Thursday, July 31, 2008

August Muse Day

Muse day, August 1, 2008. Brought to you by Carolyn Gail of Sweet Home and Garden in Chicago.

"Fairest of the months! Ripe summer's queen

The hey-day of the year

With robes that gleam with sunny sheen

Sweet August doth appear."- R. Combe Miller

"Whilst August yet wears her golden crown, Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn."- Michelle L. Thieme, August's Crown

"Summer's lease hath all too short a date."- William Shakespeare

Hope August brings you lots of gardening joy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Little Whimsy, A Little Gardening!

I have been reading in others' posts about 'Whimsy' in their gardens. Gardening Gone Wild's designer workshop this month in Whimsy in the Garden. I have loved all the art work, fanciful and playful creatures, and downright silliness. I don't have much, as I just can't seem to find things that jump out at me and say 'take me to your garden'. But I decided to show you what I do have. What would Dragonfly Corner be without a dragonfly?

And you may remember the antique lightning rods rescued from the roof when we put on new shingles. I have 3 of these-only 2 have the glass balls. This one has a morning glory growing up it that is the same color blue as the ball. Another one is covered ball and all with a moon plant.

I have always loved yard or garden flags(I think that is what they are called). This is my first year to have one. Notice the Kobold liatris beside it that is just starting to bloom. I found these bulbs at Aldi's (discount grocery) this spring for a really good price. My first time for these, too.
And that is my little bit of whimsy. I have been thinking of adding more, but probably not til next spring. Maybe I just need to loosen up a little and let whimsy take hold.

This is a container with my yellow impatiens that I paid a fortune for. I am not very happy with them as they are much more a peachy color. Maybe they are getting too much sun. But what I really wanted to show you were the Bells of Ireland! I started these from seed and was so pleased to see them actually bloom. They would have looked great with a yellow to contrast or compliment the pale green. Oh well, they are still pretty.

I just had to show Silver Mound Artemisia, another first for me. Planted this spring from an 8" pot, it has more than doubled in size! I think I will have to get some more of this next year. What a great plant. Above and beside it are some pass along plants. Yarrow from Rose and I'm not sure now about the top one.

A small mass of zinnias started from seed indoors.

This was the first day lily I ever planted. I have had it about 5 years now and divided it 3 times. It is a prolific bloomer and a fast grower. Wish I knew the name! (sigh)

Yellow glads planted to try and get some other colors in my garden besides pink and purples. I did plant some purple ones thinking the combination of colors would be pleasing. As it turns out the purples were more lilac with white throats and they bloomed a lot earlier than the yellows. Not all plans work out the way you want.

My coral bells are blooming, although they are puny little flower stalks. I have seen some with blooms that really show. I shouldn't complain as the foliage is exceptionally nice this year.

My first delphinium! This is one of those plants I bought a little later in the spring. It is supposed to be Magic Fountain Lavender. Even taking into account the camera's penchant for turning purples into blues, this is not lavender. So, I'm not sure what the actual name is. But being as it is purple-it can stay!

Some of the caladium bulbs I planted have really grown large leaves. This one is cupped and holding rain drops from the light showers we had the night before. The red doesn't exactly go with the pink and purple wave petunias, but does look good next to the sweet potato vine. As large as this vine has gotten, next year I am thinking of doing a container of just them and a couple of tall plants-maybe the dark red spikes they have now.

And lastly, Sum and Substance is blooming. I love the big snow white flowers almost as much as I do the hosta's leaves. If you look really closely or enlarge this picture, you will see..... did you guess? A Japanese Beetle! I couldn't believe they were going after another kind of plant. They are really being obnoxious this year, sampling just about every plant and bloom in my garden.
This is probably it from Dragonfly Corner for this week. We have the 'big move' on Saturday. I am going to my Dad's Tuesday to help (do) with the packing. He will be staying with us for a couple of weeks while waiting for his new apartment to become empty. Luckily, we can store all of his things in the garage of the new place.
I hope all enjoy their gardens this week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Butterflies, Bees, and Beetles!

*** Updated July 25, 2008
I found the name of the butterfly. It is a Red Spotted Purple-limenitis arthemis and can be found here!

Posting twice in one week...yeah! Life is getting better. I am still busy with a lot on my plate, but I think for now things are somewhat under control. I have finally gotten the big 'move' organized, accepted the fact that my Dad will have to stay with us for a couple of weeks while his new apartment is finished, decided not to stress too much about the lack of help from my the siblings, it has rained so I haven't had to water, the weather has moderated, I didn't have to work this evening, I've gotten my house in a semi-state of clean, and I spent some quality time in my garden today. Yes, life is improving.

I couldn't resist showing my favorite day lily again, so bear with me please. I smile every time I see her blooms.

This picture shows the color much truer than the one I showed last post.

As the title suggested, I did manage to photo some butterflies . This one was so patient with me as I tried to get just the right shot.

I am sure someone out there knows his name....

A Painted Lady on a sunflower. She, however, wouldn't open her wings for me and preferred I take a side view.

Bees on my cone flowers...I am so happy!

Japanese Beetles on my sunflower...I am so not happy! I noticed something had been eating the immature seeds and had hoped it was birds, but I think it was this guy. Is there anything they won't destroy?!

Do you remember the last time Rose and I went plant shopping? I vowed not to buy any more annuals. My intentions were good-but the 'gotta have it' syndrome kicked in today. Those zinnias were on sale and looked so pretty. Did I mention they were on sale?

The smaller pots are Angelina Sedum, a perennial. I did get one back in the spring and then saw it planted as a border at the Idea Garden. I am going to try to do that with these along the roadside burm alternating with Artemisia Silver Mound. Can you believe these were on sale for $1.00?! I stopped by Rose's to show her and she is going plant shopping tomorrow...after all a sale is a good thing!

This is one of the planters now that it has filled in some. The wave petunias in the top just haven't done as well as I had hoped, but all in all it looks pretty good. Next year I think I will put something taller in the top to emphasize it more. And maybe still have something that trails down onto the lower part. Summer is only half over and I am already planning for next year!

This is also a whiskey 1/2 barrel. And it didn't turn out the way I pictured. The waves just haven't done well this year, but even if they had, this sweet potato vine would have taken them over. I added this long after I planted the waves and just look at how it has grown!

Lisa showed a field of wildflowers a while back that was beautiful. I found this patch just on the outskirts of town. The state highway department is trying to do more 'prairie' restoration along their right of ways-less mowing.

There are 'blackeyed susans' (Gail did a great post on these) and I know that white flower must be a daisy relative, but we know it as a weed.

Cone flowers, of course! I wish I knew what the name of these are. They are just a little different than the ones I have-thinner petals and a darker color.

And these. Does anyone know what they are? All these planted together with a sprinkling of vetch made an impressive display.
I hope your gardens are doing well and that you are taking time to enjoy them. Have a wonderful weekend!
"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly. "One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."- Hans Christian Andersen

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Catching Up! And Bees!

It has been two weeks since I last put a post up, and I have missed the connection to Blogger Land. I have explained in some comments that after a really busy week, my Internet was down for a week. This past weekend was our monthly visit with the granddaughters and then I have been working more than originally planned. Excuses aside, I have truly missed being able to contribute to the community of friends out there. So I hope you will forgive me. I promise to get caught up on my reading and will try to get back into a routine.

I have had so little free time , that I have not been able to enjoy my gardens as much as I would like. I did take a few minutes a couple of different days to go out and take a few pictures. It amazes me how much can change in a garden in just a short while. There are lots of zinnias blooming-ones I started from seeds. Gladiolas are blooming, cosmos, some wildflowers. The roses are still making buds and once in a while one will make to full bloom before the Japanese Beatles get to it. Day lilies are still so pretty and I ave a couple of trumpet lilies blooming. Russian Sage is in full flower, and I even have a few volunteer petunias. And last but not least, the WEEDS are taking over!

And I am so proud to announce, I have bees! They are loving the cone flowers. But it is so hard to get one to pose.

I'll admit you have to look really close to see this bee. He was as yellow as the sunflower!

Part of it was pollen on him, but he was definitely a yellow bee.

My sunflowers are doing very well. This is the week I have to record the number and type of bees seen on one in an allotted amount of time.

I finally pulled my pansies out of this container and managed to get it planted with some of the on sale annuals Rose and I found a couple of weeks ago. The caladium is from some bulbs I planted many weeks ago. They are finally starting to show up.

Many of my day lilies are in bloom now-some of them planted this spring. Unfortunately, I can't find the names! Oh well, there still pretty.

This is a trumpet lily I planted several years back. I thought for a while it was 'Star Gazer', but now I'm not so sure.

I have 2 plants-do they multiply like the Asiatic ones? If so, they are being very slow doing it.

Another unknown new one. The area where I have most of them planted will look much better when they all grow and begin to fill in.

This is one I planted last year-it only had a couple of blooms. This year, it has more than doubled in size and has had several scapes with lots of buds. I think next spring, I will divide it and move part to the day lily bed.

These flowers must be 8" across and just amaze me.

A ' Double Delight' the beetles missed!
I know this was a short post(for me anyway), but my time is still not my own. I am in the process of helping my Dad sell his place, negotiating with buyers and lawyers, finding a place for him to live, and trying to pack for the move the first weekend in August. I am working an extra day this week plus I have a 4 hr. training class I have to attend. My house looks like a tornado hit it and I am way behind on laundry. Cheryl laughed when I told her it was a zoo around here. But maybe zoo isn't the right word. Insane asylum describes it much better!
Hope you all have a great gardening week!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Some Things New and Some Catching Up!

I don't think anyone will be more surprised than I, that I am posting again so soon. After a rainfall of just over an inch this morning, I decided that I would tackle the weeds in my flower beds. (they pull so much better and leave less roots.) Of course, first I had some errands to do with my Dad and couldn't get out there while we still had cool temps and a cloud cover. But I was determined to spruce up the flowers for our weekend company. Nancy of Soliloquy just did a post on being careful when working in the heat- not to get heat exhaustion or sun stroke. I was far from sun stroke, but came in exhausted and highly heated. I took a cool shower, fixed myself a cold Diet Pepsi, put my feet up, and decided I was done for the day. I read and commented on all my favorite blogs, played some Spider Solitaire and now what? Well, I do have a few new pictures and I did promise to 'Share the Love' and do the '6 Random Things' tag. Hence another post. But this has absolutely got to be my last one this week. I've got too much to do to sit at the computer. I solemnly promise-no more posts this week! You heard me, now make me stick to it.

Cheryl, this next picture is for you.

You ask Rose what was the damage the Japanese Beetles could do- this was a pretty rose bloom this morning. Now, it is shredded beyond recognition as are some of the leaves. I have seen them converge on a new rose and in less than an hour completely eat it down to the stem. Bad Bugs! Bad-Bad Bugs!

Rose, posted about surprises in her garden yesterday, and look what I found in mine, a sweet pea vine. I did plant two this year, but not here and neither one lived.(I thought). Wonder if a bird or a squirrel had something to do with this being here?

I found an old birdhouse post and drove it into the ground beside it. I lightly tied it to the post and will help it along from time to time to wind it's way up. Now, is it the perennial plant or merely a stay pea from an annual in the neighborhood?

Perennial Garden Lover tagged me a while back with the '6 Random Things' about yourself. I won't tag anyone, but feel free to join in. (and, oh, don't be shocked by some of my disclosures!)

#1. I'm a closet chocolate eater. I hide chocolate from my hubbie and eat when he's not here.
#2. When I was 7 I wanted to be a scientist, at 10 a lawyer, at 14 I discovered boys and there went my plans.

#3. I fell in love with Paul Newman years ago, and would still go out with him even if he is now in his 80's.

#4. I keep forgetting my anniversary date. Is it the 27th or the 29th?

#5. I spent way more on plants this year than I told my husband I did.

#6. I am addicted to blogging! Okay, maybe you already knew that one.

"Sharing the Love"

This award was created by Crystal at Memoirs of a Mommy in honor of the heart donor who saved the life of Crystal's young son Noah. Crystal says: The rules of this award are: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. "All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same."

This award was presented to me by Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden. As many of you know, she is my life long best friend. I cherish her friendship so much more than I can explain. She is a constant in my life and I will always love her. If she did not already have this award I would give it to her. Instead, I bestow an honorary degree in 'Sharing the Love' to her.

And from there I will not pick. To do so would leave out so many of you who have brightened my life with your humor, wit, knowledge, caring and love.

To all of you whom I consider great friends, I award you......!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summer Delights!

Cone flowers are one of the true delights in the summer. You plant one and before you know it you have a whole bed full of the tall, stately, regal blooms.Heads held high, their crowns eagerly await the pollinators.

A corner bed now full to overflowing,

A very brave rabbit dared to sit in the open this afternoon. So far, I have noticed no damage from them.

A couple more day lilies have opened today. This is 'purple d'oro'.

No name for this one, but it is standing on a scape that is almost 3' tall.

This is 'wineberry candy'. But she is not opening-I watched her all day. She looks more like a tulip. We'll she if she finishes opening tomorrow, but I have a feeling this was her day. Hopefully the next buds will open all the way. She is new this year and I am excited to see her in her full glory.

I planted purple and yellow gladiolas this year, spreading them through out the garden in small groupings. I wonder is this one got in by mistake, or is this going to be the color of all the purples? Either way, this one is eye catching.

My zinnia seedlings are starting to bloom. I planted several packets of mixed and was surprised when the first ones were all pink. Now I have this one and a couple of white. Do certain colors bloom first? Or was this just a coincidence?

Sunflowers but so far no bees. Maybe I just am not out there when they come.

This is the other dwarf 'teddy' sunflower I mentioned last time. While the first one was only 6" tall and had a bloom of 2", this one is 3' tall with a bloom 6" across. Both beautiful!

And finally, another photo of the corn . It is standing a good 4' tall now. Certainly "knee high by the 4th of July"!
Another busy, busy week coming up. Work, seeing to a contract for selling my Dad's place, watering the garden( hot and mostly dry is forecast for all week) and last but not least, getting the house ready for weekend company. Posting may not get done, but visiting my favorite blogs is always on my list of to dos.

" Walking into darkness on a summer night watching the stars,
As they pass by faster than a shooting star,
So if ever you are out on a hot summer night in July,
Don't let the night stars pass you by."
by Bernice Rush

Enjoy your hot July nights watching the stars!