susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Rose of Sharon

A few years ago,
I asked a flower woman
what she would suggest
as a late-summer blooming shrub.
Her reply was Rose of Sharon.
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It has grown well for me
within a ‘flower jail’.
Deer nibble off any branch
that extends out of the fencing.
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This year the wind removed dead blossoms
and kept the plant looking fresh for weeks.


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Obsessed – Compulsed

Gardening can be an addiction.
There is immediate gratification in a freshly weeded bed.
Waiting for seedlings to emerge, then watching them grow can be an exercise in patience.
The expectation of seeing flowers bloom in a regular succession satisfies a need for order in the universe.

I have been caught up in bringing order to my gardens.  It brings peace and contentment to my life.  In the meantime, the colorful show of spring flowers is slipping by.  The blossoms have encouraged my madness, as I try to whip the yard into shape before the rains end and weeds are cemented into the hard ground.

Gardening is also a learning process, not an end product.  I have sympathy for those who feel they must purchase a finished garden, and do not get to endure the trials and tribulations of the learn-by-the-seat-of-their-pants, passionate dirt person.

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Foxglove can be found in the wilds, but I brought it to my gardens on purpose.
They are so easy to care for and flower prolifically.  But … they can be invasive.  Darn 🙂
I actually transplanted many (over 100) to the not-irrigated, outlying areas.  Not realizing how many little ones I left behind in the more carefully tended beds.
Yesterday, I noticed a few stalks that deer had carefully de-flowered.  Although the wildlife will clear-cut tulips and roses as though they were chocolate, they merely prune a few foxglove.  Unfortunately, I will have to dead-head soon, and again, and again to curtail millions more unwanted seedlings.

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I finally found the dirt in the foreground of these beds, while the weeds still proliferate in the back.  Perhaps people who ready-order landscaping are not so stupid after all.  Maybe it is me who insists on doing things the slow way.  Lucky for me, rainy days are still here, and the ground is still soft enough to pull unwanted plants.


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Hordes of Hyacinths

For many years, I made hyacinth vases to sell before the holidays.
They always included a pre-chilled bulb, ready to be forced to bloom.

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Of course, there were always left over bulbs (as I ordered in quantity),
that I kept planting in my gardens.

Most of the hyacinth bulbs live in my ‘flower jails’
to protect them from marauding deer and rabbits.

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Every year the rabbits have chewed the flowers and leaves of the un-fenced bulbs in this bed.  This is the first year in memory, the flowers have survived.

The rabbit population rises and falls annually, opposite that of the predators, usually coyotes, though there is the occasional bobcat or bear.  Since hyacinths are blooming safely out of the fence, it lets me know to be aware the predator population is on the rise.


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Dozens of Dozens of Daffodils

For me, daffodils are the sure sign of spring.  They are not subtle, but come on strong and take over the gardens.  I love it!

Neither deer or rabbits are interested in eating these bulbs or flowers.
I keep dividing the bulbs as they multiply generously.

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This bouquet lives in a Goddess Vase I made.
Of porcelain clay, fired in my hybrid wood-fueled kiln.


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Autumn Joy Sedum

Copy of DSCN3984 Copy of DSCN3985Autumn Joy can show a different hue almost every day.
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As the flowers mature, they evolve from the palest pink to a deep maroon.
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Very showy and easy care.
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Since deer will nibble freely, it lives behind a fence.
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It has multiplied and been divided, so now I can share with a friend.
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The flowers are not finished, yet.  I was just eager to post and share.


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Red & White (no Blue today!)

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Five years ago, I talked a reluctant plant owner into letting me take a few starts of red Crocosmia.
I had this wild idea that they would look good next to white Shasta daisies, since both flowers bloom about the same time.
Unfortunately, I planted them in an unfenced area with no irrigation, so they were at the mercy of all of nature.

These scarlet blossoms are a real treat, as I thought the deer had eaten all my starts years ago.  You never know when a plant will surprise you and come back to life!


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A Proliferation of Purple and Pink

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Lamb’s Ear makes a lovely ground cover and cut flower.
It can be invasive, which I control with minimal watering.
Another perk of this plant is that deer ignore it.
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Lavender looks so pretty when in bloom!
I fell in love with the view of a hillside of lavender and have been slowly moving seedlings (if you don’t deadhead lavender, it loves to go to seed) into a pattern on the downhill side of my house.
This has turned into a slow project, but one I have had fun pursuing.
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This perennial geranium is a cranesbill.  Such a funny name.
It too will reseed, and I cannot imagine deadheading these small flowers.
The baby plants are easy to discard, if you don’t want to share them with other gardeners.
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These sage flowers were tricky to photograph.  I finally discovered the perfect background was right in front of me.
This is a yearling plant that I purchased when I noticed the original was looking a little feeble.  Sure enough, this spring, only one came back to life.
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When I started flower gardening, I planted many garlic cloves in an effort to deter deer from nibbling my greenery.
Now that fences (flower jails :-))have been erected around vulnerable plantings, the garlic is not so needed.
But, they are rather pretty at this stage of life.


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Fingernail-Size Spirea Flower

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These tiny white flowers are the size of my baby fingernail – and I keep my nails trimmed short!
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The deer love this plant, so it is encircled with a fence.
In the left photo, there is space between the fence and the plant, so flowers have a chance to grow and bloom on stems close to the ground.
Where the fence is very near the plant on the right, deer keep branches and flowers trimmed.


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Winter Sprouts

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Bluebell and daffodil leaves are sprouting all over my garden.  Signs indicate that spring can not be far away, no matter what page the calender is on.  But I know to be wary, as a freeze can come at any time and set things back.

The bluebell clumps look like they are getting a bit crowded, and may need to be divided again.  These are prolific bulbs, and I wish I could plant them in the woods.  Unfortunately, for me, the local deer find them quite tasty and they do not last long in the wild.

On the other hand, our deer do leave daffodils alone.  Yesterday, I moved some sprouting bulbs out of an enclosed area, to the “wilds”, as they do not need to be protected.  I’ve tried to plant daffodil bulbs in the fields, but they rarely regrow and bloom again.  Finally, I realized that spring grass mowing also mowed down the daffodil blades.  The plant needs its leaves to die-off naturally to replenish its nutrients and energy to rebloom another year.


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Spirea in late Autumn

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From the corner of my kitchen window, this plant looks to me like it is on fire.
Or it makes me think it is a large funny hat in the yard.
I had forgotten that this shrub can be so colorful in the fall.  In summer, it is an ordinary green, that merely blends into the landscape.

Deer keep the lower branches nibbled to the fence that surrounds this bush.  Surprisingly, the deer don’t bother to eat what is not at a convenient level for them.  Unless they get very hungry, when we have seen, usually an old doe, stand on her hind legs to get a morsel of food.