Posted by: jsmcfadden | July 5, 2011

Front garden NOW at its best

So, I may have jumped the gun a couple of weeks. Take a look at these yellow all-stars!!

While we were gone on vacation, the garden was in the capable hands of Emily & Terence, and these flowers just popped open and dominated with their charismatic exuberance!

Not only that, but the Giants in the back of the front have bloomed:

Here’s a closer look at their strange and wonderful flowers — are these the echinacia? I remember we planted some, but can’t recall if these are they, as it were.

I love the way their petals change their orientation — they’re so bold and demanding, making it easier and easier for the bees to help themselves.

The petals’ coloring is so subtle, until you near the center, and then it’s more and more like a target: Bulls-Eye!! Mr. Bee, come over here!!

And the agapanthus on both sides of the garden bed have budded, and they’re in the process of opening up, too.

They’ll be purple when they’re fully open, and their tall, strong stalks hold them up admirably, swaying rather slowly in the breeze rather than dancing and waving as the pink break of heaven does or the tall whatsis near the driveway does.

This plant is a Northern California stalwart, planted within several of the big freeway exchanges in San Jose where we first lived after moving here. Their foliage is pretty, and the blooming is exotic — Lilies of the Nile is another of their names. Our two batches of them are dwarf — the regular sized Agapanthuses (Agapanthi??)  are 4 and 5 feet high when blooming, and we just don’t have space for the 6′ diameter plant.  I like the contrast between their pointy spears of leaves and the curvy ovals of the pittosporum right next to ’em. The other batch is under the pink break of heaven.

The back yard is looking nice, too, and equally well taken care of by Em & T while we were gone. Three kinds of roses are blooming, and one is growing strong but not really blooming.

Here are the sweet flowers of the dwarf which is between the two lilac bushes behind the retaining wall. Not so dwarf, really, and it was covered in blossoms when we got home — 15 or 18 flowers all opened and the longest branches stretching up a good 5 feet toward the sun & sky. The lighting is off a bit; the blossoms are more peachy-pink rather than the bluish-pink this picture leads you to believe. It’s growing vigorously, and likes it that I trimmed some of the lilacs back so more sun gets down in there. The soaker hose is causing GOOD things in the back garden!!

Here’s the second bloom beginning on the red rose bush beneath the studio window:

There are 18 or 20 buds on the bush right now; only a few of them are opening, so we’ve got a glorious week or so coming when this bush is covered again.

Is it a total “DUH” or just my imagination that the buds are not as tall in this second bloom as the first bloom buds were? Those things were assertive, but these blooms are a little more shy in appearance,

seems to me. [sidebar: I have trouble with spacing every time I try to put two photos right up next to one another. Spacing the text is the problem. Anyone got an easy solution for me???]

The third rose that’s blooming in the back is the pink beauty by the patio door. Her coloring is so pretty, clear, and bright, but not flashy or egocentric as some rose colors are.

 She’s just pretty, don’t you think?

Oh, and you’re right — new header photo!! It’s the water of Birch Bay, in northern Washington, and the rocks beneath.

Yeah — next blog post; it’s already begun but then I ran out of words.



  1. I like the new header. I can still see you kneeling over the rocks and waiting for just the right moment of water washing rocks.

    I’m glad you can share with the world some of the explosion of color you’ve spread around our home. This is a good taste, but no still shots on a computer screen can adequately show the way the breeze and the sunlight combine to welcome me home after a day with my seven and eight-year-olds. Thanks for the real thing.

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