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.
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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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Dried Flower Blossoms

A couple of peonies and an artichoke flower photographed in a vase
with a turtle-shape opening.
The same wood-fired vase appears quite different from opposite sides.

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Lavender flowers have long been dried to preserve the scent year-round.
My mini-vases display the unopened buds from lavender tops.

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What a fine discovery, on my part, to learn these tiny succulent blossoms
dry to be enjoyed all year long.


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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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Park Guell by Gaudi in Barcelona

Where to start?  Gaudi was such an amazing architect, and his park/gardens do not fail to amaze.

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There is a free admittance and a pay admittance area, needless to say, we saw this in the free section.  People had felt impelled to carve into cactus and we also saw the same vandalism on some wide aloe-type fronds.  But only at the entrance, the rest of the park was saved from such defacement.

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As we walked into the park, the aroma was almost overpowering.  Perhaps it was the direction of the air.  Are these gardenias?  That is my guess.  They are too tropical to live in my home climate, so they are a novelty to me.  I sure loved the scent.

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A wall of tiles, I liked the proximity of real flowers to the images.

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The lizard and calla lilies are just above the trickling spring with ferns and flowers, as one walks up a stairway.
Many tourist cards display the infamous, brightly-tiled chameleon.  Calla lilies are planted to show in a ring sculpture above him.  Below the lizard, a small spring and pond are planted with yellow Dutch iris and calla lilies, along with some ferns.

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Our last views before leaving these magnificent gardens were of banks of various flowers.  Day lilies and lavender I recognized, but these purple spiky flowers are foreign to me.

I have shared some photos of flowers from this amazing park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is really famous for the architecture, which is most unusual and well worth a visit.


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Moving Day for Foxglove, Lamb’s Ear & Lavender

Shastas, lambs ear, lavender ??????????

Today was a sunny fall day, the ground has been thoroughly moistened by rain, but it is still firm to walk on.  A perfect day for transplanting.

First off, I moved some Lambs Ear a great, drought-resistant ground cover.   Next, I put some Lavender plants in to complete a row along side the driveway.  In the lower right of the first photo, you can see a slim transplanted Lavender.  This particular bed now has Lavender, then Lambs Ear, then Shasta Daisies, and on the outside are Irises.  All of these plants are deer-resistant, thus there is no fence around them.  An Oregon Grape shrub (not pictured) in the middle, is deer fenced, even though it is supposedly deer-resistant.  My plan is to keep the Oregon Grape fenced until it is tall enough to withstand the deer nibbling.

Now to the Foxglove.  There was one plant within the deer fence and on irrigation.  It put out an enormous amount of babies.  I counted planting 76 of them.  While I dug the Foxglove from within the deer fenced flower bed, I also dug up a number of Asters that had grown up in places I did not want them.  Many of the rooted Aster starts are now in small pots to give away, but I cannot begin to keep up with them.  The Foxglove was planted along the outside of a fenced flower bed.  The second photo shows a few Foxgloves (I count eight) as they were planted.  There are at least five plantings similar to this, besides other individual plantings. They should look very nice from the front deck by next summer.  I am now learning to keep my flowers deadheaded to prevent an over abundance of progeny.  Should I call it birth-control for perennials?


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Late Season Autumn Joy Sedum

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When I first typed up Autumn Joy Sedum for a blog page, I cut one flower stem and put it into the vase above.  The surprise for me, is that the flower is still the same light pink two weeks later.  I did put a small amount of water in the vase, and because of the small opening at the top of the vase, evaporation is a minimum.

While tidying up a flower bed over the weekend, I found a stem of Sea Lavender, on a transplanted baby plant, that had escaped my previous notice.  The two flowers do complement each other, I think.

This morning, after I photographed the flowers in the above vase, I went outside to see what the Autumn Joy looked like within the garden fence.  The maroon-rust of the flowers shows them maturing towards their final color. Some of the flowers appear paler, but do not be fooled, it is only the bright sunlight.  The long-blooming time, and very gradual color change are two of this sedum’s assets.


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Sea Lavender

Sea Lavender

I was disappointed to find my Sea Lavender did not bloom this year.  It is in a corner of a planting bed that catches some shade in the afternoons.  Then I remembered last spring when I found a baby Sea Lavender and moved it to a real sunny location.  And the baby was flowering!  What luck!

Autumn is coming soon, and this plant’s leaves are already starting to change colors.  In the past, I have cut these flowers and dried them to last through the winter.  Since there are not many blossoms this year, I will let the few stay on the plant.