Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Goldenrod, Blazing Star, Virginia Creeper


 Blazing Star

 Virginia creeper

Staghorn sumac

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Elecampane, Thistle, Joe-pye Weed,Purple Loosestrife

 I haven't seen elecampane other years, but this year I've seen several of them in the neighbourhood.  It's a strong, attractive plant and I think I'll try to get some seeds in the fall to plant at our place.

 I like the big swirly leaves.

 Joe-pye weed is sold at plant nurseries but the domesticated varieties aren't much different than the wild plants.  The butterflies like the clusters of little flowers.

I like the dark stems and fluffy old-rose flowers.

A very spiky thistle - why did the Scots want such a painful flower to be their favourite flower?

 Purple Loosestrife growing in the tall reeds. I know the Purple Loosestrife is invasive but it is still pretty to see
in the ditches.  Anyway, it'll have a fight on its hands with the reeds.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Happy Days in the Pasture

Good friends, good weather - what's not to like.  The little filly in front is lightening up in colour, so perhaps she will end up as a palamino like  her mom.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Birds in the Shade

 It was hot and breezy when I took these pictures.  The seagulls were resting in little patches of shade made by the trees in the park.  This guy is facing downwind so the air is ruffling his feathers - I would imagine it felt pretty nice.

 Not sure why one of these gulls is striking such a funny pose.

 The grass is very dry from the drought we've been having.  We are starting to get a bit of rain and the daytime temperatures aren't as hot so the grass will probably green up fairly soon.

Some of the ducks were up on the grass, too.  Maybe they were catching some insects.  I really like ducks - they are such friendly looking birds.

At the Water's Edge

 Tansy and grape vines


 Shopping cart neatly parked by the water.

 Rocks, a great place to sit and watch the water.

Bullrushes blowing in the wind.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Birds by the Water

Yesterday, lots of birds were enjoying the water of the St. Lawrence River.  It was a hot morning so they were looking for cool spots.

 The water reflecting willows leaves is a lovely marbled green.

 This assortment of geese and ducks found a sheltered spot in deep shade to rest in.

 It's amazing how far back a duck can turn its head.  Many of the ducks were having a mid-morning nap.

 This seagull, however, was out in full sun soaking up the rays.

Dozing geese, ducks and a cormorant making a sculptural display.  How do those geese sleep on one leg?

Monday, July 23, 2012

St. Lawrence Seaway

 I was in Cornwall this morning and took some pictures at the park that runs along beside the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Cornwall used to be a pulp and paper town with the accompanying sulfurous air, but that industry has shut down so the air is just fine now.  The city was very forward thinking and many years ago bought up the shoreland on the south end of the city.  Today there is a very pleasant park with a playground for the children, a lilac garden that smells wonderful in June, and a very large area of  grass and trees.  As well, a bike path goes for miles  beside the water giving bikers, hikers and old folks on scooters a really nice spot to get out for some exercise. 
 The bridge joins Cornwall with Cornwall Island, a native reservation which is in part in Canada and in part in the US.  The bridge continues on from the island to the US.  From a distance the bridge doesn't look very big but it is actually  very high . The close-up gives an idea of scale.  In the top photo, the cars would be about as tall as the dark line.
 Usually there are several motorboats on the water, but this morning I only saw this one.  The river is not as polluted as it was thirty or forty years ago, but there are still concerns about mercury in the fish so it's not a good idea to eat too much of the perch that people catch .  Some people swim in the river, but that's still a bit of an iffy proposition in terms of bacterial pollution.  Too bad.  It looks so inviting.  Efforts are still being made to clean up the river so that's encouraging.

Some geese feeding near the some buoys.

The willows are so lush by the water.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Young Praying Mantis

A young praying mantis came to visit today.  I put him back outside where he can do some pest control.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Striped Prince

Consume striped prince of  the milkweed,
Conquer the soft green plains,
And drink the milk of victory.
Swell with every engulpment
Until finally, wrapped in armor,
Cease the striving of youth
And burst out as glorious Monarch.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


These roses bloomed last month but I never posted the pictures.  A superduper classic red rose with lots of spicy fragrance - Chrysler Imperial.  It does need winter protection but I've had this one for about 10 years so it's pretty tough.  Well worth the effort.

 This one I got when Spring Garden used to offer its rose bundles - for a good price you got 3 roses of their choice.  I got it one year with the Chrysler Imperial.  I don't remember its name but it has a lovely subtle peachy yellow colour and it actually smells like tea.

This rose if affected by the heat and the flowers droop in hot weather, but the colour is so beautiful. Don't remember its name either, perhaps Helene Faubert.

 This is the rugosa, Blanc Double de Coubert.  Extra hardy - no winter protection, blooms well and has a powerful, fresh scent.  A bit prone to bugs eating it.
I have a couple of Explorer roses which are very hardy, but I have found them disappointing.  The flower form is boring , they have basically no scent and they don't bloom particularly well for me.  I would prefer to get something more attractive that has some fragrance even if I need to mulch for winter. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rose Campion and Canterbury Bells

I always like to check out the clearance plants at the end of the season because it's a cheap way to try out new plants.  Sometimes you get something you really didn't expect because its tag got misplaced or traded with some other plants. Last summer, I bought three plants labelled as Lamb's Ears (Stachys) but one of them turned out to be Rose Campion (Lychnis Coronaria)  What a pleasant surprise! I really like the strong branching shape of the Rose Campion, and the vibrant pink flowers.  It is a short-lived perennial , often grown as a biennial and it can handle a dry location.  Like most fuzzy- leaved plants, it doesn't like to be soggy in the fall. I have it planted on a slight slope so the drainage is good.  Apparently it self-seeds quite well, so I hope to have more in the future.  Also read that if I cut it back after the first blooms are finished, it may bloom again.

Another bargain from last year  is this Canterbury Bells plant. It is a tall plant and it flopped over so I picked the spray of flowers for inside.  They stayed looking fresh in the vase for over a week - a great cut flower.  I was so impressed that I bought another plant this year and planted it next to the arbour with the clematis so that I can tie it to the arbour to keep it from falling over. Now a couple of weeks later, I've noticed that the remaining stem where I broke off the flower stalk is making more buds so I guess I'll have some new flowers in August. It's handling the heat and dry weather in a half-shade location. Also comes in blue or white.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Red Beebalm

Red beebalm is a wonderful plant for naturalizing. It's too aggressive for a formal garden, but adds a punch of colour to a wilder planting.  It will do well in sun or even quite a bit of shade.  Loamy soil is best, but it's not fussy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Life is Simple

 Life is simple when you're little.



Friday, July 6, 2012

Jackmanii Clematis

I love my Jackmanii clematis.  It makes so many blooms and grows so tall (over 6')even though I cut it down to 6" each fall.  This vine is in partial shade and its roots are shaded by some other perennials.  It needs to be watered if there hasn't been a lot of rain, but, other than that, it takes care of itself.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cutie No. 2

 A few days ago, Cutie No. 2 arrived.  She (he?) is a day or two old in this picture. I love the big ears.

The palomino mare is keeping close to the other mother, making sure that the new baby is safe.

 The baby had just had a drink a few minutes before.  A full tummy and the warm sun is proving to be very soporific.

 And the hay makes a nice bed.  What is baby No. 1 doing when all this is happening?

She's sleeping next to Mama.