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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The early flower gets .. rained on

Why would only two crocus bulbs flower and all the other ones wait over a week to bloom?
This is not even the sunniest location.

1st crocus

After some days of rain, the sun has encouraged more crocus to break their dormancy, and greet the winter sun.
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A week later, after days of rain, the sun re-emerged.
These same crocuses (croci?  I saw this plural someplace, did not make it up myself!) put out more blossoms.

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A few more bulbs bloomed

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And more are on the way

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African Daisies

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At the end of May, when I had planted most of the vegetables in the garden, there was one bed still open.  A hunt in my collection found flower seeds friends had shared with me from the last few years.
I planted 3 or 4 varieties of flower’s seeds, watered, and waited.  And waited.  The bed was still empty.

Finally, a few plants I could not identify came up.  They didn’t look like anything I’d ever seen before.  They tasted awful, so probably were not obscure salad greens.

It was September before the first orange flower bloomed.  As we approach October, the end of the growing season, a day closer to the first freeze, this plant decides to “strut its stuff”.
For me, I am happy to see these yellow and orange daisies starting life, as the rest of the garden is fading away.  I can only hope there is still time for these flowers to produce seeds for next year.  Another wait and see period.


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Flowers in the Vegetable Garden

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Strawberry plants are looking great.  I pick a couple of pints every morning.  My favorite ways to eat these summer gems is on a bowl of granola for breakfast, and on a dinner salad.  M-m-m, tasty!
Any extras get frozen on a cookie sheet and put away to be enjoyed in winter.
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Copy of DSCN3527 Copy of DSCN3535Summer squash is just getting going, I like mine small, young & tender.
A friend was surprised with a few zucchini at her front door the other morning.
The zuke elves are starting their rounds, watch out!
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Copy of DSCN3528 Copy of DSCN3536I’ve picked only a very few cherry-size tomatoes, and not one green bean – yet.
The best is yet to come in these departments.
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Copy of DSCN3530 Copy of DSCN3548Baby, red leaf, butter lettuce gone to seed is not necessarily glamorous.
The dandelion-looking fuzz balls are their flowers gone-to-seed.
Close-up the flowers are kind of cute.
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Copy of DSCN3538I try to keep flowers pinched from all my basil plants, as it is the leaves that are used.  Thai basil has the prettiest purple flower buds, and a few blossoms opened before they were pruned.
These leaves get dried to add flavor to curry dinners all winter long.
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Copy of DSCN3531Amaranth is new to me, and I’m not sure how much larger the flower will grow.  There are around a dozen plants, each about a yard (a meter) tall.
I keep checking this one, there is much for me to learn here.
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Copy of DSCN3526 DSCN3549Melons are such a gamble to harvest here.  Will the heat continue through August and September?  Since it is still July, it looks like this could be a good year.  Cantaloupe or rockmelon are the size of a large orange, so far.  Smooth-skin melons usually take longer to mature, but this one is on its way, also.
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And last, but hardly least, are a couple of my own garden nemeses:
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Someone was just here extolling the beauty of Queen Anne’s lace in the fields, and I objected.  The flowers are not evil themselves, but when they go to seed, the trouble starts.  It is a test of my patience to pick the burrs out of kids and my own socks.
The yellow flowers are not dandelions, but I would not be surprised to learn they are close cousins, as the flowers turn to fuzz-balls when they go to seed.


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Rockin’ Roses

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A ‘single’ rose means there are only five petals.  Their beauty is fleeting, they do not last long on the bush.  When the shrub is full of flowers it is quite a sight.  Then there is lots of deadheading, to encourage more blooms.
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This small bush is a prolific producer of miniature roses
One of my favorites, sturdy and stalwart.
Again, lots of deadheading to keep it blooming & looking great.
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Our most aromatic rose bush, which is why my husband had to buy this one.
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Vi’s Violet is another miniature rose bush.
(I happened to find a broken name tag below.)
This plant struggles, but stays alive.  It gives a few blooms every year.
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This poor plant had been struggling for a couple of years, and almost did not make it through the winter.  I dug out chives that were threatening to overrun at the base, and dug in bark mulch and added more topsoil.
It looks so much better this year.  A climbing bush that bears miniature red blossoms, this had been one of the most productive roses here.  It now looks to be on the way back to its former glory.


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A Yammering of Yellow

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I’ve been watching these St. John’s Wort buds the last couple of days, and this morning the flowers burst open.  I’ve never noticed the orange-tipped stamen before, so pretty.
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These wildflowers appeared a year ago at the back of a bed.  Since they were in a good location, I let them stay.  So far, they have stayed put, and not invaded the cultivated flowerbed.
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The first succulent of mine to bloom.  Tiny flowers on stems about 3″ (8cm).
Last year, I cut a small bouquet of these blossoms and kept them through the winter, in my kitchen windowsill, as dried flowers in a mini-vase.
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Earlier this spring, I was sure this Lady’s Mantle had died.  It may have outgrown its location, so I shoveled part of the plant out.  The interesting shape of its leaves and hardiness make this a keeper in my garden.
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Alliums are known to be robust members of any garden, and these yellow-flowered ones do not fail.  Mine have been neglected, separated and moved around by me and who-knows-what critters.
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The first bud of a prolific mini-flower rose bush.
You can see additional buds surrounding this blossom.
I am able to cut flowers from this plant all summer long.