susansflowers

garden ponderings


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On – Going

For all the various flowers in my garden,
some of my favorites are the ones that keep on blooming.
On and on and on.

Roses should be on the top of the list, as they love the summer sun.
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Bush with single red roses on the left shows flowers in different stages of bloom.
This plant flowers so profusely and continuously, it is near impossible to keep up with deadheading.
Mini-roses on the right are one of my most reliable steady bloomers.
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Oh, I must be losing my mind, as I cannot remember your name.
Your face, yes, but not your name. . .
Nevertheless, these two plants have been blooming continuously the last couple of months,
through the heat of summer.
Spent flowers were cut a couple of times, and they just keep on keeping on.
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My fuchsia is still small, so I almost forgot about it, but it bloomed all summer.
I need to be patient; it will fill out in time.
One of the last hollyhock blossoms at the top of its stem.
Sometimes these bloom horizontally,
as the weight of the flowers is too much to stay vertical.

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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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Japanese Maple on the First Day of Autumn

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Actually, autumn began at 7:30 pm last night, but today is the first day of the new season.  The color change of the leaves is very subtle, as it is just beginning, in this tree.   If you look on the upper left side, you can notice the leaves getting lighter, as they lose the deep red color they had all summer long.

Yes, that is a four foot high (122 cm) deer fence around the tree trunk.  Although the tree appears to be tall enough that the deer cannot decimate its foliage, I will not even attempt to remove the fence until spring.  There is barely enough forage for the deer at this time of year, and I have seen hungry animals stand on their hind feet to eat whatever they can.


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Dahlia

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These plants come in all sizes and heights, and some people specialize in growing only dahlia flowers.

I picked up a few bulbs on sale a couple of years ago, and planted them in different locations in my garden.  In my climate, I’ve read that you should dig up your dahlia bulbs in the fall, and replant them in the spring.  No way I can stay on top of that!  I promptly forgot that detail of plant care when the time came to do the job.  Two of four bulbs survived winter, and are just blooming now. 

Now that I know they can survive a winter, I’ll have to nurture them along some more.  I would like to see more of these flowers next summer.


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Aunt Ann’s Hydrangea

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This small plant has but one flower, and it looks magnificent.  For a plant that probably was not intended to be planted, much less survive for any length of time, that is a feat.

A few years ago, when my Aunt Ann passed away, someone gave a couple of hydrangea plants as decorations at her wake.  They are not native to, nor can I remotely believe they would live outdoors in a hot desert climate where her home was.  Therefore, I brought one home with me on the airplane (does this fact make her death prior to 9/11?).  I planted it, and it took a few years for any new growth to appear.  Now it flowers, and I get to be reminded of good times with my Aunt Ann.

There is much I can say regarding things I’ve learned about growing hydrangeas.  And so much more I can say about Aunt Ann, where I spent many summers playing with my cousins, and tidbits I learned from my Aunt.  My mind is remembering so many good times, this is all for today.


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Hyssop or Germander

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I believe this is a Hyssop, but it sure looks a lot like a Germander.  One time I asked one of my favorite nurseries, Down to Earth in Eugene, Oregon, and they looked it up on the internet, and still it was hard to be decisive.  The final conclusion was that it was Hyssop, but only by a nose.

Bumblebees, the ones with yellow stripes across their black bodies, just love these flowers.  The bees never bother me, they know what they are interested in. 

These perennials are so easy to grow.  When I remember to cut them back in the dormant season, they come back so strong the next summer.  The cut flowers make a beautiful addition to flower arrangements.  If you wait until late winter or spring to prune this plant, you give some time for the spent flowers to go to seed.  The baby plants are so sturdy and reliable, they are worth the wait to watch them grow.

St. John’s Wort

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St. John's Wort

This ground cover looks so cool during the month it blooms every summer. Even though the leaves are evergreen, it is pretty non-descript the rest of the year, gracefully fading into the background.

I have found this to be deer and rabbit proof, though nothing green is totally safe from hungry predators in a drought season. Again, to keep this plant from spreading where the gardener does not want it to go, one needs to stop watering it.  Tough love, garden style.  But, there is no escape from a rainy summer. The particular bank where these flowers grow on my land, can get very soggy during the rainy times, and this plant can take it.

Recently, while walking with a botanist, I noticed what she pointed out as St. John’s Wort looked nothing like what I grew at home with the same name. She informed me the medicinal herb is quite different than what is sold for a home plant. There is so much for me to learn about my plants, and others I would like to add to my collection.