The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making


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What’s Blooming: June Bloom

It’s been rainy here but today in June, the sun blooms. Purple podded peas … blooming in the sun.

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Also in the Potager, herbs like chives and thymes are in flower. Borage is on the brink.

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Chamomile (and Vetch) running rampant.

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A first, Ornamental Clover, Trifolium Rubens, just beginning to bloom. (Last year the rabbits mowed it down.)

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Just beginning, the first drops of Oenothera, in the Bird & Butterfly Garden (a blue and yellow stage along with Lady’s Mantle, Cranesbill).

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Baptisia Twilite Prairieblues …

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The Woodland Edge in its “Pink Fairy” stage with Tradescantia varieties brought to me by Jean’s Garden.

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Jack in the Pulpit lingers in the shadows.

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Flowering Raspberry, Rubus odoraus, is buzzing and vibrating with bees. Listen.

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Meadow phlox, Phlox maculata or Wild Sweet William is loaded.

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Flanked by Northern Blue Flag Iris.

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Opposite the Woodland Edge, in new Hosta Row, Heucheras ‘Caramel’ and ‘Pinot Blanco’ soak up the sun.

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Gazania Kiss Frosty Mix, kissed by the sun, out front where the sun is full.

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Superfinia Petunia Lavender Lace in a window box.

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A sweet seat on the front porch next to what I’ve dubbed as “hummingbird honey suckle.”

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On the other side you can see the waterfall of blooms.

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Sitting on the front porch you can take in the scent of Dianthus Greystone.

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Chives and Catmint Walker’s Low line the sidewalk.

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Common Milkweed is just beginning to bloom (IN the sidewalk), but I’ve yet to see a Monarch here in my garden.

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If I were a Monarch, I would visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens for a great list of blooming gardens on Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.


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What’s Blooming: Hey Joe and Here Comes the Sun

Yet another Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, celebrated the 15th of each month and hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. My garden is looking “tired” – a reflection of me? I am tired. Tired and struggling with allergies. The garden is beating me down. I have managed to cut a few things back, tidy up a bit, add a few small paths but that’s about all. Not much harvesting going on either – fresh salad, herbs and cucumbers.

Joe Pye is everywhere! But I love, love its big floppy, purple heads – all loaded with sleepy bees. I am going to move some of the volunteers to a new corner of the garden.

Joe in the Potager

Joe Pye in the Potager

The Susans are also prolific even in spite of the severe rabbit pruning they received earlier this summer. They are taking over the Bird & Butterfly Garden (along with Joe). I will need to thin them this fall so the bee balm and coneflowers have more room to grow. My asters are buried and so is Husker’s Red – more moving around.

Susans in the Bird & Butterfly Garden

Joe Pye and Susans in the Bird & Butterfly Garden

Nodding onions are the star of the garden now. Great blue lobelia is just revealing itself.

Woodland Edge August

Great Blue Lobelia and Nodding Onions along the Woodland Edge

Nodding Onions

Nodding Onions up close

Iron Weed has just come into bloom – flop. Lots of flopping going on. Don’t you just hate that?

Iron Weed

Well, I wanted more flowers in the Potager and I have them!

Flowers in the Potager

Calendula and marigolds blanket the paths. Trumpet vine gone wild. These marigolds are 3-4′ tall!

3' Marigolds in the Potager

Sunflowers are also beginning to bloom. I didn’t think any of them would make it given the rabbits’ taste for sunflower sprouts!

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Mexican Sunflower

This Amaranth is taller than the sunflowers – almost 7′!

7' tall Amaranth

I find most of the action – blooms and birds, bees, etc. – in the Potager and Woodland Edge, but there is more going on in the new Hosta Row. Clematis Virginiana is blooming for the first time! Too bad the wind wreaked havoc on its trellis. That’s just the way it goes in gardening it seems. The snowball hydrangea bloom on and on and on (along with the Dogwood shrubs this year), in Hosta Row and along the Nice Driveway where the wall of grape and hydrangea has filled in completely.

Native Clematis Virginiana

Native Clematis Virginiana

Snowball hydrangeas in Hosta Row

Dogwood and Snowball hydrangeas in Hosta Row

Wall of grapes and hydrangea

Wall of grapes and hydrangea

New Hydrangea ‘Quickfire’ is blooming alongside Heuchera ‘Pinot Bianco.’

Hydrangea 'Quickfire' and Heuchera 'Pinot Bianco'

White Phlox that belonged to my grandmother also bloom along the Nice Driveway. Fresh against the fading Bee Balm.

Phlox in Nice Driveway

Pink phlox blooms out front through a veil of Karl Foerester Feather Reed grass.

Pink Phlox through Karl Forester

Mints are coming into bloom throughout the garden. Catmint blooms non-fail all summer in the Riverfront.

Catmint Walkers Low

Soon to be outdone by the Russian Sage.

Russian Sage

I don’t look out front too often but I’ll have to keep an eye on it as things are coming into bloom like this young NJ Tea and butterfly weed. This sheered off Mt. Bluet Centaurea is reblooming, too.

Mt Bluet Centaurea

Mt Bluet Centaurea reblooms

New Jersey Tea Buds

New Jersey Tea Buds

Butterfly Weed Buds

Butterfuly Weed Buds

Of course, the honeysuckle blooms all summer until frost and even into December!

Honeysuckle in August

Coral Honeysuckle

This is the home stretch. Not much more blooms from hereon out but beautiful Fall color to look forward to. Nights have been cool and some of the trees are already going dormant. Early fall this year? Obedient Plant is just starting to bloom – have to love a late bloomer like Obedient Plant even if it is a thug.

Obedient first blooms

Be sure to join in Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day by visiting Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


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What’s Blooming

Blooms are fading fast. In the upcoming months it will be challenging to find any blooms outside in the garden, but we have had a true Indian Summer here in the North Country.

Out front Sweet Autumn Clematis is blooming. This plant can be invasive and I cannot recommend it. Of course, I didn’t know that when I planted it. I imagine that here in zone 4 it is not so problematic as it may be further south. To make myself feel better I just planted two native Clematis Virginiana in other areas of the garden – this spot on the front porch receives too much sun. I do have to say the Sweet Autumn smells divine.

This Woods Aster (pink blooms) always punctuates fall. The sedums are just about ready to burst into bloom. Catmint Walker’s Low is still faithfully blooming.

Along the drive California Poppies are bright as orange pumpkins. In the background Helenium and Verbascum bloom. Along the trellis the Purple Hyacinth Bean vine is still blooming strong and Scarlet O’Hara is now finally gloriously greeting the mornings.

In the woodland edge geranium Sylvia’s Surprise is surprising me with more blooms.

Persicaria Firetail is the work horse this summer … still a stunning show.

Chocolate Joe Pye was moved this year to this spot due to the porch renovation. Though not as big and bold in previous years, at least there are blooms to let me know that this spot will do. Hopefully next year will be big and bold once again. (Spied several flower flies on Joe Pye’s blooms though I am not sure of the specific species. Will have to revisit with guide in hand.)

Tradescantia Osprey says BOO! These were given to me through the mail by Jean at Jean’s Garden and were just planted this spring. Thank you Jean! They seem to be happy and they are oh so beautiful.

The potager is putting on a fall display of its own, no pumpkins, but comparable are the bright orange of marigolds and nasturtium.

And at last the Exotic Love Vine is dripping with blooms! If we didn’t have an Indian Summer, I’m not so sure if I would have been lucky at love.

Garden bloggers’ bloom day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens the 15th of each month. Join in the fun with your blog blooms!