The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.



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



What’s Blooming: June Bloom

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


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


Chamomile (and Vetch) running rampant.


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


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


Baptisia Twilite Prairieblues …


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



Jack in the Pulpit lingers in the shadows.


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



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


Flanked by Northern Blue Flag Iris.


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


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


Superfinia Petunia Lavender Lace in a window box.


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


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


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


Chives and Catmint Walker’s Low line the sidewalk.


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


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.


What’s Blooming: Button Blossoms

It is a steamy 90+ degree F day in Clayton along the St. Lawrence River, but this morning the blooms were fresh in the Violet Fern garden on this Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens the 15th of each month.

There are buzzing drifts of Bee Balms in the Riverfront and Nice Driveway beds.

Pink Bee Balm, Swamp Milkweed and Verbascum

Bee Balm 2013

Each morning I enjoy the low murmuring hum of bees among blooming Prairie Rose along side our back screened porch.

Prairie Rose 2013

Bee on Prairie Rose

Along side the front porch, dripping honeysuckle hums with hummingbirds. Another favorite stop, the Trumpet Vine “Flamenco” in the Potager.

Honeysuckle Front Porch

Trumpet Vine 2013

Sea Holly ‘Blue Glitter’ peeks out from beneath Black Lace (Riverfront).

Sea Holly and Black Lace

The Woodland Edge is awash in pink with blooms of Flowering Raspberry, an unknown pink Veronica, pink yarrow, and Persicaria ‘Firetail.’

Awash in Pinks

Firetail close up.


Red and pink plumes of Astilbe japonica ‘Montgomery’ and ? – I fear the plant tag is buried in my compost pile.

Astilbe and Cimicifuga Leaf

Pale purples of  Tradescantia ‘Osprey.’

Tradescantia 'Osprey' (Spiderwort)

The Woodland Edge ends in a cloud of Tall Meadow Rue, Thalictrum pubescens.

Cloud of Tall Meadow Rue

Puffs of Snowball Hydrangea skirt a newer section of the garden, Hosta Row.

Snowball Hydrangea in Hosta Row

Shasta Daisies light up the Bird & Butterfly Garden.

Shasta Daisies

All good stories have a happy ending and this visual story of what’s blooming does! My Common Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis, has blossoms for the first time!

Buttonbush Blossoms