Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Garden and it's Creatures

It's so hard to believe that the summer has come and gone. We are enjoying cooler temperatures. .and though my gardening time is now severely restricted. .I do manage to find a few moments here and there to enjoy it!
We have had so much fun watching the dragon flies and butterflies this summer. .I never imagined that there were so many different kinds of dragonflies. .I have been taking their photos for weeks. .there are the little blue ones. .by far the most abundant kind. It isn't unusual to see 10 more more on one clump of the curly rush. .which by the way has been divided into two clumps and is doing remarkably well!
This big fat guy with the funky wings only came by a few times.
This one is a little hard to see, he is perched on the lily pad right under the yellow blossom.  It was a large dragonfly.
This guy was the most unusual dragonfly I saw all summer.  I love his reddish color. .he didn't stick around here for long either.
It won't be long before we stop feeding these rascals. We started with 19 smallish goldfish last fall that we saned from our friends' tank. I bought a yellow koi and a black google eyed goldfish in May. .now we have an uncountable number of fish and babies. .You can see how large the koi is, it started about the size of the cute little goldfish with black fins above.
Hoping to figure out how to hook the UV light inline to our pump this winter, to avoid the green water next spring. The lily didn't grow as large as I expected it to, so I will probably add another plant next spring. This one is a reddish pink. .I'm thinking a purple or yellow one.
The cats also enjoy the fish. .they stand on point at the edge, but I don't think they have ever managed to taste one!!
I have all but given up on the garden. There are finally some tomatos on the vine. . so maybe they will ripen before a frost next month. I also have lots of peppers still, and okra. My husband has been sauteing the okra, and it is pretty tasty, if you can get around the slimy texture. .even the kids eat them.  We are picking a few watermelon yet too.  The tomatoes are getting large in the bay window. .and need to be transplanted in the greenhouse soon.  I sowed flats of chives, parsely, oregano, broccoli, and cabbage last week. None of them are up yet. .I'm starting to worry. I have seen the Bright Lights Swiss Chard sprouts. .but yesterday when I went to water, I noted the tops were eaten off. .must have a mouse in there. I have left the doors open all summer to vent it. .first because they were broken. .but then because the self-opening windows weren't working. .so I'm sure there is a little nest somewhere!
I continue to enjoy this view out of the bay window.  The liatris I transplanted last year from our pasture has survived and is now blooming. The photos don't EVEN do it justice. .
. .and the spinyx moths are fun to watch up close and personal through the window. 
This hardy ice plant is flourishing in it's little crevice in the rocks by the waterfall.
Have you ever seen such a vivid color??
I got an aster cutting in the mail from my friend Gardener on Sherlock Street. .I wasn't sure what it was growing all this summer. .I knew what the possibilities were. .but it has been blooming it's first flowers for the last few days now.  I love purple blooms in the fall. .and so do the winged creatures.
I have been dying to see a swallowtail around here. .and finally this summer, I spotted some. This photo of the black swallowtail was taken a few weeks ago. .
. .and this one I saw a couple nights ago on the caryopteris.
The monarchs will soon be leaving for warmer weather in Mexico. .but for now, we are loving to watch them float around like little tufts of tissue paper in the breeze!
The red cypress vine has all but covered this metal headboard. .and the sunflower plants as well. I had hoped to attract hummingbirds with them. .but no such luck! I noticed that the dark eyed juncos are back as of last week. That means winter is around the corner.
I am really loving the purple fountain grass clumps. .and will need to be digging them up soon to overwinter in the greenhouse. I think I will put them by the pond again next summer, as they have given me immense pleasure this summer with their plumes and striking foliage!
The native plants from HCG are filling in well around the pond. .and the western ironweed is blooming now (the small purple ones in the front). The gray headed coneflowers are still blooming. .
As are the Mexican hats. .STILL. .They are hands down the flower winner around these gardens this summer!! Totally the most bang for my bucks!

An update on Tristan's foot. .the CT scan showed the damage in his foot to be worse than the doctor thought from the xray. His growth plate is still slightly open. .so no surgery for now. .but reconstructive surgery is what will likely happen after the plates close. .a process that he thinks will occur soon. So the walking boot is indefinite for now. .as is his basketball season. This week has been much better for all of us around here. .but we are still ready for the weekend!! One more day!!
Blessings to you. .Melanie


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comment. I answered you on my page. Your garden is beautiful! I live in a small row house in the city, so my yard is much smaller than yours, but I love gardening so I make the most of what I've got. I'm posting about my garden tonight and hope you will stop by to see it.

  2. I love the pictures of the dragonflies! I cannot believe how fat the one is! I have only seen one kind around my creek and it is vibrant blue. I'm glad you are finally feeling much cooler temperatures now. I know it was a rough one for you this summer with the burning heat!!

    I can only imagine Tristan's disappointment about his foot. I don't think anyone likes to hear the word "indefinite". I myself like to ask things like, "well, how about just a rough estimate"..but sometimes it just doesn't work that way. I pray for his recovery and his spirits to be up.

  3. I didn't see many dragonflies this year--but it was so dry, there weren't any mosquitoes either , which is a fair trade-off, I suppose!

    I'm hoping you'll post a picture of the inside of your greenhouse later on when it's full. Did you like the one I sent of mine? There is nothing better than a greenhouse full of goodies in winter, is there?!

  4. I am adding to the list of causalities from this summer. =( I am happy this heartbreaking season is almost over at this point. Perhaps I am just not meant to garden. The most recent is my butterfly bush, which was about to bloom and then it was dead. Closer inspection found a huge den of ANTS right on the plant.
    Yours are looking beautiful! What is UP with the dragonflies this year? The kids and I have really enjoyed them!
    So sorry about Tristans foot. =(

  5. Looks like you had fun at the 20 year reunion!!!

    So nice to have the dragon flies by your pond. You got some good shots of them and the fish.

    Seeing the tomato seedlings is like seeing hope that next garden season will be better. I'm picking the cherry tomatoes still. Tow Mater has a lot of fruit finally but they're very green still. The heirloom brandywine gave it up while we were gone on vacation. The fruit was very "wrinkled" around the stem and it seemed that the few I got off of it would get bad spots in there (this was after the blossom end rot cleared). Maybe a nicer summer would have helped it fruit better.

    Your hardy ice plant is looking very good! I'm browsing the more drought tolerant plants at High Country more these days too. Hoping for tougher plants.

    I'm so tickled that the aster survived and is blooming for you. Yea!!!

    My purple fountain grasses are looking so nice too. I wish I could overwinter them but I just let them go and start again in the spring. You lucky gardener to have a greenhouse. Didn't think about mice moving in though.

    I hope Tristan's foot heals well.

    Take care and have a great weekend!

  6. What a beautiful bevy of blooms and such. Of all your pix, I love the reddish/brown dragonfly. never seen anything quite like it sand the hardy ice plant. I haven't seen it in the blogosphere for a while. Thanks for the tour around your garden.

  7. The okra sounds yum! I loved the swallow tail, I've never seen one before. Lots of great stuff in your garden too. My maters might produce, I can only hope. Green peppers are good though. Prayin for Tristan's foot. DJ

  8. Wow! Monster dragon fly!
    Beautiful photos. At least your temps are coming down. I'm loving our cooler days.
    I hope Tristan is dealing with his boot. Sorry to hear this is dragging out longer than planned.