Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Lloyd’

The summer of my mother’s garden continued as on August 10th and 16th we mowed the lawn, visited, deadheaded some flowers, and took pictures of the continuing garden perfection.  By now the dahlias (probably my mom’s favourite flower) had begun to bloom profusely, and the lily show went on and on.


By the street, a Buddleia originally purchased from the old Heronswood nursery trailed extra large flowers onto the parking area.

garden with freshly mown lawn

Clematis and Lily


On the south side of the house, next to the sun porch, a Clematis bloomed next to a shocking orange lily.  My mother never gave thought to colour combinations but had accidentally joined the ranks of Christopher Lloyd and sometimes Dan Hinkley with hot, tropical, seething with contrast colour schemes.  We often had discussions about where a new purchase should go, especially if she had bought it from a catalog.  After the new plants arrived in the mail, out she would go and plunk them in anywhere she saw a spot: soon-to-be-large shrubs right next to a narrow path, sun plants in the shade, shade plants in the sun….”I put them where I want them, and if they make it, they make it, and if they die, they die”, she would say.  I had learned that a tactful request, along the lines of asking if I could move a flowering quince that would soon block a path, would usually be met with agreement.  And I must admit I would sometimes rescue a well-baked shade plant from a full sun spot and move it into the woodsy garden without even asking.
She once sat with me on the porch steps after a bit of an argy bargy about garden design,  sighed, and said “I’m not a very nurturing person.”  And yet she used to grow the most wonderful veg garden, all organized in rows, harvested, and carefully canned and preserved.  Her strawberries and raspberries had been planted in neat rows.  The fruit of her apple and pear trees she had meticulously sliced and dried.  Only two years ago at age 83 had she lacked the energy to plant her peas, beans, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.

mom’s apple trees

She took her veg and fruit gardens very seriously, but her flower gardens were more of a place to play.  I regret that my “good taste” usually talked her out of ordering and planting rows and rows of Gladiolus.  She loved them, but I, being invested in the creation of the garden, always took the line that they were too stiff and formal.  Note to daughters everywhere:  If your mom loves Glads and they remind you of ungainly flower arrangements, never mind; let her plant as many as she wants.

Dahlias had fallen out of favour with many garden designers until Christopher Lloyd championed them.  Now they were cutting edge again and mom’s garden abounded with them.

pom pom dahlia, my favourite kind



peachy dahlia

dahlia with seashell cosmos and drumstick allium

dahlia with picotee edge

spider dahlia

streaky dahlia

spider dahlia

dahlia backed with lily

dahlia backed with Eryngium

more peachy dahlias

The mid-August lilies filled the garden with intoxicating fragrance.

lilies in an apple tree

lilies August 10th and August 16th

towering lilies

lilies with pink freckles

peachy amber lilies

dark pink lily

As we took a turn around the garden with my mother, a tall hollyhock towered over all.


A tiny variegated fuchsia bloomed in a pot left over from the garden tour.


Lemony lilies and blue globe thistle caught the later afternoon sun.

lilies and Echinops ritro

Low to the ground the clever buds of the aptly named balloon flower popped open into starry blue flowers.


My mother remarked about and admired every flower in the garden before returning to her easy chair and her book.  She complained of intermittent shoulder pain, saying she must have pulled a muscle when she reached for something or helped us deadhead in the garden.  I asked when she would again see her doctor, and suggested she talk to him about it.  She said old age brought so many aches and pains that she was used to it but yes, she would see him soon and mention it.    I had a vague sense of unease…but knew from experience there was no talking mom into doing something she did not want to do.

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