susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Fun with a Fish Eye (camera lens, that is :)

I have spent an extraordinary amount of time this last month, weeding.
The flower beds are not near perfect, but have never looked so good.

Above are two views of the same flower bed.
Foreground is Shasta daisies, bearded Iris and lavenders.
Foxglove, daffodils, and iris live further back.
A couple of canna lilies are the recent additions.

There is a fence (we call it a ‘flower jail’) along the edge of the deck.
Inside live an azalea, peony, hosta, calla lilies, camellia,
tulips, tree peony, stock, rhododendron and a few others.
* * * * *

If this bed were planned before planting,
the Japanese maples would be at each end with the
contorted filbert (aka Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
– where that name came from, must be a good story)
in the middle instead of on the left end.

Santolina, teucrium (germander), hyssop, more bearded iris (they multiply!)
with lots of Greek oregano as groundcover are the main plants here.

I had read in a novel that daylilies could hold a hillside in place,
so I planted and re-planted them behind.
California poppies are multiplying slowly, and the weeds here are prolific.
Specially after our wet winter.

Anyway – above are some views of the front & back of my yard.
You are introduced to some of what I care take.
Isn’t the fish eye lens cool?  What a view!


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A Cloudy Morning

An overcast morning,
so I grabbed my camera for a walk around the house.
This is some of what was in bloom:

French cooking thyme, an essential garden herb (for me).
These stock plants were rescued from a nursery.
Barely alive, they cost 25 cents, now they are thriving (yay!)
Foxglove, which neither deer nor rabbit bother, is in full bloom.
* * * * *

Yellow allium flowers, a later blooming variety.
This was one of the first bulbs I planted here over 30 years ago.
It keeps coming back, no matter how much I neglect it.
One of my favorite colors of bearded iris,
this dark purple is almost black.
* * * * *

Red-hot pokers start out orange then the yellow part below
grows to the top as the flower matures.
These are real hummingbird magnets!
Perennial cranesbill geraniums flower and multiply profusely.
Yellow is my early blooming color of daylily.
It is always a shot of sunshine for my disposition.


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Promises, Promises

If there is anything a wet spring has to offer
is the promise of blooms to come.

Even though the rhododendron bud appears dark pink,
its flower is pale pink.
Upper right corner is a yellow geum bud.
Great expectations of gorgeous (imho) white Dutch iris.
* * * * *

Yarrow, Rugosa and a dwarf Ginko.
* * * * *

Daylilies, foxglove and
California poppies which refuse to open in the rain.
* * * * *

Droopy flower buds are a trademark of poppies.
Chives and peonies follow in the row.
* * * * *
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A botanical oddity:  Rudbekia trying to bloom way out of season.
Black-eye Susans are fall-bloomers, and this flower did not get the genetic message!


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Park Guell by Gaudi in Barcelona

Where to start?  Gaudi was such an amazing architect, and his park/gardens do not fail to amaze.

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There is a free admittance and a pay admittance area, needless to say, we saw this in the free section.  People had felt impelled to carve into cactus and we also saw the same vandalism on some wide aloe-type fronds.  But only at the entrance, the rest of the park was saved from such defacement.

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As we walked into the park, the aroma was almost overpowering.  Perhaps it was the direction of the air.  Are these gardenias?  That is my guess.  They are too tropical to live in my home climate, so they are a novelty to me.  I sure loved the scent.

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A wall of tiles, I liked the proximity of real flowers to the images.

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The lizard and calla lilies are just above the trickling spring with ferns and flowers, as one walks up a stairway.
Many tourist cards display the infamous, brightly-tiled chameleon.  Calla lilies are planted to show in a ring sculpture above him.  Below the lizard, a small spring and pond are planted with yellow Dutch iris and calla lilies, along with some ferns.

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Our last views before leaving these magnificent gardens were of banks of various flowers.  Day lilies and lavender I recognized, but these purple spiky flowers are foreign to me.

I have shared some photos of flowers from this amazing park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is really famous for the architecture, which is most unusual and well worth a visit.


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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.