Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Painting with bright colors

Spring is a time of delicate colors and shimmering palettes of spring green, like a watercolor painting. The summer garden in a warm climate like central NC doesn't have that look of eternal spring seen in more northern climes; it's like a work in oils or pastels, bold colors thrown at the canvas and swirled together.

Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' with Buddleia 'Potter's Purple'

The Monarda creates a bold current of color in the sea of green that's the big perennial bed.

Its deep raspberry pink just glows

and it's a-buzz with activity all day long. The Carpenter Bees in particular love it.

There are swirls and eddies of 'Claire Grace' too, which from a distance looks a little dull without something bright like Phlox 'Robert Poore' to punch it up.

Up close is a different story.

I had forgotten about the Rudbeckia since it was just fuzzy leaves last year; now of course, like the Phlox, I think I need more of it! I love the warm golden color, like the glow of a late summer afternoon captured in a flower.

Good news on the pony front! We jogged her yesterday and she looks to be doing much better.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's a parade

of daylilies, stars of the June garden.

I believe this one to be 'Meriam White', as lovely in daylight

as it is as dusk, when it takes on a luminescent quality.

'Pandora's Box'

'Beautiful Edgings'

'Siloam David Kirchhoff'

'Jedi Blue Note'

Sun faded but still lovely

Love this noid

'Bleu Celeste', which of course isn't sky blue at all, with commuter daylilies.

Also still lovely when faded.

Also love this noid, so graceful, and fragrant too

Mokan Butterfly/ Mask of Eternity seedling

Another mystery daylily, with a beautiful rich pink color.

Screech of needle on record ~ wait, what is this doing here? I love the rich warm colors but
they don't go with the delicate pastels that have gone before, not the creams and cool pinks
and plum and raspberry tones. I planted Rudbeckia seedlings last year and then forgot about them.

Adding some 'Chocolate Splash' and 'Buttered Popcorn' will make everybody happy. Sounds delicious doesn't it? Unfortunately deer are finding my daylilies to be delicious too. I can't believe this hasn't happened before, whether I'm surrounded by undeveloped floodplain and hunters or not. I have been mixing a solution of water and peppermint extract (approx 1 fluid ounce of extract to 3 cups of water) to spray on the daylilies and that has helped.

I am planning to move 'Sparkling Orange', 'Spellbinder', and 'Paper Butterfly' to the "warm" spot in the garden as well.

I think the culprit eating the daylilies is a doe with a fawn stashed near the garden. Funny thing is there was a buck with a broken leg who practically lived in the garden for a year and he didn't eat anything. He knocked over a young Hansa polishing his antlers but that was it. The Hansa survived. Ah well these things happen. Can't expect to plant daylilies and never have any eaten by deer.

Unfortunately during the storm last weekend the horses got out and the pony sprained her ankle. We think lightening struck the rods on the shelter, or a tree behind the shelter; nothing else would cause them to run through the fence in a blind panic like that. btw you DON'T want a fence a horse can't run through, as they can get caught in it and fatally injured. The flight instinct of a horse is very strong. Their getting out had nothing to do with our earlier fence problems either. We replaced 80 fence posts last year, and I've been checking them every 6 months. They chested the boards, which are hot-wired, but a hot fence will not deter a panicked horse.

The pony doesn't have any swelling, so the problem is likely one of the ligament that support the ankle. The reason this injury doesn't usually manifest in swelling (unless it's severe), is that those supporting ligaments are overlaid by the deep and superficial flexor tendons and the suspensory ligament in back and the extensor tendon in front. The vet was out last week and prescribed paddock rest, sweating the leg at night, and two doses of Adequan a week apart. So the horses are up here in the paddock behind the house keeping me company.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Color for GBBD

There is lots of summer flowers for both Garden Bloggers Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens.

Commuter daylily, Purple Coneflower, rugosa with hips, and Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'

'Beautiful Edgings', with its delicate shadings of pink and yellow on cream.

Mockingbirds are nesting in the Foxi Pavement rose bush.

It's good for the nestlings that the heat wave has broken. I was watering the seedling Baptisias last week I looked in on the nest and all three babies were panting and leaning over the edge of the nest like wilted flowers. Thankfully mama showed up just then and got back on the nest to shield them from the hot sun that was shining through the branches. When I looked back in on them later one still had its head out and was gaping. "I'm hungry!"

A delicious-looking flower with a delicious-sounding name: Raspberry Wine.

Especially good with a side of (daylily) Buttered Popcorn.

A favorite of both bees and hummingbirds, Brazilian blue sage, accompanied by four o' clocks and Buddleia 'Potter's Purple'.

I started with solid yellow and fuchsia pink four o' clocks, and now there is a broken color blend of yellow and pink on the same flower

and a solid color blend of coral pink.

Indigofera is finally something in addition to Carolina Rose that grows well at the back of the big bed. It will send out its dainty sprigs of pink pea-like flowers until frost.

In the bed next to the neighbor's pasture, the Knockout has been covered in flowers for many weeks, and the seedling Witch Hazel has gotten quite big. I wish the neighbor's guineas would come back and eat some more of the Japanese Beetles. I've missed them the past few days. A pair has been hanging out here a lot; a dark guinea and a pearl guinea.

I love the delicate swaying seedheads of Northern River Oats; so graceful.

I planted the Pickerelweed but the Lizard's Tail grew there by itself, and will soon be blooming in wide swaths along with the Pickerelweed.

The Prothonotary Warblers are not confining themselves to the slough by the creek this year! I heard the "squeaky wheel" song behind the horse shelter, and after walking back there and calling "pst, pst, pst" a few times ~ a siren call to a curious and fearless bird like the Prothonotary Warbler ~ I saw him. I hope to get a picture, but here is what these gorgeous little birds look like.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Prairie Roses

Two of my prairie roses (Rosa setigera) that I started from seed a few years ago have grown together to form a solid hedge over 25 feet long. I love it! The smaller silvery plant is front is our native Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum incana). The foliage has a wonderfully minty fragrance, and I wanted something that could take competition, was tough, and attracted a lot of pollinators. Both Niche Gardens and the NC Botanical Garden have written about how mints attract many different types of insects, so I wanted to try it. As a bonus, I love how the silvery foliage looks with the pink roses.

May 30, 2011

The pollinators love Prairie Rose and I mean love it!

Native bumblebee on left, honeybee on right.

I think this bee must be about maxed out on the pollen that she can carry.

I've started several other R. setigera from seed; this one is about 3 years old. All are next to the driveway above the house, mixed in with American Beautyberries, Elderberries, (Pokeberries ~ in parentheses because I'm not sure I want them to be there... love the look of the berries but not the rest of the plant), rugosas, mints, Monarda, Blue Mist Shrub, a Vitex tree, and a couple of Baptisia, the dryland B. tinctoria and B. sphaerocarpa .

And, this beautiful Soapwort that I got from raingardener.

The flowers are lovely in all stages of aging, appearing a bright clear pink in sunlight and lilac-pink at dusk. They lack only fragrance.

I also grow another Prairie Rose (Rosa arkansana) that I started from seed from Prairie Moon Nursery. A much smaller rose and sweetly fragrant, this rose will repeat while R. setigera is a once bloomer. The flower color ranges from pale to deep pink.

We got almost 2" of rain over the weekend, much needed, and a lot of lightening too. All of our buildings have lightening rods on them, to ground any lightening strikes, but close strikes are still scary. We are expecting cooler temps this week, also much needed, and will be a nice change from the roasting pan of the last two weeks!

Blogger is still apparently having problems; if you don't have a pop-up window for comments or the option for anonymous posters to leave their name and url, I can't leave a comment on your blog. *update* Rose told me that a way around the problem is not to check the box to stay signed in when logging in to comment ~ worked like a charm. Thank you Rose!

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