July 27, 2010

My Secret Garden

My Secret Garden is four miles from my house. It’s the place where I relocate all the chipmunks that fall prey to my Havahart Live Animal Trap. It’s a lovely spot that includes a thick forest, an open meadow and a refreshing pond.

With camera in hand, I always take a walk after releasing the chippies and have fallen in love with this peaceful landscape. A large field of Common Milkweed grows there. The plants are about 48” high and bloom in June and July. Monarchs are especially fond of the nectar and their larvae eat the leaves. Milkweed is also a source of nectar for hummingbirds and many other butterfly species.

I literally see dozens and dozens of Monarchs fluttering from one milkweed to another, but never get close enough for a good photo. But….I did catch this one drinking nectar from some red clover.

The flowers growing there are as pretty as the ones blooming in my garden at home.

I see a lot of dragonflies and because they have excellent eyesight, I was surprised to get so close to this Widow Skimmer. Dragonflies are the fastest insects in the world, reaching speeds of between 19-38 mph.

White-tailed deer are often meandering around when I arrive, especially if it’s early in the morning. I’ll be posting about deer at a later date. For now, I’ll leave you with this deer footprint, which to my eye makes a heart-shaped track.

The novel, The Secret Garden, was published in 1911. Even back then, Frances Hodgson Burnett understood the healing power found in all living things.

July 21, 2010

Beautiful, Exotic and Easy to Grow

Jean from Dig Grow Compost had a recent post titled, The Lilies of Buffalo. She has recently returned from Buffalo, NY, where garden bloggers from all over the country met up and toured the city and many of its beautiful gardens. Visit her blog. You'll be in for a treat.

Last September I bought a few Asiatic Lilies from a local greenhouse. They were deeply discounted and couldn't be passed up. I didn't get them in the ground until October and didn't hold out much hope for their winter survival.

Now I'm not saying that any of my lilies compare to the ones in Jean's post, but they have surprised and delighted me. These 'Sunny Sulawes' bloomed just two days ago and I can't stop looking at them.

These yellow and purple lilies were in a container labeled Purple Asiatic Pot Lily. I was thrilled to see the colors that bloomed.

'Tiny Nanny' white lilies. Different than the white lilies in the first photo. The leaves on these are narrower and the flowers are smaller. After these bloomed, something came along and ate the foliage down to the ground.

 Stella d'Oros are growing all over our yard. They are definitely the golden stars of the garden. A very dependable re-bloomer when provided with adequate moisture and deadheaded. I wouldn't be without them.

These Ed Murray daylilies don't show up well from a distance and the camera never does them justice, but up close they are amazingly beautiful, especially when the sun shines on them. They bloom after the Stellas.

In this part of the country, we are lucky to have Baltimore Orioles nesting in our tall trees and visiting our various Oriole feeders, or in this case the hummingbird feeder. I think this is a 1st year Oriole although it could be a female. It was raining outside, but that didn't keep him/her from the sweet nectar.

Slowly but surely
I'll make my way
to your blog.

I go out of my way
to read every word
and study every photo.

And as you know
I luv to leave comments.
Sometimes I'm too wordy
but I can't help it.

See you soon.

July 14, 2010

It's True What They Say

It's true! Plant it and they will come. In 2008, I planted the Echinacea hybrid 'Big Sky Summer Sky'. My feelings about these coneflowers have been lukewarm until the day this Monarch landed on one of the flowers.  At first, I thought it might be a Viceroy, but my Audubon Butterfly Pocket Guide confirms that it's a Monarch. The Guide mentions that there are attempts underway to designate it the national insect of the United States. Do any of you know if that was successful? Guess I could check that out myself.  

I've been away from blogging for a while. This brief post is an attempt to get back into it on a regular basis. I may be blogging about my summer garden well into winter, otherwise what would I do with the hundreds of photos on my computer.

Hoping to visit all of you soon.