susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Springing Fast

The rain stopped and the sun came out.
Many flowers are going through their short lives quickly.
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Camellia blossoms are always beautiful,
but short-lived.
It is a good thing the glossy leaves stay green all year.
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This azalea bush will be covered in red
at peak bloom.
The deck is scheduled to be repaired this summer,
I am afraid I will have to prune this plant severely:(
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Reliably, this is the first rhododendron
to flower every year.
When I took this photo yesterday morning,
there was only one other open bud.
This afternoon, half the plant was abloom.
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Blue Bells, Cockle Shells . . .
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Bleeding heart is a newer addition to my garden.
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Sweet woodruff is one of my favorite groundcovers.
Besides the delicate flowers, the leaves are evergreen.


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Spring Abloom in Winter

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Violets bloom all winter long here.
They look beautiful in the snow,
but no snow this year, so far.
These blossoms have naturalized in many of my beds.
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Bergenia are early bloomers here, also.
They grow on the sheltered east side of my house,
protected from deer.
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Hellebore are also growing in a sheltered east-facing area.
The ferns came up naturally,
and keep these flowers shaded.
While the white flowers are in full bloom,
the pink ones are just beginning.
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The first strawberry blossoms
from a warmer area in the yard.


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On – Going

For all the various flowers in my garden,
some of my favorites are the ones that keep on blooming.
On and on and on.

Roses should be on the top of the list, as they love the summer sun.
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Bush with single red roses on the left shows flowers in different stages of bloom.
This plant flowers so profusely and continuously, it is near impossible to keep up with deadheading.
Mini-roses on the right are one of my most reliable steady bloomers.
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Oh, I must be losing my mind, as I cannot remember your name.
Your face, yes, but not your name. . .
Nevertheless, these two plants have been blooming continuously the last couple of months,
through the heat of summer.
Spent flowers were cut a couple of times, and they just keep on keeping on.
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My fuchsia is still small, so I almost forgot about it, but it bloomed all summer.
I need to be patient; it will fill out in time.
One of the last hollyhock blossoms at the top of its stem.
Sometimes these bloom horizontally,
as the weight of the flowers is too much to stay vertical.


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Passionate Purple & Pink

Both of these wildflowers found my garden.
They are seasonal and have multiplied.
Sometimes you just get lucky!
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Here are eggplant and potato flowers
from the vegetable garden.
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Lupine and Foxglove reseed freely.
I never know where they will appear year-to-year.
They are always welcome additions.
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Years ago, I planted Garlic in my flower beds to fight bugs,
I think it will come up forever.
Agastache, or Giant Hyssop, is supposed to be deer resistant,
but I don’t trust those animals.  Some of the plants are fenced,
some are not, so far all are surviving.
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Short and tall exemplars.
Bellflower is peeking out between Bergenia leaves.
Its own leaves are the serrated ones in the back of the photo.
These Hollyhock blossoms are ‘doubles’ with extra petals.
A neighbor gave me these plants a number of years ago,
and they are finally blooming.


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Changeable Weather

We had a few days of record heat, then rain, and cooler.  The plants are dealing with this variable weather better than I am.  At least I don’t have to water anything myself!

New flowers are blooming nearly every day.
So much to do, and only so many hours of agreeable weather.

Not a lot of blossoms on this tree peony, so I savor every one.
These photos are of the same flower, on the same day.   They open fast in the sunshine.
I did cut a couple of these flowers, just as they began to open.
They are hanging in a closet, clothes-pinned upside-down from a hanger.
If my experiment works, I’ll have some peonies all summer – or maybe even longer!
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Lots of white Dutch iris, I like these a lot.
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Rhododendron flowers open in the same order every year.
These are some earlier bloomers.* * * * *
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Weigela is an old-time shrub, and new to my garden.
This particular spot can get very wet during rainy season, and I’ve lost a few plants here.
Upon investigation, I determined that this is a prime candidate to like this location.
It sure looks good now, I do hope it stays around.


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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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Alpine Flowers in Switzerland

Early May last year we drove from Lake Como, Italy to Tashe, Switzerland.
As the crow flies, these areas were so close on a map,
but of course the roads did not go that way.  Tashe is the town you can drive to,
then one takes a train to Zermatt at the base of the Matterhorn.

The first flowers I saw to photograph were in a cemetery!

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It was quite beautiful to see that people cared about those who had passed away.

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Later in the afternoon, we took a hike on the mountain above the town of Zermatt,
and saw fields of wild crocus.
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The next day we drove up an alpine valley, saw many wondrous waterfalls and
some other wildflowers whose name I did not know.
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Flowers from the Eiffel Tower in April

It is wintertime, and no plants are in blooms here.
But I can share some flower photos from my travels this last spring.

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower is a must-visit.  We loved the views and walked around each level many times – just in case there was something we missed.
April is early for flowers, but the first displays were ready for visitors.
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Last Hurrahs

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Leaves on the Sweet Gum tree (above left) are just turning from green to yellow, while the Sugar Maple (on the right) has lost most of its leaves.
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Why would the leaves on one of three Aspen trees still be hanging on, when the other two trees are almost naked?

There are no flowers around the house.  Between the drought and global warming, I should be able to find some plant that will flower later in the season.  Driving today, I did spot nasturtiums in a neighbor’s yard.  Those I know I can grow – and they come with the bonus attribute of being edible besides pretty and late-growing.
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Down in the garden, it is another story.
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Dill (left) and Cilantro (right) flowers are staying handsome.  I think it is the perfect balance between enough sun to keep them happy, but cooler days of less daylight keep both of these plants from ‘going to seed’.
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Copy of DSCN4155 Copy of DSCN4157Cherry tomato and jalapeno flowers are in for disappointment, there is no chance they will grow to maturity before winter sets in.  Just not enough heat-hours left in this season.
Strawberries, also, keep blooming, and their fruit is much quicker to ripen, so I have a chance to harvest more of them – hoorah!


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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!