susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Just this one time, Veronica!

Summer is not the usual season to transplant.  Especially when it is a particularly hot summer (global warming?), on a hot afternoon.
On a recent trip to my local Farmer’s Coop, I spied a desired perennial – on sale!  It was in great condition (okay, just a little root-bound), had blooms, and I had recently noticed a location in my flower garden that could use a plant just like this.
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Another blossom fell off on the drive home, so I immediately put it in a vase.  Veronica is also an excellent cut flower, as it has been on my kitchen table for a week.
Welcome to your new home, Veronica!


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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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Moving Day for Foxglove, Lamb’s Ear & Lavender

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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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Rose Campion or Lychnis

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Okay, it is late in the season to highlight these flowers, but I saw a bloom just today in a shaded area next to a deck.  I’ve had the pink variety for awhile, and coveted the white one in a friend’s garden.  She generously shared with me, but warned that it easily reseeds itself.  I’m wondering if someday I might get flowers in a paler pink or a bi-color as the plants may intermingle.

I have moved some baby plants to un-caged areas that are not protected from deer.  The fuzzy grey leaves give me hope they can survive.  One season into this experiment, the results are ‘so far, so good’.  Which means that I trust the deer as long as I can see them.  Or until a very dry autumn has passed.  When they get very hungry, most everything is at risk.

These flowers look real pretty in a mini-vase and in the garden.  I so love low maintenance perennials.


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Helianthus Lemon Queen, a Sunflower

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The sunflower family includes so many flowers, from giant heads to very tiny.  From short to very, very tall.  This particular example is a perennial with showy blooms just a few inches across.  Deer find them tasty, so they grow in flower jails (cages) on my property.  Some insect also finds the blossoms delicious, as the petals are very uneven and often disappear before the bloom is finished.

I purchased starters for this plant from a mail-order catalog, a rarity for me.  Years later in my flower gardening path, I found the catalog and can see how the company makes money on this and many others they offer for sale.  They multiply easily.  I have shared this plant with as many people as I can get to take it.  Though it is pretty, it can definitely take over an area.


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Fuchsia

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This is a small specimen of what should grow much fuller as a perennial fuchsia shrub.  It gets the early morning sun, and is protected from some weather extremes being located next to the house foundation.  This is not the first one of these plants to get a home with me.  But this particular one has survived at least a couple of winters, so I’m thinking it could last even longer.  That is a garden goddess in the picture.

I was surprised when I learned that people like to ‘pop’ the flowers to bloom sooner.  Who thinks of these things?


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Rudbekia or Black-Eye Susans

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I had heard of these flowers for a long time, but this story is how I found that it was a must-grow-in-my-own-garden plant.

I am also an artist (clay is my medium), and was part of a group of artists all with the name Susan.  At the opening of our first group show, one of the Susan’s brought a bouquet of Rudbekia for display.  That was the moment I decided that I had-to-grow-them-in-my-own-garden. 

These plants multiply so freely, I can’t believe I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to part with some, so I purchased my first plant.  Now I dig up wayward starts and beg friends to take some.  They are very sturdy growers, and so are the starts I keep in small pots.  But do watch out for the deer, as they find these flowers tasty.

The coreopsis that are blooming now, are the same colors as these black-eye Susans, but are smaller flowers.  I think they look nice next to each other.  In the lower right of the photo are some flower buds before they open.  The black “eye” is peeking through baby-size yellow-orange petals.