Monday, September 29, 2008

A Small Fall Project

Ahhhh it is finally cooling off enough that a person (me) likes to sit in the garden during the day. I have this nice little two-seater glider that we don't use much unless we have company. I got to thinking thatI could set this glider where I want a bench. Then when we have company we can always retrieve it and set it where we need extra seating.

As I was sitting there contemplating this decision of utmost importance my DB was under the apple tree taking picutres of butterflies that were hanging out there. Of course he being a smartie decided to take my picture while I was deep in thought. Since this disturbed all this shuffling of gliders and gray matter I decided to return the favor.

I will have to post a few of the pictures he has taken. He has taken some beauties. As I turned toward the apple tree you can see the view I have if I look in that direction.Of course Luna lie there thinking her humans have really gone off the deep edge this time. Behind her you can see some of the view in the other direction.The mulch around the Maple tree is thick and what with all the roots this area isn't exactly level. I was having difficulty touching the ground when I put the legs on bricks. I didn't want the legs sitting in the mulch because this glider is metal. You know how metal reacts to moisture. Moisture+Metal=Rust. UGH... I bought this lovely little glider before I gave a thought to it needing maintenance. Darn I do digress. Anyway, I collected all the leftover bricks whether they were pieces or broken and made a frame of wood to hold them into place. All this came out to the picture below. A nice level sitting area here. As the bushes on either side of this glider grow it will make a little secret sitting area...I hope.

In the mean time I will sit here and watch the birds splash in the birdbath.Or I will peer through the opening in the fence to see what is going on in the world. I just love the big hedges that have openings cut into them so you can see the sea or some other lovely surprise. Here unfortunately you don't see much when you look through the opening. It is a long view. As close to a vista as my little neighborhood will afford. I can always dream. Do you have a fall project in the works?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Out of the Garden

Last weekend while out of the garden we saw a most the unusual sight of a flock of blackbirds chasing an Osprey out of their territory. The poor Osprey looked fairly beat up with missing tail and primary feathers. It didn't seem to mind the mob that was escourting him up and down the ditches lining the road. It continued to hunt with the escorts all keeping their distance unless an occasional brave blackbird would break the ranks and dive close at the Osprey. We were ever hopeful that the one spot of clear sky would eventually open over us so we would have better viewing conditions.
However we were dodging rain bursts most o fthe time. Happy Skywatch Friday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's the Berries

As we were posting our Garden Bloggers Bloom Day I mentioned that we should post about our berries at this time. Mr McGregor's Daughter took me up on the suggestion since there are so many berries at this time in our garden. After all this is the time of year that our plants have worked so hard to get to. The time to set fruit and multiply. The birds are most grateful for these Beauty Bush berries. The Beauty Bush really lives up to its name at this time. These lavender berries are hard to beat. Our White Dogwood tree has quite a few berries on it. I am surprised because the birds get after them so.
The berries on the pyracantha are a deeper red orange this year. I wonder if the drought of the past couple of months has made this change in their color. It sure hasn't seemed to reduce their bounty any.
The Dutch Lonicera has scads of berries. I hope to enjoy them all a little longer until the marauding AsRobins descend upon the garden. It is such a treat to watch them devour the berries.We also have holly berries, Hawthorn Tree berries. The Fleece flowers are about to toss about their seeds and even a few dried up blackberries the birds have missed. Do you have any berries to show us?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Natural Screening

I wanted to get this post up for Gardening Gone Wild's Screening and Trellis post last month but since my computer was down most of last month I didn't do it. So here, better late than never, is my post about some screening in and around my garden.

Our lot is situated on a street that is adjacent to a very busy street that has an S-curve where our lot is right in a curve of the S. So people have to slow and people have to look at our side lot. If I didn't have shrubs, trees and, the focus of this post, Helianthus tuberosus or commonly called Jerusalem Artichoke our garden would be fully exposed.

A closer look here.
A glance from the patio toward the corner of the garden.
Every year I get people commenting about these tall beauties. However I wouldn't give them to everyone that asks for a start. This is a wildflower and well, it acts like one. If you put them into a cultivated bed you really have to keep after them as they will try to take over. However they are worth it if you want something tall and blooming their heads off this time of year. The birds, bees and bugs love em too. As their name suggests there is an edible part of this plant. The roots are thick and I have sliced them into salads. They are sort of crunchy and give that texture of water chestnuts but they have more flavor.
While they are the sturdiest 10'tall flowers I am aware of hurricane force winds, that being 60mph, will blow them down. I am thankful that the Martin Houses withstood the winds. So I would say that if you want some natural screening that doesn't take years to develop this is a good way to go. Just remember that it won't be up during winter, hurricane winds will take them down and I am not so sure you can ever eradicate them if you tire of them. Edit: I had to change the date for posting to today since I started this post several days ago and then got sidetracked. Ha.. sorry about that.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - September 2008

I must say I have quite a bit blooming this month. I was afraid what with the drought the past month and a half that I wouldn't have anything blooming. I think that some plants are feeling like it is spring so they are blooming again. I am pleased to be able post some of my favorites since the storm didn't do much damage. I am beginning with this Toad Lily 'Miyazaki'. I have another one but it isn't blooming yet. I always look forward to the Toad lilies blooming.
Mum
Speedwell Veronica 'Eveline'
Turtlehead
Solidago - the weeping kind. It was a pass along plant so I don't know what its called.
Solidago is great for attracting butterflies. Tall Garden Phlox

Niko Blue Hydrangea is blooming again. There are three colors of blooms on this plant.
Cimicifuga ramosa 'Brunette', I wish I could add the sweet smell of this flower. It is no wonder the hummers and bees love this plant.
Japanese anemone 'Honorine Jobert'
I have several specimines of sedums. All different colors of pink except this one is lavender.
OOps, almost forgot to mention that if you want to see many more GBBD posts hop over to Carols May Dream Garden to see many more beautiful flowers in bloom.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Skywatch Friday

This evening we have had a tornado warning. Lucky for us it went north of where we live but the thunderstorm system that got the sky all stirred up left some unusual clouds behind. It is difficult to get pictures from my house without lines or houses or other obstacles in the way. This was an intersting cloud I wanted to show you. For more sky watching you can go here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Spot of Weather

I just can't tell you how happy I am that we are receiving some of the scattered showers that were predicted for this area. Most were to go north of us but halleluljah some is actually slowly descending upon the garden. I grabbed my umbrella after the first wave and mosied around the garden to see how everyone (the plants) were reacting to such a much needed shower. All were perking right up. Sending their leaves upward so they were sure to get all the benefit of the shower.While I was out I realized that I could sit in the Casa de Pantalla and keep dry. AAAAAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.
A quarter of an inch of rain has fallen. We are to get more, hopefully.
It was delightful for me to sit there and listen to the patter of rain drops on the roof. Not exactly a tin sound but a more base tone to the patter. I will remember this and sit here often during a rain. A most relaxing time.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Out of the Garden

I don't have any idea what this wild flower is but when we were out birding yesterday we drove through a sea of this white fluffy stuff. Not only was it pretty but it was like a world of butterflies and insects. I took this picture hoping to capture all the Buckeyes and Red Admirals that flew up out of the flowers. Obviously it didn't work but I thought I could show you how tall the flowers were and thick.
Does anyone know what this wildflower is? It is quite tall as you can see in the photo. It would be a good one to have if you are wanting to attract butterflies.
I had never seen such a large amount of Buckeyes in one place. There were also lots of these caterpillars. I have no idea what kind they are. They aren't Buckeyes or Red Admirals I know for sure. This one looks like one of the Wooly family.
There were also a few Red Admirals flitting around with the Buckeyes.It seems that no matter where you are at this time of year there will be some type of grasshopper. This one had reddish legs.On a bird note we had a couple of Ruddy Turnstones. They are in inbetween (breeding/winter) plummage. They are very interesting birds in that they are named so because they indeed turn over stones where ever they hunt for food. These stones are too large for the bird to turn them over but they love to pick through the crevices looking for bugs.
For another interesting look at what is found under stones you can go to Nina's blog Nature Remains and see what she found onInternational Rock Turning Day. I am sure the Ruddy Turnstones would approve. I want to thank my Dearly Beloved for taking most of these pictures and allowing me to use them.


Monday, September 1, 2008

September Muse Day

The first of every month is Muse Day. Carolyn over at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago started this muse day and everyone that would like to post a poem on the first of the month is welcome to do so and then leave a comment here so everyone can come read your muse.
September always seems to be the beginning of fall to me. The bird migration is in full swing, the leaves on the trees are beginning to turn red and yellow and the Ash tree seeds are beginning to descend.
I just love the way Mary Oliver writes about nature with her poetry so here is my selection written by her.
September

I walk through a grove of pines and startle the nighthawk
from the limb where it has been lying, resting or sleeping.
The bird is similar in color to the gray limb, and lies along
not across it, so is almost invisible. On its hawk-like wings
it rises into the sky, and vanishes.
The nighthawk doesn't nest here but only stops a few days
on its long travels. I know this one must be tired of flight,
and I am sorry to have disturbed it.

The next day, walking the same woods, I approach with
care. The bird is again resting on the limb, its eyes shut. I
back away and do not disturb it.
The following year, almost to the day, I neter the
pinewoods and remember the nighthawk just in time-in
time to be cautious and silent. Ane the bird is there, in the
same tree, on the same limb, int he pinewoods that is so
pretty and so restful, apparently to both of us.
___________________________________________________________________________________

I guess you are wondering why this struck me. It is because we have been seeing small groups of migrating nighthawks lately. They are such lively birds even though they are nocturnal most of the time. When in migration or just after their young hatch you see them during the daylight hours.
I don't have a picture of a nighthawk so I will leave you with a picture of this buckeye butterfly on the sedums.
If you would like to read a little more about Common Nighthawks and see a picture of one you can go to Ohio Birds & Biodiversity by Jim McCormack and there is a couple of posts about them.
Happy muse day to all. I look forward to reading your post.