Monday mornings at the Fairegarden household mean laundry day, among other things. We have entered a new month, named for ancient Roman ruler Augustus Ceasar. When the calender was being revamped by those wise fellows, rumor has it that A.C. wanted his namesake month to have just as many days as that upstart Julius instead of following the every other month rationale of 31 and 30 days. Some egos were p-r-e-t-t-y large back then. Anywho, this being the first Monday of the month, let us join in the fun of Garden Faerie Monica’s brilliant brainstorm of Mish Mash Monday, where anything goes.
Shown above is Plectranthus ciliatus, possibly ‘Troy’s Gold’ and a California poppy seedling.
Recent and unusual summer rains have caused many of the plants to spring back to life, some reblooming, including this seed grown specimen from a mixed packet Asclepias tuberosa. It was pleasing to see some yellows and darker oranges among the more numerous straight up orange colored flowers on these butterfly magnets. Hence the common name, Butterfly Weed. Now all we need are some more butterflies. A couple have been spotted but we require more for optimum enjoyment of fluttering wings visiting the floral offerings here.
Can you guess the name of these flowers? Here is a hint. The yellow ones are in front of the red blotch behind that is a seed grown Dahlia ‘Bishop’s Children’. The answer will be at the end of the post. Thrilling, isn’t it?
Do you recognize this sweet thing? My friend Gail of Clay And Limestone will, since she brought it as a hostess gift when she came to visit the Fairegarden in person last fall. It was not a plant we had ever heard of before and its stature was quite lacking. We were not impressed. But the non stop blooming since April has won us over. Yellow Star Grass, Hypoxis hirsuta is a low, tufted, grass-like perennial, growing 3-8 in. tall from a hard, hairy corm. The hairy, grass-like leaves originate from the base of the plant. Slender, thread-like flowering stems may be erect or reclining. They carry 3/4 in., star-shaped, yellow flowers below the top of the leaves. It is a member of the iris family. Thanks for this little treasure dear Gail. It holds a special place in our hearts, like you do.
About this time last year, the persuasive voices of Noel Kingsbury and Piet Oudolf in the book, Designing With Plants planted the seed of a revolutionary idea in garden maintenance in the now cinnaberry with silver swirl cerebrum. Allowing faded flowers and spent stalks to remain all winter was not a school of thought followed here previous to reading that philosophy changing book. Plant requirements now need to include dying well along with color, height, texture, and pollinator attractiveness. One of the most attractive spent flowers are those of this Heliopsis ‘Bressingham Doubloon’. There will be more written later about what has been learned in the first year of seeing the garden through new eyes.
It has been a bounteous season for tomatoes here with the extra water from the sky that has fallen so graciously. The yellow cherry tomato plant, singular, as in one plant only, have provided more than we can eat in salads, pasta medleys and popped into the mouth while puttering outside. A lesson learned is that any more than one plant produces too much waste from splitting and falling to the ground that our stomachs lose the desire to eat them. If volunteer tomato plants turn out to be these little yellows, they are composted immediately. Fewer fruits makes them more of a treat.
In the black garden lives the collection of Crocosmias. Reds and oranges are joined by this beauty, C. ‘Solfaterre’. The ever present purple perilla, a volunteer buddleia and the pleasantly dying iris foliage complete the image.
Late summer into fall here in southeast Tennessee is a transition period. The VERY tall flowers are coming into bloom, among them is the tallest of the tall, Rudbeckia lanciniata. Normally a photo with this perspective could not be shot without an eight foot ladder, for these flowers are at the end of ten plus foot stems. This one timbered down and is lying on the fabric cloth covered path to the veggie strip and sat very still while its portrait was taken. The goldfinches adore the seeds of this sunflower type bloom.
Speaking of goldfinches …
Regular readers may remember that we have a new camera, a Canon Powershot SX1, that was a birthday gift from The Financier. The main purpose of this camera is to use the 20x zoom for capturing images of our feathered friends. Our garden birds are shy creatures and will not allow us to get close for a good macro, no matter how sweetly our voice speaks to them. In fact, the best views come from inside the house while sitting in the addition in the lazyboy with the ever present laptop warming our legs. These shots were taken through the triple glass sliding doors that are in dire need of a good cleaning.
There is one sunflower volunteer in the gravel path just beside the lower deck that has been stepped on so many times it is now growing parallel to the earth. The weight of the bird bends it down even more, nearly touching the stones, but the goldfinch is a determined diner hanging rump up to get the tasty morsels.
Misty moisty mornings conjure magic in the knot garden, illuminating the unseen spider webs like pouring the potion on messages of invisible ink to reveal the contents. The yellowing foliage of scarlet runner beans on the bamboo tripods erected to give staked strength to the lily stems is a fitting end to this mishy mashy yellowy post.
The guessing game flowers are those of lettuce Brune D’Hiver. The hint was pertinent because the dahlia is growing in the raised veggie box where lettuce was planted in April. But you knew that.