Gladiolus Tuesday, Aug 30 2016 

Unnamed varieties that I had growing this year out at the top of the winter squash bed. I really ought to give them a better space and more water (everything could use those two things!). They are quite the cut flower, impressive, clean, and easy to manage.

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Ecosystems Saturday, Aug 20 2016 

You know your vegetable garden is well integrated into the natural system when the particular challenge while picking green beans is a frog. To be exact a little orange/brown wood frog about the size of my thumbnail industriously exploring the beans.  I have no doubt that it is a good spot for him.  Probably the off spring of the adult wood frog I saw in the next bed over the other day. The bean patch at this time of the year is fairly damp and rather full of little critters for him to eat.

Finally saw a yellow swallowtail butterfly, the black ones are far more common this year.

Sunflower Monday, Aug 8 2016 


Your retrospective continues. Sunflowers from a few years ago. This year’s sunflowers are mostly wonderful dark mahogany (Chianti, I believe is the name) and multi stemmed short yellow. Very elegant and a very nice addition to the garden. Something about a robust annual that you know will be dead in the season and with which one need not fuss….there is an appeal to that!

Summer colors Saturday, Jul 23 2016 

Purple is a good summer color, it stands out nicely from the greens and balances other ‘hot’ colors.  This purple daylily promises to be quite vigorous in the right spot. It is short, but since the colors are such that one wants to get a good look at it, that isn’t a drawback.  I like its shape as well, I’m partial to the ones with more defined petals.

No name, it was picked from a local nursery that just sort of lets them run wild.

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Lily Beetles Sunday, Jul 17 2016 

Every year, I consider giving up on lilies, we haven’t been able to get the lily beetles under control. And what was a carefree flower has become a disgusting headache. I can deal with the voles and chipmunks….but those bugs…..  I just went out and sprayed the lilies that are being eaten with some Neem, we will see if it slows them down a bit. I’m reluctant to use pyrethrin in that garden since I think we may be getting a balance between the predators and the caterpillars and a heavier duty spray might knock that back out again. But, I may have to.

The thing is though, that when we can have lilies, they are worth it.  The colors, shapes, and scent can’t be beaten. They are the mainstay of a summer garden.

I was reminded of this the other day when the few Orienpets that survived both winter, the voles, and the bugs opened.  Leaving aside the lovely ivory and rose colors, the scent is incredible.  The Orientals in a week will be even better.

Nothing is better than late evening, the setting sun in the trees, and those lilies beneath the window.

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These guys didn’t make it this year, sadly. I think the voles got them.  But I have a few by the library.

Green Study Tuesday, Jul 12 2016 

Which isn’t actually green, but it is about green….

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Also yellow daylilies and pink Asiatic lilies

Flying time Thursday, Jul 7 2016 

I was wandering through the pictures in this blog….I didn’t realize that the daylily border is now four years old, no wonder it needed weeding this spring!

Here it is the first year:


And last year:

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This year promises to be similar, although not quite as tall. The early drought stunted their growth some. This photograph from the second year shows them to their full effect:


Shropshire Lad Wednesday, Jul 6 2016 

Prior to this heatwave, it had bloomed very nicely.  I hope it manages a re-bloom in the fall, it may. I deadheaded it to encourage that, even though it tends towards big, red hips. Nicely fragrant as well. Whether it behaves as a true climber or not remains to be seen, but it is certainly a nice addition to the pergola.  Now if I could only figure out why one of the clematis (the biggest, most vigorous one) suddenly went belly up….

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Peonies Tuesday, Jun 14 2016 

The rain and the wind didn’t do them any favors, but they remain lovely. They are one of those flowers that don’t really fit into our neat modern world: large, unruly, long lived but slow to get there, full of ants, shedding petals, and wildly fragrant.

And there is nothing more glorious than a huge bouquet of them or seeing them scattered through the garden. I’d like to figure out where to put a few more of them, since there are some that are definitely in too much dry shade these days.  There is one place that would work well, but it would be a daunting bit of work….

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Pergola Studies Wednesday, Jun 8 2016 

Despite some set backs (last winter nearly killed the white grapes and the Clematis montana ‘Mayleen’ and did kill the fall clematis) and some slightly out of control vines: the Clematis texensis  is occupied by a Chipping Sparrow nest so I can’t tie it up…. the pergola is coming along nicely.  Currently the native honeysuckle (Major Wheeler) is occupying pride of place at the south end. Clematis ‘Killian Donohue’ is blooming in the middle opposite some Blue Flag that ought not to be there….but, ‘Mayleen’ ought to be light pink at the far end…but.

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The bush is the C. texensis ‘Duchess of Albany’…..very pretty but in need of training…except for said sparrow. The enthusiastic grape down towards the end is a seedless Concord grape, and very good it is.  The vine in the foreground is the variegated kiwi (note the pink leaves…..? ah well) maybe this year we will get the kiwis, the chipmunk got them last year.

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