Monday, August 17, 2015

Beauty In The Wild Garden

Our garden is wild this year.  Grasses, weeds, Japanese beetles and deer that think we are the intruders have things in disarray.  All the rain has helped to encourage the wildness.  Many plants are taller than I am.  A mouse keeps building a nest in the engine of the garden tractor.  Weeds are growing everywhere.  Green beans, squash, peppers, basil, potatoes, onions, tomatoes... are all waiting to be harvested.  Worst of all Ed has hurt his back.  Just the same the scent of fragrant Gladiolas fills the air.  The purple and pink gladiolas and the snapdragons are putting on a terrific show.  Perhaps you can ignore the goldenrod in the background!

For a purple fan like me these tall stately, elegant flowers are a very special treat.  The pinks and purples are no accident.  Ed knows they are my favorite and the Acidanthera bicolor  lends a lovely fragrance to the group.  The snapdragons have been blooming for a long time. I love tall snapdragons because if you cut them back they rebloom till frost.

Most of my double pink poppies have gone to seed by now, but a few late bloomers here and there add their beauty to the chaos of the other self seeders around them.

 These asters look great. They have shot right past the Gloriosa Daisies leaving them in the shade.  Not all of Ed's asters look this great, but we are talking about beauty here!

I honestly think this is the most beautiful daylily I have ever seen. The peach and gold seem to light up in the sunlight.  It was sold to us as "Spring Fling" and apparently it is not.  Spring Fling is supposed to be pink and Ed knows I like pink, but whatever name  this flower may have, I think it is strikingly beautiful. It has a soft fragrance and a glow that can be seen from inside the house.  It's golden glow and perfect petals last just one day but perfection is rarely achieved and seldom lasts.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sweet Surprise

Summersweet, Clethra ainifolia, is described as a native plant with a natural range from Maine to Florida.  Ocean currents from the south create a milder climate for coastal Maine despite its more northern location when compared with us.  We frequently experience bitter cold after plants have begun leafing out.  Recently our early weather features days of unseasonably hot daytime temperatures.  Warmth draws leaves out to open just before a late frost blackens them.  This year the cold was late and severe.  The Summersweet  bushes took a hard hit that I expected would kill them.  They all produced a new set of leaves but flower clusters are sparse.  We are pleased to have them still with us.  The only flowers on this bush are directly over the warmth of the stone wall.

The natural form of this plant features pure white flowers tipped with golden brown pollen.  The brown detracts from the purity of the white.  From a distance the flowers appear to be near death.  Their scent is the real draw.  Drifting on the breeze, the sweet smell of these flowers will pull one near.

Summersweet reproduces by root runners.  This offshoot was placed in the shadow of the gravel bank hill to give it protection from late frosts.  Unfortunately it is next to a heavily used deer trail.  All of its flower clusters have been eaten as well as much of its new growth.  We need a larger cage here.

Ruby Spice is the name of this cultivar.  Pink hides the color of the pollen making this a pleasant appearing flower.  Purists will likely prefer the natural form of this plant.

It is uncommon for Becky to want her picture taken.  Her wild sunflower drew her in.  Rodents may have planted this seed from flowers that grew on our property.  We figured that the telephone pole would prevent this sunflower from interfering with our neighbor's mowing.  We did keep the side shoots trimmed to give him a clear path.  This variety of sunflower is usually covered with numerous smaller flowers.  We hope its appearance here pleases our neighbor.  Becky loves sunflowers because they are so cheery!