susansflowers

garden ponderings


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New Year’s Baby

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Olympia hybrid spinach, planted in July 2015, is starting to flower.  Since they are hybrid plants, I will not try to save any seeds.  This makes me aware to next time look for open pollinated spinach seed.  Maybe the next spinach leaves will taste better than these did 🙂  So much for the first time I have ever been able to sprout spinach seeds in my garden, ha-ha.

At the same time I seeded spinach, I also put in an entire packet of turnip (on the left – they have reddish tops) and rutabaga seeds, each.  I suppose it was because I had the space and wanted to see if anything really would come up.  Of course, when one doesn’t care that much, the emergence rate is incredible.  We have eaten more turnips and rutabagas than ever in our entire life.  I have given them to friends (hey, wouldn’t your sheep like any?), and finally donated bags of vegies to the local Food Bank.  Really do not like to waste anything.  Though, the compost pile puts all excess garden growth to good use!


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Butterfly & Lily

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Just a quiet evening on the front deck before dinner, and look who came to visit!  We have been seeing more Monarch butterflies these last few weeks than I can ever remember.  I took a chance to run in the house for my camera, and this must have been a very hungry butterfly!

These golden wonders of nature are the pay-off for the hours spent in my flower garden.
I have been planting bee, butterfly and bird attracting plants, and here is living proof that it worked!
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Last Gasps & Late Bloomers

The sun is much lower in the sky, the hours of daylight are significantly less and the nights have cooled off.  It is still early autumn.

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Iceland Poppies keep putting out buds.  This is the third or fourth flush of flowers, I can hardly wait until this plant gets bigger. As I document my flowers in this blog, I am aware of the bloom times of so many flowers.  I feel that I am not taking them for granted so much anymore.

On the right, is a particularly late foxglove stalk of blooms.  These plants start blooming in early summer, and some have kept on blooming, while others are totally spent.  It is still a mystery to me why some of these plants are so different from others that are the same.

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The Hollyhocks are coming on strong, in spite of all efforts by the deer to nibble as much as they can.  I find long branches of hollyhocks broken and bare, as there is so much less fresh green growth for the deer to eat.

The right side photo shows California poppies and dandelions still blooming.  The poppies will continue until they are frozen out.  There are many baby poppy plants just starting to bloom, from early season plants putting out seeds.  As much as dandelions are disparaged as weeds, I think it is good if we can pretend we are children again, and savor their beauty as flowers sometimes.


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Belladonna or Naked Lady Amaryllis

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When I first saw the Naked Lady blossoms, I was very surprised that a flower could bloom without any leaves.  Then I learned the leaves emerged back in the springtime, and the flowers much later in the summer.  How strange.

Later a friend showed me a flower that grew in his garden that was named after his mother, Donna.   I thought is was cool that a grown man would love his mother so much, he wanted to have flowers that reminded him of her after she was gone.  He had many of these flowers growing and offered to share some bulbs.

I did not plant my samples wisely and am pleasantly surprised that one survived.  It really does need  a better location, then it would have a better chance to multiply.

My pictures show the flower emerging from the ground, the first bloom, then more on the same stem.  What a treat!  The helianthus are crowding this beauty and need to be thinned.   Another garden project for after the rains soften the ground.

Balloon Flower

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Balloon Flower

I planted this a number of years ago, and was sure it disappeared soon after. Surprisingly, it has survived and lives in the shade and moisture under a Camellia bush. The blue-violet flowers grow on stalks that emanate away from the balloon plant, thus they appear to be growing in the leaves of nearby winter-blooming violets.

Violets grow profusely under the camellia bush, making it hard to see any other plants that might also be growing there.  Besides the balloon flower, I am now discovering various other plants popping up under the camellia including a bergenia and bluebells.  I know I have not planted the latter two in that area, so I am thinking the mice (or voles) have been moving bulbs and parts of plants around in the winter time.  I had heard that this could happen, and now I am observing plants in places that I have no other explanation for their location.