Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Today in the Garden...

The Crepe Myrtles are blooming. I think the clusters of flowers this year are the biggest I've ever seen them.

There are 5 of the trees planted in a long row; they were here when we bought the property.

'The Fairy' rose has the sweetest little flowers. I love this bush. Today is my sister's and her husband's wedding anniversary, so here's wishing them a happy anniversary and I'm dedicating this picture to them.

How do you like Kirstin's new "friend"!?!?

A BIG bumble bee was visiting the Catnip this morning. Even though this is definitely not a showy plant, I really like it. And so do my cats!

And, evidently, the bee does, too.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spider Flower and Butterfly Bush...

So, in the same Wanna-Be Hummingbird Garden bed that I wrote about yesterday, there is also a beautiful Buddleia. This Buddleia is 'Lochinch,' and it is one that I grew and loved in California. Its leaves are more grayish than the 'Nanho Blues' that I have.

Unfortunately, I think this particular bush is succumbing to crown rot, so I am not very happy about that. But, while I still have it, it is lovely. I enjoy looking over the edge of the deck down into it.

Spider Flowers and Morning Glories have reseeded near it, too, and I think they make such a pretty color combination.

Yesterday, just after the hummingbird that I didn't get a picture of flew away, another creature showed up and I was able to get a picture of it. In fact, I've read that sometimes this insect, the Clearwing Moth, is mistaken for a hummingbird.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Spider Flowers and Morning Glories...

Over the West end of my deck, I have a jungle of Tomatillos, Spider Flowers, and Morning Glories. I did want Tomatillos, Spider Flowers, and Morning Glories. However, they reseeded in profusion and I ended up with just a few more than I wanted.

But that's o.k., because they are relatively easy to weed out. I just need time. Well, I guess that's not quite so easy then, is it?

There are supposed to only be 3 or 4 Morning Glory vines (Ipomoea purpurea 'Grandpa Otts') at the corner of the deck for the kitties to lie in the shade of and so we can enjoy the beauty of the Morning Glories in the morning. But they keep getting out of hand. Big surprise, huh. After all, these are Morning Glories I'm talking about here.

The Spider Flowers (Cleome hasslerana) are for the hummingbirds. I bought dwarf Spider Flower plants several years ago and they have reseeded themselves, getting taller each year as they revert back to their original, tall selves. While I was taking these pictures this morning, a hummingbird showed up and looked at me for a moment. I love those little creatures! But then he flew off before I could get a picture of him.

This flower bed is supposed to be a hummingbird garden. I think it has turned out to be a Tomatillo garden with a few hummingbird plants tossed in! Oh, well. At least the hummingbirds do come and I will get it to what I want it to be ... eventually. And in the mean time, I can enjoy the beauty of my jungle.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Queen Anne's Lace...

O.K., so it is just way too hot today. I think it got up to almost 100 degrees today, but thankfully tomorrow is supposed to be about 10 degrees cooler. That will be wonderful. I realized that I am having the same problem now that I had during Winter: I want to work in my garden, but the temperature is keeping me indoors.

About the only thing out there that isn't wilting is the wild Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota). It looks so cool and frothy. Somehow it seemed like an antidote to the heat of the day. This clump grows in the ditch behind my mailbox. But there is also a little bit beside the mailbox, which is very charming.

Years ago when I was researching what plants to grow to attract beneficial insects, Queen Anne's Lace was always on the lists, but it wasn't something that I could grow in my garden. And now here it grows wild in the ditches and the fields. Isn't it pretty?

None of the houses in the pictures are mine. My house is down the driveway behind me as I took the pictures, in case you were wondering. But it does look like a quaint country road I live of off, doesn't it?

You can see pictures of my chickens eating watermelon on my Chickie Update. It was so hot today that I gave them some to help cool them down. They love watermelon and they are so cute eating it.

Have a beautiful day and stay cool!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Beautiful porch pots...

Just a thought... If you have not cut your grass because you are saving the blooms of the Buckhorn Plantain for the little bumblebees so they can collect pollen, and if the little bumblebees come and collect the pollen, then sandals are not the shoe to wear in the morning as you walk across the grass and Buckhorn Plantain to go feed your chickens. Ask me how I know. Go ahead. Ask me.

{Plantago lanceolata - Buckhorn Plantain}

I have a very unimpressive front porch. In fact, I think it is more like an alcove than truly a front porch. But I try to do the best I can with what I've got. There is room - just barely - for two flower pots, one on each side of the door.

(Left side of the porch.)

In the winter, I fill them with the cheerful Johnnies to carry me through that cold, dark season. And that works great because the porch get sun in the winter.

(Right side of the porch.)

In the summer, the porch is shady and each year, I try something different in the pots. So far, because the pots really aren't that big, I have only put in one type of plant. One year, I tried white Impatiens, thinking the white would "lighten" the porch. Well, that ended up being kinda blah. I did hot pink Impatiens another year and that was better, but still somehow too static. I also tried Coleus, which I think are really pretty, but they grew way too big for the space.

{Dracaena 'Spikes', hot pink Impatiens, and Creeping Jenny. And new blue pots.}

This year, though, I have been informed that I got it right. Someone is very impressed and she is not one to be impressed too easily. She approves of my planting scheme. And, I must say, I like it very well, also.

{Can you see the little guy?}

A little Praying Mantis has taken up residence in the pot to the left of the front door, if you are facing the front door. It is cute to see him (or her) there as I go in and out. Yesterday, I caught him eating his lunch (below). (Click on either picture for a larger view if you are having trouble seeing him.) He can have all the "lunch" he wants; more power to him!

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hot stuff...

I think Daricia must be right. Lately I have been feeling guilty about not being excited about my garden nor about all the gardening projects I have going and I didn't know what was wrong with me. Because I love my plants. But Daricia has given me the answer.

And the answer? It is just too hot. Almost everything is wilting, including me. And it seems impossible to keep my plants watered since there hasn't been much rain. No wonder I'm not interesting in gardening right now.

The plants are hanging in there, though. And so I shall, too. I was thinking how just a few months ago I was longing for it to be warm and now that the seasons have obliged, I am looking forward to the cool again. Am I fickle, or what?

I think I'll just go sit in the shade with this fern. It looks like it is cool enough, doesn't it?

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wildflower bouquet...

I'm a little to tired to blog today, so I'll just leave you with a bouquet of white wildflowers. Thanks for stopping by!

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Ah, water. Today I have been thinking about water. The garden is so hot and dry and is wilting and in desperate need of water. Life-giving water. Since it is not going to rain any time soon, I need to get out there and water the plants myself. This first picture is of a black rubber stock tub, just like the one in which I have my bog garden. I never did anything with it, yet it has created its own habitat. Rain water filled it. The frogs laid eggs so now there are tadpoles. Of course, there are mosquito larvae. I'm not sure what the green stuff is. Algae? What makes it show up in a barren tub of water? And there are little diving beetles, too. How did they get there? And who knows what else inhabits this water.

When I was in high school and college, I worked on the landscape crew for a very well maintained private college campus. It was a joy to be surrounded by such beauty. And, it being Southern California, keeping everything well watered was very important. Whether is was watering pots by hand or checking to make sure the sprinkler systems were working well or anything in between, the grounds couldn't be kept up without water. Julie has created a simple water garden in a basic low container. But such pretty simplicity.

I remember being so thirsty sometimes after working outside, whether on the college campus or in my own garden later, and getting big drinks of water from the garden hose. A simple pleasure. I don't do that any more for several reasons, but I like the memory of that wonderful water. In Kirstin's frog pond, water lettuce and water hyacinth float on the reflection of the trees.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Roses for Summer...

Today is the Longest Day of the Year, so you'd think I'd have more time, right? Ha! Anyhow, I have some beautiful roses blooming now. The first two pictures are of 'Marie Daly'.

If you know what the insect on the rose is, please let me know! (Click on the picture for a larger view.) They don't eat the blooms, but they sure do like the flowers.

'Molineux' is looking great. This rose is definitely on the way to becoming one of my favorites.

I grew 'Double Delight' in California, but I don't think the color was this intense. It is so stunning in the garden.

'Lyda Rose' is very fragrant. Those unknown insects are also on this rose. There is a bumble bee, too.

The heirloom Purple Ruffles Basil really sets off the orange rose. I love the combination. That Basil seems to make everything look great!

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fusarium Wilt...

Something isn't right in the tomato patch. All of my tomato plants are doing very well except for the Yellow Pear Tomato. I think it has Fusarium Wilt, caused by a fungus in the soil. So, out it must come. I just hope that it doesn't spread to the other plants. But, now that it is in the soil, it'll be there for several years.

And I thought this would be the year that I had a great vegetable garden. The first cucumbers tasted wonderful. The first peppers were delicious. The squash plants are looking nice. There are lots of green tomatoes. But now there is Fusariam Wilt. I guess that is a reality of gardening.

This is a brownish-sort-of post. The pods of the 'Captain of the Blues' Sweet Peas are ripening. Today I picked them to be able to collect the seeds. Some of them had already twisted open, so I missed those seeds.

But I will still be able to have some to save for next year. I really enjoyed these Sweet Peas, so I am looking forward to growing them again. Even though the plants haven't been that attractive for the past few weeks, I have left them on the trellises so I could harvest the seeds.

And one more brown thing. Look what I discovered as I was examining the Sweet Pea pods. Usually the Praying Mantises are green, but I think that when they are living on something brown, they turn brown. He/she camouflages very well. I like having these guys around. They are fun to watch.

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Today in the Garden...

There is so much going on in my garden right now! Come take a quick tour. Feel free to click on any picture for larger view. To start with, a Pink Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) continues to bloom. That's a reseeded Salvia coccinea beside it.

The Tomatillos have begun producing their fruit.

I just love the color in these Coleus!

The Calamint has dainty little flowers. The bees come to visit this one.

Isn't this a great combination! The orange rose and Artemisia 'Powis Castle' are so cool together.

A Cardinal Climber is making its way up the side of the deck.

Several weeks ago, I uprooted and divided this Geranium 'Rozanne' and now it is blooming again. There is a little creature in the flower.

Look at the variegated leaf of my ground orchid (Bletilla striata 'Albostriata'). I think it is so pretty!

These plants reseeded themselves here with each other. They have amazing design sense, don't they? Thank you for coming by to visit!

Have a beautiful day!