Monday, August 27, 2012

East Front Yard

I normally like to do posts on different areas of the yard about once a month.  I got away from that this year, partly because of the hot, dry summer, and partly because it almost seems like reruns.  Still, I am wanting to make some changes, and this will help me keep track of things.  We have been watering regularly because of the new plants in the west area.  Still, some of the plants struggled in the heat.  Many of the daylily leaves turned brown.  With a bit of rain, and a break from the hot temperatures, plants are starting to look better.  The heat is expected to be back this week, though, but hopefully, the new vigor the plants have found will sustain them.  Plus, the days are shorter, and the night time temperatures are cooler.

I'll start with a couple views from the street.

Walking up the sidewalk, the marigolds are volunteers from last year's heirloom ones that I planted last year.

The Joe Pye Weed in the back towers over the area.

We are going to walk around the bed, going to the right, or east.  I did some thinning of the verbena bonariensis this spring, but some must have come up after that, and are now blooming.  They are great fillers in the garden, and the bees and butterflies love them, but still, I will be doing more thinning next year.  I forgot the name of the pinkish agastache.

I planted a few nicotianas to fill in some spaces.  These aren't getting very tall, but I like the color.

The helenium, 'Mardi Gras' is on a second flush of blooms after being deadheaded a few weeks ago.

We have turned the corner, and are facing west, heading to the north.  There are a number of volunteer annual blue salvias throughout the bed, joining the verbena.

After not seeing many monarchs this summer, I am pleased that I have been seeing one to three each day for two or three weeks.

I like the cleome brightening up the space.

I like this phase of the blackberry lilies, but want to get the seeds out before they ripen.  Plus, a neighbor boy asked about them, and I told him they are yucky.  I've read that they are poisonous, so maybe I should take them out soon.

I'm glad I decided to do this post, because I hadn't noticed the delphinium is blooming again.

The sedums are doing well.  I hope they continue to fill in the spaces.

Oh, yes, I need to do some more thinning of the verbenas "on a stick".  The helenium, 'Ruby Tuesday' is doing well, even though it has that competition.

The butterfly bush has been in that spot quite a few years.  I need to deadhead it again soon.

We just turned the corner, and are now facing south.  The hibiscus has been in that spot about 5 years.

The rattlesnake master may not have gotten as tall this year as in the past.

I did not keep up with deadheading the hibiscus this year.  I like the look of the dried seed pod.

I wouldn't want many hibiscus plants, but enjoy this one, and the volunteer one that is not blooming right now.  I also have a couple clumps behind the garage, and one seeded into the neighbors' yard.  There really isn't room for that one where it is.  I have to cut it back each summer.

While I was making my way around the bed, Larry came out and took some photos. After including him in some, I informed him he was in my shots, so he went to another part of the flower bed.  I told him I planned on including at least one of them, so here he is, and you can see how tall the Joe Pye weed is.  LOL

I didn't get the swamp milkweed deadheaded.  I wonder if these seeds will germinate in the area.

Can you see the bee in the Joe Pye bloom?  They like to rest in them.

Here is a peek at the newer planted area on the other side of the sidewalk.

I frequently include this view from the porch, facing south.  You can see the yellow blooms of the cup plant.

We'll walk down the sidewalk, facing back to the east.  Mountain mint, lavendar, and annual blue salvias crowded out the 'Orange Perfection' phlox this summer.

I forgot to include a closer photo of the kiss me over the garden gate in the back, but there is a shorter one in the middle.  It's the pink near the bicycle.

The lantanas around the yard were slow in getting established, but are now doing well.  I noticed some berry looking seed pods.  Do you deadhead your lantanas?

I am forgetting the name of this seedhead, but it's a native of some kind.

I'm thinking I'd like to take out most or all of the iris, and transplant some grasses from across the sidewalk to make the whole yard more cohesive.

I'd like to put some of the shorter grasses in this area.

I didn't get this foxglove deadheaded.  I'll leave it now, since it won't have enough time to bloom again.

One of the 'September Charm' anemones died back a ways, while the one next to it fared better.  The mums are getting ready to bloom.

Soon, there will be more pink from the anemones in the flower bed.

I turned back to the view to the north.

These are nigella seed pods.  I hope more come up next year.  The statice plants on either side are slow to get going, but I'm hoping they will bloom yet this season.

So, we made it around, and here are a few more views.

I had actually taken the next two earlier, while I was trying to get photos of butterflies.  That's when I got the idea to do this post.  I like this one of the monarch and Heidi.

Here's Heidi with the view from the street on the east side of the house.

I hope all is well with you, and those in the path of storms are in safe places. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wildflower Wednesday

I was going to do an update of our front yard again for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday, but when I looked at my last WW post, the photos looked almost identical, which means a lot of the plants in our yard have a nice long bloom time.  There are also some that were not yet blooming, but are now.  I decided to include a few, and then find some that weren't blooming yet last month.

The wild quinine has had a long bloom time.

These liatrises, which I think are pycnostachya, are almost finished blooming.  I have been deadheading the gray headed coneflowers, and they are sending out new blooms.

You can see where I've cut some off here, and some lovely new blooms.

Even though I've left the seedheads on the purple coneflowers, this plant is sending up some new blooms.

Pitcher sage is one of my favorite flowers.  They will soon be opening up their lovely blue blooms.

I've had this helenium for over ten years.  I'm thinking it may be autumale, which is native to our area.  Can you tell? 

The beauty berries are ripening!

The rigid goldenrods held onto their buds for quite awhile, and I am excited they are finally opening up.

The pollinators are glad, too.

The liatris, I'm pretty sure, aspera, is still showing some color.

There are two wild sennas within 6 feet from each other.  Both were a few inches tall last year, when I planted them.  While this one was blooming away this summer, the other one got taller and wider.  It had had a few blooms early on, but no seed pods like these.  I thought maybe one was a male and the other female plant, since I don't know that much about them, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Now, the other one, which was a give away at a garden tour at Benjamin's place in 2011, is putting on quite a show.  His blog is The Deep Middle.

This cup plant was pretty small when I got it at a plant sale in some folks' yard this spring.  I am a proud mama, but don't plan on letting this self sow as much as it could.

It's another one I've seen a number of pollinators on.

I am pleased the ironweed I transplanted from another part of the yard is doing well.

The taller type of wine cup plants have been blooming all summer.

The Joe Pye weeds are doing well, and still attracting the bees.

This short toothed mountain mint is a different kind than the one in the background in the above photo.

I remembered to go to the vegetable garden to take photos of the brown eyed Susans.  I plan to take some seedheads to the front yard this fall, and let them grow there.  I'll just have to be careful not to let them take over.

The toadflax have been growing in a wash tub for a number of years.  They are too aggressive for the ground here.

I just got this wild ageratum, or blue mist flower this summer.  After finding out it can be a spreader, I decided to plant it in a washtub.  I keep having this feeling like I grew it many years ago, and did some battle with it.  I love the bloom, though, and am hoping it survives winter.  Oh, and I saw a monarch butterfly on it today.

I have to protect the purple prairie clover from the rabbits.

The other butterfly milkweeds are finished blooming, so I am glad this one still has color.

I'd like to find more narrow-leaf ironweed.

The Virginia mountain mint blooms didn't seem to last as long this year.

I have been watering this summer, partly because I have new plants that won't need it as much once they get established.  As the days of no rain continue, and I start to feel guilty, I think of all the critters that benefit from the growth and blooms.  Most of the flowers are doing pretty well.  Here are some wider views.  Not all of them are wildflowers.  You can see Joe Pye weed on the left, and farther down, is the cup plant.

I'm pretty sure this switchgrass is panicum 'Prairie Sky'.  I may have called it 'Northwind' in another post, but I think that is what is next to one of the wild sennas.

I'm glad I planted tithonia, Mexican sunflower, right in front of the porch.  I've really enjoyed seeing the butterflies and bees on it.  There is another one planted on the west edge of the yard.

Here's a wider view with one of the wild sennas, with the switchgrass, 'Northwind' behind it.

I want to close with a word of caution to those who have their blogs on Blogspot.  For some reason, I was signed out today, and when I signed in, I got to a page that talked about the new look of Blogger.  I didn't know if this was a more recent new look than the last one I knew of.  I decided to look at my blog through a new format to see what it looked like.  I wasn't even sure what it was.  In the past, when you pushed "apply to blog" you weren't really changing it until you also saved it.  Well, in this case, it changed without that next step.  I didn't like it enough to want to change, so I had to go back and try to figure out how I had it before.  I couldn't remember which template I had used, so I had to start over.  I have been tweaking it this evening, but am not satisfied, so I will be doing more messing with it.  I figured out that you now click on the picture of the template to just have a look at your blog in it.  That's a major change.  It would have been nice if Blogger would have cautioned people before experimenting.

I hope you and your gardens are thriving.