Saturday, August 29, 2009

Camera Critters

Our friends the guineafowl, visiting from the neighbor's farm. I hope they come around next Japanese beetle season, perhaps they might put a dent in the JB population.

Prissy, protesting about having her picture taken rather than being petted.

The dark spot on her nose is just dew from the grass.

That alert predator "I see something" look.

To see more critters, visit Camera Critters!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Blooming Friday -- This Week's Favorites

Katarina at roses and stuff hosts Blooming Friday each week and asked which flowers are especially pleasing to us at this time. Here are some of mine:

This is a seedling of 'Zwanenburg Blue' and a pink noid spiderwort. I love the lavender color.

It's so nice to see whole roses again after the scourge of Japanese beetles. This is 'Crepuscule', a fragrant noisette with lovely soft sunset colors.

A beautiful fragrant Crinum with the rather ridiculous name of Crinum x digweedii, also known as the Nassau lily and 'Royal White'. It was dubbed C x digweedii in 1820 and is thought to be a hybrid of C. americanum and C. scabrum. The stripes come from C. scabrum and the fragrance is wonderful, sweet and spicy at the same time.

And of course, seashore mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica).This time of year the roughly 4' by 4' plants are covered in flowers that remind me of pink butterflies.

Thank you to Katarina for hosting Blooming Friday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some August Beauties

Some of these flowers have been blooming all summer, while others, like the great blue lobelia, Hosta, seashore mallow, Formosa lilies, hardy ginger and ironweed, wait until August to strut their stuff.

Rose 'Nasturana'

Ironweed and seashore mallow

4 o'clocks and Formosa lilies -- both have a wonderful fragrance, which can waft 30' at least.

Formosa lilies and seashore mallow

These August lilies beside house are very old hand-me-downs from my grandmother.
I believe it to be Hosta plantaginea or 'Royal Standard'. The flowers smell like honeysuckle.

The bed beside the neighbor's pasture, with seashore mallow, hardy ginger, a 'Knockout' rose, and Panicum 'Cloud Nine'. Not as many Bidens came up this year as last year, but there will still be enough to put on a show next month.

Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) is a recent addition to the garden. Cardinal flower and downy lobelia grow wild on the farm, but I haven't seen great blue lobelia. The cardinal flower tends to pop up willy-nilly in the big ditches and sloughs, flowering beautifully in a spot one year and then showing up several yards away the next. We find a lot of downy lobelia in the shallow ditches and in the floodway fields.

The larger Mexican cousin of our lovely native Ruellia caroliniana, R. brittoniana, with Verbena bonariensis and seashore mallow.

Blue porterweed (a tireless workhorse) and Phlox 'Robert Poore'

IMO the most beautiful of the milkweeds, swamp milkweed

A rose-of-sharon that my MIL didn't want and gave to me. I'm not the biggest fan of Hibiscus syriacus, since Japanese beetles are, but this one is exceptional to me. I love the color of the flowers.

These flowers just about make suffering through the heat and humidity of August worth it. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Swallowtails, Cloudless Sulfurs, and Bumblebee

Joe Pye Weed is one of those prime butterfly-attracting plants, like Buddleia. I divided the wild Joe Pye growing on the farm and put it in the garden, and the butterflies flock to it in droves!

The beautiful polka-dotted Monarch

The elegant Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

The dazzling Eastern Black Swallowtail

I often see Swallowtails, Fritillaries, and Cloudless Sulfurs feeding on the zinnias. These are the first decent shots of Cloudless Sulfurs that I have ever gotten, they usually flit about so quickly.



Coming in for a landing

She looks so plush doesn't she?

To see more critters, visit Camera Critters!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blooming Friday -- Seashore Mallow

Seashore Mallow are currently in bloom all over the garden. They have a long bloom time,
extended by the white form that often blooms in September, and are easy to grow from seed.

Seashore mallow likes rich soil and sun and prefers a lot of moisture in order to perform its best, as it's native to coastal swamps and brackish marshes. When happy it can grow to over 5' in height, 4-5' in width and flowers for 3-4 weeks.

The leaves are fuzzy and a silvery green when covered with dew. Unlike the Hibiscus species
(with the exception of pineland hibiscus), they suffer little to no Japanese beetle damage.

But bees love 'em!

For more Blooming Friday posts, visit Katarina at roses and stuff.
Thank you to Katarina for hosting Blooming Friday.

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