Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wildflower Meadow

While my Dearly Beloved and I were out doing a Breeding Bird Atlas Bloc we came across this big field that someone has made into a wildflower meadow. It is just the most beautiful sight. We have birded this bloc for several years. We had never noticed this before so it must be newly planted or it matured this year. It appears to be about 2 acres. The edges are mowed and you can tell someone has taken great care to plant a shrub every so often along the edge.
Someone was trying to cut a path through the meadow with a Snapper mower. It didn't work. She waited too long to do it with the Snapper. You would need a brush hog to make a path at this point of growth. There are all sorts of flowers. This was the only tall sunflower I noticed.
There was larkspur and several different types of rudebekia.
Of course no meadow would be complete without some purple cone flowers.
This looks like some galardia has made the cut.
Of course bachelors buttons and some feverfew was abloom.
There were some tall grasses in the background too.
This Redwinged Blackbird was happily ensconsed in the meadow. We also heard Dickcissel singing out.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Greens Have It Here

Emma over at Indyblog, A Nice Green Leaf in the UK has got some of the garden bloggers thinking about and showing some of the nice green leaves in their gardens. If you want to display some of your greenery you can make a post then go to Emma's and leave a comment.

Here at Greenbow I just love greenery. I have lots of shade in my back garden so I rely heavily on the greens to keep this area intersting. Green as seen through my eyes has many hues. From the blue green of the Climbing Hydrangea to...
the lime green of Lime Rickey Heuchera.
Of course your more traditional green of the Oak Leaf Hydrangea is great because not only of the color but of the form.
The fancy begonias have many shades of green.
Ferns have such varying forms and shades of green. I have several in the garden. This Sensitive Fern is one of my favorites.
When I start thinking about greens the most prominent greens in my mind are of the Hosta greens. Hostas come in so many sizes, shapes and hues of green I can't seem to get enough of them. Such as this pale green Sum and Substance that is hovering over Varigated Soloman's Seal which sports a darker shade of green. The rest of these photos are of the various Hostas in my garden. I didn't upload them all but I have several different hues of green I thought you might like to see.






I hope you enjoyed some of the greens found in my garden. Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fairies in the Garden

I woke to a foggy overcast day here lately and immediately wondered if I might find fairies out and about since there was much of the required settings to lure fairies out into the open. Especially since this is near the Summer Solstice. I have some iris planted in a fairy ring. This little metal fairy sits here in waiting for her live comrades to come and sprinkle fairy dust on her so she can come alive and frolic through the garden with them. We did have the wet webs here. I must say that if you want to know more about fairies and what they like in a garden so you can have more fairies visiting your garden you can go to Faire Gardens where Frances has all sorts of information about fairies and their likes and dislikes.



Monday, June 23, 2008

Wren Haven

Another good name for our place would have been Wren Haven. The House and Carolina Wrens do like our garden. Our garden is only approximately 100'x175'. We have three wren nests in our garden as I type. I had been wondering where the CArolina Wrens had nested in the neighborhood for their first brood. I found their second brood when I went to get some potting soil out of the barn. In this chicken coop on the lower right side is where the Carolina Wren has built its nest. This is what it looks like. She sometimes sits in that hole and looks at me when I peek into the box to see if there are any young ones up by the opening so I can take a picture. I haven't seen any bodies other than the Mom so far. This nest is toward the south end of our lot.

On the west side of our lot there is a Howese Wren that is nesting in this box. They never give me a chance to take their picture. She stays inside while he sings his displeasure at me getting so close to their nest.

Across the garden on the east side is where a second House Wren family has taken up residence in this nice ceramic bird house. They have only successfully nested in this one other time. I don't know if it holds moisture or what the problem might be with it but we will keep an eye on this one.

I peeked inside to see if this was a dummy nest or if it was actually being used and sure enough there were 4 eggs in there. They often lay 3-5 eggs. It looks like they will have a nice size family soon.

Sorry about the quality of this picture but I didn't want to take too much time away from the wren sitting on her eggs or prevent her from laying one more if she needed to. Auto wasn't wanting to focus on what I was interested in. You can get the idea though.
Trying to get a picture of the adults is another matter. I haven't been able to get their picture to show you. They are so small and so "busy" they just don't stand still for a portrait.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Out of the Garden VIII - Great Egrets

This picture doesn't do justice to the sighting we had today while out birding. We were driving along a portion of the Patoka NWR in Gibson County, IN when we looked up and saw a flock of at least 80 Great Egrets descening into a wooded edge of a shallow pond. Now this is a most unusual sight for this part of the country. After all we were in SW Indiana not Florida.

We thought we might be witnessing a migration of some post breeding birds but upon closer inspection we saw that these were adults. Some still in breeding plummage. As a matter of fact the one that was closest to us I tried to take a picture of but as you can see I didn't have much luck. Even the closest one was far away. However the picture is good enough for you to see it has a big stick in its bill. I watched as it broke sticks from the tree it was standing in and started stacking them at its feet. You can sort of see its breeding plumes fluffed out as it stands there. When another Egret would fly close this Egret would puff out its feathers and poke its bill at them. It was intent on making a nest.

Previously I had only seen Great Egrets with breeding plummage one other time. Usually I see them in video or in pictures while they are sporting their beautifulbreeding plumes.

We were wondering if these poor birds were flooded out of their rookery someplace along the Mississippi where all this flood water from these parts is flowing. I guess we will never know. It will be fun to go back here to see if the Egrets do indeed nest here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hydrangea blues

No I don't mean that I have lots of blue hydrangeas. I am supposed to but the hydrangeas in my garden are certainly not the hydrangeas of my youth. I planted quite a few different varities in our garden several years ago and I must say I am not happy with the way they have matured. Below you can see this Bluebird Hydrangea hardly lives up to its name. I probably should show you the entire bush. It looks pitaful. The blossom booms on old wood and it doesn't fill out very well.I have a Silver Blue Hydrangeas. They are supposed to have varigated leaves. Well, you guessed, they are about to revert to what ever they were bred from. They have very few varigated leaves and they hardly bloom either.
You would think the old standard Niko Blue would be able to with stand any types of soil and light conditions.

Even though these Niko Blue Hydrangeas have grown quite a bit since they were planted. They don't bloom blue as you might expect. The ph here doesn't allow blue blossoms. I get a sickly washed out rainbow of light blue, pink and yellow. Really odd, do you notice there are no blooms at the top of the bush. Most years I am lucky to have these blooms along the bottom of the bush due to late frosts. I have a couple of hydrangeas that I moved to where the pine trees shed their leaves for 20+ years. One is trying its best to live up to its name, Niko BLUE. I have doctored the soil around these hydrangeas for years but haven't had much luck getting them to a blue hue.
My very best bloomer and doer is the Oak leaf hydrangea. It continues to bloom and look amazing in all seasons. At least I have one hydrangea I can depend on. I mean these bushes have been here for 10 years this summer. It looks like they would be used to their environment. Maybe I just expect too much out of them. After all in my minds eye there should be big round blue balls that I could pick off and use as kick balls. Hmmm maybe that is why I remember them so vividly from my childhood. I got into big trouble for picking the neighbors blossoms.



A friend of mine gave me a start of an old fashioned snowball bush that was in her garden when they purchased the house. I have only had it a couple of years and it gave me its first bloom last summer. It is one that blooms later in the summer. I believe it is going to do well in its situation.


I also have this hydrangea. It is relatively new to the garden. It has only been here about 3 years. Don't adjust your monitor. It has a yellow varigation in its leaves. I sure wish I could tell you exactly what it is but I can't. I simply can't find a tag or any mention of it in my garden journals. Hmmmmm I do remember reading that it wasn't known for its blooms but is usually grown for its foilage which is what drew me to it. It does give me a couple of blossoms every year. As you can see there is a bud at this time.
Lastly in my hydrangea menagerie is the small patio pink. I have three of these out by the barn. They are in such deep shade that they do well to exist. This one however is situated up by the patio as it should be and it is generous with its pretty pink blooms. So on this happy note I will leave you with well wishes for the weekend.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bumble Bees

In a blanket of sun
bumble bees while they be wed
did make me blush

My shadow drew near

they squirmed with discomfort

on their bed of rock

Monday, June 16, 2008

Through dogs eyes

These little beady eyes belong to Oly. Oly is vacationing here at Greenbow while his momma is away in New England for a week or so. Oly is a an almost 7pound toy poodle. He comes to Greenbow often as he and his momma babysit for Luna when we are away. So it is like a homecoming for him to come stay with us. This tiny little dog is such a sweetie. He enjoys wandering through the garden paths checking out new territory.
I was just thinking today of how the garden might look from his point of view. Everything would look so big. Like this Blue Angel Hosta that he is standing beside. One of those leaves looks almost as big as he is. I am sure a Sum and Substance leaf is larger than he.
Now Vinny on the other hand weighs a whole 20 pounds and stands a little taller than Oly. This little imp is rarely still. His Jack Russle/Rat Terrier breeding plus him being only a year old makes for a lively guest.
He is always on the look out for squirrels or any other creature that happens to wander into our garden. He can barely see above most flowers but that doesn't bother him. He plows right through path or no path.
Luna being a big dog doesn't seem to mind the flowers in the garden. She can usually see over them or she, not often but occasionally plows through them. Ususally she does the plowing through in pursuit of a rabbit.
I sort of know how they feel walking through the paths in our garden since during a tour of a garden with huge azaleas I felt like I was in a maze. It feels like another world. I too occasionally felt like plowing through a small break in the azaleas to see what might be on the other side.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - June 2008

Happy bloom day to all of your Garden Bloggers. Carol at May Dreams Garden has us all rounded up showing the blooms of June that is happening in our gardens. If you want to seem more go to her blog and you will see gorgeous blooms from all over the country and other countries as well.If you want to participate just post your blooms and then go to her site and leave a comment on the 15th of each month. Today I want to start off showing you one of the dark burgandy lilies in the garden. It has some blooming sedum at its feet. Not far from the lilies we have some Eremrus or as I like to call them Foxtail Lilies that are about to finish their display. They are such a striking addition to the garden. They make quite a statement then fade away to nothing letting me forget them until next spring.
One of my favorite daylilies are blooming. I don'tknow the name of this one but it blooms again in fall so I really appreciate its hard work while looking beautiful.Ihave some astilbe that I have had so long and moved so many times that I don't have a clue as to what it's name is. I remember that I had a fanal at one time but who knows? I sure don't. It really likes this spot. I have moved it becasue it wouldn't bloom most other places. Here it gets lovely dark foilage and it blooms which is always a bonus.
This Dutch Honeysuckle is blooming up a storm. The bumble bees really like this as well as the hummingbirds.
The Jackmanni clematis is blooming up a storm. It has really grown tall this year. I guess all the rain this spring has helped it along.
St Fiacre is still tending the Tradescantia 'Sweet Kate'. The tag said that it would attract butterflies. Harumph. I have seen none on this even though I like the pretty chartruese foilage. I hope it soon does as the tag suggests. I would at least like to see bees on it but nothing so far.
One of my favorites of summer is the Datura. It has its first bloom. It has several buds but this is the first one open. I just love how rich and tropical these beauties appear. The moths they attract are amazing. I hope to see them soon too. Maybe when there are several blooming at once I will get a picture.
This wraps up what I can show you as I have misplaced my camera. Geez. I think I left it at work. I took pictures of the clown parade at work today and must have set my camera down in the shop someplace. The other blooms I can think of are daisies, another tall lily and several other day lilies. Maybe next time I can show you more...