susansflowers

garden ponderings


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A Yammering of Yellow

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I’ve been watching these St. John’s Wort buds the last couple of days, and this morning the flowers burst open.  I’ve never noticed the orange-tipped stamen before, so pretty.
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These wildflowers appeared a year ago at the back of a bed.  Since they were in a good location, I let them stay.  So far, they have stayed put, and not invaded the cultivated flowerbed.
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The first succulent of mine to bloom.  Tiny flowers on stems about 3″ (8cm).
Last year, I cut a small bouquet of these blossoms and kept them through the winter, in my kitchen windowsill, as dried flowers in a mini-vase.
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Earlier this spring, I was sure this Lady’s Mantle had died.  It may have outgrown its location, so I shoveled part of the plant out.  The interesting shape of its leaves and hardiness make this a keeper in my garden.
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Alliums are known to be robust members of any garden, and these yellow-flowered ones do not fail.  Mine have been neglected, separated and moved around by me and who-knows-what critters.
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The first bud of a prolific mini-flower rose bush.
You can see additional buds surrounding this blossom.
I am able to cut flowers from this plant all summer long.

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Winners and Losers

I consider myself and the plant ‘winners’ when it comes back to life in the spring, once it has gone totally dormant over the winter.

Photo on the left is a hardy fuchsia, and on the left of that plant is a Bella Donna amaryllis, where the leaves die back, then its flowers emerge in mid-summer.

The next photo is a Russian Sage that I just had to have last year, and I was concerned it might not like its new home enough to leaf out again this spring.
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My friend Terry gave me a shovel-full of an old yellow rose that grows on her land.  It stayed in a bucket all winter, and I forgot about it.  This spring, a great surprise was when I noticed green leaves on a stem, and new growth at the base of the plant.  It now has three stems growing from the ground!

Last is Agastache, also called Giant Hyssop.  For a long time I confused this plant with Germander, whose flowers can look similar, but they are different plants.  I thought I killed this plant a few times, and bought another one.  Now I have a couple that are established, and will look forward to blue flowers in summer.

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Now, the losers.  Why don’t they love me enough to stay around?  Did I treat them so bad?  Lady’s Mantle has thrived for about 3 years.  It even had a baby that I moved to a new home on the other side of the house.  Neither one came back this year, and it was a particularly mild winter.  Oriental Poppy and Horehound have been here just a year, but looked like they liked their locations.  The poppy flowered until late summer, so I had high hopes for it.  English Stock was faltering last year, so it is no surprise it did not survive.

Our greatest disappointment is a huge Sugar Maple tree.  It was one of the first trees we planted over thirty years ago.  We watched red-headed woodpeckers pecking away for bugs, and a resident grey squirrel spent many hours scampering about the branches.  It is close to the last tree to bud out, but a Sweet Gum Maple is in bud now, and this tree is always the last to lose its leaves and the last to get them back in the spring.  I’ve been in denial that the sugar maple is dead, perhaps it tree really needed a colder winter for good health.