susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Let the Sun Shine

My favorite tv weatherman predicts seven days of no rain.
He said it had been seven months since there were so many days in a row without rain!
Now the sun is shining, and the flowers are exploding:

Rhododendron are some of my favorite shrubs.
The leaves are evergreen, and in spring, the entire plant is covered with blooms.
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My iris are not irrigated, and thus bloomed sporadically these last few years.
They loved our wet spring and are coming into full flower.
These are quite deer-resistant plants, slowly moving out of protected beds.
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In my basement,  half a dozen peony buds
are hanging upside down to dry .
The pair I tested last year still look good, so I am trying more.

All of these flowers live in my ‘flower cages’
to protect them from deer.
Various colored poppies live in separate beds
so the colors will stay true.
Red-hot pokers do not fare as cut flowers,
their nectar is extremely sticky and fluid – a big mess indoors.
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When scabiosa was re-located last winter,
I discovered it was really tons of baby plants.
Ten, or so, were replanted and the rest given to friends.

Columbine is a native plant, and reseeds freely.

First rose from this particular mini-rose plant.
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Early Spring

We have had a bumper year for rain,
which after a drought is very welcome.
As soon as the rain lets up,
plants (including weeds) reach for the bits of sunshine.

I have been watching my crocus for years
and observed the various colored flowers bloom in a specific order:
yellow ones first, then the lavenders, next come purple and white striped,
then purples, and the pure white ones last.

Here is a crocus fact that I can vouch for from experience:
If you want to move the bulbs, wait until the blossoms are spent,
but before the leaves have died.
It is a short window of opportunity,
but the bulbs are easy to locate in the ground.
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Bergenia are starting to bloom.
This large-leaved groundcover has such pretty, delicate flowers.
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I know a little about hellebores,
like deer do not eat them and they love shade.
In contrast to the crocus, the white blossoms come first,
while the pink flowers are still budding.
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I have planted and divided and planted hundreds of daffodils around our plot of land.
All I see around the house are emerging leaf blades.
What a surprise to find these flowers near the driveway, closer to the county road.
On a south-facing slope, with little shade from trees,
the micro-climate here must be quite a bit warmer.


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Green on Green

This plant in the papyrus family reproduces itself freely, which leads to
many babies in my flower beds.  I then transplant said seedlings to any place
that tends to get waterlogged in the rainy season.
Nothing scientific, just a sense that papyrus grows near water, and I have areas with bad drainage, so I am trying to make the best use of challenging areas in my garden.

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This Eryngium, or Sea Holly, also reproduces freely – almost too freely for me.
I mean, it grows well, is deer and rodent resistant, and I am still looking for where to move it so it won’t poke me while I weed around it.
I cut some of the ‘flowers’ and laid them in a cool, dark area to dry, just in case they might look good in another season.  Chances do not look good, as I found the stems to be hollow, which is not a characteristic of any other flower that dries well.

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A visitor to my garden recently asked me about this ‘flower’.  These are seedpods of a spring flowering daylily.  No flower here!  When the stems turn brown they pull away easily, so I wait a few months, and it is one less plant to deadhead.


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Black-Eye Susans – Rudbeckia

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While these flowers are not named after me, I like to think they are 😉
Of course, I had to have some in my garden.

Actually, they are quite welcome, since they bloom later in summer and are drought-resistant.  On the down side they do not respect boundaries, and spread easily.  The wandering roots can be a plus if one is trying to fill space in a flower bed, but they just do not know when to stop!

I wish they were deer-resistant, also.
Hey, this is what I can try:  in winter (the rainy season) I will move the invasive individuals outside of a protected area to the hinterlands (what I call the further edges of my yard).  This way I can learn for myself whether local deer find rudbeckia irresistible, somewhat tasty or just leave it alone.
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First Sign of Autumn – A Little Early to Me

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This morning, I noticed the first red leaf on Eonymus ‘Chicago Fire’.
It’s leaves change color way early in the summer, but now I am actually documenting just how early.

Out of curiosity, I googled this plant, and found no information on how early the leaves turn colors.  But I did learn that it is supposed to be deer-resistant.  Therefore, this winter it will be moved outside the fenced-in area.
Now I would like to find a flowering vine to climb the fence.  It is a particularly sunny area, that has honeysuckle farther down the same fence.
Any suggestions?

Pink Alliums

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Pink Alliums

These flower bulbs were planted just this last spring. What a treat for me, that they came up and bloomed so quickly. This is a new color of allium for me, and I truly appreciate them.

I’m already thinking of places to move pink and yellow alliums when they multiply a bit more. As my garden is starting to mature, I like to think of color coordinating flower blossoms. Also, the timing flower beds for successive bloom times.  There are so many things to take into consideration besides full-grown size, as I plan to move plants around, once I learn which plants/flowers can endure my soil and water.