Thursday, July 25, 2013

July Keeps Rollin' Along!

My cutting garden isn't doing all that well, yet. There has been too much rain and too many rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and caterpillars! But I'm hoping for the best. Some of the zinnias are beginning to flower, a pretty full pink one, above, with a smaller red one to the right.

New to my flowerbeds this year are some purple balloon flowers. The buds do a great impersonation of a balloon, above and below. When they open, they're very much like a bellflower. There are purple and white varieties and I was recently given these darker ones.

One of the VERY few black-eye Susans that grew to maturity. Every year I plant these perennials only to have every single one eaten by some predator. This one managed to escape the rabbit jaws I guess. They were my mom's favorite which is why I try to grow them every year!

The first dahlia to flower this season is this very simple white and yellow one. The plants are barely up to the first rung of the cages. They should be 3-feet tall by now, but they continue to flower right up to the first frost so there is still time for them to grow.

June's yellow cherry tomatoes are beginning to produce. I didn't actually plant any tomatoes this year but I have ELEVEN volunteer plants in my cutting garden. They must have seeded themselves from fallen fruit last year. I don't know which variety mine are but I suspect San Marzano plum tomatoes. They did the best last year.

Another one of June's tomatoes, an heirloom purple Cherokee, ripening on the plant. Organic heirlooms are, honestly, hard to grow and make thrive. They have fewer fruit than today's regular "hybrids" and they're susceptible to every passing bug and weather change. But they are sublimely delicious when they do!

I missed deadheading a few of my large Irises this year and these huge, and rock-hard solid, seed pods have developed. They're almost 4-inches long. I'm not really sure how they'll develop, I've always deadheaded completely. We'll find out!

One of my orange day lilies cozying up to a purple petunia in a hanging planter on the corner of the veggie garden. Classic color combination and the cedar posts of the garden fence add a nice country touch.

My double-day lily. There are many more and varied petals than the "normal" ones. They open a week or two later than the others also.

Another addition to my gardens this year, this pretty red day lily.

This day lily flowered right in the crux of the cedar posts. It was, as they say, pretty as a picture!

This Lemon Lily was blooming next to my grocery store's parking lot. We had these at my mom's house but I haven't planted any yet at Pink Gardens.

I have several varieties of nasturtiums around the yard, all grown from seed. This is a pretty melon orange one.

An unexpected flower, a summer phlox. I planted spring phlox this year, and they bloomed nicely, but I don't remember having this summer variety. It's a very pretty deep magenta with white accents.

Making a return after 2 years without blooming is this pink-and-yellow day lily. I counted 45 buds a few days ago, with about a dozen flowers already in bloom and the next day they were all gone. The deer ate every single one.

A Queen Anne's lace. I love their almost-snowflake like appearance.

One of my wild thistles. I have about two dozen of them around the yard in my flowerbeds. Bees and birds absolutely adore them.

The asiatic Tiger lilies really complement the historic salmon color of Pink Gardens.

I love their polka-dots and their wild shapes!

Looking straight up at them reminds me of a ride at a country fair, the one with seats that swing out from a central hub as you go around faster and faster.

A mottled summer sky really brings out the orange color. There are at least 25 more buds to go!

This is one of the simple orange Marigolds I've been growing for years, maybe decades. I deadhead them each year and plant them in the spring. There is this variety and a double orange which isn't blooming yet.

This is a very small wildflower, even a weed to some people, the Asiatic Dayflower or Commelina communis. The colloquial name is a Wild Wandering Jew, but its' really not anything like the perennial houseplant of the same name, which is actually a tradescanthia. This one has an adorable shape and a lovely sky-blue color with yellow details. I think it almost looks like a tiny elephant head!

A pretty orange zinnia. It's almost globe-shaped. I hope for many more all through the fall!

I'll end with a bright taxicab yellow zinnia. I have pink, orange, yellow, red, white, cream, and an almost green variety if they all mature and bloom. I'm hoping for some great bouquets later on this season!

Please forgive my lack of posts this summer. Besides some health issues, my computer is acting up, probably dying. This post has taken almost 2 hours due to the Mac freezing up and just stopping three times. If it's not one thing it's another!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Early July at Pink Gardens

I've had shamrocks, or Oxalis, for decades. They were one of my mom's favorite house plants. All of ours have been green, though, some with a tinge of dark red in the veins. I was recently given this beautiful purple variety. The green ones love to be on the porch for the summer, and this purple/pink variety does, too. The green ones have small white flowers and this variety has pink flowers.

A new addition to the cast-iron Victorian planters this year is this variety of Begonia. They're salmon-colored, which goes perfectly with the historic color of the house, just visible on the left.

Another type of begonia I've had for years. Technically an annual, I winter it over in the attic and it comes back every summer. This year I've added that pretty green foliage underneath in the same planter.

Another new addition this year is Celosia, or Cockscomb. I have two varieties, a gold and a dark pink, both in the photo above. They SHOULD get to about four-feet tall, but so far they seem to be in suspended animation, lol. My entire cutting garden looks like it did a month ago. I think we've had way too much rain and too little sun. They're living but not exactly thriving.

I also winter over my geraniums. This pot has both a red and a white geranium planted together. I'd say they're close to ten years old.

Very pale lavender Hosta. The flowerstalks are four-feet tall but they're almost all horizontal this year because of all the heavy rainstorms we've had.

This large honeybee doesn't seem to mind the Hosta not standing upright!

One of my hydrangeas beautifully blooming. This bush changes color as the season progresses. Today most of the mature flowers have turned to this lovely blue-tinged with lavender.

The same hydrangea's younger blooms are almost pale green. You can see the petals at the bottom right just beginning to turn blue.

This view shows the blue slowly starting to turn purple. By fall they'll be dark burgundy.

Showing young and mature blooms on the same plant.

I recently bought this "Wandering Jew" houseplant. It's a form of Tradescanthia. I remember having darker purple ones in the 1970s, but this one with almost aqua and green added to those darker purple stripes, is really striking! I have it outside for the summer and it's more than ten times larger than when I bought it in early June. It's quite something on my porch steps.

I don't have any cultivated morning glories this year. I bought a few beautiful plants but the rabbits have completely eaten and killed them and I'm not going to replace them. This is a wild variety which borders the property. They're "just" white but still pretty. I have no idea why the rabbits don't eat these, which are MUCH more plentiful in the yard, but they only seem to eat the blue ones. Oh well. Last year was a wonderful year for my blue ones, so I'll remember those.

I have approximately seven or eight colors of zinnias this year. Many have been killed by the rabbits and chipmunks, but I have plenty left. They're not growing very quickly, again the weather is at fault, but I'm hoping to have some beautiful bouquets next month and September.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Technical Issue-No Password Necessary!

Hi Folks. Every once in a while when I access the blog I get a "certification from Elite-Tek" required. I have no idea what that is. "Elite Tek" is a site a friend in Australia runs, but I haven't been able to get in touch to see if it's a virus or what not. I just click "cancel" and the thing goes away so you can view the site. You do not need a password to view Casey/Artandcolour. I've heard from a few friends that's the case with them, too. I'm sorry for any difficulties this has caused. Will try to get to the bottom of it!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Zinnia Patch : )

Deadheading my zinnias the other day, I decided to let them dry out and see if there were any seeds. I arranged them on my plaid-painted porch rocker and realized all the colors of the flowers were represented in the chair.

Please pardon my lack of posts recently! Besides everything else, I've worn out yet another digital camera, haha. This one gave me a bit more than 30,000 photos though! I have a spare, but as you can see, it's not really up to par. I'll be getting a new one pretty soon.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July, this year on a Thursday. Many people have Friday off as well, so it should be a fun L-O-O-N-G weekend!