Before all else, please rise as the 2010 winner of the famous Viola Beauty Pageant, sashays down the gravel carpet. Air kisses and biodegradable ribbon tied lace sachets filled with compost which have been passed to the spectators may now be lightly tossed at her roots. May she wreck her stockings in celebration tonight at some juke box dive. For those interested, all contestants got at least one vote, a nice thing and the runner up was feisty Simone. Many thanks to all who voted for their favorites, from the Fairegardener and the lovely ladies. X X X and O O O are sent your way (three kisses, left right left, the Continental way, thanks Ewa) !
Now on to more mundane matters. We love the roadside
weed wildflower Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota. It pops up in odd spots here on occasion. The vision is for it to join the bronze fennel and Echinaceas behind the knot garden bench. Rudbeckia hirta has popped up back there this year, that has been added to the vision as well, although we wonder how it got there. Last year the dried Daucus seed heads were scattered in the area and we are pleased to announce that babies are now showing. Being biennial, there will be flowers from these small ones next year. The seed scattering will continue to help nature along a bit. ( I couldn’t decide on which image to use, so went with both, always a good idea.)
Not the clearest of shots, but take note of the lack of swimming ants in the glass bottle holding the sugar water mixture on the hummingbird feeder. While the ants do not seem to bother the little birds, it bothers me to see them in there. The Financier had an inspired solution of coating the hook upon which the feeder hangs with bug spray. So far it has worked. Rain would probably wash it off and reapplication would be necessary. But no rain means no ants, for now.
What do you think of the idea of spreading it in a ring between the Hosta ‘Sunpower’ and Nasella tenuissima under the Crimson Queen Japanese maple? You can see the plant in situ now to the right of the maple. It is small in stature and I love the color with the grass and chartruese hosta. To be considered would be the look of the foliage before and after bloom time, although it could be cut after blooming is finished. Maybe just three pieces spread evenly so as not to obsure the hosta? There are at least three fans that could be spread in the clump now. Added: Or perhaps just another clump on the left side of the tree for balance? Comments welcome, as always.
What was thought to be squash in the raised box planter now looks like a pumpkin. In the journal it was noted that Eight Ball squash seeds were sown last fall there. I should have known the plants were way too vigorous and healthy to be something we want to eat. There must have been seeds from compost spread in there, but I don’t remember using anything but purchased bags of Black Kow. Obviously my memory is below par. Oh well, the vines have been trimmed and are being led into the area behind the box and are now climbing the Arizona Cypress trees. I wonder if fishnet pantyhose will be needed to hold the heavy pumpkins hanging mid air like this fellow last year? Click here-Backlighting And Updating to see it.
On a recent beach holiday, no plants were purchased, a first!, but we did pick up some more glass floats for the pond. Some of the originals, from the same shop near Charleston, South Carolina, Seashore Gifts had broken and some were shared with offspring. New colors were available and came home with us. The netting will be removed and reused as plant ties, among other things.
Never captured satisfactorily and still not, Calla lily, Zantedeschia ‘Naomi Campbell’ still deserves to be shown on the blog. Billed as a black flower, it is a dark purple and has already been open for a month. It will remain so until frost, sporting attractive white spotted green foliage. Out of six planted a few years ago, this one returns with regularity each spring under the garage deck.
For the first time ever, blueberries have been eaten from the three plants ordered from Park’s three years ago. Vaccinium corybosum ‘Sunshine Blue’, a dwarf cultivar, arrived as the tiniest specimens ever seen. It was disheartening because large pots of blueberry bushes were available at several locations locally. The selling point, besides the mature size of a manageable four feet by four feet was the lack of need for different varieties for pollination. Drought after initial planting set the growth of the small sticks back and while alive, they were barely so for the first two years. Adequate rain last winter and some protection from winds by various old tool parts and plastic plant trays stuck in the ground around them has resulted in larger bushes that seem to be settling in, finally. The berries are sweet and juicy, if sparse. We are happy to have any at all and look forward to subsequent larger harvests.
Can anyone help identify this little visitor? ( Pearl Crescent says the all knowing Lisa.)
In the post How To Make Lavender Wands, the cleanliness of the thumbnail holding the stems was noted in a few comments. This is to show a dirty thumbnail. (Holding the camera with the left hand and pressing the shutter is extremely difficult whilst sticking the right thumb in front, even though we are left handed, the shutter being on the right corner of the device makes for awkward fumblings. Daylily Palo Duro Canyon in the background.) It seems the length of the nail poked a hole in the gloves without my noticing. Each morning when the heat and humidity drive me inside after pre dawn weedings and other projects, the stripping off of the gloves revealed dirty thumbs. I figured some soil ball had gotten inside the finger, as sometimes happens in wild flinging of dirt off the rootballs of stubborn large weeds whilst on bended knees. Dirt goes inside my socks, which are pulled over top my leggings to prevent insect access, as well. Then there is the hair, specks on the face, you get the idea. Clean and dry we are not. We know it is time to go inside when the glasses slide down and off the slippery ski slope of a sweaty nose and into the garden.