Seeing Yellow In A Mish Mash Way

July 27, 2009 001 (2)
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.

July 12, 2009 014 (2)
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.

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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?

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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.

July 16, 2009 052 (2)
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.

July 27, 2009 020 (2)
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.

July 27, 2009 2 037 (2)
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.

July 30, 2009 056 (2)
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.

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Speaking of goldfinches …

July 13, 2009 new 009 (2)
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.

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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.

August 1, 2009 005 (2)
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.

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31 Responses to Seeing Yellow In A Mish Mash Way

  1. Sweet Bay says:

    You have a lot of lovely yellows in your garden. I think my favorite are the Goldfinches. They are such a delight to see. So beautiful and so musical as well.

    Hi Sweet Bay, thanks. Everytime the goldfinches land on that sunflower or the nearby echinaceas it is a thrill.

  2. Phillip (UK) says:

    What lovely yellows and those pictures of the bird are terrific.

    Thanks Phillip, nice to see you.

  3. mothernaturesgarden says:

    I want to pluck those yellow tomatoes for a salad. Yum!

    Hi Donna, the little yellow ones have the perfect flavor for salads and they are so prolific too. Great plant.

  4. What a great mish mash. Love those shots of the Goldfinch…and that spider web…wow! I think you’re getting the hang of that new camera.

    Thanks Linda and so nice to see you. The camera is becoming more comfortable in my hands as it is used more. πŸ™‚

  5. Randy says:

    Is the yellow butterfly weed hard to grow from seed? Because so far all I’ve been able to find it the orange one. And how many colors does Asclepias tuberosa come in that you are aware of? Thanks–

    Hi Randy, so far the only yellows have appeared from the mixed packet, two plants of ten have been yellow, two have been a darker orange, the rest the pure orange. Those are the only colors I am aware of for tuberosa. All seem to grow equally as seedlings. Hope that helps. I have seen the yellows for sale at nurseries too as Hello Yellow. All of my plants are seed grown and I am hoping to save seeds from these to start more too. You just can’t have too many of this plant IMHO. πŸ™‚

  6. Carol says:

    Lovely yellow palette Frances… I especially love what appears to be the sun gold cherry tomatoes! In fact I am going to make a salad right now and enjoy a few. So delicious. Great shots of the goldfinch eating sunflowers. Thanks for the name of my clematis and your thoughtful comment.

    Thanks, Carol. The little tomatoes were only labeled yellow cherry, but are very delicious and might indeed by the famed Sun Gold. It is my pleasure to read your blog and comment if I have something to add to the conversation. πŸ™‚

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    This was a fun mash through your garden Frances. I have a couple of Asclepias tuberosa in my garden that I didn’t quite know what they were since Becky gave them to me but the buds look just like your picture. I am really glad you posted this. Have a great week.

    Thanks Lisa and good deal on the Asclepias. This is turning into one of my favorite plants as more of them get to blooming size. The rebloom is a bonus. You too enjoy the week. πŸ™‚

  8. Pam/Digging says:

    Nice capture of those acrobatic goldfinches, Frances.

    Thanks Pam. The camera did all the work once I figured a good way to keep the camera steady by resting my elbows on the arms of the lazyboy and knees up to my chest! HA

  9. Balisha says:

    I come here everyday for my Fairegarden Fix. Thanks for sharing the beauty in your garden

    You are so sweet, Balisha, thanks!

  10. Hi Frances,
    Beautiful fotos on flower in a color that some like and some dont.
    We have a part in our garden that we colled Mr garden, there we have only yellow flowers, mostly pale yellow.
    Here in Sweden the birds is mostly gray or brown not so colorfull as yours.

    Hi Ken, so nice to see you and thanks. I remember the Mr. garden from the posts of your award winning beautiful garden. Yellow becomes more scarce here as the summer turns to fall until the tree leaves turn that hue. I like to see it amid the flower beds. We are fortunate with the colorful feathered friends here too. They are dull in the winter but the males begin turning quite bright in late March, signaling spring’s arrival.

  11. Dave says:

    Those tomatoes look good and you have the right strategy. I think I have way over planted the cherries, of course several were volunteers. That’s one impressive rudbeckia at 10′!

    Hi Dave, thanks. I tried to be more sensible this year about the cherries and most volunteers are either the yellow cherries or brandywine. Our favorite tomato so far is Beefsteak. Most productive is Mortgage Lifter. I would be happy to share the rudbeckia. πŸ™‚

  12. Nicole says:

    My goodness, that yellow cherry tomato plant is unbelievable! What variety is it? Love the yellow birdie, too.

    Hi Nicole, thanks. If only the large tomatoes grew as vigorously as those little yellows. The label said yellow cherry. I have no idea beyond that. πŸ™‚

  13. tina says:

    Love the yellows. They are all so sunny this time of year and are surely my favorite color in the garden.

    Hi Tina, thanks. The yellows really draw the eye amid the mostly sea of green right now.

  14. Janet says:

    Great yellows Frances. My rudbeckia lanciniata is pretty much done, though the goldfinches are still working hard at getting all the seeds.

    Thanks Janet. Funny how yours is so far ahead of mine, although it is in part shade. It spend a whole lot of time growing tall! HA

  15. I’m glad you are still trying new things, such as leaving spent flowers on plants and planting something new, such as the Hypoxis. It really is a cute little thing. I killed mine, so I’m going to try again with it.

    Hi MMD, thanks. There is always something new to try in the garden, sort of like cooking. I would never have the little Hypoxis without Gail. Mine is on the driest sunniest slope on the whole property and loves it there. Do you have such a place?

  16. RobinL says:

    I thought I was having fun with my 10X zoom, but I sometimes find myself longing for more, just to capture those shy birds and butterflies. The goldfinches are abundant here, I just wish they would not tear the petals off my sunflowers, when I already provide them with plenty of other seed! Ah well, they are darling little creatures, and don’t they know it.

    Hi Robin, we always want more, don’t we? Human nature I guress. The goldfinches are ravenous eaters, they really scatter those echinacea seeds too. Helps plant them in out of the way spots, HA. πŸ™‚

  17. Beckie says:

    Frances, don’t you just love the Mish Mash Monday meme? Your yellows are so bright and cheerful, especially the yellow finches. I have sunflowers right out side the back door and love to watch them fighting over the seeds. And I have seen a lot of rear ends up in the air as they pick at the flowers.

    Those tomatoes look yummy…fresh from the garden, nothing better!

    I will have to look for the mixed packet of butterfly weed seed. Would love to have some yellow to go with my oranges.

    Hi Beckie, I agree, the mish mash monday is a perfect way to touch on several topics and use up the photos from the weekend. Your sunflowers are amazing, I have trouble growing the big pretty ones. The volunteers from the birdseed do the best, and they are always in the gravel paths. HA Do try the mixtures, although it takes three years to get flowers. Worth it! πŸ™‚

  18. gittan says:

    God morning Frances, you have so many lovely yellow suns in your garden. I loved that Crocosmia! I don’t think I’ve seen them in yellow around here… orange and red we have, but yellow??? Tomorrow we are going for a daytrip me and the Carpenter, over the hill and there we’ll visit a few nerseries we haven’t been to before =) I’ll have to keep my eyes open for that Crocosmia then. This year we have a lot of butterflies in our garden, more then ever before. I do hope they find there way to the fairegarden soon. Hope you’ll have a great day / kram gittan

    Hi Gittan, thanks. There were supposed to be two more yellows in the order from Plant Delights, but they all turned out to be the same one, orange. Have fun on your trip. Hope you find lots of treasures too. More butterflies are turning up the last couple of days. I was just being impatient, as usual. πŸ™‚
    Kram, Frances

  19. easygardener says:

    What better way to take pictures – sitting comfortably and nice and warm. Much better than trying to sneak up on a bird and having it fly away before I can get close enough. I too subscribe to the leaving of dying plants – more by inertia than conscious choice. I’m pleased to know that I’m now part of a trend!

    Hi EG, thanks. The photo ops from inside the house are fun and easy. Thanks to the zoom I can get real close too. As for the leaving of the dead stuff, at first it was difficult for me to do, but it gets easier all the time and allows for lots more relaxing and just enjoying being outside after the sun moves across the sky and the decks are shady. Less work and being right with the in-crowd, priceless! HA

  20. lotusleaf says:

    Yellows are a predominant colour in Indian gardens in this season. Blue is rare.I liked your spider’s web.

    Hi Lotusleaf, thanks. The gardens of India are quite beautiful from what I have seen on the blogs and TV. The birds are butterflies are as colorful as the flowers too. How wonderful. πŸ™‚

  21. Darla says:

    Love your Mish Mash Post…..It’s funny about you leaving the dying plants in the garden…that’s exactly what I have been tyring my best to do this year..

    Hi Darla, thanks. Leaving the dying plants is so *in* right now! HA πŸ™‚

  22. Rose says:

    I always love a good mystery, Frances! The climax caught me by surprise because I thought they might be mutant dahlias instead. A lovely mish-mash of yellow, and I like the idea of leaving dying blossoms on the vine. Other than the coneflowers, though, I will have to train myself not to automatically pluck off brown blooms. I admire your restraint in allowing only one yellow tomato plant to grow. We are still waiting for our tomatoes, but when they do ripen, it will be a continual orgy of gluttony here:)

    HA Rose, you are too funny with that orgy of gluttony! After a lifetime of deadheading, we must now retrain ourselves to leave them be. It gets easier every day too. It has been many years before I finally figured out not to plant so many cherry tomatoes. Now they are much more tasty, since they aren’t just rotting on the vines. Hope your tomatoes ripen soon, it is starting to look fallish here. πŸ™‚

  23. Hi Frances, well this is my kind of post, what with mish mash and yellow (bananas)! I love all the blooms of course but also the goldfinch. Either it is incredibly huge, your sunflowers are small, or my brain isn’t working yet this morning! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for thinking this up, Monica, I love putting these posts together. While I would love to say the birds are giants with feathers, it is the sunflowers that are small. This one is a secondary flower further down the stalk, but even the first flower was only around four inches in diameter, with petals. It gets stepped on all the time and is not in much sun either. It gets left to grow just so I can watch the goldfinches feast on it. πŸ™‚

  24. commonweeder says:

    I love your yellow mish mash. I realize how little yellow I have in the garden, although I do have some Hyperion yellow daylilies. And gold finches. Beautiful photos, as always.

    Thanks Pat. I had to look for yellow flowered plants that bloom now. The Heliopsis has been a winner, new last year. Yellow really brightens all that green foliage.

  25. Catherine says:

    You do have a lot of pretty yellows. Those rudbeckias sound amazing at 8 feet tall. I’ve only seen the goldfinches once this summer, maybe when the sunflowers bloom here they’ll return.

    Thanks Catherine. I don’t know where the goldfinches hide out until this stuff produces seeds but they always show up right on schedule. The rudbeckias were a big surprise that first year for us too. They all had to be moved from the flower beds to the back of the property with the giant Joe Pye. πŸ™‚

  26. Your garden must be a lot of fun to wander around in. I have gold finches enjoying my volunteer sunflowers too. I haven’t been able to catch them with the camera though, they are very wary of me.

    I got the lettuce flower, although I didn’t know the variety. I recognized it because I have a lot like it in my lettuce patch right now.

    I think I must acquire the yellow star grass for the Petite Prairie, it looks like it would be a natural there.

    Then I started looking this up to see where I could get it, and I was surprised to see how the botanists are unsure (apparently) of where it fits in the world of plant families. The usda plant files says it is in the lily family, the missouri plants . com claims it as amaryllis, and wikipedia says Hymedecia (which I’ve never heard of). So perhaps it isn’t actually an iris even though Blue-eyed grass is. Taxonomy is darned confusing.

    How about the broadeae, which apparently have been moved from pillar to post several times and now show up as triti-something or other.

    A rose by any other name. . . blah blah. Maybe we are too hung up on who and what they are.

    Hi Hands, I have combined your comments. Hope that is allright. The garden is my most favorite place to be, any time of year. It has lots of variety and I forget about some of the plants until it is there time to shine. One cannot see the whole thing from any vantage point so it requires regular path strolling. The little yellow star is so sweet, very tiny though. It is growing on the sunniest, more well drained, unimproved soil there is here. Gail told me it was an iris, and looks so much like the blue eye grass but with a much longer bloom time. It sounds perfect for your little prairie.

  27. Great post. I love the goldfinches. Your photos are always refreshing. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Shady, what a nice thing to say. πŸ™‚

  28. I forgot to mention that that last photo of the spider web is… magical! πŸ™‚

    Thanks Monica. All the webs of the spiders are magical, aren’t they? πŸ™‚

  29. I’m eating all kinds of yellow cherry tomatoes, too, a variety called ‘Gold Nugget’.

    Love the pictures of the birds!

    Sounds delicious, Carol. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the little yellow tomatoes are the species. Is that right? It would explain how prolific the fruit production is on them. They run Indian sprints around the big red ones. πŸ™‚

  30. Layanee says:

    Love the spider web and I should have recognized the lettuce flowers as I have some on my own lettuce. They look so much bigger in the closeup. It really lets you look at the detail of a small flower doesn’t it?

    Thanks Layanee. Everything looks so different in those macro shots, don’t they? I never knew how pretty they are. We take a lot for granted in the natural world. πŸ™‚

  31. Sue says:

    Look at all the lovely yellows, and the cool spider web. You have a lot of beauty in your garden.

    Thanks, Sue, what a nice thing to say! πŸ™‚

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