Saturday, August 30, 2014

Endless Summer. I Wish

I walked around the yard on Thursday and made an impromptu flower arrangement. Liking to get at least two purposes out of everything I posed it around the apartment for an equally impromptu photoshoot. Here, in front of my 1930s moveable butterfly toy, Tinky Winky hangs around admiring the flowers.
In front of a portrait I've created of my mom at the age of 2. It's in a vintage frame with glass and I've matted it with dried flowers. I like the mix of old and new flowers here.

This variety of dahlia is called "Pumpkin Spice" but I think "On Fire" would be better. It's gorgeous in person, and it actually grew with its back to the sun, not facing it. It don't need no stinkin' sun, lol!

Lone Cosmos plant came up on its own this year. It's right in a corner of the enclosed garden, perfectly positioned.

Large "Banarama" dahlia will be open in a day or two.

This cream dahlia is planted in front of that magenta one. I have four more plants to flower, but so far I have several different pinks, two yellows, this cream, and an orange one. They're all different shapes and sizes, too.

From the same plant, this particular one has more than a dozen flowers right now.

Like a Celestial Alignment, these dahlias and a distant sunflower stack on top of each other from this angle.

Keeping with the space theme, these dahlia blooms remind me of those Hubble photographs of many galaxies together. Some are in focus and others aren't. The light from that faraway sunflower took longer to reach my camera, lol

 A pink morning glory has appeared! Here's in the morning shade.

In the sun!

The back of this morning glory, equally as interesting as the front. Bright pink is new this year.

Such a beautiful deep purple morning glory! So I have three colors this year, pink, purple, and blue. Well, there are wild white ones near them in the woods, but they're almost impossible to transplant. They grow at the bases of the wild roses with have so many thorns they're not worth getting near, lol.

 The back of the purple glory has a very vivid shade not visible from the front.

I have one sunflower that made it to maturity this year.

Pointing to the future.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

This Morning at Pink Gardens

I gleefully share my gardens with the birds, the bees, and the butterflies. Here, the shimmer of this honeybee's wings can just be seen above him.

"Geranium Row" in the front yard. I made a border to the large central perennial garden with these pots of geraniums. The blue lobelia is on loan as I nurse it back to health after a deer "attack" at its home in Leete's Island. I'm sort of a plant whisperer to friends. These are the "annual" geraniums I winter in the attic. They're going on 12 years old now.

What I refer to as one of my heirloom marigolds. I have saved the seeds every year since the 1970s. I'm essentially growing clones every year. I have two different varieties but their blossoms always vary a lot on each plant. They're strong and obviously have good plant DNA!

This simple-petaled dahlia adds a lot of color to the garden.

The bees really love zinnias, too.

Fresh multi-petaled magenta dahlia. They change almost hourly throughout their lifespan. 

Bright orange zinnia. The flowers are miniature, about an inch wide, but the plants are 2-3 feet tall.

I planted some zinnia seeds in a pot of marigolds this spring and they're just starting to bloom together.

An almost perfect geranium globe.

 "Put a ring on it!" Each zinnia flower is unique. They're great fun to grow and peruse.

This pink zinnia has a full seven layers of petals. No cake frosting though!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Shocker in the Garden!

Why is this beautiful Heavenly Blue morning glory a "shocker?" I grow them every year, right? Well, this plant was eaten by rabbits more than a month ago, lol! They ate the vines at the bottom of the plant, separating what had been climbing on my garden fence from the roots. Every single vine was chomped off. The plant itself was in a container, which I moved into a more protected part of the garden, the "garden within the garden" that June put in two years ago. But the vines on the fence withered and died. Until this morning! This beautiful flower caught my eye and I realized it's blooming and growing without the help of any roots! Not only does it have this flower, but there are more buds to come and the leaves and vine itself are regenerating at the ends. I've never seen anything like it. I think the vines must be getting water from the rain and perhaps that's all it really needs. I really can't believe it!

Fresh and new green leaf coming out of a vine that has been dead for more than a month. Not attached to the ground in any way. 

Look at the growth above the flower! New green vines, more buds forming, and all without the help of the plant itself or any roots. I've Googled this oddity and can't find anything about glory vines growing without roots!

This green, fresh vine is dead at the end of it just a few feet away where the rabbits ate the vine and separated it from the ground. So odd but I'm not complaining!

Monday, August 11, 2014

They're Back! (Along with a New Friend)

The swallowtails are back this season. The butterfly bush June planted when she lived here really attracts them during these hot days.

They always seem to lose one of the "tails" though. I think it's rough being a butterfly!

This Spicebush swallowtail was also missing one of its wing "tails." This one kept feeding on the butterfly bush and then flitting down to the ground to rest!

Seen for the first time by me (anywhere) and for the first time at Pink Gardens is this moth known as a Hummingbird moth. It really does resemble the variety of hummers we get here with its green neck and non-stop wings. 

It was hard to get a decent photo since they move like a hummer too, very nervously flitting from flower to flower and the wings never stop beating.

If you couldn't see the antennae you'd swear this was a baby hummingbird. That's what I thought it was at first!

Apparently these are the moths from the hornworm caterpillars that can eat every leaf on a tomato plant in two days if you don't find them first. Oddly, though we have the adult moth, I never had to pick off any caterpillars this year. For more information about these moths, click here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August Scenes Around Town

I've been riding my bike a lot this summer, losing some weight and trying to tire myself out so I sleep better. Very stressful summer and every little bit helps! Above, a sailboat off of my town enjoying the gorgeous weather we've had. In the distance along the horizon can just be seen the shores of Long Island, New York. I believe the Sound is about 12-15 miles wide at this point. It's only quick to get their via boat, though. Otherwise you have to drive down closer to Manhattan and take a ferry or drive all the way to Queens and then take the Long Island Expressway out along the island. We used to take our boat when I was a kid. We'd tie up at a marina, walk around, and find a nice place for lunch. It would be nice to have that life today! 

There is a new nature walk/bike way near me. This is a typical section of it, about 10-12 feet wide with that hard stone and sand surface. It meanders along the marshes and woods and ends up at the state beach in town, Hammonasset State Park, which is free to enter if you're walking or on your bike.

Along the walk are a few centuries old stone walls, "capped" by larger stones now so the walk can go over them. I love New England for these stone walls. Often they're in woods now, with the former pastures long since given over to forest. 

Someone may have thrown some flower seeds along the nature walk. This is a pretty pink bachelor's button I found.

Another typical view along the walk. So far, during the week, it's almost empty. I run into a few walkers and fellow bike riders but not many.

This beautiful magenta Cosmos was also blooming along the path. 

A lovely vista of the saltwater meadows through the trees. This is what the land is like along our local shoreline—many marshes with what look like islands of land among them. I can't imagine not living in this area as much as I enjoyed Manhattan and Los Angeles in my adventurous younger years.

In the distance what appears to be a frail wooden teepee frame is an Osprey nest. They dot our shorelines. I believe they may be endangered which is why so many towns have erected these permanent nests for them and they're illegal to approach. Some have webcams I believe!

My Victorian cast-iron planters are doing very well this year! With the exception of the geranium and the bright yellow lantana, the rest of the plants are all saved from previous years, and I'll save that geranium this year. In the fall I take a lot of cuttings of my "annuals" and keep them alive during the winter in water. Then in the spring I don't have to buy things I can't afford anyway!

 The right hand planter is especially balanced looking this year.

This pretty little rose is in a container in the backyard. The chipmonks devastated it wherever else I placed it!

My Tiger daylilies are just bountiful this year. They look like they're dancing in the wind sometimes. 

My trusty all-aluminum Schwinn steed! Bought for $75 five years ago at the thrift store in town, I've more than gotten my "investment" back. I really love this bike.

Another beautiful vista of the beach. That's Clinton and Westbrook in the distance.