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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Let the Sun Shine

My favorite tv weatherman predicts seven days of no rain.
He said it had been seven months since there were so many days in a row without rain!
Now the sun is shining, and the flowers are exploding:

Rhododendron are some of my favorite shrubs.
The leaves are evergreen, and in spring, the entire plant is covered with blooms.
* * * * *

My iris are not irrigated, and thus bloomed sporadically these last few years.
They loved our wet spring and are coming into full flower.
These are quite deer-resistant plants, slowly moving out of protected beds.
* * * * *

In my basement,  half a dozen peony buds
are hanging upside down to dry .
The pair I tested last year still look good, so I am trying more.

All of these flowers live in my ‘flower cages’
to protect them from deer.
Various colored poppies live in separate beds
so the colors will stay true.
Red-hot pokers do not fare as cut flowers,
their nectar is extremely sticky and fluid – a big mess indoors.
* * * * *

When scabiosa was re-located last winter,
I discovered it was really tons of baby plants.
Ten, or so, were replanted and the rest given to friends.

Columbine is a native plant, and reseeds freely.

First rose from this particular mini-rose plant.
* * * * *


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Promises, Promises

If there is anything a wet spring has to offer
is the promise of blooms to come.

Even though the rhododendron bud appears dark pink,
its flower is pale pink.
Upper right corner is a yellow geum bud.
Great expectations of gorgeous (imho) white Dutch iris.
* * * * *

Yarrow, Rugosa and a dwarf Ginko.
* * * * *

Daylilies, foxglove and
California poppies which refuse to open in the rain.
* * * * *

Droopy flower buds are a trademark of poppies.
Chives and peonies follow in the row.
* * * * *
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A botanical oddity:  Rudbekia trying to bloom way out of season.
Black-eye Susans are fall-bloomers, and this flower did not get the genetic message!


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Changeable Weather

We had a few days of record heat, then rain, and cooler.  The plants are dealing with this variable weather better than I am.  At least I don’t have to water anything myself!

New flowers are blooming nearly every day.
So much to do, and only so many hours of agreeable weather.

Not a lot of blossoms on this tree peony, so I savor every one.
These photos are of the same flower, on the same day.   They open fast in the sunshine.
I did cut a couple of these flowers, just as they began to open.
They are hanging in a closet, clothes-pinned upside-down from a hanger.
If my experiment works, I’ll have some peonies all summer – or maybe even longer!
* * * * *

DSCN5047

Lots of white Dutch iris, I like these a lot.
* * * * *

Rhododendron flowers open in the same order every year.
These are some earlier bloomers.* * * * *
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Weigela is an old-time shrub, and new to my garden.
This particular spot can get very wet during rainy season, and I’ve lost a few plants here.
Upon investigation, I determined that this is a prime candidate to like this location.
It sure looks good now, I do hope it stays around.

Chives

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Chives

I love the smell and look of chive flowers. I love all the members of the allium family. I love the smell and taste of onions. This plant is right outside my front door, in view of my kitchen window.

When people who are not gardeners (think city-folk) come to visit, I love to lead them though my herb garden and invite them to taste particular plants. When my then-two-year-old grandson visited, I did the same with him, but quickly learned my mistake. He naturally thought he could take any leaf and taste it. Of course, he headed right toward a large (to him) rhododendron bush – which is poisonous.

I noticed in this photo that you can see some of the different stages of chive flowers opening.  Just got lucky, this time!

I am heading toward an art show where I will display my pottery and ceramics. The chive and armeria flowers will grace some of my vases. I saw the last tulips starting to open, and I cut some peony buds, just because they are pretty that way. The lilacs are on the down side of their blooms. Day lilies and foxglove are about to open. Stock and Jacob’s ladder have so few flowers this year.

Tree Peonies

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Tree Peonies

I was surprised when my older neighbor showed up one afternoon with this in the back of his truck. He apparently thought it would have a better home here.

At first there was no fence around this plant, and the deer pruned it back. But then it came back with new growth at the bottom. I am finally ready to cut some branches this year, after it is finished blooming, of course. I know just where I will cut, and I can see buds ready to break out half way down a long branch. I tend to be a very cautious pruner, taking a few years to study the growth of a particular plant I intend to cut back. This is the way of someone who has over-cut some plant and is trying not to make the same mistake again.

Peony petals are large and paper-like. They live only a few days as a cut flower. I found that if I cut a bud as the flower color is there, but before it opens, it can dry and stay that way for a couple of years. As the flower opens up, the petals don’t fade or turn brown, they just fall off.

I chose this photo of these flowers as it gives a view of the size of the plant. The flowers are over my 61″ high head.