The grass looks like I almost care. And, the fat lady has been told to stay in the wings, as I discover on my stretcher-to-the-morgue duty in my big beds - you know those big honking plants - I'll yank you when I have my shovel in hand - are asking for the fridge door to be opened. "I am alive! you fool!" Anyone watching me would have thought I was nuts as I exclaimed, "oh look, you're not dead!"
Observations and a question for anyone who might know. I've been growing a Heptacodium micanioides (Seven Son Tree) for about 10+ years. Very cool plant - exfoliating bark, blooms in September, smells wonderful, monarchs love it, the calyxes turn red and look like a second bloom.....but is this year I noticed everything beneath it looks miserly. Kevin's words, "Now Barbara, these all look like weeds, and if they aren't weeds, they sure look like weeds, you know I've pulled out things that look exactly like this that I'm sure are weeds." They are Phlox paniculata. There's a bit of David in there, some 'come-with-the-old-house-never-mildews-variety', and one other kind I can't remember, but look at how small and weed-like the leaves are. It's not as severe as a black-walnut juglans destruction, but boy, it doesn't look good and it's just in one spot. Perhaps the tree is taking all the nutrients from the soil and the plants are starved? My first option is to put down some manure and compost. Fingers crossed that does the trick - has anyone had a similar experience?
I'm asking you to put on your imagining hat with this photo - took one today, but Blogger and iPhoto don't seem to want to look at today's pictures - and let's face it today's photos will soon be yesterdays so no doubt I'll be able to haul them in tomorrow - so what you see is the Heptacodium and the sparse leaves below to the left are the Phlox - in another section of this same garden they are twice the heft and bulk. Today's photos had my nicely done edge as well....
Lots of pollinators in the garden - m.i.a. monarchs.
So much for plant it and they will come. Where are they? Lots of other butterflies though. Found this nice little caterpillar chowing down on some native asters - being a butterfly-identifying-Luddite thought I might have a swallowtail butterfly....had a look at my reference book, and no, I've got a potential moth called Gluphisia septentrionis that spends the first part of its life bald and green, and the second part needing a back wax, and what a marvellous digestive system!
My Loblaw pots are chugging along:
And found one of the stocks of my Tricyrtis 'Lightning Strike' that really does look like its been struck by lightning.
If you are looking for a plant that does well in poor soil, in the shade, in the sun, in dry, in cold, in heat that is enjoyed by pollinators, and seems to never be eaten by any other insects it is Aruncus dioicus:
My tiny little patch of martagon lilies I grew from seed - in honour of my first trip to Mr. Cabot's Quatre Vents. (He had an acre of them - I have three plants - and several seedlings that never seem to get much bigger.)
The Persicaria polymorpha is in bloom - had to cut a lot of it out after the torrential rains, but fortunately there is still a lot left. And for those of you who remember, this is the biggest Japanese Beetle draw. And unlike the Milkweed that hasn't brought in my beloved orange friends, I found my first horny pair having their way with each other. So far have kept them at bay squishing them while they were busy, no need to reinstate the Japanese Beetle Bucket of Death (J.B.B.o.D) just yet.
A new-to-me-this-year Cosmos 'Rubenza' - starts out red and then fades to one of those other-worldly plumy Heuchera shades. The little creatures seem to like it as a morning hang-out spot.
H. montana macrophylla:
First lily in bloom two days ago. (While H. 'Stella D'Oro' have been blooming for several weeks - this dandelion of the of the day lily world gives me less and less pleasure.)
Another from seed: Tripterygium regelii that seem to be a real magnet for blue-winged wasps - who lay their eggs in ground grubs. They absolutely swarm the blossoms.
My Canada Day flowers:
For years this Inula was plagued with insects that chomped down on its blossoms. In fact I took one of the plants out because it was so ugly post-buffet - strangely for two years, no chomped blossoms. Hooray.
Early spring there was nothing here but weeds. Because I had so much to do, I pretty much just left it and was delighted to find that my Acanthus had returned. Obviously now that it's alive it is going to need a bit more room. Still a bit of a puzzle trying to figure out what is going to do well in this garden now that the big ash is gone. But, based on this phoenix performance, I'm thinking I should be looking at a few more sun lovers.
And I'll leave you with a morning walk photo - the pots have been changed from spring to summer and there are five of them, and the other three are about 3x the size. I get so much delight in seeing folks with money spend a little of it on flowers, don't you?