Friday, July 24, 2015

“This is a fierce bad rabbit; look at his savage whiskers, and his claws and his turned-up tail.” ― Beatrix Potter

I saw Zebrina blooming in a friend's garden and added it to my wish list.  Felt so lucky when I found one at a box store recently.  Brought this one home and planted it by the door in an area being reworked.   Imagine my fury when two days later it had been eaten to the ground.

So now rabbits are on my list of garden terrorists. 


My sister says place cat fur around the plant and the bunnies won't bother it.  I did that immediately and the plant is making a recovery.  So now the question is, did the cat fur repel the rabbit or maybe the bunny just hasn't taken that same path since his first visit to the plant.  Luckily, mallows are tough, fast growing plants so it seems this one might return to bloom IF the bunny is indeed frightened by cat fur.

July is the month of the daylily.  
Almost the perfect plant.  The foliage is pretty, like a  graceful, green fountain even before the blooms appear.  In my garden daylilies have no pests, no disease, and are very forgiving of both dry and rainy conditions and a wide variety of soil types.  Established plants have a long bloom period even though each bloom only lasts for one day.  And they are edible.  Imagine having guests for lunch and bringing a bowl topped with daylily blooms to the table.  Nice touch.

I'm very partial to the double varieties with ruffles, textured petals, and picotee edging.   Siloam Double Classic is my favorite.  Look at that yummy, peachy color and all those ruffles.  SDC is one of the first to bloom in my garden in early June and is still pumping out blooms almost to the end of July.  The blooms on SDC are down low in the foliage and not waiving up above the plant.  This is a plus in my mind.

Moses Fire below is another favorite.  Photos don't do the color justice.  These are large, double flowers in a hot, hot orange color that draws the eye across the garden straight to this plant.   Lots of ruffles and a yellow picotee edging.

Night Embers has a smaller bloom that must be viewed up close to be truly appreciated.  NE is so dark it almost looks black from a distance.  I love the ruffles, of course, and the yellow wire rim around the petals.  

Not sure of the name of daylily below but it is a very prolific bloomer.  Love the creamy color shading into yellow and then blending with the pale mauve.  The dark edging looks like spun gold wire.  

Spiritual Corridor below is like an orchid.  Big ruffled blooms in muted shades of purple. This one is very photogenic and I have dozens of photos in various lighting. I just purchased and planted two more of this one.

Most people are contemptuous of this common Kwanza but I love it.  Layers upon layers of ruffled petals in the blazing colors of sunshine.  What a shame it is sterile and cannot contribute to breeding programs.

Don't laugh:)  
I ordered the fashionable bug jacket below from Amazon and wear it everyday to plant, weed and water.  My friend from the Rambling Woods blog suggested it.   It works with some additions but the arm seam is already giving way.  Just a little uncomfortable but not nearly as uncomfortable as mosquito bites, west nile fever, or spray on Deet.  If anyone decides to order one, get at least one size larger because the netting should not lay against the skin.  Hat not included, mittens removable.    I hope no one drops by while I'm outside wearing it.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bursts crackling o'er the sun-parched roof; Against the windows the storm comes dashing, Through tattered foliage the hail tears crashing, ~ James Russell Lowell

Look! look! that livid flash! 

And instantly follows the rattling thunder,
As if some cloud-crag, split asunder,
Fell, splintering with a ruinous crash,
On the Earth, which crouches in silence under;
And now a solid gray of rain
Shuts off the landscape, mile by mile; 

Summer Storm by James Russell Lowell

I remember in my last post wishing for some windy days to dry things out and clear the mosquitoes away for a while.  Be careful what you wish for.  Woke up  to 68-mph wind gusts, vivid flashes outside the window and a constant rumbling.  The electrical power was fading out and coming back which is somehow more alarming than total blackout.

No real damage done here but a lot of tall plants are leaning at ugly angles.  The bird feeder post is down and the peanut feeder seems to have blown away.  I was happy to see none of the bird houses fell since many are occupied with babies still in the nests.  There are sticks and little limbs all over the yard which won't be much fun to pick up.  Even the roof is littered with twigs and torn leaves.  I'm very grateful that we didn't receive more damage.

I am using of some of the downed sticks as makeshift plant supports for my leaning blooms.  
Happy to report the tomato plants received little wind damage even though some were in pots.  

What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
         Only two things that money can't buy         
That's true love and home grown tomatoes.
   ~  John Denver, Home Grown Tomatoes

The only food crop I grow.  Even the tomatoes bought at the farmer's market are never as good as home grown.  A few more weeks...

MacDuff sees himself as the CEO around here.  He is forever barking out orders and warnings to the other dogs and cats.  

In the photos below you can see the air is so humid the camera lens fogged up.  Had to go inside to find a lens cloth before any more photos could be taken.  

The hot, sunny colors of summer.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful week with no storms and only warm, gentle rains.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

“The rain to the wind said, You push and I'll pelt.' They so smote the garden bed That the flowers actually knelt, And lay lodged--though not dead. I know how the flowers felt.” ― Robert Frost

Storm clouds hanging low over the bean field east of the house.  

The lawn isn't getting mowed again today.  The rain has forced the dogs and I inside.    We venture outside from time to time to take some photos but the mosquitoes chase us back indoors.  

Deet is my new cologne but still the mosquitoes find an unsprayed spot the size of a pin head and bite me.  I have four types of anti itch lotion on the bedside table--none work especially well.  

I am a prisoner inside until we get a windy day.  Mosquitoes are mostly helpless in the wind.

This is a very old purple clematis that has been blooming for several weeks.  

A red clematis climbs up the bird feeder post and almost hides the wren house.

Yarrow added this spring has been blooming since the first of May.  I love hard working plants like this.

The ferns love this rain.  The north yard looks like a tropical jungle.  I know, this is the mosquito coast but I love ferns.

My go to tall filler plant.  They never stop blooming and their wiry stems shrug off drought, too much rain, wind and even german shepherds crashing over them.

Sun on these seed pods make them appear gilded.  

Added two Endless Summer hydrangea this year.  Both were  treated to appear blue or pink.  So far they have been very busy forming new flowers clusters.  A hopeful sign.  

Kitten: small homicidal muffin on legs; affects human sensibilities to the point of endowing the most wanton and ruthless acts of destruction with near-mythical overtones of cuteness.

"This is the box the food and treats come in."

"I'll unpack it 'cause there is always something for me inside."

"Found a jingle ball.  This is mine." 


The daylilies are blooming outside.  Desperately need to get out to take some new garden photos but reluctant to lose any more blood or get anymore itchy welts.