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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Going, going, almost gone

There was an entire bed of artichoke flowers.
Of course, not all at once, so I was able to enjoy them for awhile.
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The outer leaves are prickly, but the inner purple part is so-o soft.
I cut and dried many of these blossoms.  The stems are quite sturdy,
thus they can dry upright.
* * * * *
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Last of the lilies.
These are some of my favorite summer flowers, so showy.
* * * * *
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I have dead-headed most of my hyssop plants, but this moth found one of the last flowers.  When the plant is in full bloom, the insects love it.
* * * * *

Mexican oregano, outside my front door is part of the kitchen herb garden.
These white flowers are also, very popular with bees and moths.

The small leaves of Greek oregano are more pungent than the larger leafed Mexican variety.  I dried this type for use this winter.  Not many of the pink flowers remain.
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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!
* * * * *

Here are eggplant and potato flowers
from the vegetable garden.
* * * * *

Lupine and Foxglove reseed freely.
I never know where they will appear year-to-year.
They are always welcome additions.
* * * * *

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.
* * * * *

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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Agastache – Hyssop

Copy of Agastache - purple Copy of Agastache c

I know that Agastache is a cousin to Hyssop, but cannot tell you how they are alike.  (yet!)  I have two of these growing in separate areas, and have killed at least that many others.  Supposedly the deer do not like these plants, but my experience tells me otherwise.  They may not be as delectable as roses or tulips, but they are not on the hated food list either.

The agastache I am growing now, are definitely babied.  They both have a small fence around them to keep marauding varmits at bay.  My long-term goal is to get them large enough to be able to survive on their own.  At which point only one fence will be removed a year – I will take few chances on these supposedly sturdy perennials.

I like the looks of these flowers a lot, and look forward to including them in cut bouquets as the plants grow and flower more.  In the meantime, they are beautifully, distinctive plants in the landscape.


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Hyssop or Germander

??????????

I believe this is a Hyssop, but it sure looks a lot like a Germander.  One time I asked one of my favorite nurseries, Down to Earth in Eugene, Oregon, and they looked it up on the internet, and still it was hard to be decisive.  The final conclusion was that it was Hyssop, but only by a nose.

Bumblebees, the ones with yellow stripes across their black bodies, just love these flowers.  The bees never bother me, they know what they are interested in. 

These perennials are so easy to grow.  When I remember to cut them back in the dormant season, they come back so strong the next summer.  The cut flowers make a beautiful addition to flower arrangements.  If you wait until late winter or spring to prune this plant, you give some time for the spent flowers to go to seed.  The baby plants are so sturdy and reliable, they are worth the wait to watch them grow.