Friday, July 25, 2014

Black Bacarra Rose

A new favorite for me this year- the black Bacarra Rose.  I have never seen such intensity in color as the velvet petal of this rose.  When we bought the rose this spring, the rose vendor said the specimens were not first class this year and they didn't really recommend the rose for our garden. But if we really wanted it, we could have it for a discounted price.  We took the chance! 

Look at the richness of this red with the black undertones.

Shall we dance?

                                   You can almost feel the velvet texture of the petals in this photo.

Velvet against iron- love the contrast.

Simple beauty, a single flower in a silver compote with a dash of green.

Nothing more beautiful !

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cool Summer Gardens

This has been the coolest summer that I ever remember in Chicagoland.  And after this past frigid winter with the Polar Vortex impact, I was looking forward to a hot summer.  But I must admit, temperatures in the  seventies have been pretty delightful. After this winter, we lost 16 roses from the cold.   So it has been interesting to see how the new ones have done in this cooler summer.

The rose bushes have not gotten as large this summer, but the blooms have been glorious.

The new climbing rose- adore this color!

Another new rose this year and one of my favorites- the black Baccara Rose and deep red with black undertones, velvet petals.

a new lavender color for this year, caught with a few raindrops after a shower.

This is a little garden by the back driveway where I grow squash, cucumbers, cutting flowers  and herbs.  It is very happy with the cooler temperatures.
Beautiful crookneck squash leaves with many yellow blossoms.

The baby squash are just beginning to grow.

The garden has grown so large, you can no longer see the stepping stones throughout the middle.

Mammoth basil leaves.

Lupines self seeding themselves from last year and are just now popping up between the squash and  cucumbers- almost 5 weeks later than last year!

Lettuce- loves the cooler weather!

Nasturtiums- very happy too!

A new herb for me this year- root beer plant with the little yellow flowers.

 Dahlias have never performed as well as this year!
 Borage flowers- beautiful to garnish salads.
so pretty on watermelon cubes as well!


 Tomatoes- so late this year too!

But the plants are huge and have none of the yellowing leaves  usually seen by late July!

If they don't start to ripen, I'm thinking there is going to be a lot of
 Fried Green Tomatoes in the future.
Clematis- happy happy!

Vines are growing up over the screened porch railing.

Hydrangeas just started to bloom last week.  The blooms are bigger than ever!
Love the complexity of this pretty fushcia plant.

White hydrangeas, red fushcia, and purple clematis- love the combination.

The grapevine arch is now covered in the heart shaped vine. 
I am so happy that it made it through last winter.

Another new trial plant for this year, one of my favorites, the hollyhock. Famous for hiding outhouses in the south, my grandmother always grew them!   I love their blossoms.  Definitely a keeper for next year!  Hopefully, they will re-seed themselves.


So in general, while the garden is later this year, I seem to have more time to enjoy it.
Usually, July is so hot around here, that plants are looking a bit worn out by now.  But not this year.
I am just hoping to have a ripe tomato by the middle of September!