susansflowers

garden ponderings


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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.
Copy of DSCN3988
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.
Copy of DSCN3989
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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Delicate Dill

Copy of DSCN4051
It has taken a number of attempts to get an acceptable photo of these teeny-tiny dill flowers.  The leaves are feathery delicate and lightly aromatic.

This herb is short-lived, but easily reseeds itself.  In the photo above is a late season seedling that emerged in a bed of turnips.

I have tried to preserve the leaves by freezing, but the results were just passable.  Best used fresh, dill is delicious on a fresh (not frozen) salmon, or try it on other light-flavored fish.


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Pink Viola

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This is a little plant and a very small flower.  It appears to me, to be a member of the viola family, but I am not able to determine exactly which one.  An alpine viola is my best guess.
In the upper right corner of the photo is a ‘normal’ violet leaf, which looks relatively large, but is not really.

A gardening friend warned me this cute little flower can be invasive.  So far, I still see it as a welcome addition to my haphazard flower garden.  Although, it is moving in freely, I have no objections as it fills space and can bloom through the summer.  I know I should be wary, as I spend too much time pulling out a plant I liked at first, but then became overwhelming.


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Bloomin’ Violets

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I believe these flowers were waiting for rain and cool to start blooming.  Violets must be very “tough cookies” to put out their flowers in the cool of winter.  Much as I’ve tried to vase these blossoms, they just do not seem to like to live indoors.  It must be too warm for them.

Even if it snows, these tiny flowers will bounce back as soon as the sun melts an opening in the ground.  We should be enjoying violets until the heat of summer sends them dormant until the next rainy season.

This fall, I have been moving around many plants, some of them surrounded by this ground cover.  The little violet rootlets just get pushed back underground, and as long as it keeps on raining, they will reestablish in a new home.


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Horehound

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I assumed that horehound would be deer-resistant because of the fuzzy leaves.  But the resident deer here did not read the same manual as I, and they nibbled away.  So this plant lives in a cage, for now.  Maybe it will get large enough someday to not need protection,

The flowers were a pleasant surprise, but they are so tiny as to be almost non-existent.  I had the camera so low to the ground, I could barely see what I was photographing.

I purchased this as a small plant start, thinking I would add to my collection of herbs, but I knew very little to nothing about it.  I have heard of old-time horehound candy, but never tasted it.  A google search was in order.  I did not find a photo with leaves as gray as my plant, so I am unsure which particular sort of horehound this is.  But I did learn it is a member of the mint family and can naturalize, so I have been forewarned.


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Baby’s Breath

Baby's Breath in Mini-Vase Copy of Baby's Breath

What I don’t know about photography could fill volumes.  My trying to take a picture of the teeny-tiny flowers of baby’s breath is a prime example.  Perhaps a small tripod and learning how to leave the lens open long enough would help get many more of the flowers in focus.

These flowers are often used as fillers in a bouquet, but my vase is holding only baby’s breath.  It is a 3-inch high mini-vase, made of porcelain.  The upper part of the vase has a transparent blue glaze, and the lower part of it shows a light brown toasty color from the wood fueling my kiln.