Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fresh Flowers on a Summer Table

I've always liked the idea of dining outside. Fresh air, dappled shade, the scent of flowers, a gentle breeze. But I'm brought up short by the reality of 90+ temps and humidity, alternating with a week's worth of thunderstorms.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Flowers in July

For July garden parties, I opted to go to Miss J's place. She is an hour north of us in the mountains and experiences somewhat cooler temperatures.

She has a small area in the front and back of her townhouse where she and I have planted several perennials. She took this photo of her Siberian irises before heading off to class on a May morning. They bloomed a week or two later for her than for us.

Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother'

I visited her two weeks ago and managed to snag a few photos in bright sunlight. Although they're in the mountains and periodically receive warnings that black bears have been spotted in the vicinity, her flowers don't seem to be bothered by resident deer or other animals. 

Behind her townhouse is a lovely common area filled with open spaces and large trees. The previous owner had planted this butterfly bush. Last fall I had pruned it down to 12 inches or so and now it's about 5 foot high.

Although beautiful, I wouldn't plant these because they're considered invasive in many states.

Buddleja davidii

I had transplanted these daylilies from our front yard when the shade encroached on them. So far they've been spreading nicely for her.

Hemerocallis spp.

All my daylily buds at home have been nipped by deer! Sigh.....

These lilies hadn't yet bloomed when I visited. Also planted by the previous owner, they're taller than I am! See those round blackish things along the stems? These small growths, called bulbils, form between the leaf and stem on several hardy lilies. They will drop to the ground and may eventually grow into a flowering bulb. We plan to move them to a better location.

Lilium spp.

Back at our house, Shasta daisies have begun their summer-long show, relatively unscathed by critters (cross your fingers!).

Leucanthemum superbum 'Becky'

'Becky' does better than other Shasta daisies in my zone 7 garden.

Discovered in among my irises, these spiderwort volunteers have been a pretty surprise.

Tradescantia ohiensis

A camera-shy beetle hides among the petals.

Thanks for visiting us today!




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Recreating the Table at Kilkenny Castle

In May, Greg, Miss J and I spent almost two weeks in Ireland. For the table this week, I'm following Greg's suggestion to recreate the table set at Kilkenny Castle. The stone castle (Caisle├ín Chill Chainnigh) was built by the Normans in 1195 on the site of a wooden fort which guarded access to the River Nore. The original stone castle, with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch, was altered and added to several times in the past 800 years. In 1967, it was presented to the people of Kilkenny in return for a token payment of £50.

The table seems to be set in the style of the early Victorian period. My challenge was to set my dining room table in the same style – without buying anything new (or old as the case may be, lol!).  I'll be alternating photos of the castle's table with mine.

The castle's dining room is quite large; the expansive table was set with a crisp tablecloth. For some reason, napkins weren't included, although they were certainly in use in that time period.