My summer vacation

The Cutting Garden 8-20-07Rather than entertain the pants off/bore you to tears with stories about how I spent my summer vacation, I think it would be better to show you how Blithewold spent my summer vacation! It feels like I’ve been gone an age. The greenhouse computer couldn’t quite remember how to turn on at first, the space bar on the keyboard has settled under the weight of neglect and the garden looks like it didn’t miss me a bit. Two weeks ago it was still toddling along and now it’s grown as tall as me, started dating and learned to drive. Stapelia gigantea bud - this morningThe first thing I noticed was our Stapelia which, all of a sudden in the middle of the ocean had a bud the size of my fist. (click on pictures for larger images)

The Helenium ‘Butterpat’ and Rudbeckia triloba are vying for biggest yellow with Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’.Rudbeckia triloba and Helenium ‘Butterpat’ Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Artemisia lactifloraI think it’s a draw.

The Sanguisorba are also suddenly over my head.Sanguisorba officinalis

Not only all that but the dog days seem to be over. This weekend the heat broke and I put a sweater on for the first time since … May? Signs of fall are all over the place – nurseries are selling Chrysanthemums, I have an urge to purchase new shoes and a pencil box and some trees look like they are starting to think about getting ready to turn. Turning Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica)I spotted a red flare on the Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) down by the Rock Garden. Thank goodness other trees are still blooming (I’m not ready yet for summer to be totally over). The Moongate Sophora reminds me of fireworks. Sophora japonica behind the Moongate

Bits of rain here and there (some during the Display Garden Soiree — I heard that that night there was a little thunder and lightning – percussion and a lightshow for the Thomas Family Celtic Bluegrass Celebration!) did not fill the frog pond. Dry pond and footprints 8-20-07There are all sorts of critter tracks through the mud – deer, racoon, human child – I hope the frogs are well buried and waiting out the dry spell with a good book.

I’m sure there’s much much more to report – Gail will fill me in tomorrow on what else I missed. And I’ll show her this: Stapelia gigantea this afternoon - open and stinking!

It’s good to be back!

8 thoughts on “My summer vacation

  1. Kris: Did you have a relaxing vacation? Funny you should show the burnet as Kate from Kate Smudges in Earth and Paint blogged about this very perennial and I have not seen it anywhere. Where can I get some and is it perennial for you? It is pretty isn’t it! The stapelia looks better in bud than bloom…and smells better too doesn’t it? Glad you’re back!

  2. After Layanee left a note on my blog, I just had to come and have a look at your Sanguisorba. It is huge! I wonder if yours is a different variety than mine. Mine top 3 feet max and the blooms look smaller.

    What a beautiful garden at Blithewold. I’ve enjoyed looking through the pictures. The stone arch is gorgeous.

  3. Layanee, I had both a relaxing and productive vacation – best of both worlds!

    Kate, Thank you for visiting! You are right – the Sanguisorba in the foreground of the picture is probably a different species. I looked it up just now (should have done this yesterday!) and I believe it’s S. tenuifolia ‘Purpurea’. We do also have S. officinalis right next to it. Both are planted against our compost fence (very rich soil!) and in full sun and do reach a good 6′. Layanee, these may be passalong plants (I’ll keep you in mind if we divide soon) but should also be mail-orderable and hardy enough for you!

  4. Wouldn’t it be fun to do annual ‘public garden exchanges’? You could go to Kingsbrae, Maureen of Kingsbrae could go to Blithewold….and so on and so on. Of course, that would be no benefit for me, who doesn’t work at a garden…but I could go along with either of you to carry your bags, or write notes, or something like that! SEriously, glad you had a great vacation and that the garden is robust. It’s a weird time of year, but a golden one, too.

  5. Jodi – I love that idea! It might have to be working exchanges since it’s always so hard to leave when there’s stuff happening in the garden… We’re finally getting to Chanticleer in PA and hopefully Longwood in DE next month though! Want to come along?

  6. Don’t I wish I could, Kris: but I’m doing something really, REALLY unique in September, a once-in-a-lifetime trip, plant collecting in Nfld and Labrador with Captain Dick Steele, a 92 year old rhododendron and other plant breeder. there will be LOTS of stories out of this trip, believe me. I’ll look forward to reading your stories too, though!

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