susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Green on Green

This plant in the papyrus family reproduces itself freely, which leads to
many babies in my flower beds.  I then transplant said seedlings to any place
that tends to get waterlogged in the rainy season.
Nothing scientific, just a sense that papyrus grows near water, and I have areas with bad drainage, so I am trying to make the best use of challenging areas in my garden.

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This Eryngium, or Sea Holly, also reproduces freely – almost too freely for me.
I mean, it grows well, is deer and rodent resistant, and I am still looking for where to move it so it won’t poke me while I weed around it.
I cut some of the ‘flowers’ and laid them in a cool, dark area to dry, just in case they might look good in another season.  Chances do not look good, as I found the stems to be hollow, which is not a characteristic of any other flower that dries well.

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A visitor to my garden recently asked me about this ‘flower’.  These are seedpods of a spring flowering daylily.  No flower here!  When the stems turn brown they pull away easily, so I wait a few months, and it is one less plant to deadhead.


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Passionate Purple & Pink

Both of these wildflowers found my garden.
They are seasonal and have multiplied.
Sometimes you just get lucky!
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Here are eggplant and potato flowers
from the vegetable garden.
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Lupine and Foxglove reseed freely.
I never know where they will appear year-to-year.
They are always welcome additions.
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Years ago, I planted Garlic in my flower beds to fight bugs,
I think it will come up forever.
Agastache, or Giant Hyssop, is supposed to be deer resistant,
but I don’t trust those animals.  Some of the plants are fenced,
some are not, so far all are surviving.
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Short and tall exemplars.
Bellflower is peeking out between Bergenia leaves.
Its own leaves are the serrated ones in the back of the photo.
These Hollyhock blossoms are ‘doubles’ with extra petals.
A neighbor gave me these plants a number of years ago,
and they are finally blooming.


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Summer Surprise

I found this post in my “Drafts” folder dated August 30, 2015.  It was meant to be published then.  The flower is still in the garden over a month later.  Even though the fields are brown and dry, deer have not eaten it.
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It is exciting to me, as a gardener, when a plant I was sure died over the winter, shows up in bloom later in summer.
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I am sure glad I did not mistake this emerging plant for an unwanted weed.
The teeny-tiny, one inch (2.5 cm) flower of verbena bonariensis, might be easy to miss, even though its stem is almost 3 feet (one meter) tall.
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When this plant was purchased, I was sure it was a perennial.  Not exactly.
It can return, but my winters are too cold (unless global warming keeps the mild winters around) for the plant to stay put.
It comes back by reseeding.  Wind and birds determine just where it will show up.  In fact, it can be invasive (that is a very nasty word for gardeners).
In my little corner of land, I am not concerned about it taking over, as it is barely surviving.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a small patch of these cute purple blossoms in my flower bed.


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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.

Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley

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Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley

Parsley flowers are so small, they can be hard to notice when they finally bloom. The seeds are about the same size as the numerous flowers and are just as plentiful.

Seeds will sprout easily as long as there is plenty of moisture. Under, or near, a water faucet is a good place to start a parsley bed. Later on, seeds can be spread to other places to see where the emerging plants best like the prevailing micro-climate. This particular bed has been reseeding itself for many years, and I think it is in need of rejuvenation. This is where timing comes into play – I need to wait until the plants go to seed, then save some seeds, just in case there are any challenges (like a heat wave) when the planting bed is cleaned up.

In the upper right are parsley leaves, don’t be misled by the sage leaves in the upper left of this photo. Sage and parsley live together with stray violets, and are protected from deer in this fenced planting bed.  I keep any other interlopers (weeds)  out in an effort to encourage what I want to live here to thrive.

Cilantro Flowers

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Cilantro Flowers

Cilantro leave are used in Mexican and Asian cooking. When the flowers go to seed, the name changes to Coriander, which is used in various Asian culinary circles as a whole or finely ground seed.

Lately we’ve been using lots of cilantro as a garnish for fish tacos, yum-yum. The plants have been reseeding themselves in an area in the garden for a few years. A very distinct and intriguing aroma is released by merely touching the plants.

At a pot-luck recently, I had a cilantro salad dressing, made with lemon juice and olive oil.  It was so tasty, I keep on making variations that go with all of my salads.

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.