The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


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What’s Blooming: Pretty Weeds

Well now, I was going to post What’s Growing “soon” as in the beginning of the month, but here we are the 15th of June – Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. What’s Growing will have to wait like these plants on the steps of my back porch – still waiting to be planted – but some, not waiting to bloom.

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As you can see it is a bit of a foggy morning after night rains which I am grateful for as we were very dry not so long ago – now we are thoroughly watered.

Looking forward onto the Bird & Butterfly and Woodland Edge Gardens – the pink and purple phase with splashes of Evening Primrose, Oenothera. The field of grass in the foreground will one day become a walkway of stone or paver or crushed gravel or even boardwalk. The pond will be nestled in between these two beds.

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Oenothera with Lady’s Mantle in the background in the Bird & Butterfly Garden.

I have been singling out “problem areas” in my garden – not really problems – but areas that require too much of my time that I want to rework to grow without my meddling so much. This is one of them. I had began a stone path through here, but as you can see (or not) it is now completely overgrown – I’m going to switch to large stone pavers to make a path through here. This is where bindweed reigns but overlook that and see the blooms of a pretty purple Columbine, Jacob’s Ladder in purple and white, Cranesbill Geranium, and Tradescantia. The bamboo pole marks a special plant I actually planted (novel!) that I want to be sure doesn’t become lost. The wooden framework is for continuing the construction of a wooden fence we began last year.

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Flowering Raspberry never disappoints and is larger than ever. Much of my garden work is now pruning and cutting back vs. planting/weeding. It is swallowing a spicebush (another problem area) that I am going to move to a different spot (where oh where?) so I do not have to worry about it becoming eaten. The Pagoda Dogwood and Serviceberry should rise above eventually. I love to walk by this native shrub because you can hear it! – the buzzing and humming of bees.

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A pot of fuchsia, Angel Earrings, in the Woodland Edge to break it up a bit. A treat for hummers. I bought two more hummingbird feeders but now I’m thinking why don’t I just hang / pot “natural hummingbird feeders” – less work.

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I thought I scored at the Master Gardener plant sale some Agapanthus which I potted up in the Bird & Butterfly Garden – again for a bit of a break – but I’m thinking it looks more like an Iris bloom – we shall find out. That’s Baptisia, in the background.

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Agapanthus?

In the Potager thyme, chives, and this beautiful ornamental clover (a pretty weed?), Trifolium Rubens, bloom or are about to bloom. That is my “Asparagus Forest” in the background – to think I was worried about it coming back earlier in the Spring! – ha ha.

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Golden Shadows Pagoda Dogwood looks like blooms in Hosta Row just beyond Red Twig Dogwood in the foreground – yes, this is the one that was nearly eaten to sticks last year by Dogwood Sawfly caterpillars. Further on, hydrangea just about ready to bloom. That is native Clematis Virginiana on the left (not a tree) engulfing our workshop wall.

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In the Nice Driveway Garden, these allium were planted to bloom with the poppies. The poppies are finished blooming – I never really had perfect timing.

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False Sunflowers are coming in bigger and better this year – thank you Angie!

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Out front the Coral Honeysuckle never disappoints though it has a bit of an aphid problem again. I know nature will balance out. Our front porch declines, this lattice will have to come down before winter. It is falling apart. We will replace it with welded wire and I think the plants will be more of the focus.

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Pretty Milkweed continues to grow in my front walk along with Mugo Pine and Catmink Walkers Low – and not where I placed all its pods last year.

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It’s not just pretty to me so I let it blossom.


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What’s Blooming: The Last Nasturtium

I have to thank Carol of Maydreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month, who inspires me to walk about my garden in all kinds of weather and take in its beauty. Oftentimes this year, I have taken the garden for granted and not fully appreciated my paradise. Today it is drizzling rain but I walked about and relished the delicious Autumn palette which I will also share with Pam at Digging in Foliage Followup. Just a warning, this beholder found A LOT of beauty to admire …

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It is warm today, so warm that the door is open to our back screen porch – but by the end of this week we will have a real sliding glass door! The warmth is strange with so many of my blooms already to seed and the torch of Autumn aflame. It just doesn’t feel right, but I will enjoy it all the same. We dined al fresco last evening – you have to take advantage!

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I will say it again, I love my Cardinal Dogwood! I love it in the Spring when it’s adorned with white flowers. I love it in the summer when the birds forage its white berries. I love it in the Autumn when its leaves begin to yellow golden almost orange, and its stems begin to turn red. I love it in the Winter when its stems are on fire against the Blue Spruce. (As I write this, a White Throated Sparrow is enjoying some of the last remaining berries!)

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I am also loving one of my Spicebush which actually died back a bit after last Winter but made a good comeback. Its yellow leaves like the sun rising above the Blue Spruce.

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I am always drawn to The Woodland Edge. There is so much going on in this section of the garden at all times. On its floor, Orchid Frost Lamium blooms well into the first few frosts. Wild Strawberry lights up the ground with its reddening leaves.

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I love this little Wood Sorrel – still blooming – in the planters on the log pedestals this year. It is only hardy to Z5 so I think I will store these containers in my cellar for the most brutal months of Winter after they go dormant.

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The Pagoda Dogwood Tree really took off this year. Once loaded with white blossoms, then the most beautiful dark berries, its leaves are now turning a deep burgundy.

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Persicaria Firetail still on fire among the yellowing leaves of Amsonias.

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I feel lucky to get a shot of these Winterberries – they are usually stripped clean by birds the minute they turn red (and orange – the orange not so much).

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Yeah, those berries are nice but I can’t get over the size of these crabapples out front! I just love these and they are beautiful this Autumn. This is the first time this tree has bore apples!

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The Potager seems to have the most blooms maybe because it has “gone wild” on me. I need to cut down many things, especially the Perilla and Garlic Chives, but it all looks so beautiful – why don’t I just wait for a really cold, miserable day? Ha ha, that’s the way. Surprising me, Nasturtium blooms!

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I love the dark green Lacinato Kale against the now toffee colored blooms of Perilla – looks like I’ll have plenty of Perilla next year, too. The wild grapes are yellowing on the fence.

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Lemon Tagetes still blooming.

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Now’s the time to eat this Chard!

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Borage, Calendula, Nasturtium – the staple of the flowers in my Potager.

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One of my favorite Nasturtiums ‘Moonlight’ from Renee’s Garden.

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A green bee taking refuge in a squash flower. I planted my squash late and then it was further stunted by a forest of Dill so it is still blooming and trying to produce.

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One of my favorite colors of the ‘Flashback Mix’ Calendula planted three or four years ago and not since. To say it reseeds is an understatement!

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Speaking of reseeders, Granpa Otts Morning Glory is still quite glorious!

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An example of that red Blueberry Autumn foliage one always reads about!

I think gardeners tend to forget how outstanding Oenothera is in the Autumn garden. I grow it in the Bird & Butterfly bed and around my Pin Oak.

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The leaves of the Pin Oak.

It seems that the Helianthus Microcephalus went to seed earlier this year. It is usually one of the last bloomers. Behind it, the blooms of Panicum ‘Dallas Blues’ in the Bird & Butterfly garden.

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This is why I end up with so many Black-eyed Susans because I cannot bear to chop them down. They look cool! And the birds love to eat their seeds and since I will be migrating myself, I will leave them up all Winter long to feed the birds.

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The leaves of (naughty) Amur Maple, an invasive small tree I cannot recommend planting but I have it anyway in my garden because it hitched a ride from our Maine home.

Another Dogwood – I love them. (The shrub in the foreground beginning of Hosta Row.) Remember this one? This is a story of perseverance. This was the Dogwood that was sawed down by the Dogwood Sawfly caterpillars. Look at him now! A complete comeback, amazing.

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That “rug” of green on the workshop/garage wall is Clematis Virginiana. All I can say is WOW.

A surprise, and thoroughly neglected, Petunia or maybe Viola. This container (also on a log pedestal) was planted in early Spring and I have not been good about watering it regularly throughout the entire Summer – or even checking on it. Maybe neglect is a successful gardening method?

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Heuchera ‘Pinot Blanco’ still blooming among a few yes, self seeded Calendulas, and a fading ‘Quickfire’ Hydrangea.

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The fading blossom of Snowball Hydrangea.

I am also surprised Obedient Plant is just about finished blooming – again, seems to have gone to seed earlier this year, but very colorfully.

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I was captivated by these furry tails of Liatris!

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But Solidago ‘Fireworks’ seems to be blooming right on time. One can always find some type of pollinator on Solidago, even at this time of year which is why Solidagos are so important.

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Instead of a throw away Mum, I opted for a New England Aster which I will plant out in the garden. I don’t seem to have luck with Asters but I keep adding them hoping one will “catch” other than the weedy little white flowered one which pops up everywhere in my garden.

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Wild Grapes on the front porch.

This year should be dubbed the year that containers didn’t die. A Gazania ‘Frosty Kiss’ blossom! among some added gourds to a container out front.

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I’ll leave you with hope for Spring: a Milkweed pod bursting in what I hope will be its new home along the Nice Driveway instead of in the middle of my entry way. I find it beautiful.

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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.