Iris and Honeysuckle and Other Garden Things

While looking for one of my cats, who was hiding under my nose the whole time under dense daylilies, I snapped shots of things flowering in our gardens right now.

Here are irises, with Japanese hakonechloa aureola grass, weigela and peonies in the background. And way over to the far left is a river of blooming lavender irises.

Here’s my little guy hiding under the daylilies, just behind the irises above. You can’t see him in the photo above, can you? Neither could I. I like the yellow columbine flowers with the yellow grass in this area.

Geranium, hosta and columbine under the river birch tree, in the shade garden between the driveway and porch.

I’ve been growing sweeps of this golden grass under trees in the shady areas on the south side of our house. The sweeps are bright enough to be seen from the street. We’re on 1.5 acres so the street is pretty far away. This grass grows slow. This sweep here is furthest along, nice and full. It’s under a crabapple tree, and behind it is a sweep of grass under a hawthorn tree. You can also see in the background, big globes of allium are emerging.

Here’s clematis, russian sage and peonies. There are gold-flowered plants here that add a nice contrast to the clematis color, but they haven’t bloomed yet. The peony plant beyond is so large, it’s all held up with four peony rings. These peony flowers are enormous, heavy and floppy and I hope we don’t get heavy rain until they’re done with their show.

Here Chaai is getting a lesson on how to climb a tree. He doesn’t really appreciate it. Maybe we don’t want him climbing trees anyway.

And here’s my gorgeous Siamese Snowshoe who was out with me today. She follows on my heels all over, like Mary’s little lamb. I have to watch every step. She was stubborn and refusing to look at the camera at all.

Moving right along to the gardens behind the sunroom … honeysuckle! There are three vines all in different colors. The red and orange are blooming right now. Also in this corner is a dark tea color heuchera (I forget the variety) and a coneflower that will soon have deep orange flowers.

I love the colors of autumn fern. My ostrich ferns (gifted from a neighbor’s garden) are super big and impressive looking, but I appreciate all the colors in the autumn fern.

I’m euphoric over euphorbia! An uncommon plant in gardens around here. I think this is supposed to be a zone 6 plant, but we’ve been having zone 6 or higher weather lately in the Chicago area, so it’s been coming back.

See how the euphorbia glows in the sun. Love this stuff!

Iris next to an armillary sphere, which is sitting atop the base of a broken leaky birdbath. In the background are ornamental oregano that cascades over a little wall, agastache, and about a 5-foot row of catnip. For the cats, of course.

This is at the edge of a sitting area behind our sunroom. I love the combination of the iris, the bright green Irish moss and the wrought iron pieces that I got for a steal at a gardening center that was closing. The little frog tile from Detroit’s Pewabic Pottery likes this area too. Although I’d like things to fill in more so the plants touch and there isn’t so much mulch to see. This garden is in its second  year now, and I’m bravely planting it under shallow-rooted trees, so filling in will take time.

That Irish moss is pretty but everything gets stuck in it. It’s almost like a carpet you have to vacuum!

Outside our sunroom door, which is off the kitchen, is a hanging basket with newly-planted herbs. Although seeing how much shade they get here, they may need to move. We’re always snipping basil to throw on margherita pizza, cilantro to add to burritos, tomatillos to make green salsa, and jalapenos to put on everything. OK that jalapeno part is my husband, not me. Our neighborhood has no street lights so it gets dark here at night. Last year I had to download a flashlight app on my iPhone so I could snip herbs and veggies at night (because of course you can’t find a real flashlight when you need it). This year I’m keeping stuff I need to snip while we’re cooking dinner closer to the house.

This hanging basket was also a major score at a local gardening shop’s going-out-of-business sale. These wrought iron pieces are from A Rustic Garden in Sterling, Illinois, and I’ll collect more as finances allow. Top on my list is a candle chandelier to suspend from a tree branch over an Adirondack chair seating area. A perfect spot for some wine at night, after working hard all day.

And of course every gardener needs a garden-themed doorknocker.

It makes a heckuva racket, but whenever I accidentally lock myself out, does anyone ever hear it? Of course not!

This is all very pretty, but working out there isn’t very pretty. Lately I’ve spent many sweaty, grimy hard hours preparing a vegetable garden and transferring plants out there. We started plants in the basement and there’s no way two people need 50 San Marzano tomato plants, 75 eggplant plants or 100 red and orange bell pepper plants. So people who know me will soon be gifted with vegetable plants. Watch out!

I love to garden and watch the plants and the composition of them together grow and change through the seasons. And yes our India apartment has a garden too, mostly belonging to my in-laws, but they’ve been taking care of a few plants that we couldn’t stop ourselves from buying last December. See some glimpses of gardens in Chennai posted last December.

I also pin garden-related images on a Pinterest Garden Board – visit to see!




4 Responses to Iris and Honeysuckle and Other Garden Things

  1. Beautiful landscaping! :) I love Irises. We had huge ones and massive lilac bushes as kids, but I haven’t seen the like since.

    • Thank you! We have big lilac bushes too but they’re done blooming long ago. Everything here bloomed a WHOLE MONTH early this year. People loved it, but something’s not right about that.

  2. Hi Deb,
    Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog!
    You got a stunning decor space here and I love your vibrant style concepts. Hope I to see you more often on my site as we share something very similar in taste.

    Have a great weekend!

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