Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mid-Summer Colors

So, I've been whining. .A LOT!! Despite the high temperatures and no rain. .I have a lot to be thankful for. .and some lovely things to look at. .even if I have to wander all over the yard to find them! I haven't lost a lot of plants. .and there are even some that seem to be growing rather than just staying alive. I started these coneflowers last winter in the greenhouse, so they are in their second season. They aren't really tall like many people's, but they are full of wonderful purple color, and the winged creatures are enjoying them! 
One clump of goldenrod is blooming this week. The sunflowers behind it were seeds left over from Red Sun last year. .they didn't come back with the original colors. .so next year any seedlings will be yanked. They aren't THAT pretty. 
The daylilies are starting their show. .though the blooms are a bit smaller than I remembered. .any color is welcome!
This pink moss rose reseeded his little self, and what a vibrant color he is. My mother in law has a pot that reseeds wonderfully each year. .me. .not so lucky. .so I was pretty excited that out of all the plants I had in this corner last year, one plant came up. 
This is Green Envy Zinnia; a packet I ordered from the seed catalog. I thought it would make a great cut flower, but I haven't actually cut any yet. 
One tiny little canna coming up in the front of the waterfall. I've never tried cannas before, and bought a couple packages at Walmart. Apparently, they like more water than they were given. .this one is in the small garden that has black plastic under the dirt to preserve some moisture. I can see it right out the front window, and I am loving the pop of color. There's also some annual red salvia up top that seems to be doing well. I would like to find a periennial red salvia to grow, so that is on a list.
The water plants are really settling in finally. This is a blue pickeral rush, and I was thrilled to see it's little bloom the other day. There are a couple other plants that should flower someday too.  
This plant has been my gardening highlight! I had bought some Denver Daisy rudbeckia last summer, only to realize later that they were annuals. I pulled a couple seed heads off of the old plants last winter and pulled out the seeds and threw them into a flat. About 6 of them germinated, and have survived the weather. I smile every time I see their bright colors! Believe I will be saving some of the seed heads this fall! 
The Zuni crapemyrtle completely died to the ground this winter, and was so slow coming back to life that I was sure they were dead (there are 3 bushes in the garden with the spruce trees. It's blooms are always welcome in the mid to late summer. .it should bloom now for a long while.
Here's another look at my half dead plot of weedy grass, and a bare flower bed. I had bought a packet of the Red Sun Sunflowers at Walmart again this spring. .and was glad a few of them sprouted and lived. The dark colors are so vivid. 
And my final excitement is this trumpet vine plant that my mother in law dug for me years ago. I put it out by the back of the garage and have done nothing to it. .no extra water or anything. .until this year. The hummingbird that we had earlier this spring got me pretty excited about getting blooms on this thing, so I have given it a few extra drinks. .and I was pretty excited to see blooms on it the other day. .Now I'll be ready for that fall hummer migration. .and maybe some summer, I can entice them to stay all season to eat off my garden plants (without filling the feeder every other day. .I am a low maintanence kind of girl. .and the feeder thing and I just aren't getting along!)
With Grant being in horticulture this year for 4-H, we were sure hoping for some flowers he could take to the fair next week. .many of these flowers won't work well. .but we are hoping to be able to take a Denver Daisy, and maybe a sunflower, zinnia or cosmo. Hoping also to dig a few small potatos and some carrots to take. The veggie garden lives on. .but with little produce so far. We have eaten some yukon gold potatos. .but they were pretty small. I pickled a little over 3 gallons of beets a few weeks ago. Both varieties of watermelon are growing well, but no blossoms yet. The pickling cucumbers croaked, but the slicers are growing. .with a few small cukes on the vine. The tomatos are finally growing. .and I resorted to Sevin yesterday to get the beetle swarms that are on them. There are blooms. .but no maters. .I take that back, I had one Brandywine tomato. .but the ants had much of it eaten before I saw it. .I've never had ants eat tomatos before. We also have okra that is taking off, potatos that continue to make tubers, and some carrots that tasted bitter (probably because of the heat) but if they look nice for the fair, we don't really care what they taste like :-) There were yellow, white, and orange carrots in the mixture. The peppers are setting fruits, the two rows of onions were harvested last weekend because the grasshoppers ate the greens down to the onion, and I bought one yellow squash and one eggplant vine 2 weeks ago at Walmart on impulse. .they survive!
So I guess that is my garden update for now. The pond has been hopping this afternoon since we've been home with LOTS of thirsty birds. It is now 110 degrees outside. .and birds I've never seen are coming in for nourishment! Hoping everyone has a GREAT weekend!

8 comments:

  1. You do have some pretty flowers. Hardy ones obviously. I had some different colored sunflowers one year, "vanilla ice," a light yellow and white. They returned to the classic sunflower too.
    The green envy zinnia is cool. And, looks cooler--perfect for a hot summer day!

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  2. That Denver Daisy rudbeckia is amazing! Just what we need in front of the tall grasses for pops of color. And the fact that you can save the seed heads makes it a perennial in my mind. Do you think the seeds would germinate in the ground if you just let them fall where they grow?? It seems to work for the weeds! ; )

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  3. I'm hoping a couple of the purple coneflowers hold out so T has something to take to the fair. Not sure it will happen though. My Goldenrod is just starting to bloom and I noticed my butterfly weed is just almost ready to bloom.
    Those stupid grasshoppers at some of my houseplants down to nubs in a day. =( I think I may just bring them in...

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  4. I really enjoyed the photos!

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  5. Oooo, love that green envy zinnia. We pulled some potatoes this past week and they are so yummy! Some of them didn't produce as much as the others but I took them all out of the ground anyway so I could stop having to water them. I know...so pathetic! But that's what happens in 110 degree weather, isn't it?

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  6. I know it's hard with so little rain, but still you have some beautiful flowers. We finally got some rain last week. I was gone but my son said it rained for several hours. My yard still looks bad. I hope your vegs. make it.

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  7. I just can't believe the heat you are having to endure! It's been in the low 90's here lately, but today will only be in the low
    80's..thankfully. You flowers are so beautiful!! My tomato plants are kinda struggling this summer. Sounds like some of your veggie plants are too. We don't get much rain..I need to water them more i think!!

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  8. Lovely flowers, and in this heat and wind to boot. The trumpet vine is sure to please the birds. Now what you need my friend, is chickens. Yep, ours made short work of the grass hoppers! DJ

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