susansflowers

garden ponderings


3 Comments

Flowers in the Vegetable Garden

Copy of DSCN3524
Strawberry plants are looking great.  I pick a couple of pints every morning.  My favorite ways to eat these summer gems is on a bowl of granola for breakfast, and on a dinner salad.  M-m-m, tasty!
Any extras get frozen on a cookie sheet and put away to be enjoyed in winter.
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3527 Copy of DSCN3535Summer squash is just getting going, I like mine small, young & tender.
A friend was surprised with a few zucchini at her front door the other morning.
The zuke elves are starting their rounds, watch out!
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3528 Copy of DSCN3536I’ve picked only a very few cherry-size tomatoes, and not one green bean – yet.
The best is yet to come in these departments.
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3530 Copy of DSCN3548Baby, red leaf, butter lettuce gone to seed is not necessarily glamorous.
The dandelion-looking fuzz balls are their flowers gone-to-seed.
Close-up the flowers are kind of cute.
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3538I try to keep flowers pinched from all my basil plants, as it is the leaves that are used.  Thai basil has the prettiest purple flower buds, and a few blossoms opened before they were pruned.
These leaves get dried to add flavor to curry dinners all winter long.
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3531Amaranth is new to me, and I’m not sure how much larger the flower will grow.  There are around a dozen plants, each about a yard (a meter) tall.
I keep checking this one, there is much for me to learn here.
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3526 DSCN3549Melons are such a gamble to harvest here.  Will the heat continue through August and September?  Since it is still July, it looks like this could be a good year.  Cantaloupe or rockmelon are the size of a large orange, so far.  Smooth-skin melons usually take longer to mature, but this one is on its way, also.
* * * * *
And last, but hardly least, are a couple of my own garden nemeses:
Copy of DSCN3546
Copy of DSCN3547
Someone was just here extolling the beauty of Queen Anne’s lace in the fields, and I objected.  The flowers are not evil themselves, but when they go to seed, the trouble starts.  It is a test of my patience to pick the burrs out of kids and my own socks.
The yellow flowers are not dandelions, but I would not be surprised to learn they are close cousins, as the flowers turn to fuzz-balls when they go to seed.

Advertisements


3 Comments

Dazzling Dahlias

Copy of DSCN3464
Four dahlia bulbs were planted a couple of years ago.  I see three coming up, but only this one is blooming.  One has buds, and is also in direct sunshine, but no flowers yet.  Why, oh, why?
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3510
Dahlia poses in my version of a bud vase.
The turtle cut-out on top helps the single flower stem stay erect.
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3508
This is what the flowers from the top photo look like a week later.
It is tough to age gracefully, but these are doing pretty good.


1 Comment

Harmonious Hydrangea

Copy of DSCN3466This shrub produces more flowers every year!
How is that not to love about a plant?

There are many types of hydrangea, some are smaller, some larger.  Some get pruned to the base every year, others merely get dead-headed (dead flowers are cut off), to encourage flowering the next year.
These are hereditary differences.

As far as flower color, pink or blue, that depends on the ph environment of the soil in which the bush grows.

I wish I could figure out which type of hydrangea I have.
One of the two in my garden is pictured above.
The other has never bloomed.  I am reluctant to cut all the branches to the base, for fear none of the branches would return the next spring.
The two specimen that I have were acquired at different times from very different places, they both get a lot of sun exposure and their local ground has been enriched.
Various hydrangea could be like relatives, they are in the same family, but even siblings are different from each other.


3 Comments

Alluring Artichokes

Copy of DSCN3470
After our share of thistle hearts (in case you didn’t already know, artichokes are in the thistle family), I let the last few buds go to flower.
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3471
This was not the only bee allowed a last fling before I cut the flowers.
If you get a chance to feel them, fresh artichoke flower tops are very soft.
* * * * *
Copy of DSCN3475A dried artichoke flower from last year is on the left and a fresh cut flower on the right.  Not only the color of the new flower base (it is green), but its shape reveal the difference in age of the two.  As water evaporates, the bud will shrink and lose weight quite a bit.

These flowers are standing in a Goddess Vase that I made.
I love to play/work in the mud – clay and flowers both live in dirt.

* * * * *
DSCN3472
One of the coolest things about artichokes, is that the mother plant that yielded delicious eating chokes and pretty flowers for drying, makes baby plants before it dies.
There are two artichoke plants coming from the ground, in the photo above.  On the left side is new growth with the mother plant’s leaves turning  yellow on the right side.


Leave a comment

First Sign of Autumn – A Little Early to Me

Copy of DSCN3468
This morning, I noticed the first red leaf on Eonymus ‘Chicago Fire’.
It’s leaves change color way early in the summer, but now I am actually documenting just how early.

Out of curiosity, I googled this plant, and found no information on how early the leaves turn colors.  But I did learn that it is supposed to be deer-resistant.  Therefore, this winter it will be moved outside the fenced-in area.
Now I would like to find a flowering vine to climb the fence.  It is a particularly sunny area, that has honeysuckle farther down the same fence.
Any suggestions?


1 Comment

Just this one time, Veronica!

Summer is not the usual season to transplant.  Especially when it is a particularly hot summer (global warming?), on a hot afternoon.
On a recent trip to my local Farmer’s Coop, I spied a desired perennial – on sale!  It was in great condition (okay, just a little root-bound), had blooms, and I had recently noticed a location in my flower garden that could use a plant just like this.
Copy of DSCN3452
Another blossom fell off on the drive home, so I immediately put it in a vase.  Veronica is also an excellent cut flower, as it has been on my kitchen table for a week.
Welcome to your new home, Veronica!


1 Comment

Live and Learn

When I was younger, I thought I knew a lot (sometimes I even thought I knew it all!).  Everyday, as I get older, I realize just how little I know.
Does this make me smart ?  Because I know that I have lots to learn.
Or does this make me stupid, because I am dumb enough to think I know anything?

* * * * *
Enough rambling, I have a correction to make:
DSCN3378
I posted this photo on June 29, 2015, and claimed it was a Monarch butterfly with a lily.  WRONG!  Monarchs are orange and black, what is in the photo is a Swallowtail butterfly dining on an Asiatic Species Lily.
* * * * *
And a discovery.  Since July 4, 2015 when I posted Weed or Not, a new flower bloomed, and I recognized Coreopsis:
Copy of DSCN3458Copy of DSCN3459
Can you tell that the leaves look the same?
The specimen on the right has significantly more altitude than the shorter flower.
I am waiting for the taller one to bloom before the deer discover it and chew the buds off.