susansflowers

garden ponderings

Strawberry flowers

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Strawberry flowers

While this plant is not full of flowers, I am impressed the plant is flowering in our cool rainy weather. We have had some 60-degree days that probably favored flowering and these are sturdy plants.

This may be the third summer for these plants, which could be their maximum production year. If I was really together and hard-core, I would be planting another bed of strawberries to start bearing a year from now. This current batch of strawberry plants was purchased from a reputable nursery (Territorial Seed in Cottage Grove, OR) instead of the local discount store. There were a few holdover plants from the last discount store buy, and those plants need to be dug up as their production doesn’t even warrant the space in the garden.

I will have to look up the name of these strawberries, if I want to be able to make an educated, experienced purchase on my next buy. I remember being given a choice between taste, higher yield, size or disease immunity and I went with taste. Ultimately, for me, it really comes down to taste for home-grown strawberries. These are not the largest berries, but we are still eating last year’s harvest – yum!

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Oregon Grape

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Oregon Grape

This is a real close-up where you can see the individual flowers, which grow in clumps, similar to grapes. On the top of the plant, some of the flowers are missing, so I’m wondering if the birds haven’t gotten to them already. Any surviving flowers will turn into ‘grape-clusters’ that birds and other animals feed on through the summer.

Since this is a native plant, I was surprised a fence was needed around it to protect from nibbling deer. When it grows tall enough, I will remove the fence. In the meantime, I am planting deer-resistant plants around it to see if deterrence will work. Have to say, I am not optimistic, as I’ve learned it is hard to stop hungry deer.

Spring Groundcover

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Spring Groundcover

This is the first photo from the new camera to be posted. I know I would not have been able to get a photo at dusk with the old camera. I am still learning the new camera, even though it has many similarities with the old one, a different manufacturer. The resolution may be too much, and take too long to download, if anyone notices this please notify me.

Wish I knew the name of this groundcover. It usually dies out in the summer, but I think it is because of its location. Next to the house gets very hot in the summertime, even with irrigation. It was given to me many years ago by an elderly neighbor, who shared many plants from her garden before she died.

The darker purple color and broad leaf is from a fading hyacinth.

Pink and white Tulips

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Pink and white Tulips

After the species tulips, these pink and white tulips are the next to come into full bloom. This is interesting to me, to document the order the different colors of tulips flower. Though, I do need to take into account the effect on bloom time of the micro-climate where each tulip color is planted.
I have noticed this in the daffodils, where I have a very many of the same bulb, planted in various places around the ranch. The ones on the south-east facing wall of the house bloom first. So that seems to be the hot spot.

I had hoped to be publishing flower photos from my new camera, which are fantastic viewed in the camera. ‘Technical difficulties’ getting the photos from the camera to the computer are slowing things down at the moment. It shouldn’t be that hard to figure this out (famous last words!).

Creeping Pink Phlox

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Creeping Pink Phlox

This was a 4″ pot many years ago, that has moved down the hillside. The area is not irrigated, so the plant goes dormant by summer, to re-emerge every spring with these beautiful pink flowers.

Deer and rabbits have not eliminated it, even though the plant does not have the usual rodent deterrents of strong scent or fuzzy leaves.

One winter, I tried to transplant some shovels-full of this groundcover, but they never ‘took’. Perhaps it was a drier spring that year, I cannot remember.

I got a new camera yesterday, and took a few photos as a test. Wow, I did not realize what a difference it would make. Watch out!

Chionodoxa

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Chionodoxa

This is one of my favorite spring flowers. It is very sturdy, reliable and deer-resistant. I like these small flowers in the front of flower beds, as they foretell other blooms to come. In this bed you see narcissus in the background, and a wire fence protecting another plant from deer in the middle of the bed.

Even though the flower is beautiful on its own, it has an even better feature: The blades or leaves come out in November, so there is some green in the flower beds when everything is going to sleep for the winter. And this bulb multiplies and transplants easily.

When I looked up the name of these flowers to confirm the spelling, I learned the common name is ‘Glory of the Snow’. It is a very rare spring we have snow so late, so I cannot confirm Chionodoxa will flower through snow, but it is always welcomed when it does flower.

This is the flower I put on the heading of my blog. It worked perfect for a horizontal picture, as I had a number of photos of it fronting many of my flower beds.

Species tulips

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Species tulips

I love the soft pink on the outside of the petals, that frames the inside white petal color. The flowers look so delicate.

This type of tulip are usually the first to bloom. Species tulips are not hybrids, they are what was/is found in the wild (as I understand). They are not long lasting blooms, and not particularly good as cut flowers. But they do come back every year, are great color in a spring garden and easy to care for. The biggest hazard is forgetting where they are planted and cutting a bulb with a shovel – instant death.

I thought I had more of this style planted around the yard, but this is all I can verify to myself. There are many varieties and colors available. My source for great bulbs is John Scheepers Bulbs in Connecticut. They also have a separate wholesale bulb company, but you have to order 50 or 100 of a particular bulb or color of bulb, so I don’t do that. The John Scheepers catalog is beautiful, and I strongly recommend it for flower bulb connoisseurs.