berry tree has about 1/3 the usual number of fruit. I assume that is due to lack of pollinators since we had excellent weather this spring.

FARfetched said...

Oh yeah, I forgot you like your fireworks! :-) Nice shots. I like foliage… in fact, I've thought about building a pergola in the kudzu and letting it create a nice shady flora-cave.

This weekend, I'm going to get good and scratched up picking blackberries. I always spray myself pretty good before venturing out, so the bugs don't feast on me before I feast on the fruit.

boran2 said...

Your ferns are really lush, IVG. Another beautiful photo too.

Glad to hear about the bees. We've had a good number of them here, probably more than last year.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail!
I knew you would nail that leaf in a heartbeat, and it reminded me of you telling me you have Kopper King. :-) Probably not as big as yours at this point, and it was rather later than usual to break dormancy this year for some reason. The Blue River toward the back was up about 2 ft before the King made his appearance.

And yes, I'm officially mallow obsessed ...

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
I'm surprised you didn't know about the Maidenhairs! I would think they are also native over your way too, though ours have just evolved from nursery stock. I recall that in that space we started with only 3 plants, and they have steadily spread throughout the whole Woodland Area. Get some ... just pamper and water well the first year and then let them go. They're really tough, despite the delicate look!

We're just really happy to see some bees coming back!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey FAR!
I like your kudzu pergola idea ... at least that might put the blasted stuff to some good use! But wouldn't you be afraid you'd have to bring a machete with you when you wanted to spend time under there?

Enjoy those blackberries and have a bang up weekend, hehe.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Yo, B2!
Thanks for the props on the ferns. We're really happy how they've taken over, and once they get to this point, they're virtually maintenance free (unless it's really dry) for the rest of the season. And that was a great photo to show almost all the varieties we have here at casa IVG.

Good to hear you've got the bees too. I hope ours (if new ones) decide to stick around!

Gail said...


My Kopper King was very late coming up and is still not very big! I am going to go over and check him out! Maybe he is needing a bit of one on one time with the gardener!

Well there is a much to be said for mallows!

We have more bees here at Clay and Limestone, too. Very exciting.


olivia said...

Hiya IVG ... yep, it is GORGEOUS!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Gail,
How's he doing? Fernymoss fed all the hibiscus on Tuesday (liquid fish emulsion solution), so they should all be nice and primed to perform this month!

I'm seeing more people noticing a general lack of bees, and glad to hear they're coming back your way too. What's up this year? Thanks for the nice words about the post I made the other day about the clay situation. I try to be helpful, even if I do get a bit long winded at times, lol.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

So does this mean you've emerged from the post cruise jet lag drag Olivia? Hope you're all recovered and ready to get out there with your roses, hehe (yeah, sorry about the faux snark :-)

Thanks, I'll let Fernymoss know. What is the esteemed professor's (yours) take on the new camera? We're regularly thrilled with the results, what say you?

olivia said...

Hiya toots ... :)

Yeah ... slowly emerging. Going back through the photos is both positive and negative (I to go back ... ;).

I'd say that camera is fantastic! I love the colours and the crispness, but I'm even more impressed w/ the compositions and how you both are framing the plants to show off their best features or capture minute details (including critters ... :). Very impressive!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Olivia, you know I did learn much from a patient adviser. And the source of the inspiration I needed to get more daring with what I do.

Glad you approve of the S700... I'm loving it more every time I use it! I got some really good shots of the clouds and trees today I think you'll like. :-)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Hey, better late than never w/ the green leaf thing. I serendipitously did mine early w/ the Clematis leaf post. I'm glad Gail ID'd the mystery leaf. I would never have gotten it, tho it did look familiar.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

As I said, I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes, lol. If you ever get the chance to get a 'Kopper King' hibiscus and have the sunny space for it, you'll just love it. Wait till you see the blooms later this month or August! It's a real winner, and this from a non pink fan! (I guess I'm not as much of a pink curmudgeon as I used to be though... lol).

Thiago daLuz said...

I like that idea, going green and getting my hands dirty. I didn't know that some greenery kept the air cooler than other varieties. I guess I can take that into account as we plan our yard this year. Thanks for the awesome article. Thiago |