garden ponderings


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.

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.
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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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Autumn Crocus

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Technical name for this beauty is colchicum which is in the lily family
It has no relation to crocus, in the iris family.
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Above, the buds are emerging from the ground in the same hole as their dead leaves did last spring.
There should be 3 to 4 times as many flowers as I see this year, because there were that many leaves a few months ago.  Perhaps this summer was too hot for the bulbs.  I understood these bulbs can take full sun, but apparently, I was mistaken.

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Live and Learn

When I was younger, I thought I knew a lot (sometimes I even thought I knew it all!).  Everyday, as I get older, I realize just how little I know.
Does this make me smart ?  Because I know that I have lots to learn.
Or does this make me stupid, because I am dumb enough to think I know anything?

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Enough rambling, I have a correction to make:
I posted this photo on June 29, 2015, and claimed it was a Monarch butterfly with a lily.  WRONG!  Monarchs are orange and black, what is in the photo is a Swallowtail butterfly dining on an Asiatic Species Lily.
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And a discovery.  Since July 4, 2015 when I posted Weed or Not, a new flower bloomed, and I recognized Coreopsis:
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Can you tell that the leaves look the same?
The specimen on the right has significantly more altitude than the shorter flower.
I am waiting for the taller one to bloom before the deer discover it and chew the buds off.

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Anemone with company


These few buds are the extent of this style of anemone here.  They have been returning for a very many years, so they must love the location.
In the sunlight, the petals open up, but light for photos seems to be better either early or later in the day.
There is lots of company in this part of the south-facing garden.  Columbine leaves on the right and a lily emerging on the left.  It is a good chance the stray vertical blades are wild onions which are trying to push their way into many areas.

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Scented Lily


Of course you cannot smell the delicate, delicious scent of this lily, but it is definitely there.  When investigating the last lily of the season to bloom, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is scented.

Over the years I have purchased lily bulbs from a booth at a local Home Show in the early spring.  Short and tall, mixed colors, whatever I could get a deal on, I bought.  Next, I had to find a place to plant my great finds, someplace I had not planted other bulbs.  Then i would promptly forget about them until they surfaced later in the year.  I am slowly rediscovering and savoring my finds.  The shortest lilies are too easy to lose in the garden, and I would not buy them again.  But any of the others, I totally LOVE!  

Because I can enjoy these flowers where they are planted, I have never cut my lilies for indoor bouquets.  Someday, I will take a chance on a lily bloom in a hand-made vase.


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Trumpet Lily with Pollen

It appears to me that some insect or bird did a messy job of pollinating this flower. When I examined the surrounding blossoms their insides looked similar, but not quite as full of the yellow pollen as this particular sample.

This is what I might think of as an Easter Lily, but it is blooming in the wrong season for that holiday. Reminds me that so many commercially available plants are grown in greenhouses to be marketed as flowering for a certain date. Poinsettias in December come to mind.

Orange Daylilies

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Orange Daylilies


Because daylilies are so easy to grow, I have them in many places around the ranch.  This particular photo shows part of a long line of daylilies, planted under photinia plants. The bed includes a row of bearded iris behind the daylilies, and columbine which reseeds wherever it can get a foothold.

A winter project is to remove the ground cloth that lies below the orange daylilies, which flower now in early summer, and plant yellow daylilies that would flower in the spring.  Tulips could be planted in between, as this area is fenced from deer (if you look close, you can see the fence behind the photinia trunks).
Later in the fall, I go down the line of daylily plants and pull out armloads of spent flower stalks, which come out easily once they are dried and turn brown.

These periennals are so easy to care for. I have found them to be disease-free, and the only pests they attract are deer. In some places these plants get irrigation, and in other places they are left to mother nature. No matter what, they easily multiply.

Asiatic Tiger Lily

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Asiatic Tiger Lily

This is by far my favorite lily. I love it when it is not too hot and this flower comes into bloom. It means the flowers will stay longer. This year it is overcast with some rain showers, and the flowers love the weather.  With all the photos I’ve been taking of my flowers for this blog, I have documentation of how long they are staying in bloom.  Some varieties are staying around for a month or more.

I have found that the tall stems need to be tied up, as they are not strong enough to hold the blooms on their own. Perhaps the east facing location below the front deck has something to do with that, I don’t know.

The number of stems seems to have increased through the years. Last year, I stupidly put a clump of Japanese Iris next to these lilies, but now I see it is way too crowded. When the wet season comes, the irises will be moved – someplace, anyplace else. I want to have plenty of space for these lily bulbs to grow on their own.


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The lilies are starting to bloom now – a true sign of summer. It appears to me that my plantings are increasing in flowers, though I do not count how many flowers there are every year. I was gone for a few days, and returned home to the surprise of lily blossoms. These were not the flowers I expected to bloom next.

Did you know that the name Susan means lily? I learned that at the first meeting of a group of Susans. We all brought a small gift to exchange, and our hostess gave a lily plant. I gave a Susan B Anthony dollar coin. It is funny how a train of thought can continue. I’ll stop while I’m ahead.

These are taller lily plants, about two feet high. One time I accidentally purchased bulbs for very small lilies. The plant grows about 6 inches high, and they don’t bloom every year. Sometimes I forget where they are located, and it is all I can do not to stomp them out.