Friday, July 30, 2010

Today in the garden...

It is has been very hot and humid and dry this Summer and I think it is taking a toll on the garden. And on the gardener, too. Oh, and also on Tiger (the cat). Poor Tiger. Life is so difficult, having to sprawl in the shade.

Some stuff still looks pretty cool, though. Like the Cypress Vine climbing the oak tuteurs that I made to go on either side of the front porch.

And the reflection of the Corkscrew Rush in the "pond."

A volunteer Sunflower is starting to form a bud. Is "architectural" the right word? Or "sculptural"? Whatever - it's interesting.

Yesterday's new acquisition - on sale for half price at New Garden Nursery. Very pretty. And more food for the bees and the butterflies.

Homeless Muscari bulbs waiting to be relocated. For some reason, this picture makes me think of Fall.

And, finally, a shade of bliss. Or bliss in the shade. Either way, I love it.

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


O.K., so here's a fun one: Datura stramonium. This plant reseeded itself from last year's plants, which reseeded themselves from seeds that came with a huge load of horse manure that I brought home. It has made itself quite at home in what was supposed to be my hummingbird garden. Maybe next year it will be my hummingbird garden.

It is a pretty flower and the plant itself is can be impressive, but it is toxic. It can kill livestock and poison people. Apparently, some use it as a hallucinogenic, which, I must say, is rather dangerous. The "Jimson" part of Jimsonweed is a variation of the name Jamestown, where the colonists found it growing. I am just learning all kinds of things from the weeds in my garden.

I meant to get them all pulled up this year, but, as you can see, I didn't. So, I am enjoying the lovely flowers until I get out my gloves - the sap is irritating - and get it pulled out. Hopefully, I'll get that done before it makes its very thorny, very full of seeds, seed-pods. And I go through this whole process again. It does look nice with the Cleome, though.

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sun in the shade...

Well, today has been long, busy, hot, and humid, so I am simply giving you a picture I took yesterday as I was out photographing the Muscari bulbs which are starting to come up. This is a little sunflower that came from birdseed dropped from the bird-feeder into pots of plants waiting to be planted out. It is blooming in the shade, which I think is a little humorous. But I like it with the shade plants.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Origins of anticipation...

Something very cool is happening in my garden. Months away from its fruition, the time has come for its beginning.

It is emerging in various places: in the ground, in pots, even in saucers. And these are only the first of many.

Do you know what it is?

And while you are contemplating, gaze upon the lovely sunset which the afternoon rains brought.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, July 26, 2010


In a weedy area of my garden... maybe I should say, in a very weedy area of my garden, since quite a lot of my garden would count as weedy... I discovered a "lovely" purple bloom.

Do I want more of these?

I don't think so. Just look at those thorns! Or should that be thistles?

I do have to say, though, that it is a rather interesting flower. I like the color and the texture. It's too bad I have to dig it out, but it is probably wiser not to let it spread.

The mosquitoes were thrilled to have me out there, taking pictures of a weed. They sure got their fill of me for their breakfast. If you are interested in the botanical name (I like to know the botanical names for plants, including weeds), it is Cirsium vulgare. I didn't know that before. So, this noxious weed added to my store of knowledge. Thank you, Noxious Weed.

I trust you'll forgive me for adding yet another chicken photo to my garden blog. I just thought this was a very sweet, quintessential chicken picture. Yes, she laid an egg for me. Dear girl.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cat nap...

So, how does your kitty-cat take a nap? This is Luca. And, yes, he is fine. Just kinda upside down.

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Today in the garden...

Well, look what my dear little chickies left for me today! There's an egg from each of them. I guess they like their new nesting boxes.

Today in the garden it is about 100 degrees. Way too hot. But next week should be cooler.

My Bat-faced Cuphea has really taken off. I read that it can be used in hanging baskets and I can see why. I like the way it looks with the Morning Glory vine and Cypress vine. The "dog" lived here before I did, so I let him stay on the deck. I am not sure what he is made of, but he is very heavy.

A few weeds are a good thing, right? At least the bumble bee thinks so.

My Salvia 'Black and Blue' doesn't seem to mind the heat. There were 2 small bees, maybe orchard bees, on the flowers as well as the large bumble bee. If you look closely, you can see the large bee and one small bee. Click on the picture for a larger view.

The Geranium 'Rozanne' looks so nice and cool in the shade. Very refreshing.

I can't believe that this butterfly let me get close enough to take this picture. Normally they don't like paparazzi. The blue on the Swallowtail's wings is just about the same color as the blooms of the Buddleia 'Blue Chip.'

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nesting box...

Well, this week I finally got the nesting box made for my chickens. And it did take all week. There were a couple of extra trips to the hardware store and two or three re-doing of plans and some re-cutting of wood and... You get the idea. And here I was thinking, you know, "couple of hours on Sunday afternoon." Ha!

After I got it hung up, with my chicken girls climbing on my lap and pecking at my tools, oh, and you should have seen them when I tried to convince them that they needed to go back outside so I could bring in the box without danger of it accidentally falling on them. They were sure they needed to stay inside with me. And then when I would get them outside (this happened a couple of time), they would all stand at the top of the ramp against the door. They were so funny. As I was saying, after I got it hung up, I told them that it would make a cute picture for me to post if they would actually jump up in there and show off their new nesting boxes. But they wouldn't have any of that. They felt that they belonged right next to my feet. Their place was definitely beside me. So, maybe another day I can show you a picture of them in their box. Later in the evening when I went out to tuck them in for the night, I could see that they had been in the boxes because they had scooted the shavings to make round nesting places in them.

Today I found great deals on a couple of plants. A number of places are reducing prices on plants as the season is ending. I found a Erodium reichardii 'Alba' for Julie to add to her white garden. I have one that blooms pink that I really enjoy, so the white one should be nice, too.

And this lovely Crocosmia is for my hummingbirds. For some reason, the orange color is difficult for my camera to pick up, but I think you get the idea. The plant tag shows it being yellow, with the name 'Walberton Yellow' so I don't know if it is the wrong tag for the plant or if the plant didn't understand what color it is supposed to be. I like it anyway.

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Kirstin has another Gladiolus stalk blooming. This one is a gorgeous coral color. I like the feathery leaves of the Cosmos in the background.

Every year she enjoys so much watching them bloom, but this week she is at Summer Camp and therefore is missing some of the show.

At least she will be able to see the pictures I have taken. The sky was nice enough to be a little cloudy this morning for the "photo shoot." And how do you like the left-over rain drops!

Kirstin asked me to pick a stalk of Gladiolus and take them to the sweet little widow, Mrs. F, who lives a few houses from us. Today, after I photographed it, I cut the stem and delivered the flower stalk.

Mrs. F just loved it. She said that it was her favorite color. It truly is beautiful, isn't it?

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More of the white garden...

Here are some more pictures of Julie's lovely white garden. I think she has done such a beautiful job of "composing" her plants.

The bedding begonias do nicely in her garden. Their iridescence and simplicity add a certain sparkle to the planting.

She loves ferns and has planted a few in her garden. One of her favorite ferns is the Maidenhair Fern. When I discovered that there was a hardy Maidenhair fern (Adiantum venustum), of course she asked if she could have one for her garden. I got it from Plant Delights Nursery and it is doing well.

Some very cool variegated leaves.

She has a birdbath in her garden. The stones in the birdbath is an idea that she borrowed from me. I think they add interest.

I didn't realize that English Ivy is hardy, but it is and so now it stays outside for the winter. Julie is training it to grow around the birdbath. I love this vignette.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Part of my front yard...

When I go out onto my front porch and look ever so slightly to the left, this is the scene that greets me. Admittedly, a certain amount of the plants out there are weeds, but others of them are there at least somewhat intentionally. The wooden building mostly hidden on the left is my chicken house.

The trees with white flowers are Crepe Myrtle. The row of five of them was there when we moved here. The line of stakes is my tomato plants in my vegetable garden. Also in the vegetable garden is a beautiful Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican Sunflower) plant that reseeded itself. It is very popular with the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. This butterfly was actually more yellow than the picture makes it look. And look at the gorgeous blue on it.

There were 3 swallowtails on the Tithonia this morning. Can you find them?

One of the other plants that was here when we moved in was Tansy. When I lived in California, I used to read about Tansy when I was studying which plants would attract beneficial insects, so I was happy to have it.

It does spread and can definitely get weedy. Every year or so, I thin it out so it doesn't take over. I wonder if this is one of our honey bees?

I love Artemisia 'Powis Castle'. It is such a great plant. No flowers, but it has simply amazing foliage. And I like the pungent way it smells. The heirloom Purple Ruffles Basil has reseeded next to it and makes a stunning combination.

Have a beautiful day!