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The June Woodlands

When I woke up this morning Lou was already outside, watering plants. I walked out to greet him, and the air was refreshingly cool! But now the temperature is headed back into the 90s. The hot weather makes for thirsty plants, as well as people.

I am grateful for my big shade trees. The June woodlands are more temperate than sunnier areas, but the cool colors and shadows can be deceptive when the humidity and temperatures are both approaching 100! I shouldn't complain. In some parts of the country people pay a lot of money to put saunas into their homes. Here, we have it for free, all summer long. 

The rain we had last weekend was a refreshing drink to the garden, and I was out taking photos of the Woodland Garden soon afterwards:

Here are a couple of shots of a wilder part of the Woodland Garden:

There are few flowers blooming this time of year in the woodlands, but the gardenia in the top photo below makes up for it. The heady fragrance of this shrub permeates the nearby gardens. Below the gardenia picture are hydrangea 'Lady in Red' and a calla lily.

I planted several 'Snowflake' hydrangeas in the Woodland Garden last fall, and they also are blooming now. Below one can compare the ruffled blooms of 'Snowflake' with the single florets of the traditional oakleaf hydrangea shown in the lower right photo.

I couldn't write about the woodlands without a few shots of some favorite foliage:Top: A broken heart! (a fallen redbud leaf) Middle: Fothergilla gardenii; Holly fern. Lower: I may move this houttuynia. It is a ground cover with an aggressive reputation but has languished in the dry shade of its current location; a species rhododendron.

I was delighted to find a mockingbird nest. Cleverly disguised in a twiggy tree, Mama was sitting patiently on her eggs, but what endeared me was Papa, who was working hard, bringing treats to his mate!

Finally, here is a framed view of the blue bridge. The bridge adds a fresh touch, even when the temps are soaring!

Happy Summer!

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Reader Comments (21)

what a peaceful haven in the woodland garden you have...

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Yes, I'm thinking it sure would be nice to have shade here...

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Deb your woodland garden is beautiful. I love the gardenias and so wish I could grow them and camellias here. I like the stone rabbit watching over the woods.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLona

haha - loved the comment about the sauna! Your woodland gardens look so cool and refreshing. You would never guess it was so hot and humid there from the pictures. Beautiful - especially your gardenia, hydrangeas, and calla lily!

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolley

Lovely, peaceful setting. I can feel the cool of the shade.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

I love that bridge. I have been trying to get my husband to build something like that for quite a while.

Deb, it looks so deceivingly cool and refreshing in your lovely images. Knowing you are at 100° makes me sweat from here. We are at 66° right now and it is very comfortable. But we will be in the 90's by Tuesday, next week. We also get high humidity which makes for a sticky and heavy feel to the air. Your birds look very wary. Can anything slither up the tree and get them?

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

What a beautiful garden! It does look serene and calm, and cool despite your temperatures approaching 100! I'm looking forward to reading through the rest of your posts, especially if you have ocean-blue hydrangeas. I love the blue ones best! Thanks for stopping by my garden site.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBumbleLush

I always envy your early and lush spring while we are in the midst of mud and barren views, But I just couldn't handle the free sauna in summer! Your garden looks so beautiful in all seasons, though.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Ha, I will now try to think of summer as having a free sauna. :) I love your 'Snowflake' and 'Lady in Red' Hydrangeas. A mockingbird pair has nested in our garden this year too; time flies because they've fledged already, which explains why Papa is now in hypervigilant mode!

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

There must be a beautiful scent from that gardenia. Depite your hot colours those woods still look lush and green.

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRosie leavesnbloom

So lovely! We have mockingbirds here too and just the other morning, I got some wonderful pix of a fledgling perched on our fence! I enjoyed visiting your gardening retreat!

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

It's a good thing I'm not a flower. With as warm as it sounds there, I'd be the wilty droopy one in the back, stifled from the heat and humidity. It hasn't deterred the mockingbirds though, how lovely! I hope they do well. I love the photo of the water on the heart shaped leaf, the green, and the droplets, look very cool and refreshing.

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCurbstone Valley Farm

Hi Deb,
I'd wilt in your heat. i think it must be my Irish heritage. Cool, wet weather is fine with me. I can't imagine 100 degrees. It is a good thing that you have a shaded garden. I know my back garden, which is similarly shaded, is always a good ten degrees cooler than the front garden, which is in the blazing sun.
The natural look to your garden always impresses me. It is such a welcome change from formal garden beds. My favourite shot is the one of the heart shaped leaf. Its priceless. Have a great weekend.

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Deb , Thanks for helping me classify my houttuynia. Mine looks quite sinister compared to yours though. No matter how much I dig it up, it keeps coming back because there's a network of roots spanning half a flower bed.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

Hi Debs - I thought after you'd kindly left comments on my blog that I'd grab the chance to pop over to catch up with your blog too - so glad I did - your woodland is fabulous and the first time I'm ever seen a picture of a Mockingbird - quite beautiful. It must be hard for you and the plants to survive in such warm temperatures - it has however been very dry here - much drier than usual so I can completely understand the need for rain... we have actually had quite a bit this week which has been more than welcome... will look forward to a visit again soon - have a good weekend Miranda x

June 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda Bell

Great shots of your beautiful gardens;-) Love the 'Lady in Red' hydrangea...have never heard of that. How sweet to see the interaction between mom and dad mockingbird. Very special:-)

Oh, I can smell that gardenia! They don't do too well in our alkaline soils here. Beautiful pics. I know that shade is welcome in triple digit temps!

Wonderful as always Debs! That blue bridge photo is lovely, ethereal even :)

June 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

What a beautiful woodland. Gorgeous pics.

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBridget

Wow! That's an amazing garden. You did a wonderful job. It looks cool and refreshing in your lovely images and the bridge adds a fresh touch.
wood fences

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwood fences
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