25 August 2007
The Bee-loud garden
Thursday morning after I'd caught up on sleep, I went out to inspect the garden. Sunlight had warmed everything and I was delighted by the many sounds of buzzing. Not just from divebombing hummingbirds, stuffing themselves on nectar and feeder-juice, but from bees. Both honey bees and native bumbles, etc were indulging in collecting nectar and pollen from bee balm, daylilies, coneflowers, and oh yes, the still blooming poppies. There were six bees in this poppy when I started to focus, but a few were camera shy and left!
Cimicifuga (or Actaea, depending on who's doing the labelling) is a glorious plant. It doesn't even have to flower, but it does, and it does it late in the season; none of ours, including this 'Black Negligee' have flowered yet; we also have 'Atropurpurea' and 'Pink Spike'. All are about to bloom, though.
Put on your crocks or other sloggers, now, and come along with me on a tour of the garden. Some photos are from this morning, when we were bathed in fog; others from this afternoon as the fog gave way to sunshine. This is part of the back border, where we have coneflowers, daylilies, phlox, teasels, and an assortment of other things still blooming merrily--and even some yet to come; butterfly bush (buddleia), fall asters, and helenium are yet to take the stage.
Oh, I do ADORE blue flowers, and gentians especially tickle my fancy. While the willow-gentian isn't in bloom yet, this showoff is doing just fine; it's G. septemfida, possibly a variant or cultivar, but it's doing the LoLa routine.
Currently, the butterfly/sunset/memory garden is awash in all kinds of rudbeckias, from the politely clumping Goldstrum to the rowdily self seeding nameless one, to a big clump of 'Herbstsonne' (that I thought had died, but that turned out to be something else that expired!). The hot colours are cooled down by the massive clump of flat sea holly (Eryngium planun) and a chorus of bee balm and lavatera in shades of rose, pink and magenta.
I know I've posted photos of masterworts (Astrantia) before, but this plant is becoming a definite favourite. Though the two that I bought and planted this year are finished flowering, this one, which has been in for a year or two, is still blooming like crazy. Something about its flowers remind me of an Escher painting, maybe because they're so mathematically complex and repetitive. Whatever, I love them.
While I was away, my longsuffering spouse worked diligently on the house, which is now over halfdone. How do you like it?
A little change of pace now, while I do my promo for foliage. This time we're focusing on evergreens, like this 'Rheingold' Cedar. It's my favourite; globular growth, lime green new foliage that turns orange-yellow as it matures, and then this amazing coppery orange colour in winter. Marvelous plant.
Although my heathers are nothing compared to those at Kingsbrae, they're growing and doing well; this is Silver Knight, with silver-green foliage to counter the lavender flowers.
We now return to our regularly scheduled bloomfest. These are 'free-range' sunflowers that volunteer themselves year after near. I didn't get around to planting the new cultivars I got, so these nicely filled in. Well, actually they got a little carried away with themselves, but sunflowers make me smile instantly, so I didn't thin them any more than necessary.
A closeup of one of the lavatera flowers; this might be Silver Cup. Or it might not be, given that it was in a flat of 6 seedlings that I transplanted out.
While I have not been at ALL impressed with the performance of Hydrangea 'Endless Summer' which has been more of an endless disappointment this year, 'Limelight' is putting on a stellar show!
Yes, I know this is plume poppy, (Macleaya cordata) and that it has aspirations of taking over. But where it is, it has to wrestle with globe thistles, monkshood, and daylilies, which tend to keep one another in check. And the fog on the flowerbuds was just too good to resist.
One of the performances just getting started: bluebeard, or caryopteris. I have two new cultivars here that I'm testing out, but this is the one I put in last year. If I can find the label, I'll confirm the cultivar, but I think it might be 'Longwood Blue'. I have Petit Bleu and Sunshine Blue getting ready to do their thing, too.
We grow clematis really, really well--I think it's the fog that keeps things cool that makes our various species and varieties go snaky. This is C. orientalis 'Golden Tiara', and i love both its flowers and its funky seedheads.
The monarch chrysalids continue to pop up in curious places; this is a section of staging that Longsuffering Spouse has used in painting; and he had hauled it up and down and all around the yard earlier in the week til he noticed this little fellow. We're still waiting for the first monarch to emerge, but a few of the chrysalids seem to be elongating and getting more translucent.
That's it for now...the deadlines are reminding me that I need to attend to them if I want to take tomorrow off! Good thing I have my supervisor, Mungus; he's now migrated from the window to snoozing in the other chair in my office, but he's keeping watch anyway.