If you have been following this blog at pardonmygarden.wordpress.com, this is the last posting.  My storage reached its maximum and I have started a new blog.  Please feel free to check it out at littlebackyardworld.wordpress.com.

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Male American Goldfinch makes a brief visit to the birdbath.

Thanks for visiting these past four and a half years.  I have learned a lot and enjoyed sharing!

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Prairie verbena flowers with foliage from geranium ‘rozanne’ and alchemilla mollis lady’s mantle.

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The freezing weather is coming this week, but there is still a lot of life in the backyard.

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Kale flowers and cabbage white butterfly.  I always called this a cabbage moth until I looked it up now online and see that it is really a butterfly.  The caterpillars like cabbage, so it makes sense, since I have so many brassica plants in the garden.

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Virginia ctenucha moth on spice bush.  This is a day-flying moth and the caterpillars eat grass.  That makes sense since I have several clumps of switch grass nearby.  You cannot see the body of the moth, but it is dark blue.

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Woolly bear caterpillar.  I understand that these caterpillars actually freeze during the winter.  Eventually it will become an Isabella tiger moth.

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Painted lady butterfly on yellow zinnia.  I have fewer zinnias and mums in the yard this year, which may be why I have fewer butterflies.

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Some of the fennel flowers have turned to seed now.  I ate a few of them yesterday and the licorice flavor is strong.  I ended up spitting them out.  Maybe I will just try one seed at a time next time.  No wonder I have so many volunteer fennel plants in the yard.

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Rozanne geranium after the rain.

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There are still plenty of flowers on the Russian sage.  I saw the bees buzzing around this plant this morning.

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Dusty miller is an annual that I planted last year and it survived through the mild winter.  It is looking pretty healthy, but I wonder if it will survive another winter.

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Leaves of viburnum dentatum – ‘blue muffin.’

Cooking adventure:  My friend teased me about making kale cake, but seriously we have a lot of kale that we need to be creative with.  So yesterday we blanched a batch of kale and froze it in two freezer bags.  Hopefully having it picked, washed, and cut up will make it easy to add to whatever we are cooking this winter.

First Sunflower

July 9, 2013

So much can change in five days.  When we came back from a trip away we looked out of the kitchen window and saw a big sunflower facing us.  The coneflowers also started to bloom as did the liatris blazing star plants.

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More sunflowers of various types will be blooming soon, even on this plant, but I love this first, huge flower.

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Purple coneflowers are starting to bloom.  The birds will love all these flowers with tasty centers.

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The liatris blazing star plants bloom at the same time as the shasta daisies and go well together.

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Bee on liatris spicata – blazing star.

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Hydrangea – Incrediball.  I will cut some soon for dried flowers.  The ones I have in the house now I have had for two years and they are getting tired.

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Geranium ‘rozanne.’  They are spreading wildly and competing with the prairie verbena and the creeping charlie!

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The vegetable garden is getting wilder every day.  Watch out for mosquitoes after the nearly two inches of rain we had yesterday!  Recently we harvested collards, baby kale and Russian kale, wax beans, peas, lettuce, pak choy, a few cherry tomatoes, two small zucchini, four eggplants, a bowl full of raspberries, a good portion of blueberries and a few strawberries!  Of course there are always herbs when needed.  The tomatoes, pole beans and zucchini are getting ready to take over the garden!

October Blooms

October 14, 2012

Just when you think there is not much left to take pictures of something else blooms.

Pink Chrysanthemum.  First the red mums bloomed, then these, and finally the purple ones should start opening any day.  These mums will be great for all the pollinators that are still active.  I hope they will attract butterflies, as they did last year.

Purple dome asters and goldenrod ‘fireworks.’

I thought I planted purple dome asters here, as well, but these asters look very pink.  I might move them or replace them with something else next year.

Geranium ‘rozanne’ and columbine foliage.

A few cornflowers are still blooming.

Pink turtlehead flowers.  We had an inch of rain in the last 24 hours, but that is just a start to repair the damage of the drought this past summer.  Still, I am glad these flowers are blooming a little, though not looking their best.  I was afraid they would completely die this summer.

It is always hard to capture a picture of our Chinquapin Oak, but wanted to post one for the record.  We planted this and it was about 6 or 7 feet in April 2009.  Three and a half years later it is looking healthy and growing well.  In the background you can see our silver maple on the south side of our house.

Can’t help throwing in a picture of the first and only praying mantis egg sac I have seen this year.  It is hidden inside a clump of ‘morning light’ miscanthus.

The curly kale is still beautiful and productive and we consume it every day in our chocolate smoothies.  I picked a few green pole beans today and might go out and pull up the two beet plants to see if they are edible.  I also planted lettuce and spinach and am watching to see if they sprout at all.  If so, I might set up a cold frame and see if I can grow salad for another month of two.

And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  Matthew 6: 28,29

A lot of colors of nasturium blooming in the garden now.

Nasturtium and geranium ‘rozanne.’

Agastache golden jubilee and alyssum carpet of snow.

The Joe Pye Weed was severly tested by the drought.  It is trying to bloom a little now, late in the season.  This is gateway.  Little Joe bloomed a little better.  It looks like the turtlehead flowers will not bloom this summer, due to the drought.

Pole bean flowers.  Green beans hang in the background.  I picked a lot of beans this week and ate some sauteed with onions, corn (from the garden) and rice tonight.

Seedheads on giant sacaton grass.  A man at the Arboretum suggested I get Gilbertson  pvc nestboxes to attract bluebirds.  He said these wooden boxes are just too tempting for the sparrows and finches.

I planted virginia creeper on the back fence, but it may take a while to spread out, so I let the morning glories grow, too, as they come up from last years seeds.

Purple and Gold

August 5, 2012

The kids are going to college soon.  In honor of their school colors, here is some purple and gold from the garden this week.

The cucumber blossoms are gorgeous this year.  The turf grass looks so green after the rain.

I was surprised to see two clematis flowers blooming yesterday.

We have a lot of yellow tomatoes to eat this year!

Prairie verbena.  Just planted this year, but doing well.

Last year I planted purple browallia and yellow moss roses in this planter, but this year I threw it back by the vegetable garden and did nothing.  Then this week I saw that the moss roses came back on their own, despite the drought, and have started to bloom.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

The Caryopteris bush almost died over the winter.  This little lavender flower does not look like much, but when a whole bush blooms at once the bees go crazy.

This fall garden is meant to be yellow and purple, but different things bloom at different times.  The veronica – spike speedwell are purple now, but hard to see in the middle of this picture.  Soon we will have purple asters and goldenrod on the right.