susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Wonderous Whites

White flowers are essential for every garden, because they go with every color in a bouquet.  There is even a plant nursery (in Connecticut, USA) that took the name White Flower Farm.
* * * * * Copy of DSCN3172 Last winter, I moved this Salvia, and it is looking better than ever. The flowers are staying a long time, which is a definite plus.
* * * * * Copy of DSCN3270 The daisy-like flowers are what one would steep for a cup of Chamomile tea.  Personally, I like this plant for the evergreen, delicate foliage.
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My honeysuckle has had the same home for so long the vine now covers a fence.  Its blooms continuously, so there are always flowers in various stages.  When the wind is blowing just right, you can pick up the delicate scent from away.
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Ah, the field daisies!  They look fabulous in a meadow.
When my son was at home, and mowed the fields for us, he learned to mow around the field daisies, just because I liked them.
In the last couple of years, they have tried to make a home in my flower gardens.  At first, I thought it was a treat, but all too soon, they took over.  After blooming, they get ratty and mangy looking.  This year, I am digging and digging and more digging to get them out of the cultivated area.
Will I ever learn?


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First Freeze

We had our first overnight freeze and a number of plants are now dormant for the winter.  Still, the first official day of winter is not due for over a month.  Leaves of the hydrangea quickly turned a droopy brown, and those of the lilac bushes are on the ground.

But there are also trees whose leaves are not finished with their autumn show.
I present three examples I found around my house:
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First is a dwarf ginko tree, which is barely over a foot (30 mm) tall.  Daylilies keep trying to invade its ‘turf’ from the back and chamomile from the front.  The poor little ginko is so small, it cannot defend itself.
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Next is a Japanese maple that is a fairly new addition to my garden.  While my other Japanese maple tree has shed all of its leaves, this one is still trying to put out new growth.  Some of the leaves are starting to turn orange, and others are sprouting the light green of new growth.  Is this particular tree native to the Himalayas?
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Last is one of the beauties of this area, a Sweet Gum tree, from the maple family.  It grows more vertical than the sugar maple next to it, which has a classic roundish leaf area.  The sugar maple gets its leaves long before the sweet gum in the spring, but the sweet gum hangs onto its leaves longer in the autumn.


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Bee Balm

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Maybe because this is a newer plant for me, and these are the only flowers, but I have not seen any bees around it.  I do like the feathery petals of these flowers a lot, and the bright red sure stands out in my flower garden.  It is planted between white-flowering salvia and chamomile.  Unfortunately they do not flower in the same month as their blooms would look so striking next to each other with short white flowers under the taller red bee balm.

I understand the base of this plant should spread as it stays in one place, and I look forward to seeing that.  It will take a bit of nurturing since this flower bed is on shale and clay with redwood trees growing behind.  If you didn’t already know, the roots of redwood trees go sideways for a very long ways, and not much grows in their shadow.  I just keep adding amendments to lighten the ‘soil’ and keep raising the bed for the flowers.  Don’t know how long I can pull this off, but for now, it works.

Chamomile

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Chamomile

The flowers are really quite small, but looking at this photo, they bear a strong resemblance to Shasta and field daisies.
On the other hand, the leaves are very different. They are very fine toothed and soft, as though to invite being petted.

This perennial grows close to the ground most of the year, only gaining height when it flowers. I read that one wants to collect the flowers for chamomile tea. Will put that on my to-do list today. I remember telling my children that Peter Rabbit’s mother made him chamomile tea when he had a tummy ache. They readily agreed to try that cure when needed.

Chamomile, German

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Chamomile, German

I was looking for something green in the yard on New Year’s Day, and I found this. The original tag was laying around, and read: German Chamomile. This is one of many babies of the parent plant, as it is a good low ground cover and spreader. I have yet to harvest any of the flowers for tea. It seems that the window of opportunity for any plant is so short, and I get so busy in the summer just keeping my gardens alive… I have been moving small amount of this around the garden to see what larger plant it might look nice underneath. Right now it is starting to spread around stepping stones.

This was supposed to be my first post right after New Year’s Day. I’m still learning how to use this system…