Saturday, August 29, 2015

Little Bits and Pieces from the Week

 This little fellow is staying with us for a few weeks.  He is very cheerful (notice the wagging tail in the photo), but unfortunately our other resident dog, Jaws, does not like him so we must keep them apart.  Our visitor normally lives in Montreal, and is enjoying his country camp time in spite of getting fox-tail burrs in his fur and becoming decidedly dirtier.  Maybe we should give him a bath and a thorough brush before he goes home.

 A triple tomato I picked the other day.

 Globe flower is not often offered as a nursery plant, but I like the long lasting flowers that are especially welcome near the end of the summer. It also blooms in white and pale pink, but I like the strong magenta best.  It dries beautifully and keeps its colour for months.

I learned recently that the lovely blue lobelia, that works so well in pots and baskets, is native to South Africa.  It grows in open areas, and the wild variety looks just like the commercially grown flowers.

The cardinal flowers (also a kind of lobelia) are still growing well, and they are sending up multiple blooming shoots now.  I hope they make it through the winter.  I saw a hummingbird today, and hopefully the bright red flowers will keep her coming back.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer Refresh

 By the end of the summer, many annuals are starting to look scruffy and worn out.  The standard solution is to buy some chrysanthemums and/or pansies.  Those are both great choices, but this year I wanted something different.  At the local Home Hardware garden centre,  I found some small pots of blue felicia and yellow strawflower, as well as flats of purple Veronica salvia. I bought 2 felicia, 2 strawflower, and a flat of salvia, and planted them up together.
  This picture is pretty bleached out from the sun, but it gives an idea of the bushy form of the strawflowers and felicia.  The salvia is taller with shiny leaves.  I'll pick some of the strawflowers later as they make good dry flowers.
 I decided to tuck a hosta into this rustic (weedy) patch to act as a bit of a living mulch. I kind of like the way the low plant draws you into the scene.
A native turtlehead.  I tried starting some turtlehead seeds once, and while I got them to germinate, I wasn't able to keep them going to a decent size and they all died.  Wild flowers are often tricky.

 I've forgotten what this daylily is called, but I like the delicate pink and bright yellow center.

A very rough patch, but I like the bronze-coloured leaves of the Queen of the Prairie and its  dotty seedheads. The wild orange jewelweed (near the front) blends in nicely, and the liguaria in the background has rusty yellow-orange flowers that fit the colour scheme.   Soon a lot of white asters will be blooming in the patch. Not every garden has to be neat and tidy.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Let's See That Again...

I was looking at a container on the deck that has some petunias in it, and spotted this unusual blossom. On closer inspection, I realized that a leaf-cutting bee had symmetrically taken circles out of the flower . Never seen that before.

 This is one phlox plant which was originally all bi-colour.  Now some of the stalks bear all pink flowers.  I kind of like it that way - coordinating colours but different designs.

This magenta phlox looks like it's wearing a fascinator hat.  How very British!  But in reality, the white plant is just poking through the magenta one.
The garden is always full of surprises.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Fields

 I've been wanting to take a photo of this field of sunflowers, hoping to find a time when they would be facing the camera.  Alas, it wasn't to be.  Even on a sunny afternoon, they were still facing east not west.  Not many of the farmers grow sunflowers as they are a difficult crop prone to bugs and disease, so it's a treat to see a field of them.

I think it's been a good year for hay.

Corn is in the background, and soybeans in the foreground.  Those plants have been going gang busters all summer.  It should be an excellent crop especially since August is turning out to be hot.  We aren't farmers, but it's always a good feeling to see them have a successful year.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Waning Summer

 Already you can feel that summer is coming to an end.  Yellows, reds, and purples are starting to colour the landscape.

But we will still have some warm days to enjoy before fall arrives.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dinner Plate Dahlia

Dinner Plate dahlias are fun to grow because the blooms are so much bigger than most flowers. I planted the tuber for this one in an old hanging basket pot, and tucked it into one of the sunnier spots in the garden.  The roots can grow through the drainage holes of the pot into the garden soil underneath.  Come fall, I can just pick up the pot, cut back back the dahlia stalk, let the soil dry out, and store it in the basement over the winter. If the tuber makes it through to next spring without rotting, I'll have some nice big yellow flowers again next year.  I have been fertilizing it every two or three weeks with a soluble formula suitable for flowers. I staked this plant because it kept leaning towards the sun, but in a full sun location it would have been fine unstaked.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Garden Colour

 The pink fibrous begonias in the pots are super dependable bloomers in half-shade.
Annual scabiosca (pincushion flower) blooming very freely, although the plants are floppy.
Dragonwing begonia has luscious shiny leaves and lots of flowers.

Nasturtiums are an inexpensive way for some bright colour as they can be seeded directly in the garden in the spring.
A peegee type hydrangea that brightens up a rough corner of the garden.

Pink phlox are bright and cheerful, and also smell delicious.