Wednesday, July 1, 2015

View from the Corner

I sometimes do posts that show the view from our front porch.  As I was standing in the street, starting to take photos of the curb bed, I got the idea to take photos from that spot, and use my zoom like I do when on the porch to see what I can see.  After taking these photos, I decided to cut the liatris aspera plants that were way taller than the other plants in that part of the bed.  The purple poppy mallow plants are blooming away, and I've trimmed them to keep them from going too far out into the street.


Zooming toward the lovely fire hydrant, we see a good number of what look to be purple coneflowers.


Zooming across the sidewalk, to the west curb bed, there are more purple coneflowers, some baby's breath, and common milkweed, which is just starting to bloom.


Can you see down the sidewalk, that we have a neighbor who has no lawn at all?


I see phlox, switchgrass, I'm thinking, 'heavy metal', Mexican hats, New Jersey tea, liatris, little bluestem grass, and a common milkweed.


Zooming to the west, and into the back yard, the giant coneflower is blooming.  The baptisia is sporting seed pods, and the pale purple coneflower and yellow coneflowers are mingling.


Coming back to the east side, there are fewer purple coneflowers in this bed, because I pulled quite a few.  I have to watch for aster yellows, and so far, the pale ones have not had it.  The orange is a cultivar of sneeze weed.


Closer to the house, in the same bed, I think that's a gray headed coneflower getting ready to bloom.  I get it mixed up with another plant, that I'm not remembering the name of, but the blooms are very similar.  The orange blooms here are a daylily I've had for awhile.


Sweet black eyed susans should be blooming in a few weeks. The rattlesnake master is blooming shorter than usual.   

I backed off of the zoom to show a fuller view of the front bed, and the side of the house.


Here's a closer view of the east side of the house.  I like my zoom!  The spiderworts are getting a bit ragged.  The alliums will be soon.


False sunflower and coreopsis provide some yellow.  The huge green plant is an amsonia.  I think this is the best year the garden phlox have had.  I think all the rain we had this spring may be the reason.


The phlox are on the south side of the driveway.  The other plants are across to the north side.  I am not remembering what the huge, white blooming plant is, but we decided to take out the gas plant after I got burned from trimming this plant, even though I thought I had been careful not to touch it.  Larry was also worried the grandkids would get hurt by it.


I hope you are having a good start to your July.  Spring went by way too quickly for me.  I hope we get enough rain, but not as much as we did in the spring.  It's been hot enough, that the soil has gotten dry, though.  I saw some pretty big cracks last night, so the little bit of rain we got in the night was very appreciated.  (I wasn't consistent in providing links, because it is getting late, but the Lady Bird Johnson site is a good resource, and if you are curious about any native plant, you can do a search there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June's Wildflower Wednesday

I enjoyed reading Gail's Wildflower Wednesday post today, as always.  I like how she said we need to be willing to have imperfection due to insects feeding on the plants in order to provide for their needs, which in turn meets the needs of larger critters such as frogs, birds, etc.

I took a break from getting ready for a garage sale we are having Friday and took some photos for a WW post.  I know I've shown some of these blooms before, but wanted to have some with insects on them, and these must be their favorites.

This bee on the New Jersey tea was about half an inch.


The foxglove penstemons are almost finished blooming, and even though I've tied them up, they are flopping a bit.  Since they are still being fed from, I will keep them looking a bit untidy, embracing imperfection, like Gail recommended.


Here is another example of imperfection in the eyes of us.  I forgot what bulb this was, and wonder what this wasp was doing on it. 


In my last WW post, I showed a photo of lead plant.  It is a good looking plant all season.  It is now blooming in several places in the yard.  This is the first plant I got.  It takes a long time to reach full size, and I am thankful I was patient.  The blooms are visited by a number of kinds of small bees.  It is hard to get photos of them.  I realize I am not just showing wildflowers in this post.  The daylilies were planted by my mother-in-law when she lived here many years ago.  They are also visited by pollinators.  That's a spent foxglove beardtongue growing through the plant stake.


The blooms of leadplant are unique, and I think they are pretty cool.


I decided to include some longer views of the yard.  I was thinking about what Gail said about embracing imperfection.  I am thankful to live in a neighborhood where people stop from time to time, to let me know they like the flowers.  Some also take photos.  I sometimes hope they don't notice a blank spot or some other imperfection that has been bothering me.  I know they don't, though, because they are looking at the blooms.


I am not good at making plans for flower beds.  I am a plopper.  I want it that way, though.  I am taking liberties with Gail's them of embracing imperfection.  I do not strive for a neat and tidy look.


A few days ago, when a guy in a car told me how much he enjoys the flowers, I told him I am thankful to live in a neighborhood where they are accepted.  I said if this yard was in a different neighborhood, then he finished my sentence, saying something like others may consider it messy.  LOL  Can you see the common milkweed plants that will be blooming soon?
 

This is the area that bugs me the most.  I have some things too far apart, and others too close together. In the spring, there is a lot of dirt that shows.  Still, open ground is good for some insects.  We did have some ground nesting bees in there one year.


I pulled out a lot of the purple coneflowers from this area, hoping there will be less aster yellows.  Rabbits have eaten down some of the pale coneflowers, but at least there are some blooms.  The imperfection of plants being eaten down does bother me, I have to admit.  This has been the worse that I can remember, and I am hoping all of the plants recover.



This is back in the area in front of the fence where I was saying there is a lot of dirt that shows. I am glad to see the Mexican hats are blooming.


I may have mentioned that I am not seeing as many insects this year, but there seem to be more bees than butterflies.  The butterflies I do see are pretty flighty, and do not land on blooms long enough for me to get photos.


The purple milkweed on the side of the house is taller than that in the front yard.  I wonder if it's because it is surrounded by tall plants.  Milkweed blooms are one of my favorites.


Spring started out cool and wet.  It continued to rain a lot, then jumped into being hot.  It is 8:12 pm, central standard daylight savings, and 91 degrees!  I am thankful the plants are doing fine for the most part.  Yes, there are insect holes on the leaves, but they are supporting life.  There are also birds in the yard every day.   I hope you have been able to spend time in your less than perfect garden. 

Thank you to those who have left comments on my last two posts.  I plan to visit your blogs in the next week.

Monday, June 22, 2015

View from the Front Porch

Every once in awhile, I like to stand on the porch and take some photos.  It's fun to see the changes over the season.


I trimmed back the joe pye weed last week because the ends were drooping in the heat of the afternoons, and so it will take up as much room over the sidewalk.  I've had to tie up a number of plants due to how tall and floppy they are getting due to all of the rain we've had.  The meadow rue plants were falling down before I tied a string around them.


The wild quinine blooms are outlasting the golden alexanders.  Soon, the mountain mint and liatris will be blooming.


I dug out quite a few purple coneflowers this year.  Some of them have been getting aster yellows, so I didn't want as many as there were last year.  The pale purple coneflowers are looking good, but rabbits have eaten some of them down, and reduced the amount of blooms.  Purple prairie clover is one of my favorites, and one of the favorites of rabbits, so I have them caged.


I cut some of the stems off of the cup plant so it can't droop over the sidewalk.  Rabbits ate some of the Illinois bundleflower foliage.  I'm glad they didn't get it all.


When I planted this mallow, I didn't realize it was a taller kind.  The white blooms on the other side of the chair are another mallow cultivar.


Gray-headed coneflowers are about to bloom.  The wild senna foliage is looking awesome, and the rudbeckia maxima is blooming shorter than usual.


I had to tie up the fleabane the other day, because it was falling over.  I also have been tying up the lanceleaf coreopsis plants.  The blooms under the bench are the native purple poppy mallows.


The clematis pitcheri on the trelllis has needed to be cut back since it has run out of support.  For some reason, the younger one is blooming before this one.  That's yarrow near the grass, a switchgrass cultivar I'm not remembering the name of.


I think these are outhouse flowers.  They are going to have to come out this fall, though, because we are getting water into our basement from this raised flower box that was there, I think, when the house was built.  I am not sure what his plan is, but I think it involves cement.


Even though we've had way more rain than normal this season, the heat the last few days has dried out the vegetable garden and the pots.  I heard there were some bad storms east of us today.  I hope all of you are safe and sound, getting some gardening it.  My efforts at working across the street today were met with aggressive mosquitoes.  I don't have the stamina for the heat as much as I used to, but I will keep at it.