I thought is was time for some more pictures of the Shire Garden. This autumn was warm and dry, but the colors left us speachless. Wonder at some of Jack Frost’s artistry.
Happy Thanksgiving ! From all of us here in the Shire Garden.
This year I am thankful for a most beautiful Shire Garden.
A thought; Being thankful is a positive place of heart and soul.
Because winters cold breath came late this year we saw the rebloom of our Endless Summer hydrangea and most of our reblooming iris and what a pleasant sight this was to see June in the garden again. The scent of iris in October early November is heart warming. We cut several bouquets for the house and all the buds matured and we were so pleased with that.
The Knockout roses have been in none stop flower production and they have proven themselves to knock us out, right to frost and beyond!
There was a lot of small autumn blooms on our azaleas and our autumn rhododendrons are beautiful.
Rebloomers and fall bloomers can be tricky if there is little rain fall or a very early cold spell their rebloom can be small or not at all. so keep this in mind if you plan to add these late shows to your garden. Think about placement for shelter of wind and cold, plant where the low sun shines most, after all this is the time when our days are shorter and the sun in lower in our horizon. So if you plan to add rebloomers or autumn bloomers in the spring, now is the time to plan where you will plant them. Also from inside your home go to windows and look out, look for that view, because it is cooler now and more time is spent inside looking out, so seeing these blooms without having to go out to do so makes it even nicer.
We have started to put the garden to sleep for the winter, but with all this flowering still going on it’s a longer time frame than in the past. Even the leaves of the trees remain on longer and leave removal is later, so we pray for no early snow till we get them up and mulched. Gardening is year round and our warming temperatures have change the way we use to garden with the rest we get as gardeners in the winter, becoming shorter.
I am working on a slide show of the autumn garden and will post it for Thanksgiving, because I am thankful for a most beautiful garden.
For now I’m putting on my winter coat and going for an early evening walk in the leaves to gather holiday greens.
A thought; It is good that beauty is renewed when we wish it so.
The shadows grow longer now, the lawn grows less and the air is crisp. The pumpkins and apples are picked and the trees dawn colors that inspire new thoughts.
It is now that one should take time to reflect on the past growing season and one’s own day-to-day life to see if things could be different or changed. Fall is a time for transition and maybe this is a time to make one. Shedding old ways and thoughts that are out dated and restricting.
Life, like in the garden needs weeding and planning, with seeds being sown and flower and fruit to be harvested, all with care and love. October gives us a little longer to reflect with its warm days and clear cool nights, with 31 days to do so.
Today I will start with the new thought that everything I touch will be new again and with that newness will come great ideas that will make the world around me a better place. I will plant the seeds and harvest the good and always remind myself of where I have been, so that it will be clear as to where I am.
October a month of change and the world is new again. Leaves will fall and buds will start and life is new again. One just needs to be open to change and change will happen.
A thought; Life is great! Be open to change…….
Sound and movement is everywhere, there is a constant energy that swirls about the garden. It is Life, it is eternal, vibrating through everything.
The Shire Garden was first planted with birds in mind, so many of the plants were selected for their seeds, fruit and flowers as well for their weather protection and nesting host abilities.
I placed bird houses in area of interest and insight to view. I also decided one feeding area for ease of time in constant clean up, which is important if you wish to control rodent and other problems, although it doesn’t stop the problems I have found it keeps it under control.
The birds sing all day from early dawn to dusk and even a owls hoot at night is soothing as the crickets of late summer sing their songs in chorus. Katy did then Katy didn’t go back and forth all evening and the grasses rustle in a soft breeze.
Movement is everywhere as the small birds run and fly between the perennials and lawn, and the butterflies float all around the Buddleia - ” butterfly bush ” that sweetens the evening air with a tone of honey.
Sound in the garden is important, the sound of running or trickling water brings freshness to thought and a quieting to heart. Slow movement of shadows throughout the day changes mood and keeps balance and marks time.
Hearing sound is one thing, but sound also moves and this brings fullness to the garden and a oneness of the whole garden to be experienced.
Movement is also in growth, upward, sideways, trailing and climbing, every day bring a new view and desire for the garden.
Garden with this in mind and your heart will be filled with joy and your garden with fullness of life. I remind you of these things so that you will be a more rounded gardener with a greater purpose.
A Thought; The sound of silence is still and momentary and sometimes full of thought.
In a Garden named Eleusis, just a little north from the Shire Garden grows a beautiful stand of this bush clover, the magic of it presence in this garden sent me on my search for pea /clover bush.
The plant, Lespedeza thumbergii ‘ Gibraltar’, common name, pea shrub or bush clover is a genus of 40 species of deciduous shrubs, as well as annuals and herbaceous perennials found world-wide. Good for zones 4 – 8 and can grow to heights of 4 to 5 feet and can spread up to 4 to 10 feet. The verity that I have is a deciduous subshrub with a pendulous habit that has beautiful long bracts of pink pea like blooms that falls like a great fountain with a sweet scent that fills the garden on these late summer days.
What I love about this plant is it ease of care, after the frost takes it, I cut it to the ground and add some super phosphate for root growth. Slow to start in the spring but by late June growth will be well on its way, with bud set about mid August. I planted mine in a partly shaded area of the garden and it does quite well.
As I said earlier, nuances and inspirations for me come often, and I think to myself, is it me or just the world around me, as I stand before my pea/clover bush with it fountain like feature how quiet yet peacefully grand it feels. Well what ever it is, it helps to keep interest in the Shire Garden.
A thought; Sometimes something different added to life can change everything.
After all the planning and work the day came and went, the sun shined all day and the warm summer breeze kept us comfortable. Abigail looked beautiful in her gown and Charles looked so handsome in his Army Blues. Colton sported a small tux and posed for every camera. Jan looked gorgeous as mother of the bride and I was the happiest Dad in the world with family and friends all around in the Shire Garden.
We are a little tired and could only tell folks to do as much as possible before the wedding day, because the day of the wedding is beyond words as well as beyond any time you think you might have. A home wedding is not for the faint hearted and what you thought was going to be the easiest become the nightmare.
The garden faired well with all the tents and visitors and pictures were being taken everywhere.
So as I promised, as I have no more words for now, are the pictures of Abigail and Charles wedding at Acorn Cottage.
A thought; Everything is Love and Love and Faith are what move us forward.
Well! one week before the wedding day. The Shire Garden is well on its way to being at its best, although we have had two weeks of rain and fog and my fears are that the color will be less than I wanted for that day. As a back up to the garden will be a visit to our local nursery for ready mixed pots of annuals and we will place them where color is needed.
Both Abigail and son Colton and Alexsandra and Nick are here with daughter Savannah, Charlie the groom will arrive Wednesday before the wedding as the Army is moving them to Oklahoma and he needs to over see the move. So there has been lots of kissing and hugging going on!
The front border garden is full of growth and the hydrangea are going to be full of bloom. The lilies in the Angel Garden are just a prayer away from opening and the entry to the reception area is through the Colum and Fairy Garden and new low lighting has been put in place for evening exit. I have taken time in this area to add more fairies and fairy houses.
As our friends and family arrive they will be greeted with cold Cape coders as a signature drink in tall glasses, with simple hand painted signs directing them through the garden to the reception area. Along the walk will be stones with words on them like love, happiness, forever and thoughts to mention a few. Jan and Abby have been hard at work now with the small details that make for special memories, while I ready the flower counts and prepare for their placement for the wedding morning. Our tents are going up on Friday a day later than planed due to our town historic rules and will make for a very busy wedding day morning as the rehearsal dinner on Friday evening prevents for early wedding set up, O’ Well!
The day is all but upon us and although we are tired we are happy as our family and friends come close to share in a ceremony of tradition in the celebration of love!
A thought; May we always be reminded of the power of LOVE!
Well, just a month from now the wedding day will be upon us. The tents will be up. Abby and her mother have decided they will cover the terrace and moss lawn so that the Four Seasons Border and Firefly Knoll and Oak Grove will be the back ground setting for that evening, yes, Abby has decided for a at dusk wedding, and we all agree the lighting in the Shire is just right for the flowers and it will be in the height of firefly season and the show is always incredible.
The dinning tent will be the closest to the border garden and will have a large Tuscan table setting for our guest, she has chosen fruitwood ballroom chairs with white cushions and will cover the long table in white linens, we will top this with black square chargers and square white china with lime green napkins with a quench fold. The center of the table will then be covered with fresh soft hay fern from the garden and black hinged long candelabra will travel down the table with various heights to them with tall black lanterns in between. I will then wind together a garland of Italian ruscus and ivy and will insert green orchids and white butterfly orchids and black-eyed white anomies. As you may have guest by now Abby has chosen her colors, white, black and lime green.
Now I step in and decide that I will build a wall of rush brush between the terrace tent and food tent to create a sense of divide and mystery and only glimpses of the dinning tent can be seen before dinner. I then came up with a great idea, that over the pool under the terrace tent I will create a large chandler of flowers with water dripping from it in to the pool.
Well, as to bore you no more at the moment. There will be lots of small touches and special moments to the day, and the love that Jan and I have for our family and friends will be shared with Charlie’s family. Also after the wedding I will see to it that plenty of pictures will be here for all of my friends who visit, The Garden Shire.
A thought; When given a moment to share who you are, share lovingly with joy.
June, the month of flowers. Everywhere in the garden there are flowers and the changes are daily. Peonies and poppies, to lilies and roses and all are beautiful, however the iris steal the show early in the month and dominate the color in the garden. All though I have many types of them and varieties my love affair with the showy bearded iris at this time becomes my obsession. The blues and pinks to root beer browns, then the purples and whites, the yellows and so many more. From the tall to the medium then the short, all have out standing qualities not to mention that the foliage is of interest all summer in the garden..
Iris are easy to care for and do well in partly to full sun locations of at least 5 hours or more. Plant your iris so the top half of the rhizome is exposed. In very light or sandy soils cover the rhizome with about 1 in., of soil. Every three years I find they have to be divided this gives me larger blooms on healthy growth and also makes for a larger show. I feed my iris a little 10 -10 -10 fertilizer in the spring and some bone meal in the fall and fan cut the foliage in the fall at the time of cleanup before winter.
Iris translates to “Goddess of the Rainbow” and with names like, Last Laugh, Double Ringer, Magical Encounter to Steller Lights and Footloose, who wouldn’t want them in the garden. I would love to be the one to pick their names, how fun would that be.
I tried growing them in pots so that I might move them around in the garden when I wanted some in an area of the garden for a short time, This proved to work well, although they don’t like being in mixed pots, the rhizome doesn’t get the sun it needs to develop the next years flower.
Here, I will leave you with a photo shoot of June’s Queen of the Shire Garden, in all her glory. Enjoy!
A thought; Perhaps at the end of the Rainbow is a garden of iris, that hides the pot of gold.