A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Monday, July 25, 2005

It's a jungle out there!

I don't have air conditioning, so I've spent the past few days sleeping during the heat of the day and working on my computer at night when it has been cooler. It's back up and running better than ever. Instead of installing those last few programs, I took some time out yesterday morning to see what's been going on in the gardens this past week while I've been wrestling with the PC. A lot, it turns out, especially weeds. I worked from 7 AM to 12 PM weeding and deadheading and there is still more to do.

The annuals are loving all this hot weather. The Aztec sunflowers are gigantic and have started to bloom. It's fun to watch the flowers follow the sun across the yard.

Right next to them and much shorter is the balsam, a popular bedding plant around 1900. These are pink and red ones, but there are also purple flowers.

In the same bed is cleome, Rose Queen, listed in an 1836 catalog.

And one more picture of a hollyhock. I love the intense colors. This has to be a close-up because of the messy composter in the background. You can just see some of the gigantic weeds I cut down from amongst the Scarlet Runner beans and sunflowers. I thought I might have to use a machete.

The Purple Coneflowers have been amazing this year. I can't get a good photo of the ones I grew from seed because the petals have been chewed by Japanese beetles. The other clump was a single that was given to me when I moved in ten years ago. It stayed a single for years during the drought conditions. It's only the past few wetter years that it has begun to expand and bloom more profusely.

The Black-Eyed Susans are in full bloom. Everywhere. I find them all over. Since they seem to be able to grow anywhere, whenever I have a spot where nothing else will grow, I transplant some Black-Eyed Susans to that spot.

And last, but certainly not least, this morning the first Heavenly Blue morning glory vine bloomed. They are so blue they don't look real.

These are actually growing on my neighbor's side of the fence. These are the nice neighbors who saved my rosebush when they cut down their holly. I don't think the men who do their lawn realized these are flowers. They have been hacking off the trailing ends of the vines from the top of the fence. Obviously, it hasn't hurt them a bit!

A Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly has been sampling my flowers. He is much shyer than the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail so I haven't been able to get near enough to him to get a picture. Here's one from enature.com :


At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your balsam is a very sweet looking flower compared to my monsters. I like the colours!

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

I had a swallowtail like this visit my garden just the other day.


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