Garden beauties

Before we get to the garden beauties I’ll show you the results of my second attempt at geode dyeing. Much better than the first, but it certainly says more space-like than geode-like to me. Here’s the front…

geode attempt #2, front

…and the back.

geode attempt #2, back

It’s clear to me that I simply cannot pull the sinew tight enough to create the undyed portions that you need for geode. But this is good enough that I will try again with rubber bands and see how that works. Last attempt. Although the birthday boy’s mom tells me he would like the dyeing above, even though it’s not a geode. If only that T didn’t have a logo on the front left, I’d include this in his gift; I doubt I’ll wear it. Maybe I’ll offer it to him after his birthday and see if he has any interest.

Ok, on to the garden. You saw my beautiful climbing hydrangea at it’s height in my last post. For several days, while sitting outside under it, I noticed a female robin in the yard, gathering worms and flying up onto my garage roof. I was surprised at how close she would get to me, and figured she must have a nest nearby. Um, yeah! Right in the hydrangea I was sitting under! No wonder she would get closer to me than usual!

robin nest in climbing hydrangea

Next to put on a great show after the climbing hydrangea is my lovely Japanese dogwood. I had one back at my old house, but it was more bush-type than tree-type, and I much prefer this form. As with my crabapple, I am amazed that this tree was planted just 5 years ago.

The flowers are beautiful now, and in a few weeks as the flowers die, the fruit at the center of each will turn bright red for a second show. The squirrels love those fruits!

beautiful Japanese dogwood

While the dogwood is flowering, the oakleaf hydrangea added it’s white flowers to my yard. Another gorgeous shrub, if I do say so myself.

beautiful oakleaf hydrangea

In my last post I whined about my peony not being fragrant. In my daily walks I stopped and smelled lots of peonies in people’s front yards. Interestingly, only about half of them had decent fragrance. And some had clearly been there for many years, so I guess that’s not a new thing.

But for me, fragrance is important. So I’ve been planting. Not much to see yet on 2 of the newbies – a Harlequin honeysuckle and a Fragrant Cloud honeysuckle. I had the Harlequin at my old house and loved the aroma. Their variegated leaves added to the garden color as well. I’m not familiar with Fragrant Cloud, but trust the woman I bought it from that it’ll be great. I planted Harlequin on a trellis next to my garage door where a clematis has struggled for 3 years and is clearly not going to make it. The clematis on the other side of the garage door does just fine. Go figure. The Fragrant Cloud honeysuckle got planted along my fence to offer more privacy there in coming years.

Then on Monday I was at a local garden center looking for some specific plants for my son. I passed by their rose section and stooped and smelled lots of plants. Most had no fragrance, but one made me stop and admire both the smell and the color. It’s a True Bloom True Gratitude rose. I had to buy it, along with the plants for my son.

When I got home and read the tag more closely, it said this was a climber and would be 6′ tall and 3-4′ wide. Great, I thought, on the fence you go! Of course, I didn’t have an open space that could take it, so had to make one. I started digging out the grass yesterday but didn’t get it completed.

While walking on the sidewalk outside my yard on my regular morning walk, the smell of that rose reached me and thrilled me. So I HAD to go back and buy another! That meant I had to extend the new garden bed much more than initially planned, digging out a lot more grass. Today I finished the digging and planted the 2 roses and a few annual vincas.

In truth, if I’d bought 3-4 more garden blocks I would have made the bed a bit longer and planted the rose on the left a bit farther down. But I doubt I’ll move it now that it’s in the ground. It will all be fine. In future years the roses and clematis will sort of intertwine. If I need to train the clematis to grow more to the right or prune the rose on the left a bit, I can do that.

One more thing before I post the photo…as usual I didn’t think to take a before shot. But if you look closely at the photo of the oakleaf hydrangea, you can see that its bed curves up. It goes to the fence ends right there. Or at least it used to. I removed and repositioned a few of those blocks, then placed the new ones along the length. They’re not identical, but it’s okay.

extended garden bed with roses

I have done a bit of weaving, but haven’t taken any shots, so you’ll have to wait till next time for that.

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