Yellow Show

May 7, 2014

It is 80 degrees fahrenheit today!  My tomato and pepper plants arrived in the mail and I put them in the ground.  There seems to be a number of yellow things in the garden that I thought I might group together.

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Mammoth yellow quill chrysanthemum.  I got three of these plants in the mail this spring and they are starting to bloom.  I wonder if they will bloom again in the fall.

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Dandelion.  I hate to admit that it was not hard to find one to photograph!

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There are a lot of strawberry blossoms now.  You can see the green strawberry starting to form in the center of the flower.

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American plum blossom.  This is not really yellow, but I had to point out that there is only one blossom on my two trees.  Last year there were about 10 blossoms.  I wonder why.

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We still have a number of yellow and white daffodils around the yard.  I think this one only gets partial sun, so it opened later.

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I put together a container over the weekend.  The big plant in the middle is a cornflower.  It was taking over the flower bed, so I took it out and stuck it in this planter.  I also put in some marigolds, purple petunias, and a little goldenrod. In the back left the wonderful agastache is starting to come back.

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Goldfinch.  I think this is a male goldfinch.  The picture is not so great, but he was singing his heart out when I zoomed in for this shot.

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Speaking of birds, we have a number of cow birds in the area.  Here is the male.  The female is harder to get a good picture of.  They lay their eggs in songbirds’ nest and the songbird ends up feeding the baby bird for them, often to the harm of her own chicks.

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I noticed the yellow on this bird’s throat, but I don’t know what kind of bird it is.  Can anyone identify this bird? Dan was shooting bird pictures from the kitchen.

Summer Sizzle

July 15, 2012

On Friday I watched a lighting and rain storm from my office window at work and drove home through strong rain, but when I got home we had just had a few sprinkles of rain.  On Saturday afternoon we finally got 1 – 2 tenths of an inch of rain.  I hope the farmers got some rain because the corn and other crops really need it.  Even a little helps some, but the yard is so dry I had to get out the hose again this morning.

Drought conditions in our yard on 7/15/12, for the record.  Usually this time of year I am dealing with a mosquito jungle and only enter the garden area with a lot of bug spray on.  There are not so many mosquitoes yet this year, though a lot of wild looking bugs and flying pollinators, as usual.

Still, it’s time for the black-eyed susans to open up, which is always so cheery.  Even they have struggled with the dryness and I have watered them a number of times.  In the background is the Fothergilla bush, one of my favorites.

The lilies have started to bloom, though much of the foliage is brown.

I put petunias in my yard for the first time this year.  I bought them for the largest container, but also put them in a few places in the ground.  They have faithfully continued to bloom all summer, though the deep purple color is hard to catch in pictures.

I planted nasturtium seeds, both from seed packets and ones that I collected from my own plants, all over the yard this spring.  I wonder if this is a seed I collected from a plant, since the color is not what I would have expected.  Many of the nasturtium started well but seem to be dying off from lack of water.

Miscanthus – morning light.  This ornamental grass does not seem to have trouble with the heat.  I noticed I caught a blue damselfly in the middle of this picture.  A lot of grasshoppers, dragonflies and such find a place to hide in these grasses.

This is a different type of miscanthus.  This is its third summer in this location.  It is an example of a good plant in the wrong place, as it hogs all the space and crowds out the other plants.

When we had our garage sale we noticed several wasp nests on the front of the garage.  Dan sprayed those on Friday, but then on Saturday, when I opened the umbrella the wasps had built a nest there, too, so here several angry wasps are flying around inside the umbrella trying to get themselves reorganized.  I decided to stay away from the area for a while.  In general wasps are a beneficial insect and I welcome them in the garden – just not on or near the house.

Dan and I watched Forks Over Knives and are thinking about how to incorporate more plants into our diets….