Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sure is close these days!

We went to the Victoria Playhouse Monday night to see Papillio, a trio of people we know - Jennifer Publicover, flautist, Colin Jeffrey, violinist, and Phil Schappert, guitar-and-vocalist who is also a PhD in insects (I don't know what that would be!) . He named the group, which is butterfly in Latin. It was a great show.
Anyway, it's barely a couple of weeks since we saw Rose Cousins in the same venue (although she had a bigger crowd) and she mentioned it's being CLOSE - as in the weather: close means humid, or muggy, in PEI-speak.
I'm glad she said it, because I hadn't heard the word used in that way for years. I'm trying to use it myself now, and the weather is cooperating by being "close" almost all of the time. It was quite 9 o'clock last night before it cooled off in the house, although it was nice outdoors by that time. The humidity has been high, and last evening the wind died, so the nice breeze that makes this kind of weather bearable was missing! However, we have a fan in the east-facing window of the room across the hall from our bedroom, and if you set it to "suck" there's a lovely westerly breeze in our room all night. Heaven!
I haven't had to consider using the A/C unit yet. Of course, if anyone was sleeping upstairs that would be's much hotter up there as there's so much roof. When the girls come to visit in August I'll have to get it out and hook it up, if the weather continues as it is.
It's all great news for growing things, however! We have phlox paniculata out all over, as well as monarda (above), hemerocallis and lilies, the later roses (The Fairy and Alba Meidiland mainly), and the grass! It's growing like weeds, mainly because that's mainly what it is!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Old and wild, or nearly

And speaking of roses, my "Ring around the Rosie" Plan is working, although not EXACTLY as I had anticipated. Last year I planted several rugosas around the old poplar stump, more to cover it up until it rots than for any other reason. I stuck in a couple of the "wild" roses that grow along the back road in the middle. They grow quite long and rambling canes, and have quite sweet white blooms in clusters. My Botanica's Pocket Roses has an extensive wild rose section, but nothing really matches these ones. I suppose they could be a garden escape. I have noted with surprise this year that there are plenty of them in the landscape - they are the only things blooming at the present time (in the wild) and so are quite noticeable. They are in ditches and side yards all over the area. They sort of look like rosa helenae, but no thorns - however they look to be great ones for scrambling up trees, etc. I'm thinking of setting up a trellis or obelisk on the stump for next year. It doesn't have to be very attractive - it will be covered in short order.
The site was also colonized by feverfew and malva moschata, which makes a nice show. I'm not too terribly pleased with the progress of the rugosas, however - not much growth, and nary a bloom. One looks to be too far out into the fairway, but I'll leave it till the spring to move it. I did put the white ones in THIS spring...I suppose I shouldn't be expecting too much. I added a rugosa from Henry's as well - there are now three in fairly close proximity. I'll keep an eye on them as well, for possible redistribution in spring. I had tried to seed foxgloves there too, but there isn't a sign of them yet. However, they ARE biennials.

It's time for roses.

I am just so impressed with this rose - I put it in spring 2008, and in spring 2009 I discovered that it had been gnawed by mice - but the plucky thing just grew up from the roots, and this spring it grew plenty of canes and buds. The flowers are semi-double (about 25 petals) but the buds are quite pointy... and the most attractive thing, I think, is when the buds start to open. They make a lovely little whorl which gets bigger and bigger, over a day or more. And then they LAST, both on the bush and cut, for many many days. Now, if only I could remember what its NAME is? Or, failing that, if it would just sucker me some babies so I could plant them everywhere. That would be almost as good.

Speaking of suckers, the Bourbon rose, Tuscany Superb, on the rose mound, is making more all over the place. I have put one in the bed by the (new) lilac hedge, which had a poor start but is taking off quite well now. The main one is blooming, but, because it is behind a Therese Bugnet, doesn't show up that well. I must do more pruning. Heavens knows I have plenty of Therese Bugnet! The Snow Pavement is also suckering along well. I wish the eastern end of the mound was filling in as well as the western one, but I fear the nearby trees are at fault for cutting down on the light. Also the varieties there may be at fault? But surely Hansa is one that should sucker out like a good one - it certainly suckers all over old dooryards.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back to the Garden

My frustration with - I suppose - MY inability to use Blogger continues - can't get more than one photo in a post without them mixing up, getting out of order, or lining up, side by side, at the top, rather than where I want to use them to illustrate my very important words. Aah well. This photo at least illustrates TWO things, the snowballs planted three years ago in the former driveway which circumnavigated the house - until we decided that we needed wind protection on the North more than we needed to be able to get from the upper to the lower driveway (or vice-versa) through the yard. This is the first year that there have been any amount of blooms on them, and, because they're in the shade (on the North side of the house) they bloomed later, and stayed longer, than their bigger parents on the South. We planted several things there at that time, including alders to improve the soil, a lilac, and a Rosa Glauca. There were blooms on the lilac as well, and they were double ones - I can not recall buying a hybrid lilac but I MUST have, because while it is the same colour as the common ones, the bloom was hybrid - huge, double, and later than the commons.
The shawl is Haruni, in Malabrigo laceweight (it's a single-ply 100% merino wool from South America and is very popular on Ravelry). It has a very simple allover lace pattern in the body, and a very fancy edge with big doubled leaves which cause the shawl to curve a bit (meaning it's bigger than a simple triangle, I suppose). It's quite a tiny shawl, a shawlette really, and quite warm because of the wool. I got the yarn at Romni Wools in Toronto.