Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beauties and One Beastie!

It seems no matter my intentions, I am only able to post once a week these days. While that may be more than enough for you who read my blog,(!) I am missing the more frequent interaction with my garden blogger friends. Someone has said that during the long dark days of winter we will all have more time and I suppose that will be true. But there sure won't be as much going on in the gardens.



I don't have many bloomers now, just a few struggling to hold on against the shorter days and cooler weather. What is there finally got a good rain last Sunday. We had just shy of 5". The basement got a little damp and we had some big puddles in the yard for a while, but the ground soon soaked it all up. The grass is now green again and the dirt and debris is all washed off the patio. Our mini-drought seems to have broken. But, my goodness, didn't Ike do a lot of damage and bring an enormous amount of rain to a lot of places! My prayers are with those who were really affected.



The lack of blooming flowers at Dragonfly Corner has more than been offset by the critter world. I found this chrysalis on a most fitting spot-the butterfly bush. It looks like a piece of dried moss. Wish I knew which butterfly it will be.


The praying mantis that lives in the container by our back door was doing a little exploring the other day. when I went to take his picture, he turned his head and looked right at me. The garden has been full of these this year. I tried to take a picture of one eating a painted lady butterfly, but it turned out sooo bad-even for me. The mantis moves so slowly-he seems to be the sloth of the insect world-makes me wonder how they ever catch anything.

This is the first of these kind of butterflies that I have seen this year. A tiny blue-gray with just a dot of orange behind it's body. They are so delicate looking. The yarrow is doing well. It was a pass-along from Rose this spring.




I think this is a skipper moth of some type. The zinnias are still attracting lots of bees and butterflies.


A lone late cone flower being enjoyed by a painted lady. I have noticed a lot of the cone flower seed heads are looking like they have been picked clean of seeds. I hope the birds are enjoying them. Soon, though, I am going to have to get out there and start clearing some of the mess out of the gardens.



This is the container by the back door-the residence of the praying mantis. I had pansies in this til in July some time so it got a late start. But I have been very happy with the plants in it. Most were bought on clearance and picked with little thought other than SALE! The tiny leafed vine is a perennial whose name I can't remember now, but has survived for 3 years in there with no special care. The white is scaevola, 'whirlwind'. I have fallen for this plant! No dead heading, no wilting when dry, grows quickly and just looks so fresh all the time. I am going to find more places for this next year. There is also a angelonia angustifolia, 'dresden blue' in there and again I'm very happy with it. No dead heading and it hasn't gotten 'leggy'. The dark leafed plant is alteranthera, 'purple knight'. Another one I am going to use more of next year. There is also a caladium bulb in there which is on the back side. It's a pink and green leafed one and doesn't really 'go' but the bulb was so long in coming up, that I had forgotten I planted it with the pansies. As for my other containers, most of them are looking pretty sad. Lack of rain and the end of the season has taken hold of them. Another project I need to do-clear most of them out.



And finally, I will leave you with a couple more morning glory pictures. It is still blooming and still growing! There are dozens of buds yet and each morning it puts on such a show. All my neighbors have been over to admire it. So yes, finally, I have learned to love it for it's self.


I hope you are enjoying your gardens!

33 comments:

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Beckie. Like you, I'm wondering what we are going to talk about this winter when we have all the extra time?

Don't worry about only posting once a week. We are happy to hear from you whenever you get the time.
Marnie

Susie said...

Hi Beckie-You know I use to see that little blue/gray butterfly all the time when I was little. I hardly ever see it anymore.

Your container with the purple knight in it is quite pretty. Purple knight is such a great plant! I have used it in many containers at work.

Oh and one more thing. A little birdie flew by my ear this morning and whispered something to me about you so here goes.....


Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to my blogging friend Beckie, happy birthday to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful day girl!!!

joey said...

Your container is a real beauty, Beckie, and so are you. Happy Birthday wishes to a dear bloggin' friend ...enjoy your special day!

flydragon said...

Beckie
That is one weird looking chrysalis you have there. Can't wait to see what comes out of it. Love your planter too. Not bad for a "sale" mixture.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BECKIE!!! What excitement. I didn't know this. I hope you got to go out for a nice lunch someplace or do something that makes you happy.

Your garden looks very good after the rain. I hate to tell you, but I think the thing you pictured as a crysalis is a BAGWORM. I would pick it and put it in the trash if I were you or you will have hundreds of them next year.

I love reading your blog any time you get an opportunity to post. Don't worry about how many times per week you post. Blogging is supposed to be fun not a chore.

The butterfly with the tails and the streak on it looks to be a Gray hairstreak. If you have a book look at that and see if I am right. We have one visiting our garden now too. It must be their time of the fall to be out and about.

Rose said...

Oh my, Beckie, do you suppose Lisa is right--not a chrysalis, but a bagworm?? Just when the two of us thought we were becoming experts on insects:)
I wish other bloggers could see your blue morning glory in person, as I did--I'm thinking you might be able to climb it and find a golden goose at the other end!

So enjoyed lunch with you today; have a wonderful birthday evening!

Wendy said...

Happy Birthday Beckie!!!!!! And many, many, more. I hope you had a wonderful day - well, if you spent it in the garden, then it was wonderful.

Loved your morning glory pics. They are delightful. And next year, I will plant some cone flowes. Yours are still pretty - especially so with the butterflies on them.

I am so glad to know you, Beckie - you are a special friend. Enjoy this happy day!
Hugs.

Carol said...

Happy Birthday, Beckie! I hope you had a great day.

I agree with Lisa, that looks more like a bagworm to me, than a butterfly chrysalis. Better safe then sorry, I'd throw it in the trash (and look around for others, just in case).

Your flowers are indeed beauties!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Eve said...

Happy Birthday and may you have many more. : )
Your garden looks lovely. I love things with purple foliage. Purple heart was one of the first plants I ever bought. I love the Purple Knight too.
We have the same Heavenly Blue Morning Glory. Yours seems fuller than mine but I am still delighted with mine. I look out the window in the morning and make a memo to myself. Grow twice as much next year.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Happy birthday, a little late but sincere.
Marnie

Suburbia said...

I've just come from Roses place to wish you HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! It must be so good to have been friends for such a long time :)

beckie said...

Marnie, I'm sure we will find lots to talk about-new ideas for the garden, new plants we want and of course how much snow we are getting. :) Thanks for the birthday wish!

Susie, the Purple Knight was a last minute pick up, but I have so enjoyed it and plan on using more of it next year.

beckie said...

Susie, forgot to say Thank you for the wishes and the birthday song!!

beckie said...

Joey, thank you! It was a very nice day. Long lunch with Rose! More celebrating this weekend when family is around.

Flydragon, read below for more on the chrysalis! Your right anout the container-not bad at all for sale plants.

beckie said...

Lisa, first, thank you for the birthday wishes. I wasn't going to advertise this one! And I did have a nice day. Rose took me to a long lunch-great fun. Will do more this weekend when family is around.

Now, OH MY GOSH! You are right about the bag worm. I went to http://woodypests.cas.psu.edu/factsheets/InsectFactSheets/html/Bagworm.html and there was my chryalis in all it's glory. So it is now in the trash. I never knew they did that as I have only seen them in trees in their webs.

I do have a butterfly book now. Rose gave me one for my birthday and you are right. It is a Gray Streak. Good job!

beckie said...

Rose, Lisa is right. I went to the above website and there it was. And in looking through my new BUTTERFLY BOOK, it's in there too.

Thank you so much for the wonderful lunch yesterday. I really enjoyed our long visit. And teh book is so great, I spent a long time last night having fun reading it. We will have to take it with us on a butterfly hunt soon.

beckie said...

Wendy, thanks of rthe birthday wishes. The morning glory is still blooming it's head off. I can't believe how many flowers it puts out each day. The cone flowers are a great addition to a garden. Not only are the pretty, they attract lots of bees and butterflies. Thanks again for the wishes. I wish you peace.

Carol, thank you for the birthady greetings. You and Lisa are right! It is now in the garbage can. Like Rose said'we thought we were becoming experts', I guess not! :)

beckie said...

Eve, thanks for visiting and for the birthady wishes. I am going to use more of the 'purples' next year/ This one has done so well and it so dramatic looking. How neat that you have 'heavenly blue' too. Mine is full, huge, enormous and just plain big. It's still growing and taking over. I can't believe all the blooms, although late, that it is putting out.

Surburbia, thanks! Yes it is wonderful to have such a dear life-long friend like Rose. She is very special to me!

perennialgardener said...

I agree Beckie, don't worry about only posting once a week. If you're busy, you're busy. It's hard to divide yourself in many directions at the same time, I know. :) I'm curious to see what we will be blogging about this winter too, since it will be my first. (I started in May of this year) The blooms you have in the garden at the moment are quite lovely. I love the white Scaveola (sp?). I've seen it in a purplish blue but never white. Your morning glory is in full glory at the moment.

Cosmo said...

Happy Birthday, Beckie! Is the little ground cover in your planter Creeping Jenny? The planter is gorgeous, by the way--I have no talent for design, so I hope you don't mind if I copy yours--it's beautiful. I hope you've had a wonderful day. And as a once-a-week poster myself--yes, I just like seeing your work when you have time to post it.

Gail said...

Hi Beckie, I heard it was your Birthday and wanted to say Hello and happiest of birthdays to you! As I have gotten older I've taken to celebrating my Birthday Week and I wanted to suggest that you do that, too! It is so much fun.

Please don't think you have to post more than you are...we will all be here no matter how often you post!

Warmest thoughts, gail

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Beckie, Love your pics of the morning glories. They are glorious! I am sorry I am a day late, but Happy Birthday to you! I hope you have a month long celebration!

beckie said...

PGL, oh I am sure we will have lots to talk about this winter. We will all have plans we want to share and new plants to dicuss and of course from here how much snow and how cold it is. Yes, that morning glory has reall put on quite a show. I am very impressed wit it. Now if it just doesn't try to take over that bed next year with dozens of little seedlings.

beckie said...

Cosmo, thanks for the birthday wishes. I think it could be a type of creeping Jenny. You can copy the planter if you like, but honestly it was just thrown together. I knew I wanted to get rid of the panzies and saw those plants on sale. Sometimes though happy accidents happen. Rose has a planter she put 'extras' in and it looks great. By the way, I went to your site...what happened to all your posts?!

beckie said...

Gail, thanks! I do make it at least a birthday week. I so enjoy posting and wish I had time for more. I know that will happen when summer is over and winter sets in. Life isn't nearly as busy then. In the meantime, I do what I can and really enjoy reading others and leaving comments. Have a great weekend.

beckie said...

Morning Glory, thanks, I appreciate all the birthday greetings no matter when. Hope you have a good weekend-maybe you will find your outhouse. :)

Cosmo said...

Oops, Beckie--sorry, I've been trying to fix a feed problem so I put up a test post and forgot to delete it. My Bloom Day post should be showing now. Thanks for the reminder!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Happy belated Birthday! I'm so behind on everything, but at least you have an excuse. It's surprising how much there is to post about over the winter. I found I was posting as much as ever. Too bad you got all that wind. It went south of us, but then we got almost twice as much rain.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I have pictures of the bagworms on my blog. They are the nastiest looking creatures.

I can't seem to find enough time blog as frequently as I used to, or to visit other blogs either.

Kylee said...

I'm late in wishing you a happy birthday, Beckie, but wanted to do it just the same! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Yes, that's definitely a bagworm. We had them BAD last year on our Colorado Blue Spruce. We removed over 100 of them and then burned them. We had a few this year, but they were easily removed. For a look at what the worm looks like that is in that thing, here's one I took last year: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v31/kbaumle/miscellaneous/bagworm_8_10_07_a.jpg
Disgusting!

I know just what you mean about not having time to post. I'll be playing catch-up until Thanksgiving, I think!

Cheryl said...

Hi Beckie....hope you had a wonderful birthday......I have sent you the seeds I promised, also some for Rose and Lisa...hope you get them soon.....

Gosh everytime I visit you, there are more wonderful creatures in your garden.....beautiful butterflies and the lovely Praying Mantis.......

And still the beautiful morning glory is flowering, worth its weight in gold.....

Naturegirl said...

I have been away for some time travelling with no time to stop by blogs so today being Bloom day it is a JOY to see all the morning glories in your garden..I did NOT plant some this summer so I am enjoying yours!

Mountain Mama said...

I love your little Whirlwind flower. Gosh that's cute. I'll be looking for seed.
I also admire your lovely blue Morning Glory. I do wish I could grow them to look so nice here.You certainly have a green thumb. Actually two of them I think!