susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Dog Days of Summer

I’ve spent (most) every morning this summer
at my vegetable garden,
before it gets too hot to work outside.
The flower garden has been on its own,
save for some deadheading of blossoms.
(It is called ‘survival of the fittest’ 🙂

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Helianthus is a perennial sunflower
that grows at my house
as tall (or short, depending on your view) as I am.
Many years ago, I ordered it from a catalog.
The original location had its flowers attacked by bugs,
so I divided my plant and
moved part to the other (south) side of the house.
Bugs have not discovered these blossoms,
and the plant has flourished.
On the other hand, the rhizomes are quite invasive
and it is a battle to keep this plant contained.
* * * * *

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Sunflowers in my garden.
I planted 2 packets of shorter sunflowers,
but none came up.
Was I surprised to see these volunteers
come up in a corn bed.
The sunflowers dominated corn seedlings
at a very early stage of growth.
As the flower matures,
petals drop off and seeds start to develop.
Long-stemmed flowers look beautiful in a vase,
but a few days later pollen falls and makes a mess.
(Just a forewarning!)
* * * * *

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Rudbeckia or Black-Eyed Susan are prolific
late-summer bloomers.
Their rhizomes are also invasive,
as I dig them out from other plants annually.
They are beautiful cut flowers and last a week in a vase.

 

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Garden Surprise

I wish all my garden surprises were as good as this one:

These photos were taken from opposite ends of a 30 foot
(just over 9 meters) planting bed.

The sunflowers are all volunteers from a couple of plants last year.
They were planted late, and never harvested.
I forgot all about the seeds multiplying!

Earlier this year, I planted broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts seedlings.
The sunflower shade is appreciated by the brassicas, and they are thriving.
I’ll have to remember that for next year.
* * * * *

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Amarinth is the red-flowering plant also growing in the brassica bed.
Last summer, I had many amarinth, and feared they would dominate this area by reseeding.  Surprise! it was the sunflowers that dominate.
If you are wondering, that is broccoli on the left, and brussels sprouts on the right of the amarinth.  Baby Romaine lettuce are bunched together behind it.