susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Home Again

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We came home to thigh-high grass in the fields and the back yard.  I am so looking forward to planting my vegetable garden.  So much to do . . . .

The flowers are blooming, it is always interesting to see which ones are doing great, and who is faltering.  In the top photo, small, pink Armeria fronts pale pink chive blossoms, yellow day-lilies in the back.  Dark purple Dutch iris on the side.  Bottom shot is a Foxglove with bearded iris, and a California poppy in the background.
We arrived home in a slight drizzle, but the ground is hard, so it is time for the irrigation to be set up.

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The alliums have multiplied, look great and will keep the deer from this bed (for awhile, at least).
I don’t know if it is the weather, or the fact I finally weeded around these iris, but this is the best they have looked ever!

On another positive note, our sugar maple tree leafed out while we were gone.  We really thought it had given up the ghost and was a goner, it should have come back to life before we left.  We must be getting old and totally mis-judged when it springs back to life.


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White Aster

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I know I already did a post about aster flowers, but the white ones just bloomed.  Have you ever noticed that the white flower of a plant blooms at a different time than the other colored flowers?  I’m thinking of irises.  The bearded ones or the Japanese Iris.  White flowers bloom either before or after the other colors.  In the case of asters, the white flowers are later.  I really cannot remember what order the various colors of irises bloom.  This will give me something (another thing) to observe next year.  I am sure there are other flowers where the white specimen flowers at a different time, and I will have to pay more attention to find another example.

There is even a nursery devoted to white flowers.  But I believe they started like that, but have come around to selling many colors of flowers.

Last night, I cut stems of three colors of asters, and put them in a mini-vase to photograph in the morning.  Well, that did not happen, as I learned (the hard way) that aster flowers are not for cutting.  This morning they had closed up as though to say their time on this earth was done.  Well, at least the blooming plants look good massed in the garden beds.


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Orange Crocosmia

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My first set of bulbs for these crocosmia were given to me by one of the people who built my house over 30 years ago.  They were growing in his mother’s yard, she had passed away, and the house had just been sold.  For me, I have found that flower and plant starts, not from a nursery, can come with an interesting story.  When I see the plant in my yard, it brings back memories of where it came from and more.

These are sturdy little bulbs, that can really multiply if left undisturbed for a few years.  When I think I have dug them out from a flower bed, I see escaped bulblets growing for years to come. 

Normally my crocosmia thrive when they are protected from deer, but I have them growing in all sorts of places.  There is one unfenced bed containing crocosmia growing wild with lemon balm, on a hill away from the regular deer paths.  Bearded iris and artemisia are also on guard – 3 out of 4 plants that our deer don’t eat, seems to save the crocosmia. 

Orange Daylilies

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Orange Daylilies

 

Because daylilies are so easy to grow, I have them in many places around the ranch.  This particular photo shows part of a long line of daylilies, planted under photinia plants. The bed includes a row of bearded iris behind the daylilies, and columbine which reseeds wherever it can get a foothold.

A winter project is to remove the ground cloth that lies below the orange daylilies, which flower now in early summer, and plant yellow daylilies that would flower in the spring.  Tulips could be planted in between, as this area is fenced from deer (if you look close, you can see the fence behind the photinia trunks).
Later in the fall, I go down the line of daylily plants and pull out armloads of spent flower stalks, which come out easily once they are dried and turn brown.

These periennals are so easy to care for. I have found them to be disease-free, and the only pests they attract are deer. In some places these plants get irrigation, and in other places they are left to mother nature. No matter what, they easily multiply.