Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I Love a Rainbow Made of Irises!


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It's rainbow time iris time in Tennessee! And what a lovely spring it has been in between the rain storms. Over the past week we have received four inches of rain. Rain is a delightful thing for gardeners but geez, can we get it spread out a bit? In between rain storms I managed to take some photos of the rainbow in my front garden. The irises are mainly congregated around my vegetable garden but there are some different kinds scattered in other gardens. I am trying to get a good picture of the colors I have and this post is a start. There are still about 7-8 more colors I am missing because they are later blooming but here is my rainbow during this rain.

I've acquired a good many of these irises from my friend Angie, roadside flea markets, plant sales, the Daylily Barn, trades from other gardeners, and I have even bought a few specialized ones. It does not take long to get a good color palette and I so enjoy the beauty of irises. 

A tip for growing them is to make sure the rhizome (modified stem) is not buried, do not mulch, keep weeds down, and fertilize lightly. Divide the bearded irises every three years or so. Irises like full sun but will do okay in part sun. They will even do okay in part shade but the bloom will suffer and your irises will be prone to getting iris borers and rot.
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Everyone have a great day....

in the Rainbow Garden.....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Driveway Made In the Shade Gardens


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It's really hard to believe it has been a full two years since we made our driveway. Look back at this post to see the changes in just two years. Things are beginning to fill in and settle down after our messy house build in 2014. This is the driveway as you enter the gate. We put about 10 full trucks of gravel of varying sizes on the driveway. That was after we put down a geotextile fabric. I can say that fabric and the careful planning we did for the driveway has really paid off. There are maybe two tiny pot holes we have to work on and the rest is compact and flat and solid. I always get happy when driving on the driveway because I remember a mud road a few short years ago.

The red Japanese maples I transplanted here from Tiger Gardens are doing well. There are six and they are spaced 30 feet apart. They have finally settled in. This year we have noticed damage to the trees from the transplant shock from two years ago. Some of the branches and in one case part of the upper trunk have died. It's rather frustrating for me but to be expected when you dig up huge trees and move them to a new home.
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Coming into the gate this beautiful 'Dreamcatcher' Kolkwitzia amabilis by Proven Winners. It is a winner! It is beginning is lovely bloom and I think I may just have to showcase this shrub a bit more in depth because it is indeed a winner. 
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Fire pinks (Silene virginica) self seed themselves all over the place out here in the woods. I love the red. They also have a long bloom period.
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Looking out toward the little road I have a bench for seating and tons of daffodils and hellebores. It is mighty tricky gardening out here because the deer love all the 'food' I have planted for them. Hellebore leaves get eaten but not the flowers, daffodils are never eaten and so far the gold spirea and red Japanese maples have not been eaten. A buck did decide to rub one of the Japanese maples but I think it will survive.
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Japanese roof irises (Iris tectorum) are a great groundcover iris for part shade to shade. They are just beginning their lovely bloom.
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Looking toward the road again we see a few textures. The left and right sides of the drive are completely different owing to the different growing conditions and elevations.

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Solomon's seal is a keeper. Deer don't bother it and it looks good all season. The variegated kind really adds texture to the driveway.
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I have a lot of wildflowers planted on one side of the driveway. Some I transplanted here like the above Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium). I will have to move this one soon to a better garden closer to the house to join a friend I just purchased. These are lovely shade plants and quite unique. The bloom is just beginning and is covered by a hood. Can you see it tucked in there?

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I transplanted a bunch of white trilliums to the driveway area. They are doing wonderfully. Of course the deer love these so I get to enjoy them for about a day. The stem to the left of this flower is evidence of deer nibbling.

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One last picture looking toward the field. I never get tired of the play of sunshine on the forest and am fascinated by it each day. We are looking east and the sun is promising us a beautiful day....

in the driveway garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden