susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Autumn has Definitely Arrived

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Some of these Sugar Maple leaves have been moved to cover beds in the vegetable garden for the winter.  Today’s agenda includes:  to finish moving this pile before expected rain comes tomorrow (unless I get side-tracked. . .).  You can see there are plenty more leaves to come!
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We enjoyed a long hot summer.  Grew delicious melons that rarely mature in the hills where I live – farmers really are gamblers!
Our lack of rain has been sorely felt by the trees.  On the right, above, is a dead cedar tree just next to a thriving one.  To the left is a fir tree slowly dying.  There are too many more like these.  To me, the saddest part is the quantity of very large (over 40 years old) fir trees that are dead and dying.  We will have to pay an accomplished tree faller to cut the dead ones without hurting live trees nearby.
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On a lighter note, I learned something about drying amaranth flowers.
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What was I thinking when I lay the fresh flowers in this position to dry?
As you can see, they stay in the same position after drying!
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This drying position should give flowers that will display much nicer!

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St. John’s Wort

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St. John's Wort

This ground cover looks so cool during the month it blooms every summer. Even though the leaves are evergreen, it is pretty non-descript the rest of the year, gracefully fading into the background.

I have found this to be deer and rabbit proof, though nothing green is totally safe from hungry predators in a drought season. Again, to keep this plant from spreading where the gardener does not want it to go, one needs to stop watering it.  Tough love, garden style.  But, there is no escape from a rainy summer. The particular bank where these flowers grow on my land, can get very soggy during the rainy times, and this plant can take it.

Recently, while walking with a botanist, I noticed what she pointed out as St. John’s Wort looked nothing like what I grew at home with the same name. She informed me the medicinal herb is quite different than what is sold for a home plant. There is so much for me to learn about my plants, and others I would like to add to my collection.

The Ubiquitous Mystery Flower

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The Ubiquitous Mystery Flower

This groundcover is creeping its way through my flower garden. I must have brought it in at some time in the far past, because I would see it in the fields if it came in via the birds.

The upside is that it does cover the ground easily and has a pretty flower. If it rains during the dry season (summer) this plant will get a second life and expand that much more. On the down side, it is very hard to stop this plant. The runners root easily, and imbed themselves in the hardest clay soil (which is plentiful here). It has choked out other more desirable groundcovers and small plants, including violets and strawberries.

For the life of me, I cannot find the name of this groundcover. If anyone can help me out, I am indebted.