Sunday, August 26, 2018

Vienna and Paris Gardens

 Do you like to tour gardens as much as I do? Join me today as I give you a glimpse of the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace Gardens as well as several famous Paris gardens.
 My husband and I enjoyed the Viking Danube River Cruise this spring and visited Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens just outside Vienna as an optional tour.  

Only Schönbrunn Palace rivals Versailles. The summer residence of the Hapsburgs it is large! It has 1,441 rooms but only 40 are shown to the public. We were not allowed to take pictures inside. It took us 3 hours to complete the tour with only a small time allotted for the gardens. Many pictures of the interior rooms are on the internet but most have copyright clauses. I have pinned many beautiful pictures of Schönbrunn Gardens on my Pinterest Board," Gardens", since I did not get to view all the gardens on our tour. 
The history of Austria is rich and complicated and made my head spin. One fact I did retain, Maria Theresa( read for more in-depth information) reigned for 40 years, and was the only woman to rule Austria and she gave birth to 16 children. She is famous for her youngest daughter, Marie Antoinette who at a young age (age 14) married the Dauphin of France who was to become Louis XVI. 

Kammergarten Pavillion

This large archway of wisteria was impressive on the side garden.

The fragrance was lovely.

A beautiful old movie,"A Breath of Scandal" was shot at Schönbrunn Palace starring Sophia Loren, Maurice Chevalier, John Gavin and Angela Lansbury. You can watch it now on Amazon.

Such a beautiful elaborate urn!

Flower markets on the street along the Ringstrasse in Vienna. This was my first time to visit Vienna and it did not disappoint.

Aren't the flowers gorgeous!

 Although our time in Vienna was limited and this post is about gardens I can't resist two items unrelated to gardening. We were able to enjoy a piece of the famous Sacher-Torte!
And..... We enjoyed a fabulous Mozart and Strauss Concert!

And now onto Paris..... Tuileries Garden. The Tuileries Garden was laid out in 1664. There are around 100 statues in the gardens.

The allium was particularly beautiful on a fine spring day.

View from Jardin Des Tuileries to the Arc De Triomphe. From "The Secrets of Paris" Michael Kerrigan states that these gardens weren't designed to be walked in but to be viewed from the windows of the Tuileries Palace. Despite the statues, fountains, and lines of trees, its open ways gave a clear run to the angry mob that in 1792 rushed the royal palace forcing Louis XVI and his terrified family to flee.

Video of Tuileries Gardens~ Paris. Paris weather is typically cloudy and this day was no exception. This was in early May and we wore jackets, but the next day we were wearing short sleeves. We always enjoy a stroll through this garden each time we visit Paris and marvel at the design of the gardens that have delighted visitors for 300 years. 
The formal design of the gardens was created by Andre le Notre, who was the gardener to King Louis XIV and who was also the landscape architect for the gardens at Versailles.
Other Paris posts that include Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin Palais Royal, Jardin de Luxembourg can be viewed here and here. I love the children sailing the small boats on the pond. It's a thrill to watch them sail the boats. It's also fun to see the same gardens in different seasons of the year. This post was May but the others are September.
 Have a great week, friends. Happy gardening!🦋🐝👒🐞

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Sunday, August 5, 2018

What's blooming in my July Garden?

Join me for a stroll in my July garden. The agapanthus are blooming and I am so glad they have multiplied more this year. Agapanthus will grow in the sun or shade.The feathery plant around the bird bath is white yarrow that will soon bloom.
 I planted this limelight three years ago. It gets some afternoon sun and filtered morning light. For a number of years I hesitated planting one because I have so much shade. Many of my neighbors have beautiful ones in the sun that I pass everyday. 
It has been hard to wait to have enough blooms that I didn't mind cutting them. This variety gets very large growing to about 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. This year I was blessed with a lot of blooms. My last post showed an arrangement I made from the blossoms.
I love having fresh flowers to arrange.
The limelight is encircled by my four season topiaries that are are tucked among the hydrangeas and azaleas. 

This time of year there are many phases of blooms on the bushes. There are new blossoms, a little older ones and those that have turned green with pink tips. I cut the very brown ones off and that encourages new blooms.
This is a close up of the fall season. One of the blooms feels papery just the right texture for drying. 
I was surprised to capture this very tiny baby chameleon !
This year I have been plagued with insects eating my hostas, scale on boxwoods, azaleas and phlox. Also, white flies and a bug and a fly I can't identify on my hydrangeas. 

This bug seems to be everywhere. Does anyone know what it is? I found one "bug app" but there is a charge. Has anyone had success with a bug app? I've heard good things about the plant identification app. 

The white flies were very bad in late May and early June. They were very heavy on my gardenias and phlox. I haven't wanted to spray for insects with anything strong because I want to encourage pollinators. 
I haven't had as many butterflies this year and I don't understand why. They usually enjoy my phlox and pentas. For some reason my pentas haven't taken off this year. They are usually so much bigger. 

 I do know why my phlox is sparse. My sweet yard man that comes a few times a year does not know a weed from a flower... bless his heart! I turned my back for a minute and he had whacked down my phlox with a weed eater. They had multiplied this year and I was so pleased. They were almost ready to bloom, so needless to say I was disappointed, but he is so sweet to me I could not be upset with him. They would grow back. I fertilized them and they have grown. Maybe I'll have blossoms soon.
 I intend to plant more phlox in another part of my garden so I will have blooms to enjoy in my view from the house and more blooms elsewhere to cut for arrangements. They will grow in the shade or sun which is great for me. 

So with all the white flies, mystery bugs and scale, I thought I should learn more about beneficial bugs. I knew that lady bugs and praying mantis were good bugs.  For several years, I have been curious about lady bugs and  finally got around to ordering a batch of them.  You can see one on the pic above close to the bottom. I released a portion of them for three days because there were so many in the order. However, I think they died. I only saw a few the following day. I plan to try this again and will release them immediately when the package arrives. The instructions say to release at dawn and dusk and that was a little inconvenient so I waited a few days and they were in the refrigerator. They were still alive when I released them but next time I won't wait and see it that helps.
Beneficial bugs sound like the answer to my problem so I have more studying to do.
Instead of thinking about bug solutions, it is more fun to show you several arrangements I did in different containers, with the fruit of my labors from my garden.

I put this on Instagram. Please join me there if you do not already.
For some reason after I finished this arrangement this old cotton doily my great grandmother made came to mind. I treasure this amazing art form that might  already be a thing of the past.

This is the same limelights in a different vase.
And... still another vase with the same flowers.
 I enjoyed you joining me for a stroll through my July garden and viewing some of the arrangements I made from the flowers growing. 
What's blooming in my garden? Since I have been gone for a week on a family vacation I fear weeds are the main thing growing since we have had so much rain!!! Have a great week friends. Happy gardening!🦋🐝👒🐞

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Iced Tea in the Garden

My limelights are blooming in my garden.  Tablescapers don't need an excuse to set up a pretend table but my table started out as a real table for guests. However, I spent so much time looking for my fourth napkin the opportunity to have guests was gone. The friends I wanted to invite were all engaged and it was already getting too warm to enjoy walking through the garden. 
So, I invite you my virtual friends to pick up a glass of cold Ginseng tea, a macaron and let's talk tablescaping.

Have you tried cold green tea? It is so refreshing! I found it in the cold tea section at the grocery store. Sweetened with honey it is very nice in the summer.

My tablescape was inspired by my garden limelights blooming and the changing color hydrangeas in my garden. The hydrangeas change from a blue color to a green with pink tips in July. For some reason this frenchy vase came to mind and then the ecru lace tablecloth. Where does your inspiration for a tablescape start? Mine usually starts with the centerpiece. 
Hydrangeas are so easy to arrange and it doesn't take too many to make a nice arrangement. I put the arrangement together in the kitchen where it was cooler while I gathered the other table pieces.
Next, while still in the kitchen, I tried my ecru lace tablecloth over my "go-to" white matelassé tablecloth. I love the softness a tablecloth adds to tablescapes and especially when the cloth is long enough to drape to the floor or in this case softly cascade on the grass.
My bistro table was a perfect size for garden  refreshments. 

 This is another bistro table setting in my garden. You can see the post here. My friends that were invited to my garden tour were so surprised I set a table for them. One of them exclaimed, "Oh, we never get too old to play house!" But, I digress.....

Macarons on a Bordallo Pinheiro plate add color to the table but I still can't find the other napkin. Does that happen to you?

I never did find the other napkin and by the time I made all the pictures, I drank all four glasses of tea I was so hot! So, if I am going to entertain in July, when my limelights bloom, I must plan ahead! LOL!

 Gardens Galore  
Metamorphosis Monday   Show and Share  The Scoop  Celebrate and Decorate  Inspire Me Tuesday  Wow Us Wednesday  Tablescape Thursday  Share Your Style Party  Share Your Cup Full Plate Thursday
 Feathered Nest Friday  Dishing It & Digging It   Calypso in the Country Sunday's At HomeThyme for Tea