Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HOPE - Garden Bloggers Muse Day - September 2010

Hope is a subtle Glutton-
He feeds upon the Fair-
And yet-inspected closely
What Abstinence is there-

His is the Halcyon Table-
That never seats but One-
And whatsoever is consumed
The same amount remain-
                   ----Emily Dickenson

I guess this poem spoke to me this month because I am ever hopeful that with this brand new month rolling around there will be cooler weather, plentiful rain.  Yes, I will keep hoping. Aren't we as gardeners always hopeful with every seed started, every flower, shrub and tree planted?

For more muses for your garden delight head over to Carol's Sweet Home and Garden Chicago blog.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Safari - August 29, 2010

We got out early this morning trying to beat the heat. As you can see the heat was blanketing the area.
Sherry over at Q's Corner does a post every Sunday about what is seen in and around her garden. Sunday Safari is what she calls it.  Since I had been out and somewhat successful with some photos I thought I would play along.
It seems that our garden has been taken over by the Tigers. Tiger Swallowtails that is. There appears to be many sizes of these beauties. I thought at one point there might be something different as some were so much larger than others. No such luck.
Another beauty that is plentiful at this time is the Buckeye. This must be high season for the second brood since there are so many around.
Even though Dusky Wings aren't as colorful as the other butterflies they bring a nice calm to the garden.
The butterfly caterpillars seem to all have disappeared. I hope that they weren't all eaten by the birds in the garden.  I have been occupied with watching the  House Wrens bring in bills full of bugs. Food goes in and...
food goes out, in the form of fecal sacs.
Just today while we were away the young ventured out. I was so hoping I would be sitting here when the took flight. It was not to be. However I have seen them in the garden so things are going well. There are still plenty of bugs in the garden for them.
Of course there are other predators of caterpillars. You can see here that this poor little Catalpa Moth caterpillar has been parasitized by wasps.
This big ole leaf-footed bug let me get in close for a portrait. I couldn't figure out why. I thought it might be because it was missing one of its hind legs.
What I discovered was that it was laying an egg.
I hope you all have had a great weekend. Did you have a successful Safari Sunday?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Heat Relief

This has been an August for the record books around here. This native sensitive fern is one of the toughest plants in the garden and it is showing how dry it has been.
Other ferns in the garden are really taking a beating too.
The hostas that I showed you in my last post are the ones that get a bit of water since they are closer to the house. Unfortunately most are further away. This brave little 'Wolverine' still sent up some blooms. I don't know if it will make it or not. I have had hosta come back from the brink before.
 
On a happier note the bugs have thrived in this heat and lack of moisture. This big ole bumble bee it too big to get far enough into the hosta bloom to get a good drink so it gnaws a hole at the bottom of the bloom to get at it. This is also good for the hummingbirds. They seem to know where the holes are and take full advantage of the bumbles work.
The smaller bumbles like the Tortinias. They fit in there perfectly.
There has been a few Monarchs passing through the garden. They are usually so active I can't seem to get a decent picture of them.
There is evidence that they have been elsewhere in the garden. This is the only Monarch caterpillar I have found. I hope that there are others already in a cocoon somewhere.
I hope you all are getting some fallish relief from the heat and drought, or rainy weather. What ever has beset your garden this long summer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Foliage Follow-Up August 2010

I am a little behind with my foliage follow-up. I hope Pam, our organizer, doesn't toss me to the curb like a used plastic pot. I just had the time to get out there and snap a few shots. The foliage in my garden looks a little crispy around the edges. I am not going to show you those crispy edges though. I will start with right outside the patio doors I have this little vignette of greenery. The hosta 'June' holds court. Slugs and other critters don't like her and she thumbs her nose at drought. Besides, lets face it it is right outside the patio doors so I do keep this watered a little better than most places.
Out in the center garden there is a whole lot of texture going on. It looks a bit wild. Someone was in my garden today for the first time and she said "oh I just love the way your garden looks so wild". That about say it all. I took it as a compliment because she is another nature lover.
She was the perfect guest in that she didn't mention any of the weeds including this hulking beast. I have no idea what it is but it is about as tall as I am (5'6") and has rough leaves. I have left it in this place because I want to see what kind of bloom it has. I might be able to figure out what it is when it blooms too.  Oops, I digress.
The next spot that wasn't too crispy was out by the blackberries. This is a piece of Sum and Substance I placed here where the bird bath used to sit. It hasn't grown to full proportions yet. It is filling the hole that developed when I moved the bird bath. The poor little Toad lily has lots of buds on it. I think it is waiting for a good rain before it opens.
I hope you all enjoyed seeing a few spots in the garden that aren't all that crispy. For more foliage follow ups to GBBD go to Digging, Pam's blog to see others. Or if you want to participate make an entry and go comment on Pam's blog.
 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - August 2010

It has been so hot and dry here that the garden looks as tired as I am with this month. The Robert Porre garden phlox is holding a few blooms. The hostas are blooming despite the dry conditions.
The pots are looking alright but even they are starting to show signs of decline. Happily a few of the vines in the garden are stilll blooming. Hyacinth Vine is blooming up a storm as is the Cardinal Vine, Yellow Trumpet Vine and the native Honeysuckle.
Other plants blooming are: Cone Flower, Monarda, Sunflowers, Phlox David, Yellow Tansy, Pink Anemone, Turtlehead, Joe Pye Weed. I hope this GBBD finds your garden full of blooms, plenty of rain and empty of weeds. For more GBBD from all over the world go here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Atomospheric Conditions

I am not going to whine about the heat any more. I just feel so sorry for the wren that lives just outside my window. She and her consort are trying to nest the second time in this box. The poor little dear hangs her head outside the box trying to get some relief. This reminds me of a story my Mother used to tell me about when she was nearing the end of her term of pregnancy while carrying me. This being before AC was the norm, she would sit with her head out the window of the house trying to catch some relief. She would watch for when my Dad would come home with a chocolate malt to soothe and cool her.
The Mr Wren is vigilant. He makes sure she knows when a cat creeps by. He chases away the song sparrow, house sparrow or any other bird that dares to pause to rest near their house. He also scolds her for leaving the nest. When she quickly returns he rewards her with a big fat moth. True love.
All of these photos were taken through the window of my studio. What is happening outside your window today?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hints of Autumn


Not only are the leaves beginning to color and drop but the wolly worms are beginning to be found crossing the road while we are out on our walks.
The Staghorn Sumac is putting up its horns and has fruit on them.
Back in the garden the later blooming sunflowers are blooming.
I even have an Anemone blooming. I was surprised that the new Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima' has actually been showing a few blooms for over a week now.
It is blooming before the established white anemones are even setting buds. I don't know what that is all about. I guess they just don't know any better.  I am pleased with it no matter when it decides to bloom.
The American Beauty Bush is even showing a bit of color.
The mums out front are showing a little color. It just makes me realize that autumn will be arriving shortly. Even the weather has given us a bit of a reprieve this weekend. It has been wonderful to be outside without feeling like one might faint of a heat stroke. I hope you are having a great weekend too. Have you seen any signs of Autumn in your garden?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday - Butterfly Weed

Alsclepias Tuberosa is the most amazing butterfly weed I can imagine. It is supposed to grow and bloom in full sun. Here in my mostly shaded back garden I am pleased to say that I have a small stand of it blooming its little head off.
I have seen mostly bumble bees nectaring on it. They have obviously done their job because on one plant there are seeds absolutely about to burst open.
When it does it will look like this one with the delicate angel hair.
I will allow these to be planted any place in my garden they care to alight. The next big storm should do a fine job of planting these seeds.

This plant also hosts nymphs of bugs other than butterflies. I don't know what these are but they do appear robust as they suck on this seedpod.
For more Wildflower Wednesday chat go to Gail's at Clay and Limestone.
P.S. Gail, I am sorry I am so late.