susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Dog Days of Summer

I’ve spent (most) every morning this summer
at my vegetable garden,
before it gets too hot to work outside.
The flower garden has been on its own,
save for some deadheading of blossoms.
(It is called ‘survival of the fittest’ 🙂

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Helianthus is a perennial sunflower
that grows at my house
as tall (or short, depending on your view) as I am.
Many years ago, I ordered it from a catalog.
The original location had its flowers attacked by bugs,
so I divided my plant and
moved part to the other (south) side of the house.
Bugs have not discovered these blossoms,
and the plant has flourished.
On the other hand, the rhizomes are quite invasive
and it is a battle to keep this plant contained.
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Sunflowers in my garden.
I planted 2 packets of shorter sunflowers,
but none came up.
Was I surprised to see these volunteers
come up in a corn bed.
The sunflowers dominated corn seedlings
at a very early stage of growth.
As the flower matures,
petals drop off and seeds start to develop.
Long-stemmed flowers look beautiful in a vase,
but a few days later pollen falls and makes a mess.
(Just a forewarning!)
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Rudbeckia or Black-Eyed Susan are prolific
late-summer bloomers.
Their rhizomes are also invasive,
as I dig them out from other plants annually.
They are beautiful cut flowers and last a week in a vase.

 

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Great Basin National Park

In this dead of winter, while the flowering plants in my area are dormant,
I am sharing photos from a cross-country drive last fall.
We visited as many National Parks as we could fit into our time-line.

Great Basin National Park is in Nevada, on the Utah border.
It is a very desolate area, desert flora and an amazing cave system.
We did not have to escape oppressive heat to enjoy touring the caves; they were cool in both senses of the word.

One of the few remaining flowering plants in this desert, up close and at a distance.
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Outside the cave entrance, was a walking trail with signs at some of the plants.
This one caught my interest.
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There were groves of aspen trees nearby.
We were amazed to see them growing out of the rocks.
Aspen trees are especially beautiful when their leaves change colors.
* * * * *

As we drove into Utah, the roadsides and open fields
were adorned with these wildflowers.
Rudbeckia are native to the North American continent.


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First Freeze on Its Way

While the violets thrive in cold wet weather,
the Rudbekia are not long for this world.

We’ve had an especially mild autumn,
so the hardiest perennials have hung on much longer than usual.

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I noticed this spring daylily budding – way out of season.
Trying to get around Mother Nature.

Our first freeze is due in a day.  Only the violets will survive.


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Last Gasp?

We’ve had a lot of rain, all the plants are sodden and drenched.

I was surprised to see from my kitchen window, a rose bush in bloom.
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Yes, it looked better at a distance.
A flower at this time of year, still makes my heart happy.
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A bit of sunshine on a rainy day.

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I had not realized just how hardy hydrangea flowers are.
This particular blossom is not showing signs of age.
I believe it is because temperatures are now cooler than in summer.
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Arabis and Rudbeckia are showing themselves not as rain-hardy as some other plants.


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Black-Eye Susans – Rudbeckia

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While these flowers are not named after me, I like to think they are 😉
Of course, I had to have some in my garden.

Actually, they are quite welcome, since they bloom later in summer and are drought-resistant.  On the down side they do not respect boundaries, and spread easily.  The wandering roots can be a plus if one is trying to fill space in a flower bed, but they just do not know when to stop!

I wish they were deer-resistant, also.
Hey, this is what I can try:  in winter (the rainy season) I will move the invasive individuals outside of a protected area to the hinterlands (what I call the further edges of my yard).  This way I can learn for myself whether local deer find rudbeckia irresistible, somewhat tasty or just leave it alone.
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