Monday, August 17, 2009

A Late Mish Mash Monday!

It has been a busy couple of weeks here at Dragonfly Corner-as evidenced by my lack of posting! Hopefully things are slowing down some and I can get back to the important business of reading garden blogs. :)

My Dad had a kidney removed last week. He had a large cancerous tumor on it that had started to spread into the renal artery. The Doctors at the Veteran's Hospital in Indianapolis are confident that they got it all and that he will make a complete recovery. I can't say enough good things about the staff there. They were all extremely helpful, very dedicated and kind, caring people.

He is at home now recuperating with the help of an old friend. At the age of almost 85, he is doing remarkably well. I think his recovery has to do with his determination to not let this get him down and the fact that he is extremely stubborn. Way to go Dad!

Summer is coming to an end-the grandgirls all go back to school this week. The angle of the sun has changed and casts a different light, the days are getting shorter and the sun is just starting to rise as I leave for work. Sigh..... But this field of sunflowers close to work starts my day with a smile.

A new color of seashell cosmos is making me smile also. :)

This is the bud of my newest delight. I do not remember planting this -I have 2 plants in fact. I have no tags for them-they just appeared! Thanks be to the Gardening Gods. I am in love with ....

....Datura! Pardon the hand, but I wanted you to see just how big these blooms are. They only bloom at night and last just a short while after daybreak. So to see them, I resort to taking a flashlight out into the gardens at night. Or check them out as I am leaving for work.

Raindrops glisten like diamonds on their snow white blooms.

If you want a glorious-exotic-easy to grow plant, this is it. I am in LOVE!

The raindrops on these caladiums caught my attention as well as...

on the nasturtiums.

I seem to have a lot of blue in the gardens now. I didn't plan it this way(maybe I should say I did!), but the of sight blues in the garden provides a cooling effect in the hot days of August. This morning glory was supposed to have been Heavenly Blue-one I started from seed this spring. Oh well, a few surprises make life interesting. It does look good on the new arch we put in just off the patio.

This annual, salvia Victoria Blue, has been an outstanding addition to my garden. I have it planted in several places and in several containers. I will use this again next year and will not go back to the perennial salvia This never needs deadheading and seems to do well no matter where it is planted.

Bachelor Button is blooming again after a short rest. This was a pass along plant last year and has more than doubled in size this year. Another easy to grow addition to the garden.

The color seems to fade a bit in this photo of one of my containers, but I can assure you it is glorious in person. I call this my 'blue' pot and it has Victoria Blue salvia, Beth's Blue laurentia, and a 'blue' petunia from Walmart. Hey, I liked the color. :)

And now.... dragonflies seen at the small pond where I work. I often use my lunch hour to walk around with my camera. Yes, my co-workers think I'm a little odd. :)

Aren't they beautiful!?

Remember I said summer was coming to an end??? I know because a mum has started blooming in the garden.
Have a great gardening week and enjoy the last few days of summer!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mish Mash Monday!

Happy August! Can you believe we are on the downward side of summer already? It seems like only yesterday we were looking through seed catalogs and tentatively planting our first pansies. Now we are preparing for fall plantings. There are a few flowers who don't know they are supposed to be done blooming for the season though.

The Ruby? lilies are still blooming strong. This variety has really come into it's own this year, and is ready to be divided. In fact I think I can get two good sized fans-one to share with Rose and one to start a new bed. Well, maybe not new, but I have plans to enlarge a bed adding this day lily and a few other plants.

Introducing.... 'Andrea's Dragonfly'. This is the unnamed lily Rose gave me in memory of Andrea and said to name it in honor of her. Dear Hubby came up with the simple, but heartfelt name. We have plans to put a plant marker by it. I may have told you this, but Rose was Andrea's Godmother and also loved her very much. The gift of this lily has meant so much to us.

This is another unnamed lily we bought together and split. I have named this one 'Dragonfly Corner'. A little corny maybe, but it is next to Andrea's and I thought it fitting. This fall or next spring, I plan to add some ivory colored lilies to this area to break up the orange a little.

The last new lily I purchased from 5 Acre Day Lily Farms was ' Orange Slush'. Isn't she gorgeous?? I know- a lot of oranges, but this one is in a bed with lots of other colors.

Did you know sweet potato vines bloom? I had never seen one bloom before, but this dark one which was just marked 'Ipomoea' has several of these lavender blooms on it. I am so pleased. :)

One, just one of the red mix sunflowers I planted indoors made it. Really sunflowers need to be direct sown as they develop a long tap root that does not do well in the little peat pots. I am going to plant more of these next year because of the color and the height. This one is maybe 10' tall!

And look what bloomed in my garden. A poppy!! After all my complaining about not being able to grow these, one has surprised me. I think this is from some seed that Cheryl sent me, but can't find the packet. Seems like they were Icelandic?? I also planted parsley indoors this spring and put them out for the butterflies in various spots in the garden. Well, it turns out these poppies have foliage very similar to that of the parsley, so I have at least 2 that are poppies instead of parsley. I am SO HAPPY!

The finches have been literally fighting over the sunflower seeds. They have been a joy to watch, but oh so hard to get a good photo of. As you can see by this head, a lot of the seeds are already gone. Never fear, I have many more blooming and they should keep the beautiful birds around for quite a while.

A few-and I do mean few butterflies have come to the garden. This skipper, a Silver-Spotted one is very common from Canada to Mexico. But I am glad she is in my gardens and enjoying the Verbena Bona that Cheryl sent. I have loved seeing these plants in my garden. They are light and airy and draw the eye upwards.

This is the biggest bee I think I have ever seen! I watched him for a long time and each time he flew away, he would come right back to the Victoria Blue saliva. Another plant I have been extremely happy with!

Finally, a Painted Lady has come to visit. Last year we had dozens of these all over the cone flowers. This is the first one I have seen this year. Maybe she will send word to the others that there is lots of pollen now at Dragonfly Corner!

But look what was here and I missed her. The Monarch has laid eggs and the caterpillars are out eating their way to becoming a pupa. I know these are Monarch larva because they have black, yellow and white stripes. The Queen's larva, which resembles the Monarch, has brown and yellow stripes.

There were six of these eating their way through the fennel I planted for them. Yeah!!

We have tomato! Our very first, a 'German Queen' Heirloom tomato. And it was grown in our very own Topsy Turvy. :)

And lastly, another mystery plant. I know all of you are wishing I kept better track of what I planted and where. :) But I do not remember planting this, nor do I have any recollection of ever seeing anything like this. It may be a weed, but it looks very interesting. Especially what I assume is the flower bud-which has been like this for days. Any ideas?
I hope I didn't jump around too much, It's just that I had a lot I wanted to share. Maybe If I could find time to post more often....
Have a great gardening week!