Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday--Nodding Wild Onion

Nodding wild onion (Allium cernuum) is a dainty member of the onion family that blooms with icy pink-nearly white clusters of dangling flowers.

These plants were passalongs from Mr. McGregor's Daughter, and they are thriving in part sun. They're mixed with a number of other prairie natives, including rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), yellow coneflower (Ratbida pinnata), Short's aster (A. shortii), wild hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) and 'Twilite' baptisias. As this is a new border, most of those have finished blooming or are gearing up for next year.

For more wildflowers this Wednesday, see Gail at Clay and Limestone!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Long Time, No Blog

Well, I have been out of the loop lately! I missed Buffa10 and July Bloom Day, although I have enjoyed everyone else's posts on those topics. My reasons for this are work and life, but nevertheless the garden is carrying along quite well in our hot, sunny summer weather!

The Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum) is in full flower, and I'm happy to report others are enjoying it besides me.

The vegetable garden is a bit of a mixed bag. The tomatoes are growing splendidly at this point, no doubt encouraged by the weather.

I have only three--Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple and Black Krim--but all are bearing lots of as-yet-unripened fruit.

Cherokee Purple is winning the race for first tomato to ripen.

All the peppers are similarly thriving, such as these Thai chili peppers in the container 'o fire (which also includes a jalepeno and habanero).

But what's wrong with my squashes (and cucumbers) again?! All I have are these:

Lots of pretty flowers, but no squash (or zucchini or cucumbers). This cucumber vine is threatening to take over the whole bed, and I had to cut its tendrils off the tomatoes, yet no veggies!!

I have borage planted nearby to draw pollinators, and there's more near the tomatoes (which have obviously been pollinated). There are bees, wasps and flying bugs of all kinds around this garden constantly, so what's going on?

Right next door, the rain garden is coming into its own this year. The cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) are blooming brightly.

I have reconciled myself to the fact that I created a warm-color-scheme mess in this whole border, but that's just the way it's going to be. I have burgundy daylilies and these red and yellow ones

mixed with ice pink spireas (not pictured, as they are done blooming).

And in the rain garden, swamp milkweeds (Asclepias incarnata) and obedient plants (Physostegia virginiana) mix their pink blooms with the fiery red of the cardinal flowers.

It wasn't the most well thought out color scheme, but hey, all those hues are near each other on the color wheel, right? That's what I'll keep telling myself. The daylilies may get moved one day, but the rain garden plants have to stay where they are and they certainly are great for this purpose. They're absorbing our sudden and infrequent downpours and thriving beautifully, plus there have been monarchs galore around the milkweeds; I'm not about to lose all this ecological value over some shallow stylistic considerations. Once I realized that, I got very lazy about my plans to move the spireas, so pink and red this border may remain!

Of course now that I have the garden weeded and a second round of lettuce seeds just planted, I'll be leaving again for a 10-day jaunt late next week. What do you do when you're away from the garden? Is it acceptable to ask someone to water for you? And what's up with those squashes??

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