Sunday, June 6, 2010

Touring the neighbor's garden

Yesterday brought me a delightful garden treat. We're visiting family in Indiana, and one of the neighbors down the road is an avid gardener, and works at a local nursery. He was kind enough to offer me a private tour last year (See Hoods Gardens) , and yesterday I got a tour of his personal garden just down the road.
This is farm country -- rows and rows of cornfields and soybeans as far as the eye can see. But going to Ed's house was like going to a garden paradise. Because we are far, far away from my Zone 8b-9 home, it was fascinating to see all the different plants he can grow here in Indiana in Zone 5.
Ed has a wonderful collection of chickens and roosters, too, and I got to meet most of them while I was there. They seemed curious about having a visitor, but they didn't get too close, as they were much too busy pecking for bugs.
I fell in love with this iris, as it is the same colors that my Ocelot at home was supposed to be and wasn't. Most of his irises were done blooming, but I did get to see a few stragglers. Not sure of the name of this one, he's dubbed it his 'hound dog iris!'
Now I can't remember the name of this, but it sure looks like something in the salvia family to me.
His gardens surround an amazing and historic farm house, complete with big porch and unique architectural touches. And his gardens are also little vignettes with interesting focal points to draw the eye, like this old metal spoked wheel next to a pot of succulents.
A few day lilies and Easter lilies were still happily blooming, adding splashes of color to the garden.
And imagine my delight to see this old stock trough filled with Amaranth, Cleomes and a few other plants.
Not sure of the botanical name of this bright patch of yellow, Ed likes to call them butter cups.
And this old garden was also full of Valerian, which is a hardy perennial here with pink or white flowers. It self-seeds freely and used to be used a a perfume in the sixteenth century and is still used to make a potion to aid in sleeping.

These sweet, ripe cherries called to me and I had a taste of them as we passed under this cherry tree, heavy with fruit.
And I can't think of anything more appropriate to adorn the side of this wonderful farmhouse than this giant snowball bush, full of vintage blooms harkening to times past.

It was a wonderful afternoon in the garden with a dear friend. Thank you, Ed.

9 comments:

Carol said...

How pretty! I believe his buttercups is an Oenothera sp. I'd love to know what snowball bush he has. Mine finished blooming weeks ago and I'm not that far south of him.

Pam/Digging said...

Very pretty. I bet you are enjoying nice, cool weather up there, huh?

Annie in Austin said...

How wonderful to visit the garden of an old friend -especially one equipped with bug-eating chickens! It sure does look a lot different from Austin, even though with rain we're also green this year ;-]

I think the tall grey-leaved plant with yellow flowers is a Verbascum/Mullein, Diana.

If Indiana is like Illinois, the daylilies/Hemerocallis don't really get going until the end of June and are at their peak in July & early August, so my guess is that the orange lilies are true lilies - some kind of Asiatic hybrid.

And the cherry tree is absolutely gorgeous!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I second Annie's opinion that the yellow-flowered gray-leafed thing is a Verbascum, the kind that can be used as a substitute for toilet paper in an emergency. The stock trough planter is perfect for a rural garden. What a treat to visit there.

Ann Flowers said...

Stunning picture of the flowers, will definitely make my day. Keep posting.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Oh, it all looks so pretty there. So many different things from what I can grow here, and that's great because we all grow such different plants. I heart that one rooster, the black one. I wish he were mine.~~Dee

Gail said...

I love this garden Diana...It makes me think of my Midwest roots. I agree with Annie and MMD, the big sage green velvet leaved plant is a mullien, Verbascum thapsus. gail

Jayne said...

What a lovely garden. I'm sure you enjoyed your visit.

Diana said...

Carol - I'm afraid I don't know what kind it is, but I can ask when I go back!

Pam - It was actually unseasonably warm while we were there, but still a little cooler than here!

Annie - It was so different from Austin in so many ways. You're right about hte Verbascum/Mullein - we talked about it and I remembered the name as soon as you commented about it - thanks! Remember that they are almost a full month ahead there this year, so many lilies have already bloomed or are currently blooming. My brother-in-law has the best and most mature corn he has ever had in his lifetime. Now he's waiting for some natural disaster to strike because conditions have just been perfect!

MMD - Thanks for the Verbascum tip - that is exactly what it is. Wish I had some. And the planter is totally authentic and looks perfect there.

Ann Flowers -- It was so fun to learn about all the different zone 5 plants and see the different plants in blooms at such different times than here at home.

Dee - It was so fun to tip toe through that garden. And the chickens and roosters were so cute -- from afar!

Gail -- It was such a midwest garden! I was longing for peonies and lilacs and hostas!

Jayne -- Going through someone else's garden is just like getting a present!