Archive | July, 2013

lemon balm

25 Jul

besusanetal 009Lemon balm has insignificant flowers but a heady lemon scent, especially when the leaves are nicked by a besusanetal 016passing lawn mower.

I usually let a few plants grow long, like these next to an old whiskey barrel planter.besusanetal 010

But the plants surrounding the gazebo are trimmed regularly.  Trimming inhibits the forming of flowers but helps keep the lemon balm from growing too large and covering everything around it.


trumpet vine – campsis

25 Jul

besusanetal 006besusanetal 004Trumpet vines once again have covered the pergola, although the blooms don’t seem to be as plentiful this year — bad news for the hummingbirds who love this plant.

Trumpets are gorgeous flowers, but take care.  They tend to send up seedlings everywhere and are very difficult to dislodge.  Also, they must not be grown close to a house, where the vines can penetrate siding and shingles.

black eyed susan – rudbeckia

25 Jul

besusanetal 002This cheerful variety of cone flower is just coming into bloom.  Like its many-colored cousins, it’s a great cut flower as well as a good way to attract butterflies and other critters to the garden.

cone flower – echinacea

14 Jul

IMG_4101For me, the real beauty of cone flowers is that they attract pretty little gold finches who like to sit on the flowers and eat the seeds.  They’re very skittish, though, and I have not yet been successful capturing any on film.

take a break

12 Jul

One of the mistakes I made when I first started gardening a dozen or so years ago was that, although I could picture the garden as I wanted it to become, I tended to see only the work that would be needed to get it there.  By the second or third year, I realized that what was supposed to be a hobby had turned into a chore.  One of the most valuable things I’ve learned is to enjoy the garden as it is.  There’s always more work to do, but I no longer look at the garden and see only the weeds that need pulling or the shrubs that need trimming.  I’ve become a firm believer in having somewhere to sit and enjoy the garden and, since my garden is set up with lots of structures and winding paths — making it impossible to see the whole garden from one spot — I have lots of resting areas.  Click on any picture and let the arrows take you to the places in the garden I like to sit and enjoy the view.

daisy – chrysanthemum

12 Jul


IMG_4297Some people are surprised to learn that daisies belong to the chrysanthemum family, bred to bloom during the Summer rather than the Fall.  Daisies are long-lasting cut flowers (as long as the water is changed regularly and no leaves are allowed below the water’s surface).  Try putting a daisy in a clear container in a window that gets at least morning sun and you might find that after a week or two it starts to grow roots.  Like many plants with “hairy” stems, daisies can be propagated in water or moist soil — I usually dip the stems in rooting hormone when I start them in soil.

garden phlox

12 Jul

phlox 002A nice, old-fashioned garden plant, these phlox were moved from a bed in front where they really didn’t fit in to one of the beds in back.  They seem to like it here.  In front, they grew to a height of about 2′.  In this bed they’re already more than 5′ tall — and to think I worried they’d get lost among all the other flowers in this bed.