Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wildflowers for Wednesday

I remembered the correct date for September's Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail, from Clay and Limestone.  She usually focuses on a few, but I have trouble doing that, and end up showing lots of photos.  I think I have fewer this time than usual.

The zig zag goldenrod I planted last year is blooming.  I was going to buy a couple more for the front yard, but they didn't have any.  I'm hoping this one reseeds.

The short toothed mountain mint is doing well, as usual.  It would be a much larger clump if I didn't go out each spring and lift up the stems that have sprouted roots.

The 'Wichita Mountains' goldenrod is getting ready to put on a nice show.

Rudbeckia 'Herbstonne'  has been blooming for awhile.  I have quit deadheading it so the birds can eat the seeds.

I am not sure what kind of ex-aster this is, but it's one that has reseeded itself around, and I have had to pull a few that were in another plant's space.

The Rudbeckia 'Golden Glow' is still blooming, while the 'Goldquelle' appears to be finished.  That's lead plant on the bottom right side of the photo.

Pitcher sage is becoming one of my favorite flowers.  I learned that it is native to my part of Nebraska.

Eupatorium 'Prairie Jewel' and Virginia mountain mint:

Liatris, maybe aspera:

The butter and eggs in a washtub have a few blooms along with lots of seedheads.  I need to pull some weeds from the tub.

The rigid goldenrod is almost finished blooming.  There is a plant growing in a tub that I thought was something else, but now that it's blooming, see that it's one of these, so they do reseed.  I planted one in the front yard this spring, but other plants grew over it, and I thought it must not have made it.  I was tickled to see how much it had grown once I found it the other day.  I'll have to see if I can find a spot for the one in the tub.

The gray-headed coneflowers have put a few blooms out, but are about finished for the season.

The wild quinine in the front has a newer looking bloom on the right, while the others have gotten darker.  I read that they turn red in the winter.

I hope the gooseneck loosestrife makes it through the winter in the tub.

The beauty berry bushes are looking beautiful.  I am thinking about moving this one first thing in the spring so I can put something taller in this spot, on the west side of the front yard.  I'm not sure if they can be moved, though.  Do you know?

I spent quite a lot at our arboretum last weekend, buying native plants to fill in spaces in the front yard.  I am excited to see how things will look next year. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Still Lots of Flowers for Tuesday

It won't be long before the weather determines that some of the blooms will be finished for the season.  Right now, I am pleased at all the blooms that are still looking good.  I haven't seen any monarchs for a few days, so they must have left to go to Mexico. 

I needed to limit my photos for Jean's Bloomin' Tuesday so I can get to bed on time this evening. 

The front yard seems to be my favorite place to be these days.

'Immortality' is continuing to bloom.  I have an unnamed one by the curb that I forgot to take a picture of that looks quite summery.  I'll have to get a photo of it before the bloom fades.

The lisianthus plants have been blooming all summer, and are still going strong.

Anemone 'September Charm' and 'Debonair' mums:

I love agastaches!

A Volunteer Hibiscus:

This is one of the mums I planted last September while in full bloom, not knowing whether they would survive winter.  The others are not blooming yet.

Blackberry lily seedheads sure are pretty, but I will be cutting these back so they don't seed all over the place.

The cleomes are still blooming away.

I still can't remember the name of this hibiscus.  It may have had 'party' in the name.

This is a salvia plumosa of some kind.  It may have another word in its name.

I hope you are having nice weather like we are.  It makes it easier to enjoy fall, even though many of us dread what happens to our plants in the winter.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Views of and from the Compost Piles

Between being tired after work, shorter days, and having grandsons on Saturdays, I have been having trouble getting much gardening done lately.  It was a very nice day today, and I got to spend lots of time gardening.  The main thing I was glad to get done was to spread most of the finished compost around the vegetable garden, and turning the unfinished part.  I decided to dig some of the sweet potatoes in order to get the compost away from the fence, because we need to put a different fence there to keep the bottom of the neighbors' fence from buckling into their yard.  Also, I need to make room for the next batch of leaves.

Look at all those roots!  If the season went on forever, would all of them turn into potatoes?

Here's the crop I got from 2 plants.  I wish I could remember what kind these are.  I'm thinking they were supposed to be a smaller growing plant, but these plants were larger than the ones in pots.

It hasn't been the best year for the vegetable garden.  Actually, the spring crops did well, but the summer brought lots of heat, and the insects devoured my bush bean plants.  I was very tickled when I discovered the pole beans growing on the twig fence in front of the compost pile were producing.  We have had 3 meals with them so far.  They seem to be slowing down, now that the temps are getting cooler.  It looks like a disease may be starting.

Earlier, when I was standing on the compost pile in order to reach the compost next to it, I looked over at the garden, and decided I should take some photos from there, 3 or 4 feet above the ground.

This was the second season for the asparagus.  It seems to be doing OK.  There are 3 roma tomato plants right next to the bean plants.  There are some kale plants on the right, with volunteer cherry and grape tomato plants.  There was a nice crop of peas in the same area as the tomatoes, which I think slowed down the tomato plants.  Normally, we have had our fill of cherry tomatoes by now.

There has been some blossom end rot this year, but I think the tomatoes are doing OK now.  I didn't plant many here, and the ones across the street are leggy and not producing well because they don't have enough sun.  The critters seem to be beating me to what does ripen.  I am disappointed, but feel I need to give up my garden across the street.  If there were better growing conditions, I would keep at it.

I used my zoom to head east.  I had some of the Tuscan and regular kale in my salad today.  I didn't get a fall crop of lettuce planted because it was too hot.  I have been buying lettuce, spinach, and cucumbers from the farmer's market.  I did get a few cucumbers here before the plants died.

I have one okra plant.  It looks like I may get some before it freezes.  Some neighbors have a whole bunch of okra that they freeze and use during the winter.  They have some people they share with, too.  I planted 2 kinds of marigolds that I got from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  I only found the red cherry packet.  I looked online, and couldn't tell if that's what these are.  I have quit deadheading so I can harvest some seeds.  I hope they reseed themselves, too.

The butterflies have been enjoying all the verbena bonariensis that survived the hoe.  As I was weeding, I kept saying, I'm letting the ones in the middle live, so I did hoe up quite a few.  There are two painted ladies in this photo.  On the right are a few leaves of a yellow summer squash plant that produced a few, but is now struggling.

Some of my pots of mint are along the north side of the garage.  I'm not sure what kind of goldenrod that is, and whether I planted it or some critter did.  The sweet pea planted itself, and I let it grow over an old plant stand.

We're back to the compost piles.  I will need to harvest the rest of the sweet potatoes soon, but for now, I'll let them grow.

 This section needs to have a little more taken out in order to be ready for leaves.  The neighbors to the north put their leaves over the fence.

I got into the first compost bin to take this photo.  Next year, I don't think I'll plant anything in a compost pile.  I didn't get the other two turned this summer, and I don't think they broke down as well as usual.  I was glad to get some green from the leaves to help the process along.

As I was going in, I took a few more photos.  I get volunteer dill, cilantro, and this, borage each summer.

I had to include the painted lady(ies).  I'm not sure if it's the same one, but I wanted to include each side of the wings.

Well, the weekend is over, and it was a good one.  I hope yours was, too.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It Was a Butterfly Day

I went out after work to take some photos for Jean's Bloomin' Tuesday.  After a cloudy, rainy weekend, the butterflies were out in full force.  When a neighbor girl got off her school bus, she came over and enjoyed the flying flowers with me.  We were in awe of them flying around us, and at the number of butterflies on the butterfly bush.  There are still lots of flowers blooming, not realizing that their days are numbered.  I posted lots of them for GBBD, so I made myself limit the number in this post.

I included this photo first, because I'm not sure if I've posted photos of the nicotiana and lobelia growing by the front porch, even though they've been blooming most of the season.

The switchgrass, 'Prairie Wind' was a couple inches tall and wide when I planted it this summer.

I had to include this poor bedraggled Mexican sunflower with the beetle under the monarch.

I don't get tired of taking photos of butterflies.  They sure are enjoying the dahlias.

I decided to tie the love lies bleeding to the butterfly stake to prevent it from falling down in the wind.  The blooms on the kiss me over the garden gate on the left are lighter weight, but I did tie up the ones in the east bed in front.

This has been a great year for the lisianthus plants.

The zebrina mallow volunteers have been small for a couple years, but are now large enough to bloom.

These are volunteer salvias, I think, from the stems I laid down from a flower bed at church a few years ago.  That's a silver spotted skipper on one of the blooms.

Here's another skipper.

This red admiral was one of the butterflies thrilling the neighbor girl and me on the butterfly bush.

We counted at least 5 monarchs.  Can you see there are 2 in this photo?

I planted this zigzag goldenrod last year.  It didn't get big enough to bloom, but did this year.  The insects seem to be enjoying it.

The asters are starting to bloom.  I am determined to enjoy fall, even though I dread the season that comes next.

The rigid goldenrod is almost finished blooming.

I thought the sweet autumn clematis in this spot had died last year, but it is back, looking fine.

I hope you are having a good week, and are able to be out in your gardens.