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Showing posts from September, 2011

Mary's Toad Lilies

All summer the rock garden was full of Lily stalks that didn't bloom. I knew they were some kind of Lily due to the leaf structure. There must be 30-40 stalks. I've looked at them carefully numerous times, and last time I examined them I thought maybe Cala lilies, that would bloom later in the summer. Didn't happen. I saw some budding on them a few weeks ago, and then forgot about them being so busy the last few weeks. It's been raining all day here, and I saw that the bird feeder we had wedged between some of the rocks in the rock garden fell. It's not a permanent solution, and it fell once before. We're going to have cement it or use a base pole to secure it for Spring. I went out to pick it up, and was greeted by lots and lots of blooming Toad Lilies! What a surprise. These inherited gardens keep constantly surprising me. I've been through a full year's cycle now, and thought I'd seen everything. I don't remember these last year at this time.…

Autumn Wine

Having inherited several Sedum plants, I watched them with mild interest all summer. I was pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous display they have blessed us with this fall. They are autumn wine flowers. In August they were a light Chablis color, and then they deepened into a Rose, then a Merlot, and now turning a deep Burgundy. I've marveled at the variety of bees and butterflies that take great interest in them daily. It's like they are an oasis, or Port, where there are no boundaries between species - bumble bee is there drinking along with the honeybee, and all kinds of butterflies landing. I suppose everyone appreciates great wine. I know I have appreciated these Sedum. I do not know if they are "Autumn Joy", "Autumn Fire" or some other variety. Anyone know the best way to tell? They are on relatively short stalks.



Here they are part of the front bed tapestry - Moondance Rose, Russian Sage, Butterfly Bush, and the Sedum.

Butterfly Bush

To continue the butterfly theme, the Butterfly Bush has about 10 fronds now. Here's a closeup of one (with Sedum in background):

A Butterfly Birthday

To celebrate my birthday yesterday we went to Milwaukee and visited the butterfly museum, among other places. How enchanting to sit in a large room and have large unusual butterflies flying all around you, even landing on you! A video:
Some butterfly photos:




In addition to yesterday's trip, we spent Monday and Tuesday doing nature-related things for my birthday. On Tuesday we went biking through a state park. So relaxing to be able to bike on the paths, not worry about cars, and take in all the breathtaking scenery.  It was abundant with birds, butterflies, and frogs. My favorite part was a section I called the "sea of gold":


Monday we went apple picking (some pictures of the apples and what they're made into coming later), and then hiking/picnic in a portion of land owned by the nature conservancy. It was full of migrating Monarchs, feeding on the abundant milkweed:


 Anyone know what caused this? It is bark, not any kind of nest.
 A pretty thistle:
 and a hint of Autumn:

I…

Balsam

It took a bit of time to identify these. They are Balsam, related to Impatients. We called them "Underflowers" until we identified them. They seemed happy when they were only leaves, then ecstatic once they bloomed. I love the way they dance in the sunshine.

Sweet Pea

The sweet peas are continuing to flourish through September here in Zone 5. Here a handsome one posed for me, sharing its sweetness with all.

Redleaf Rose

I stayed up until 1am last night trying to identify it, and got it. Redleaf Rose, also called Rosa Glauca or Rosa Rubrifolia. Here is the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_glauca. The flowers in the pictures of it were exactly like the flowers I saw in the spring, and I can see why I did not know it was a rose - the shape of the flowers is more like a small daisy. I'm so glad it's named, and thank you Sissy and Robin for your help. 
Now that I have rose hips, I'm going to have to try to at least make tea. I'm reading that I should pick them after the first frost. 
***
I'm trying to identify this shrub - one of the many beautiful plants inherited with the house. Some notes: - Parts of it were 5-6 feet tall last spring. We pruned it to about 3-4 feet, which is where it is now.
- Has small thorns.
- Flowers in spring were beautiful. They were pink and white. I did not take pictures of them.
- Berries are orange, pictures below. They are oval-shaped and have hips.
- …

Fruits of Labor

It's Labor day, and nature is beginning to produce the fruits of all its Labor this summer. Thinking about all the work that's gone into producing a single berry - growth of flowery blossoms, all the bees and hummingbirds that pollinated them, the constant photosynthesis working 24 hours a day. I bet it doesn't seem much like work to the birds, bees, and trees. There is joy behind it all.
Old Glory waving in the front archway:
 Cucumbers and Tomatoes - still harvesting.
 Cross section of one of the beefsteaks. It tastes as good as it looks:
 Acorns from the Oak in front:
 Shagbark hickory nuts. Anyone know good things to do with them?

 Crabapples:
 This shrub has gorgeous flowers in early summer, and sage-colored leaves. Now beautiful orange berries. I haven't identified it yet. Anyone know what it is?
 We grew only 6 stalks of corn and had all the ears for dinner the other night. A white corn.
Happy Labor Day All!!!

Moondance Roses

Two are blooming so beautifully right now. They captivated me for an afternoon, taking pictures of them from all angles.

The Russian Sage is framing them so nicely, and doesn't seem to interfere with their growth, it seems to almost protect them.