Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekly Flower Show

We had a break in the wind on Memorial Day. Unfortunately for my gardening obsession. .I was driving and shopping most of the day.  But after Jeremy took the younger two to help haul a load or two of wheat (while I was supposed to be cleaning up my house wreckage) I snuck out to enjoy a quick walkabout in the gardens. 
I have gone round and round with myself about this pond. It has been more maintenance than I prefer. .
and I say. .
 that if I had it to do over again. .
I would have probably stuck with the pondless waterfall. .
BUT. .
I'm not sure that is entirely true. 
It is definitely coming into itself. .and the sheer beauty of it (when the wind isn't blowing 40 mph) is good for my soul. The Mexican hats are goin' to town now. .as are the ratibida. You can also see the caryopteris bush (the blue one in the back) in full bloom! I have noticed half a jillion tiny caryopteris plants sprouting this spring; I'm sure. .because I watered the area so faithfully to keep the new native plants alive. I will be pulling them sooner or later. .so if you are someone who might enjoy this little plant. .let me know. .I'll be GLAD to share!! Make sure you have a space that can accommodate a 4 foot by 4 foot plant. He attracts winged creatures great and small, won't take a lot of water, and thrives on neglect. .anybody interested yet?? Sara, your "empty-slate" yard is coming to my mind!!
This bed to the left is the one that I put leftover liner in, under the dirt, to hold extra moisture for the plants like hostas that like water. I have added some small coral bells, lily of the valley, lamium, and 2 calla lilies that are coming up from a package my pastors wife gave me. This week. .I was blessed to find ONE cardinal flower on clearance at the farm store. I have looked in 3-4 different places to find it, and couldn't believe my good fortune!! I have tried it several times. .managing to kill it each time. .
BUT. .
you know my motto. .
You can't be a good gardener unless you kill lots of things first!!
And sometimes. .
I think that THIS little garden will be the location that will be a winner for the hummingbird magnet, moisture loving, perennial plant. I'll let you know whether it lives. .
or otherwise!
I promised photos of the catkins on the variegated cattail plant. This guy is planted in a pond pot. .to help keep it under control. .they can be pretty invasive, I read! So far. .I love it!
Another view of these flowers I am smitten with. .
The red stem near the rush plant in the bottom right corner. .is a water hibiscus plant I picked up a few weeks ago (while checking the pond store in Wichita for the aforementioned cardinal plant) This is a hardy specimen that I hadn't seen before. .in theory. .it will produce a nice red, fragrant bloom in the afternoon and evening, nearly the same color as the bright, red foliage. I couldn't resist it! It is about to come out of its shock from this glorious western Kansas wind, and is producing new leaves to show it's gratitude to life.
What's NOT to love about these guys?? As nicely as they reseeded, I am thinking that I will need to move some of them to another section of the gardens next spring!! Again. .willing to share. .plants OR seeds!
This little clump of little sunflowers was just too cute and bright to remove. I also just flat didn't get them weeded until they had blooms on them. .and then it's just like. ."Why bother now??" 
Mental note to self. .cut them down before they set seed this year!!
Here they are next to this huge patch of self-seeded cosmos. I fell in love with these plants years ago when I noticed them coming up in a ditch along the highway at someone's house. They are just so light and airy. .with such a bold color scheme! Cottage garden deluxe and super simple to start yourself!! It's a must try for those of you who would love to garden. .but think you have a black thumb!!
The front flowers are NOT the ratibida from the other photos. .but the gray headed coneflower. .which are supposed to get as tall as 4 feet. They are substantially larger than last year. .and have just started blooming!
These little clowns LOVE people. .and I got tickled watching their silly antics as they followed me around the yard. Cami and I found another black and white kitten this week, probably about the same age as these guys. .and a smaller black kitten that was being moved by its mama! Lots of new life around here!
This ONE lavender bush is really blooming. I keep thinking that it would make a nice fragrant bouquet. .just haven't gotten it picked :-) This huge bush comes up from one little spot in the center. .I think I will research and experiment with taking some cuttings to root out some new bushes. Wish me luck! It smells so nice. .I would like to dry some and make little satchels of it. .maybe in a few years when I find some extra time!
My fancy daisies are blooming. .I was able to transplant a piece of this plant to another location in April. It finally seems to be settling in and doing well in it's new location. Which is great, because it is one of my faves!
These guys are funny!! They are also sunflowers. .and I have no idea how they got there. They are huge plants. .taller than this 5'10" curly headed gal. I planted some of the "mammoth" variety seeds last year. .but not here (I don't think) and none of them came up anyway. I had intended to pull these long ago, but procrastinated. .and now I just can't bear to pull them (besides, it would take me a chainsaw to get them to fall!) I'm totally intrigued now. .hope they are good blooms!
The raised rock planter  has gotten used to the wind and weather. The plants are looking better, and are starting to bloom. I am really liking the combination. .and hoping that it all lives so I don't have to redo it. .AGAIN!
Another photo of the Russian garden. .the lighting STILL wasn't great for the smaller bloomed sage. SIGH! I notice several little gallardia plants that have seeded!! The coronation gold yarrow is still a sturdy favorite of mine!! It doesn't need staking. .and it hasn't flopped over like many other yarrow plants do! Gotta getchya some!
So. .
You can see. .
Everything around this place is still growing. .
Up. .
Older. .
Taller. .
Weary. .
but more beautiful every day!!
Hope you have time to kick back this weekend and get a little rest. .
It's nearly summer now!!
Be blessed!!


  1. I would love some caryopteris and mexican hats if you want to share. I think you had given me a couple of caryopteris already? (I could be thinking of something else!) I had one that was in its 3rd season, but went out a day or 2 ago, and someone..something...had pulled it completely out and took off with it? Weird, huh!
    Beautiful yard! I have one sunflower that came up and bloomed. The birds planted if from the bird feeder. ;) It was so determined to grow, I didn't have the heart to pull it, so I let it bloo.

  2. Is there a spot around the actual edge of your pond, where the roots could get into water but aren't in water all the time, where you could stick in a cardinal flower? I understand the appeal of that plant! I've gotten it to live and bloom for me twice now - both times where I planted it next to a downspout and we were lucky enough to have a wet spring and early summer. Alas, the plants didn't make it through drier times. But I keep trying!

    I'm looking at your Mexican hat with plant lust. I notice that my gardens are losing their blooms right about now, so it's time to search out some blooming plants to take me through the next part of the season...until the summer phlox kick in, I guess.

    Now, I'm out to do some gardening while this wonderfully cool weather energizes me!

  3. I'd love to have some of your caryopteris, but, well-I'm on the road yet again. Rats. I got one from High Country gardens a couple years ago, but it did not survive my winter. At least I wouldn't feel quite so guilty if I killed a "sprout".
    Your flowers are beautiful, Melanie. And don't you dare say you wish you didn't have the pond. It is such a showpiece.

  4. I have been busy lately. We still have one week of school out here! UGH! I'm way behind on reading you blog. Sorry. hA hA! I love your pond photos. I know it can be lots of hard work and love. LOL! If it's true, you have to kill a lot of plants to be a good gardener, then I must be a master gardener! Love the cat tails and the lavender.

  5. I enjoy your flower pictures! Also the cute kittens. :)

  6. Everything looks great! We're still hoping for some Denver Daisies! : )

  7. What a great garden tour!
    The pond is looking nice I love cattails. The sunflowers look so nice with that red birdhouse in the background.
    I have at least one Mexican hat as the petals are making an appearance. It's short but has three blooms. No blooms on my caryopteris yet but they look good!
    Looking forward to seeing that cardinal flower. I hope it grows good for you!
    My lavender is looking good too. I made some little sachets last year just by sticking the blooms into a stocking after they dried and hanging it in the closet. I've found that when I hang the stalks to dry, I need a newspaper or something under htem to catch the blooms that fall off, but it's easy!!!
    Too funny about the giant sunflowers. Maybe some birds planted them for you.
    So nice to see everything blooming at your place!