Monday, May 31, 2010

Curb Bed and Blooms

As I type, my iphoto library is being copied to a larger hard drive.  We had to  take it off of my computer, because there are so many photos that it was slowing everything down.  Then, the one I had been using was telling me it was almost full, so, now we are going to 500 gb.  I had already gotten the photos on the post, so now, I can be on time for Jean's Bloomin' Tuesday, instead of being late for the party, like I have been lately.

The new part of the curb bed is progressing.  I found some nice sized plants on sale last August, so it looks more mature to me at this point than some of the other areas their first springs.  The Jupiter's beard, blooming on the left, is smaller than its parent, which marks the beginning of the area that's been planted for several years.

I planted different kinds of perennial geraniums along the front, but since they haven't reached the curb, I planted some rose moss between them, right at the curb.  I had some there last year, and enjoyed them.

The little rose seems to be finished blooming.  I deadheaded most of the buds.  I don't know if it will bloom again.

When I was in the garage looking for pots, I found a plant support I'd forgotten about.  It works well for the bush clematis.  I'm enjoying the sedums that curve through the middle of the bed.

A stoke's aster I planted this spring looks like it will have a bloom.  It's just behind the geranium on the right. I planted gazanias and nicotiana throughout the space.  Rabbits are eating the gazanias.

Looking back to the west and north, the rest of the 'Spooky' dianthus are joining the one that was blooming.  I need to look at photos from last year to see which aster I divided and put a clump of just to the left of the first stone of the walkway between the new bed and more established one.

Facing fully west, the drying clumps of tulips are hidden by the foliage of the daylilies, some of which have buds.

I can't remember what kind of coriopsis this is, but it's a nice looking clump and bloom.

This is the first 'Spooky' to bloom.  It is now quite full, as are the others.  I love them all!

I took more photos facing south.

I think I'm going to enjoy the 'Prairie Splendor' coneflowers.  Oh, and I planted some lisianthus, too.

Here's the first bloom of the coneflowers.

Looking back east, the lavendars are blooming.

The variegated sedums are more noticeable than the others.  There are six in all, three different kinds.

This delphinium is sending out over five feet tall stalks for its third year of blooms.  I am so tickled that it is still alive and doing well.  The peach leaved bellflowers below are a bit floppy in this bed, but not in the one on the east side of the house.

Can you see Larry in the left background taking some flower photos of his own?

Does anyone know what kind of caterpillar this is? 

I hope your Memorial Day went well.  We live in walking distance to the cemetery where Larry's parents' graves are, yet we rarely go there.  I want to go see the decorations people have put this year.

I noticed other bloggers have thanked folks who are serving or have served in the military.  I want to add my appreciation as well.  My prayers are also with families who have lost loved ones recently.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

More Critter Action and Commotion

I have seen lots of critters this week.  I missed getting photos of the cardinals, swallowtail and painted lady butterflies.  I did get one of the couple kinds of bees I saw.   I ended up with lots to show for Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn.  I've been working on this post off and on since Friday evening.  I better get it posted now!  Click on the Camera Critters button in the sidebar to see more critters or how to post yours.

 Sunday, I was tickled to see a dragonfly.  I think that's asters it's on.  I took a few pics, then tried lifting the leaf to see if I could get a photo of the whole creature.  It darted away as soon as I did that, but it was cool for me to see those black eyes.

I saw this ladybug, too.  I have been seeing some around, and also some of the pupae. 

Heidi enjoyed lounging around while I was taking photos.

On Tuesday, I saw some more critters.

I'm most excited about the monarchs coming back. It looks like we'll have some caterpillars on the milkweed in the curb bed that I did not plant.  The seeds must have come on the wind.  This is the second year for these, so they will probably bloom.  The monarch was not happy with me trying to take photos.  It kept flitting around, so I quit trying so it could lay its eggs in peace.

On Wednesday, I found some kind of insect on a daisy close up.  Do you know what it is?

Heidi enjoyed lounging that day, too.

Thursday,  I saw the bee before taking photos, and was glad to be able to capture it with the camera.  I'm glad the foxgloves I love so much are enjoyed by bees, too.

Heidi wasn't so relaxed during this photo taking adventure.  She spied something with her little eyes.

I had time to take a number of photos as Heidi stalked closer and closer to the squirrel.  She is now even with my garden gloves.  She kept looking at the squirrel, and then at me.  The squirrel was making eye contact with her, too, the tease.

Finally, I said, "OK Heidi, get the squirrel, but don't go into my flower bed."

The squirrel and I both knew she wouldn't be fast enough to get it, and I wasn't fast enough with my camera to take its photo dashing off.  Poor Heidi, with her tail down, wonders where it went.

The squirrel, with its tail up, safely across the street, is grazing in the grass.  It knows she's not allowed to go into the street.

I moved on to the veggie garden, where the large kale was providing a meal for a monarch.  I had been thinking of digging it up, since I have another clump of it in the garden, and another across the street.

I kept my distance, and used my zoom.  I think I'll let the kale stay.

The dove was high up in its perch, observing all.

Today, I took photos of the spiderworts' first blooms, and didn't notice the slug until I looked at the photos.  That's a critter I usually put on a bird bath for the birds to find.

I always throw the water I put in the bowl of lettuce for a prewash and other water or coffee we don't drink next to the house where the hellebores are growing.  You can't see the critter that got splashed in this photo, but I thought I'd include it because I didn't show this part of the planter in the previous post where I featured this area.  I'm ready for the daffodil foliage to die back, but it will be awhile.  The bergenia leaves are being eaten, probably by slugs.  I better check that out.

You might be able to see the critter now, and where the water splashed against the house.  I like the foliage of the hellebores.  That's a honeysuckle an elderly neighbor gave me when we moved in.  I should have trimmed it back this spring, because it is getting woody.  I worked on it a little today, but it's probably too late to do much more.

I've noticed that the garter snakes will stay very still while they know you are there, and then, when you leave, they do, too, so you can't see where they went.  I forgot about it for a few minutes, then, when I asked Larry if he wanted to see it, it was gone.

I'm going to vent/rant a little. I wish people didn't hate snakes so much.  When I was at the hardware store today, a young couple were looking at a package of moth balls that were being sold to repel snakes.  I told them I'd heard that didn't work, and it would make their yard smell really bad.  I also told them the garter snakes around here want to stay away from people as much or more as we want to stay away from them.  The lady said she was afraid of stepping on one.  They live around a mile from me.  Our neighborhood does have garter snakes.  I'd rather have them than the rabbits that are now killing some of my plants by eating them down to nubs.  By the way, I thought they were no longer allowed to market moth balls to repel snakes because they are bad for the environment.  (I didn't get to see whether they bought the moth balls, but they did buy something.)

Here's a view taken while leaning over the area from the porch.  It shows the peonies and such in front of the raised planter.  The tubs are ours.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I Almost Forgot it's Friday

I decided to take some photos of the bed in front of the house, then included some blooms from other areas so I can have a post for Tootsie's Flaunt your Flowers/Fertilizer Friday.

This is the clematis from the front of the porch.

Here's the peony right next to the porch.

The lamium has been blooming since early spring.

Lamb's ears are just starting to bloom.

I have different kinds of heucheras across the front of the raised planter, and hellebores across the back.  In the middle are the pig squeak, wild ginger, and some bulbs.

I never looked up in the book I won from Jan at Thanks for Today awhile back whether hellebores will bloom again if deadheaded.  They seem to hold onto the blooms a good amount of time.

I didn't deadhead the piq squeak bergenia, either.  I like the look of the hellebore leaves.  There are some on the left side of the photo.

Gail, I remembered the name of the campanuala I was telling you about.  It's glomerata, I'm pretty sure, and if the information I found is correct, it's a European wildflower. 

Another name for it is clustered bellflower.  It is quite spready, but the flowers are pretty enough that I let it grow in this small space under the tree, and pull out the runners from time to time.  I see some coral bells to the right.

Nigela, or love in a mist, is one of my favorite annuals.  It didn't come back from seed as well as I hoped it would, but here is the first bloom of the year.  This is in the big front bed.

The bent foxglove clusters, also in the front yard bed, look to be straightening up a bit.

The next photos are from the bed to the east of the house.  The lady who sold plants out of her yard 20 some years ago told me these were Japanese irises.  They spread a bit, and divide pretty well.  They and the repeat blooming day lily are almost finished blooming.

These amsonia blooms are lighter than usual, it seems.  The Japanese irises, about a foot tall, show on the left.  I can't remember the name of the irises on the right, but they have only been planted for a couple years.

These are about 18 inches tall.  The spiderwort to the right bottom corner is about to bloom.

The white colored yarrow I thought was going to turn yellow did.

This is the amsonia hubrichtii that turns such a pretty gold in the fall.  The blue flowers in the background belong to another amsonia.

This may be amsonaia taberdenaemontana blue star.  The other tall ones are a tabernaemontana, too, but don't spread like these do.  I've pulled some that went where I didn't want them, but am glad I didn't get them all out.  I sure like the color of these blooms.

I can't believe how full of blooms the miniature rose I bought for Larry last spring are.  I'm glad we have an egress window well for it to spend the winter in.