susansflowers

garden ponderings


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African Daisies

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At the end of May, when I had planted most of the vegetables in the garden, there was one bed still open.  A hunt in my collection found flower seeds friends had shared with me from the last few years.
I planted 3 or 4 varieties of flower’s seeds, watered, and waited.  And waited.  The bed was still empty.

Finally, a few plants I could not identify came up.  They didn’t look like anything I’d ever seen before.  They tasted awful, so probably were not obscure salad greens.

It was September before the first orange flower bloomed.  As we approach October, the end of the growing season, a day closer to the first freeze, this plant decides to “strut its stuff”.
For me, I am happy to see these yellow and orange daisies starting life, as the rest of the garden is fading away.  I can only hope there is still time for these flowers to produce seeds for next year.  Another wait and see period.

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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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Red Sunflower with Bee

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I attended a party recently where someone brought about a dozen budded sunflowers to share.  Of course I took one home to plant in my garden.  What a cool surprise when it bloomed red-orange.  The bees like it a lot, also.  This is not near as tall as a yellow sunflower with a giant head full of seeds that grows 8 to 10 feet tall.  The flower pictured above is about 3 feet (one meter) high, at most.

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.

California Poppies

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California Poppies

These flowers are coming up all through my vegetable beds. I figure they are good food for the bees and they make the garden look very colorful. I let the poppies reseed in this area, and have been collecting seeds to reseed other flower beds.

In these beds, plants are watered with drip irrigation. The theory is that only the vegetables I plant get the water, and the drought-resistant poppies can grow and flower in between. In this photo are serrated artichoke leaves between the poppies.

Tulips with Bluebells

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Tulips with Bluebells

I view these flowers from my kitchen window, although it is at a different angle. The purple tulips opened a few days before the orange ones. They are on alternate sides of an Autumn sedum, which is just inches tall at this time of year.

Bluebells line the inside of this ‘flower jail’, which is large enough to enclose 4 rhododendrons, 3 medium rose bushes, and many bulbs and flowers. The bluebells are so prolific at increasing their numbers, it will not be long before I need to rearrange what grows in this surround.
Bluebells, anyone?

Iceland Poppy

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Iceland Poppy

This is my only/first flower purchase this year – so far. I was at my local discount store, and have wanted one of these for a long time. It was calling to me to take it home.

I took this photo almost a week ago, and the flower is just starting to fade. Nothing like cool weather with no rain for the flowers to persist. Perfect flower weather. The rain is due in a couple of days, so I’m trying not to overdue myself with yard work.

These poppies are supposed to be deer-resistant, but you can see the fence-cage I put around this plant. I do not trust the deer until the plant can get established for a season or two. I’ve seen these plants get quite large in other gardens, so I’m hoping this one will like its new home. And the deer have not read the plant manuals to understand what they are not supposed to like to eat.