Monday, June 29, 2009

"Long about knee-deep in June, 'bout the time strewberries melt on the vine." ~ James Witcomb Riley


This week my favorite color is melon.



I absolutely love these Asiatic lilies. They bloom for a relatively short time but they will always have a spot in my garden. Almost the same color, maybe a little lighter than melon is the rose Golden Unicorn.



Golden Unicorn is a Griffin Buck rose developed at the University of Iowa especially for the prairie states with our extremes of temperature. It has to be one of my very favorite roses. A heavy bloomer, not especially prone to blackspot, and a compact, upright plant that doesn't exceed 30-inches in my garden. Golden Unicorn fades to a pleasing buff shade as it ages.



Geranium sanguineum Max Frei, deep magenta pink, cup shaped flowers in late spring/early summer, then sporadically throughout the season. This is the geranium for everyone who doesn't like Rozanne's lazy, relaxed ways. This plant never sprawls, it forms a neat and tidy rounded clump and and it maintains it all season. Mine is five years old and less than a foot tall 18-inches wide. Admittedly it has stiff competition from the lilac roots so it might be a little larger in another spot.


Sweet William purchased a couple years ago and now reseeding here and there. This stays very low growing, under 12- inches and compact. Between my heavy mulch and my compulsive weeding, seedlings don't stand much of a chance. I need to be more careful in areas where I want annuals and biennials to return and increase.





A large clump of screaming red Asiatics. My pastel flowers fade into the background when these lilies and the Stellas are in bloom.

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June. ~ L. M. Montgomery





Lots of people don't like lamb's ear, especially when it blooms. I love it. The combination of furry leaves and lovely pink flowers looks perfect among my roses. Unfortunately when the weather gets hot and dry it melts out and requires a good deal of clean up. If I can manage to cut it back before it begins to go to seed, it does much better. Large patches of it are tedious to maintain but that soft silver is worth the trouble. Lately I found that lamb's ear does quite well in open shade, however it doesn't bloom there.

Today, last but far from least, I'm doing the 'Tomato Dance'. German Johnson has several nice fruit pretty close to ripening. I know, sometimes green tomatoes will sit there forever, not growing and not ripening. I just have a feeling...soon. The first tomato of the season is a perfect moment to be savored;)




This year I didn't plant a large variety of tomatoes:
Five Kellog's Breakfast, because friends told me it was 'the best'.
One German Johnson.
One Mortgage Lifter.
One Black Krim, one of my favorites and a lovely pinkish purple color.
One Super Sweet 100 a red cherry tomato.
One Mr Stripey, which I later heard tastes awful;)
One Celebration, not an heirloom but an early variety.
I searched all over for Sweet Million, the sweetest tomato I've ever eaten. I suppose it will require a drive into the Chicago suburbs to find them. That will have to wait for next year. I'm just grateful that our local greenhouses have finally started selling a few heirlooms.

This year I didn't include any Brandywines or Cherokee Purples. Both are delicious, especailly the Cherokees but neither is a heavy producer. I'll probably regret not planting any Cherokees.

Anyone new to heirloom tomatoes be warned. The shapes are often irregular and many varieties tend to crack across the top. Those perfect orange orbs are only to be found in the new hybrids. The hybrids also tend to be more disease resistant, but alas they have no taste.

42 comments:

Rose said...

Melon, apricot, or peach, whatever shade you want to call it is one of my favorites, too; your lilies and rose are a beautiful shade. Thanks for the tip on the geranium. My "Rozanne" is not looking too good this year, and while I like it in its place, a more compact variety would fit other places in the garden much better. Ah yes, I wish June would last all year, too--especially now that it's cooled off a little:)

Dog_geek said...

Ah, I am still waiting for the first ripe tomato as well. I'm almost at the point where I'm ready to pull out a lawn chair and sit out in the garden to wait and watch them ripen, so I can snatch them off the vine and eat them as soon as they are ready!

We planted some Mr. Stripeys one year - never again! They were awful - ours went straight from being green to being rotten. And they weren't even that stripey. I could have forgiven them for being inedible if they could have at least looked cool.

Darla said...

Beautiful flowers today. I love my Lamb's Ear too. I also have Dianthus aka Sweek William everywhere. I have plenty of green tomatoes and was just asking my husband when are they going to start turning?

tina said...

I am one of those who does not like Rozanne's sprawling ways. I must look for Max Frei. All of your lilies are quite wonderful. I enjoy seeing the show, especially since ours have long past. Marnie, don't worry about catching up with the blog. There is no need and that is fine. I am thinking staying off the computer on my non posting days is what I might start doing soon too. Sounds good, especially during these wonderful days of summer.

Gail said...

Love the Lucy Maude quote and her Anne Of Green Gables books....thye are fun to reread on a winter's day.

Your Asiatic lilies are lovely and look beautiful with the rose. It's great that hybridizers are developing plants for specific habitats....I love that I can get cedar glade plants...they are just happier here.

I have serious tomato envy!
gail

Judy said...

One of the kids said that the flowers on the lamb's ears look like aliens, and that about sums it up. I cannot imagine being without them now.

At least you got some tomoatoes planted. I am on bladder infection number 6 since March, and I don't have anything planted, or seeded. Just what seeded itself.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Ooh, I'm so envious you have tomatoes already... I'm still waiting for mine to get flowers... :) Lucky you!

JC said...

You did it again ... walked me through your garden and I stopped and looked and smelled ... everything.

Oh My ... Thank You ... your yard is my dream ...

I had Lillies for a while til the Ivy from the woods ... came over the fence and well, it won.

I even named my Lilly Ann after the lillies in my yard due to her stripes ...

Sweet Repose said...

Your varieties are just fabulous, thank you for sharing, as I'm a lover of lamb's ears too.

My corn came back up after being flattened by the wind(with a little coaxing)and I may get some tomatoes after the drownings, the heat really helped...now we need more heat!

I watched a program the other day and it talked about all the toxic dump sites of coal ash all over the U.S., it's sickening, especially when the city makes such an issue of asbestos removal...gimme a break...corrupt energy companies again...

Have a beautiful day, in spite of the crap we deal with!

sharon

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Rose, I agree nobody could enjoy the past week or so for the heat. Miserable. Rozanne has a reputation for being difficult, hope you don't lose it.

Hi DogGeek, another Mr Stripey hater. I'm sorry I gave him a home. Oh well, if I find any horn worms you know which tomato Mr Worm will be relocated to;) We had killer heat last week and the tomatoes did nothing. It's cooler now maybe they will go ahead and get ripe.

Hi Darla, I collected a couple recipes for fried green tomatoes just in case... I was hoping for a ripe tomato in June but that isn't going to happen.

Hi Tina, Max Frei geranium might be perfect for you. The foliage is always neat and attractive, perfect for a spot in the front of the border. I need my days away from the internet, maybe everybody does.

Marnie

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....that rose is such a perfect colour....so soft, beautiful.

I love all cranesbill, for their giving nature. They flower for such long periods and cut them back after they finish blooming and you get another flush. Perfect for me.....

Lambs ears is another one of my favourite plants....I love to see it in a border with complimentary colours....

I have planted the 'screaming red' asiatic lillies this year.....not too sure of them but I am enjoying the change...

Have a fun week.....

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Gail, well, I had to cheat to get tomatoes this early. German Johnson was quite large and blooming when I brought him home. I love Anne of Green Gables. The films Disney did are favorites that I watch often.

Hi Judy, that's awful about the bladder infections. Really drains the energy levels. I always think of lamb's ears as a furry creature--pettable;)

Hi Monica, normally I don't get tomatoes here until the first of August. This year I cheated and bought a couple large plants.

Hi JC, I think ivy always wins. Don't have to worry about it up here because it is just too cold for ivy to do well.

Hi Sharon, I know, leaking gas tanks, toxic dump sites, regular poisoning of farm lands and the ground water. As long as the politicians are being paid by businesses to allow it, the average person doesn't stand a chance. Glad your corn came back up--good luck on the tomatoes.

Marnie

Rosey Pollen said...

Hey , I love LAMBS EARS! Fuzzy and pretty!

Jamie and Randy said...

How fresh and crisp your garden looks! I miss that, everything looks so healthy!--Randy

Beth said...

Hi Marnie:
Max Frei has been blooming nicely in my garden too - and it's very contained like you had mentioned too. Lambs Ear is nice too - but that bugger really expands! I'm very smitten by your red asiatic lilly. How tall does yours get? Do the bunnies like it?

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cheryl, I don't have many bright reds either but they sure are eye catching;)

Hi Rosey, I do too but mine needs cutting back now it's starting to look bad.

Randy, we had a lot of rain this spring. It really helped take the plants thru a period of killer heat. Hopefully we won't get any more for a while at least.

Hi Beth, my Asiatics probably get a little over two feet tall. The lambs ear does spread but is so easy to pull up in areas where it goes astray. Even tho I live on a farm I don't have problems with rabbits or deer so I don't know if bunnies eat lilies or not. Sorry.

Marnie

sweet bay said...

Marnie, we have a bunch of green tomatoes just hanging out right now. Black Krim is one of my favorites too. I love the acid and the sweetness.

Love your geranium with its vibrant pink blooms.

Patsi said...

Got to try "Geranium sanguineum Max Frei". Thanks.

Great picks Marnie !
Kellog's Breakfast and German Johnson gave us limited production and were very good tasting.
But Mortgage Lifter and Black Krim were excelllent production and TASTE !!!
Mr. Stripey was rather mild :)

Susie said...

Marnie those lilies are really pretty. I really like that last color. Thanks for filling us in on tomatoes. I planted the Sweet 100 and it has producing like crazy. Those maters are delicious. I'm also growing Brandywine. I have a couple of fruits on the vine right now. But between the heat, no rain and the caterpillars I'm having a time with them.

perennialgardener said...

Those lillies are a gorgeous shade of melen. :) I planted Mr Stripey too, the coloring was interesting. Looks like you will be enjoying fresh homegrown maters soon.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Marnie, I think we are a little deeeper into June now. Ha... I am glad to hear that Cherokee Purple tomatoes are good because that is the only one we have. I have never grown one before and it is in a topsy turvy gizmo. A couple of them are about to ripen. It is exciting to think we will have a ripe tomato out of our garden, so to speak.

BeadedTail said...

Our tiger lilies are blooming right now and I just love that punch of orange. I haven't seen the melon colored ones and they are lovely! The picture of your Sweet William reminded me how much I love that plant! And I'm so ready for tomato season!

Mildred said...

I'm visiting via Susie's blog. What pretty flowers, especially those Asiatic lilies. My mom was blind and she absolutely loved lamb's ears in the garden. She loved to touch the soft, velvety leaves. You have such a lovely blog and wonderful photography.

beckie said...

Marnie, love the lilies and the rose-especially the name. :0 I will have to look for that one. the quote brought a smile 'knee-deep', although I would say we are neck deep now.

Way to go on the And it's not cheating to buy one with blooms!

Kathleen said...

I'm having tomato envy too Marnie! Wow. You will be harvesting soon. Mine are so far from that because of our cool June who knows what will happen?
I'm loving your favorite color of the week too. It's so soft and beautiful. I don't think I have anything in that color and now I need something! Maybe a David Austin rose??? I hardly ever let my Lambs Ear bloom. I prefer only to have the foliage but your photo of the blooms is really pretty. Can you believe June is almost over? I feel like summer just started and now all our stores will have back to school stuff out (right after July 4th). I hope it will slow down...

oldcrow61 said...

Beautiful photos. I usually grow a few Brandywines each year. You're right, they are not huge producers but they taste great.

marmee said...

how exciting to be waiting on your ripening tomatoes...i have harvested one and we ate it right away. soon very soon we will have lots.
i didn't know that about mr. stripey...we planted some...i hope they will be good.
your sweet william and geraniums are both wonderful. i have not planted any daylilies here at the farm.
the buff coloured rose is nice.
enjoy all of your june blooms.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi SweetBay, glad to find another Black Krim lover. Along with Cherokee Purple, BK is probably my favorite.

Hi Patsi, so far German Johnson has more tomatoes than Celebrity and Super Sweet 100. This is my first time growing it but it has 11 fruit now. This seems amazing for an heirloom. The Kellogg's Breakfast is full of blooms so I'm hopefull.

Susie, Brandywine never produced much fruit in my garden and I've heard others say the same. The taste is great but don't expect to get a large amount of fruit.

Hi Racquel, I'm just hoping Mr Stripey isn't as bad as some say. Different soils and weather can make a difference so we can hope.

Lisa, the Cherokee Purples are one of the best. We have fun here at work doing little taste tests and Cherokee is a favorite of everyone.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi BeadedTail, I agree Sweet William is both beautiful and has that wonderful spicy fragrance. Every morning and evening I check those tomatoes. No sign of color yet.

Hi Mildred, thank you for those kind words. Children love the lambs ear too. There is a weed called velvet leaf that has an amazing texture. I'm sorry about your mom. It's nice to hear she enjoyed simple things like the feel of a furry plant.

Hi Beckie, can you believe tomorrow is July? Where is the time going? Griffin Buck named all his roses odd names. Distant Drums, Pearlie Mae, Country Dancer to name a few;)

Kathleen, I feel the same way. Wasn't yesterday May;) I got my tomatoes in the ground very late because of all the rain and the cold spring weather. That's why I decided to get a couple hot house plants already blooming and fairly large. I have four in pots this year so I can push them a little for faster growth.

Old Crow, I read somewhere Brandywine is supposed to be the best tasting heirloom. Of course that's subjective. They certainly are worth growing.

Hi Marmee, we will soon see for ourselves how Mr Stripy tastes;) So many people have complained about him, I just have a bad feeling.

Marnie

Sherri said...

All your pictures were beautiful, but I especially loved the melon colored Asiatic Lilies and the rose of the same color. Beautiful, just beautiful!

Gayle said...

Melon...I have never called that color Melon. I like it! It is one of my favorite flower colors as well.

Dawn said...

The unicorn rose is to die for! I have some tomatoes but only as big as a walnut, they are the only thing doing well!

TatteredSpinner said...

When I was a kid, I was CRAZY for Tiger Lilies, and I was lucky enough to have wild ones growing through the fence of our back yard when I was little. I don't really care for white lilies, but I think yellow, orange, mellon, and red are awesome. Love yours!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Marnie! You're a compulsive weeder? Come on over to my house! ;-)

Your lilies and rose are absolutely beautiful. The colors are so soft and lovely. Where did I put my list? I love your geranium Max Frei. I can't believe you have had it so long. Sweet William reminds me of my grandmother. I usually have that, but didn't put any in this year. I am one of those that love Lamb's Ear. It's texture and color add so much interest in the garden.

You will have to let us know if you think Kellog's Breakfast is as good as they say. That is one I haven't heard of.

Sue said...

I like all of your flowers here, including lamb's ear. I keep it in its boundaries, though, and decided a couple years ago that it didn't need to be in my vegetable garden.

Your tomato does look like it should be starting to ripen soon. I'm sorry to hear Mr. Stripey doesn't taste good. I have one in my garden this year. I don't remember how many kinds I planted, but not any more than what you have.

joey said...

Your melon Asiatic lilies are stunning, Marnie (mine have yet to bloom) as is the rest of your post and lovely photos. My blogging days will also be limited this summmer but it's always a delight to catch up with you. Happy July (where did June go)!

troutbirder said...

Beautiful flowers. And I couldn't agree more about the hybrids. They are largely a menace unless you care for the taste of cardboard.

Q said...

Beautiful!
I also am tapping my toes waiting on the tomatoes...I had a couple that were getting close to ripening and they are gone!!!
I think deer have found my gardens. I am finding all sorts of strange limbs of this and that eaten off....
I may end up putting up a fence this autumn. I do not mind sharing some things but not the tomatoes! I depend on the tomatoes! Tomatoes from the garden are the best.
Sherry

Carol said...

Lovely blog... great bird shots along the side! I love your mellow asiatic lilies with the Golden rose... what a match!

flowergardengirl said...

Wonderful post as usual and I can relate to the melons and tomatoes. I do love that melon color both peachy and red. My maters aren't ripening to quickly. Not sure why at all. I agree that the heirloom have that good full flavor taste not found in hybrids. I purchased an organically grown Cherokee this week----yummy. I'm groing Better Boys which come close that you desire in a good mater.

ShySongbird said...

Such lovely photos Marnie, I love your Golden Unicorn, such a pretty colour. The Sweet William instantly transported me back to childhood and our Sunday School Anniversary, every year the chapel would be full of flowers and the scent of Sweet William was wonderful, I remember we had them in our garden too and my Dad grew them in his allotment especially for cutting....sweet memories, thank you!

Margrethe said...

So many beautiful photos! I looked for a rose called Chicago Peace, and I found this nice blog with a lot of nice photos. Thank You for the sight.