June 30, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Death Day - 06/30/09

Kate at Gardening Without Skills had the idea to host Garden Bloggers' Death Day on the last of day of every month. I think it's a terrific idea, a change of pace from looking at photos of incredibly beautiful flowers and healthy luscious vegetables. Admit it, you have something ugly-looking in your garden right now that you could be sharing with us.

See what happened to my Pulmonaria 'Raspberry Splash' (lungwort)? It may not be completely dead because it looks like there's still a bit of a green heartbeat going on in the center of the plant and I suspect the roots are still good. I'll prune it back and hope for the best.

The lungwort looked like this in May, 2009. Keeping my fingers crossed for 2010.

If you'd like to join in, go to Gardening Without Skills and leave a comment about what's dead or almost dead in your garden and we'll come visit. Share a story and a photo, it'll make us all feel better about our own gardening skills.

I wonder how Kate came up with a name like Gardening Without Skills for her blog because she clearly has gardening skills, chicken raising skills, children raising skills, writing skills and a sense of humor.

June 29, 2009

A Big Heart

I'm very fond of the sprays of blue flowers displayed by this Brunnera macrophylla 'Variegata' in the spring, but these big heart-shaped leaves are even more appealing to me than the flowers.

These roses (formerly known as the shrub roses) are starting to bloom and they make me smile every time I look at them. For reasons unknown, they aren't quite up to what they were last year, but still looking good to me.

Some gardeners might not care for pink and yellow blooms so close together, but I rather like how these pink roses look with the blooming Coreopsis grandiflora 'Early Sunrise' and the starting to bloom Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam' (threadleaf). And now you also know our house number! More roses about to bloom behind the house number sign.

The daylilies have started to bloom and as far as I'm concerned, there can't be enough of them in my yard. You can see that every other plant appears to have no flowers. Those bloom later and will be red. I don't know the names of the lilies, just like my nameless roses. You can see the ferns I dug from my mother's yard and planted around the tree. I forgot to pick up those few leaves to the left on the grass. How lazy and careless of me.

I was at a wedding ceremony held in a park last Saturday and there were lots of these ornamental cabbages or kale. Not positive about the difference between the two but think that kale has the ruffled leaves while the cabbage has the broader flat leaves. That being said, I'm still not sure about these, but will say ornamental cabbage because they don't look frilly & ruffled enough to be kale. Both are cold tolerant and the pink, red, purple and white colors become very vivid as the temperatures turn cool and we have some frost.

June 24, 2009

Really Big Bumble Bee

Not a real bumble bee, a plastic one with wings that whirl in the wind. It was a gift from my parents to our grandson when he was two years old. He brought it to our house where it has stayed and together we put it outside every summer. Phillip is seven now, but he's still a little fascinated with the bright yellow bee.

There are ten shrub roses growing in our yard, but only one of them is red. The rest are different shades of pink and white. I'm thinking of leaving off the word "shrub" and simply saying, roses. Shrub makes them sound too ordinary and plain, and they are not. When I see all the blooms, it makes me feel lucky that they're ours. Wish I knew their real names.

The temperatures here have been in the 90's for several days now. We sometimes go for a couple of summers in a row without it ever reaching ninety degrees. Honestly, I don't know how those of you who live with this kind of heat and humidity on a regular basis survive. It makes me feel like life is being sucked right out of me. I salute all of you who garden in hot weather and have gardens that are gorgeous. I know you do because I read your blogs.

When It's Too Hot
To Be In The Garden
I Float In The Pool

Then I Relax
Eat Ice Cream Cake
And Show Off
My Bandaged Elbow
And Injured Big Toe

At the End of the Day
Standing Still and Quiet
Dirty Face and All

June 21, 2009

The Sharing of Blooms

Don't Know Much
About Irises.
But Know What
I Like.
And I Like These.

Driving Down A Country Road.
Came Upon This Field Of Flowers.
No House In Sight.
Running Wild In The Country, Perhaps?

Meet Miss Pinkie,
Not Her Real Name.
First Of The Shrub Roses
To Show A Bloom.

The Morning Glory Is Small
But Has Two Flowers.
Will It Climb The Tree?
Wait And See.

Lamium, 'Beacon's Silver'.
Some Sun, Some Shade,
Even Moisture.
It's Happy And It Shows.

My Friend At
Told Me About
Go Ahead, Visit Her Blog.
It'll Make You Happy.

June 18, 2009

Shorebird Without A Beach - Killdeer

If you were a bird, would you think it a good choice to lay your eggs on the mulch at the bottom this slide? This photo of the kids playing was taken back in April and although the farm is close, it's not quite as close as it appears in this picture.

Apparently, the killdeer who hang out in our son and dil's yard decided that Phillip's play set area would be a safe place for their three eggs. You know, a place with not much activity going on and where half the neighborhood kids don't hang out. Here he/she is looking relaxed while foraging the lawn for insects.

These three speckled eggs are almost directly at the bottom of the slide where both the male and female take turns sitting on them. Incubation last for 24-28 days and I've read that the baby killdeer come out running once hatched. The eggs are huge compared to a robin's egg. There's no nest to speak of, only a slight depression in the mulch.

When the killdeer is disturbed or feels you're getting too close to the nest, it goes into its broken wing display in hopes that as you pursue it, you'll be led farther and farther away from the nest. Then when the killdeer feels the young are safe, the broken wing suddenly heals and the bird flies away calling a loud "KILL-DEER" that sounds like a jeer. Here it is faking an injury.

Most of my information about this bird was taken from All About Birds and Birdwatching. This is a fascinating bird, a shorebird that's different than most because it often nests and lives far from water.
My favorite piece of information that I read about killdeer in Birdwatching is that seeing just one baby killdeer will bring a smile to the grouchiest face in town.

June 16, 2009

Christmas In June

This wreath has been sitting on the grass behind an office building for months now. How hard could it be to dispose of it or at least bend down and pick up the red bow? The greenery has turned to brownery and it looks about ready to burst into flames. Oddly enough, I find myself looking forward to seeing if it's still there when driving by.

On to greener things. Last week I planted three sneezeweed plants in the messy unmade bed, two Helenium 'Double Trouble' and one Helenium 'Chelsey'. The very next morning this is what greeted me on my morning walk around the yard. The top of one of the plants was "chewed" off and left on the ground. Since then, some of the lower leaves have been eaten. My information tells me that all parts of the plant are poisonous, if ingested. So far, the other two plants have been untouched.

The yard on the west side of our house has been left to grow natural. This is where the mayapples and trilliums (or is it trillia?) give us a wonderful show in the springtime. Since he's been old enough to talk, Phillip has referred to it as Grandma's woods. It's starting to look more like a jungle and needs to be cut back some before it reaches the house. It's always cool and lush back there and a good place for him to find bugs.

June 14, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - June 15

This pretty Lantana is called Bandana Rose, but since the yellow blossoms mature to a rose color I think a better name would be Banana Rose. This is my first time planting a Lantana with a mounding, upright growing habit and I'm liking it a lot, so far. It's in a container. The flowers are bigger and the leaves larger and a darker green than the trailing type I usually plant. I have some of the trailing, spreading type planted in the ground, yellow ones. They're not blooming enough for today's GBBD.

The Lupinus regalis 'Morello Cherry' (Lupine).....did I get that right this time? The tag describes the flower spike as being a dramatic cherry-red. I don't see that, but couldn't love it more and plan to plant others with it for next year. The foliage is lovely to look at long after the flowers are gone.

FINALLY, the Aquilegia 'Ruby Port' (Columbine) is blooming and the wait was worth it. She's so pretty and graceful for having only been in the garden for less than a year.

Every year at this time I get tricked into buying Fuchsia plants. I say tricked because they are so pretty at the garden center that I can't walk by without buying one or two. NEVER have I been able to keep them blooming. This year I've done more reading on how to care for them and found that they have a drinking problem, as in you can't water them too often. If you're interested you can visit Gardening Tips 'n' Ideas for more information. Here are the two pots of Fuchsias I'm trying to keep alive this summer.

Early last evening, Phillip walked around the yard with me to check things out and to see what was new. Even when he doesn't ask, I always tell him the names of the plants and he found the name of these Impatiens to be funny because I often remind him not to be impatient.

I enjoy sharing my blooms on this day, but what makes me happiest is visiting all the other great gardens out there. It's truly a pleasure to do that and I thank Carol at May Dreams Gardens for making it so easy to do.
This post is being put together on Sunday evening because tomorrow will be a busy day for me. But I'll make time to visit the gardens of my "regulars" and every GBBD I make a point of stopping by new gardening blogs to see what they have blooming.

June 12, 2009

Spoonin' In The Garden

Although I like a little whimsy in the garden, there's not much of it to be found in my yard. Interesting that I almost always say "my" yard when it's my dear husband who does most all the backbreaking work when it comes to the trees, bushes and lawn. These spoons/forks are not anything new because I've seen them before, but they're cute and make me smile. This photo comes from the Green Bay Botanical Garden website.
We were at our son and dil's place yesterday to help out with some yard work while our son is out of town for a week. My husband cut grass (3 acres) and I transplanted some black-eyed susan plants and ferns from "our" yard to their yard. I noticed more wildflowers blooming in their natural area and took these pictures (sometimes I like to say pictures instead of photos). We're there at least once a week and it's fun to see what new wildflowers are blooming.

June 10, 2009

Did You Think My Garden Was Perfect?

In case you thought that everything in my yard/garden was neat and tidy, think again. This poor tomato, my one and only, was planted a couple weeks ago and the prospect of it bearing fruit that wins a prize at the county fair is not lookin' good. My dad told me to stake it but my husband suggested the cage, so I did both. The green plastic pail contraption was my dad's invention for retaining moisture. Leaving the weeds to surround the plant was entirely my idea. The tomato is a Wisconsin 55 and they've been around since the 1940's. It has a good sweet flavor. The plants are very productive and thrive in a wide range of growing conditions, so "they" say. We'll see.

Here's a messy unmade bed. I don't think I've ever gone this long into June without having it planted, but this year the weather has been a factor; cold and rainy and lazy. Wait, lazy has nothing to do with weather. Ornamental grass and russian sage in the back and last year the rest was filled with spreading lantana and a few zinnias and I loved it all. Also an aster and a butterfly weed in there among the weeds. My plan is to add a few more perennials plus the lantana.

Phlox Plant Bugs, I think that's what's going on here. I've never ever before had trouble with bugs on my phlox, but something needs to be done and in a hurry. It's on my "to do" list for tomorrow. Ugly looking, right? And I do love my phlox.

Something pretty to end this post with, a photo of more nameless hostas. They are really my favorites because of how they light up that part of the yard, especially in the early evening.

June 9, 2009

Hooray For The Hosta

So many hosta plants and I know the name of not one of them. Why didn't someone tell me that those plants tags might come in handy some day? I'd like to be part of the hosta cult, but don't think I qualify now. These photos are all in the front yard. There are many more of them in the backyard where they get a lot of sun. They don't seem to mind the sun and actually get bigger than the ones in the front.

I enjoy the wider shot photos in other blogs, so I'm going to start including some of those. This was taken from the front porch. The orange Oriole feeder has been replaced with this hummingbird feeder and the Orioles still come to it along with the hummingbirds, although not at the same time. Nice shot of the neighbor's house. I wouldn't mind having their front porch.

This was originally the NFL garden and not my idea. It had to do with the colors in the NFC Central but has evolved out of that and I'm not sad about it. The small plants coming up around the tree are the black-eyed susan or as some of you may prefer, Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldstrum', and I probably didn't get that right (but I keep trying). They are the love of my garden life and if I could only have one perennial, this would be it.

More nameless hosta plants.

Hostas with Ferns & Astilbe

Even more hostas with a small pot of Fushia tucked in for color. Daylilies in the background.

I'm posting this in a hurry and hoping it makes sense. You're probably thinking that it doesn't seem any less thrown together than all my other posts and you'd be right.

Picking Phillip up at his summer school Spanish class at 9:45 (45 minutes away), bringing him back here for the day until it's time to drive him back for soccer practice. I'll watch practice and then bring him back here again where he'll spend the night and then I'll drive him to Spanish class in the morning. Doing a favor for his parents and the reason I'm in a hurry this morning.

June 7, 2009

A Dose Of Pink & White

The annuals are doing well including this Geranium (Designer Peppermint Twist). I always plant a few Geraniums because they never fail to bloom spring, summer and into early autumn and are somewhat drought tolerant. They're pretty to look at and hummingbirds like to visit them.

These Double Impatiens (Fiesta Apple Blossom) are a very pale shade of pink that shows up nicely in the lightly shaded area where the pot hangs. The plant hook was nailed to the tree years ago and now that we're older and smarter, I doubt we'd put a nail in a tree. Although, I've read that it would take a lot more than a nail to harm a mature, healthy tree. More serious sources of damage would be things like lawn mowers, string trimmers, soil compaction, tree topping and improper pruning. So, I won't worry about this particular nail and will instead enjoy the flowers.

Yesterday, I drove by this Bridal Wreath Spirea and it looked so amazing that I pulled the car over, put the window down and took this photo. For as long as I can remember, this shrub has been a favorite of mine. The way it's covered completely in tiny white flowers with its arched branches curving all the way to the ground always makes me take a second look.

Back in February, we had to cut down the big oak tree that was in poor health. It was a sad day. The good news is that last week I found one of its "babies" growing in an area where it couldn't stay, so I dug it out and put it temporarily in this pot. I don't know a darn thing about growing trees but with my grandson's help, we'll transplant it in his yard. They have three acres and only two autumn blaze maple trees and a handful of evergreens. Plenty of space for the mighty oak.

June 5, 2009

Purple Cauliflower

If you have purple cauliflower in your garden and don't know what to do with it other than eat it, here's an idea. Beth at ArtCricket2 makes art from its juice. Go take a look at how she does it.

In a couple hours from now, I'll be volunteering at the Green Bay Botanical Garden's annual Garden Fair. My friend, Debbie, and I will be working in the plant pick up area. I hope to drag my camera along while moving plants around for people. Afterwards, we'll have a couple hours to visit all the vendors. It's Members Only Night, so we won't have to fight the crowds of people who'll be there Saturday and Sunday.

June 4, 2009

Garden of Life

This is Maddie.
One of the prettiest flowers in my Garden of Life.

These photos were taken a couple days ago before she and her friends graduated from the 8th grade. These five girls all came to the house for dinner and to get dressed before leaving for the ceremony. Makes me happy that she has a home where her friends are always welcome. Maddie is the one on the far right.

There has to be at least one silly photo.

Can't forget the shoes!

Maddie is our step granddaughter and we've known her since she was five years old. She has two grandmothers who live nearby and love her very much, so I don't play that role in her life. But I am her friend, I love her, I'm interested in her life and always wish the best for her.