susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Fun with a Fish Eye (camera lens, that is :)

I have spent an extraordinary amount of time this last month, weeding.
The flower beds are not near perfect, but have never looked so good.

Above are two views of the same flower bed.
Foreground is Shasta daisies, bearded Iris and lavenders.
Foxglove, daffodils, and iris live further back.
A couple of canna lilies are the recent additions.

There is a fence (we call it a ‘flower jail’) along the edge of the deck.
Inside live an azalea, peony, hosta, calla lilies, camellia,
tulips, tree peony, stock, rhododendron and a few others.
* * * * *

If this bed were planned before planting,
the Japanese maples would be at each end with the
contorted filbert (aka Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
– where that name came from, must be a good story)
in the middle instead of on the left end.

Santolina, teucrium (germander), hyssop, more bearded iris (they multiply!)
with lots of Greek oregano as groundcover are the main plants here.

I had read in a novel that daylilies could hold a hillside in place,
so I planted and re-planted them behind.
California poppies are multiplying slowly, and the weeds here are prolific.
Specially after our wet winter.

Anyway – above are some views of the front & back of my yard.
You are introduced to some of what I care take.
Isn’t the fish eye lens cool?  What a view!


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Winners and Losers

I consider myself and the plant ‘winners’ when it comes back to life in the spring, once it has gone totally dormant over the winter.

Photo on the left is a hardy fuchsia, and on the left of that plant is a Bella Donna amaryllis, where the leaves die back, then its flowers emerge in mid-summer.

The next photo is a Russian Sage that I just had to have last year, and I was concerned it might not like its new home enough to leaf out again this spring.
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My friend Terry gave me a shovel-full of an old yellow rose that grows on her land.  It stayed in a bucket all winter, and I forgot about it.  This spring, a great surprise was when I noticed green leaves on a stem, and new growth at the base of the plant.  It now has three stems growing from the ground!

Last is Agastache, also called Giant Hyssop.  For a long time I confused this plant with Germander, whose flowers can look similar, but they are different plants.  I thought I killed this plant a few times, and bought another one.  Now I have a couple that are established, and will look forward to blue flowers in summer.

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Now, the losers.  Why don’t they love me enough to stay around?  Did I treat them so bad?  Lady’s Mantle has thrived for about 3 years.  It even had a baby that I moved to a new home on the other side of the house.  Neither one came back this year, and it was a particularly mild winter.  Oriental Poppy and Horehound have been here just a year, but looked like they liked their locations.  The poppy flowered until late summer, so I had high hopes for it.  English Stock was faltering last year, so it is no surprise it did not survive.

Our greatest disappointment is a huge Sugar Maple tree.  It was one of the first trees we planted over thirty years ago.  We watched red-headed woodpeckers pecking away for bugs, and a resident grey squirrel spent many hours scampering about the branches.  It is close to the last tree to bud out, but a Sweet Gum Maple is in bud now, and this tree is always the last to lose its leaves and the last to get them back in the spring.  I’ve been in denial that the sugar maple is dead, perhaps it tree really needed a colder winter for good health.